Croatia is a country situated between central and south-east Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. It shares borders with Slovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Montenegro and also shares a maritime border with Italy.
Located between cultures, Croatia is often overlooked as a central theatre of history. Croatia toiled to unite different cultural strands, contributing to historical developments all around the country and its borders to evolve, absorb, adopt and adapt to impacting cultural developments.
As a result the country is the home to impressive monuments showcasing much of European history, from prehistory via the Greek and Roman eras to the Baroque and beyond. The Republic of Ragusa (modern Dubrovnik), which existed from the 14th to the 19th centuries, was a major power in the Adriatic. The city is modelled on, and it could be argued, rivalling Venice; while also blending styles between the West and the Ottoman Empire. Zagreb, Croatia's inland capital, complex urban history dates back to the 11th century, and the same is applicable to many towns and cities, coastal and inland.
The outcome is a country that is not “typical” of any history – its evolution was often fragmented. This has resulted in a country that emulates many entities. It’s a Balkan region, a Mediterranean one and also a Central European one. Croatian history reflects all of those elements, but it exemplifies none, as the country and areas split apart. For these reasons, the cultural heritage of Croatia is fascinating.
15 October 2022