The origin point of the Dalmatian dog. Where neckties were invented. Where Nikola Tesla was born. Home to the city of Zadar, where Alfred Hitchcock claimed he saw the ‘world’s best sunset’. Home to many of the locations of the God-awful and bafflingly popular sack of crap Game of Thrones. It’s official name is Hrvatska. Home of the town of Hum, officially the world’s smallest town, containing only 17 people. Where Agatha Christie spent her second honeymoon, in Dubrovnik. Home to the world’s biggest truffle, discovered by Giancarlo Zigante in 1999. And I’m sure you’re shouting out countless other ‘facts’ at me about Croatia. The White House, Marco Polo, Hydroelectric Dams – but it’s all balls. Completely untrue. But that does not detract from where we are today. Croatia.
The Republic of Croatia is a unitary democratic parliamentary republic in Central Europe, declaring independence in 1991 but around since the eighth century. It has a population of just over four million over nearly 22 thousand square miles. The flag is a combination of the flags of the Kingdom of Croatia, the Kingdom of Slavonia and the Kingdom of Dalmatia. The three kingdoms that are the historic constituent states of the Croatian Kingdom. The central shield is a coat of arms and the crown is made up of the shields of the countries various regions. Their motto is ‘Lijepa naša domovino’ or ‘Our Beautiful Homeland’. How right they are.
Croatia is often a country thought of in the same breath as ‘war’. It’s not completely healed from that horrific past, but people are starting to realise just how gorgeous a country it is. It’s a coastal paradise with supreme architecture, a secret that is out. Warm and welcoming, a place of one thousand things to see and do.
There are countless wonderful beaches such as Banje Beach. Dubrovnik itself, a wonderfully beautiful exotic medieval city on the coast, virtually unchanged from when it was founded. The gorgeous city of Split, with the Palace of Diocletian, an architectural marvel, at its heart. The stunning historical city of Trogir, the city cramped on a small island, oozing with texture and palatial history, with a dense concentration of interesting vistas. The lovely Cathedral of St. James in the marvellous city of Sibenik, one of the greatest cities in Croatia and within it, this staggeringly gorgeous little church, a real treasure.
Perhaps the greatest sight is the Plitvice Lakes National Park. There is so much going on in the park it is practically a mesmeric orgy of delight. It has 16 world famous lakes arranged in cascades, ranging in a rich tapestry of colours due to the different organisms and sunlight within them. There are waterfalls, a river, plenty of diverse plant and animal life. Not to mention the underground lakes, caves or the vast canyons to which the lush green ocean of vegetarian springs from. It’s a majestic wonder. A truly staggeringly breathtaking kinda place.
Croatia. The country of history, outstanding natural beauty, and truffles.
Images: The flag of Croatia and a small slice of the Plitvice Lakes National Park
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