skip to content

Croatia

Geography & Topography

Capital: Zagreb; 688,000

Area: 56,542 square kilometers (21,831 square miles)

Language: Croatian

Religion: Roman Catholic, Orthodox

Currency: Kuna

History

Croatia, officially the Republic of Croatia is situated in South-Eastern Europe at the crossroads of the Adriatic Sea and the Pannonian Plain.

Croatia borders with Hungary in the north, Slovenia in the north-west, Serbia in the north-east, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the total length of the lower part of the Croatia’s crescent shape, Montenegro in the extreme south, and Italy and Slovenia on the Adriatic Sea.

Croatia’s rich cultural heritage can be discovered not only within the numerous museums, galleries and churches throughout the country (many of which appear on the UNESCO World Heritage List) but also in diverse musical, film, dance and theatre festivals and other cultural events that take place throughout the year.

Performing Arts

Music

The most recognisable instruments in traditional Croatian music are:

Guscle, a traditional instrument from Dalmatia

Guscle: This instrument was mostly used by people living in Herzegovina and Dalmatia territory.

Tamburica

Tamburica: The tamburica is the national instrument of Croatia and it became very popular in the 1800’s. At this time bands playing folk music were starting to arise. Similar developments were going on in Italy, Ukraine and Russia.

Sopila

 

Sopila: The sopila is a wooden horn originating from Istria and some of the northern islands along the Adriatic Coast of Croatia. Like oboes, sopilas have double reeds, but are always played in pairs; one larger than the other. Both have six finger holes, being equally spaced on the smaller one, and set in groups of three on the larger one. Often used to accompany dancing, the voice of the sopila is that of the Istrian scale.

 

Dance

Kolo

Kolo: A collective folk dance, danced primarily by people from Bosnia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. It is performed amongst groups of people, usually several dozens with the very least of three. In the dance, the people wrap their hands around each other’s waists, ideally in a circle. Many variations of Kolo are performed at weddings, social, cultural, and religious ceremonies. Kolo may be performed in a closed circle, a single chain or in two parallel lines. Both men and women dance together, however some dances require only men to dance and some dances are only for women. The music is generally fast paced and contains tricky steps.

 

 

Some interesting facts:

  • The White House has been built by using Croatian stones. The same stones were also used to build the Diocletian’s palace in Split.
  • The Kuna (national currency) was named after the name of a small rodent, that we now refer to as the Marten.
  • Dalmatian dogs originate from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.
  • Croatian people are allowed to vote at the age of 16; however they must have a job. An unemployed Croatian is allowed to vote at the age of 18.

Croatian Community in Australia:

More information on the Croatian community: