Fun Facts About Croatia
10 fun facts about Croatia you’d never have guessed
Chances are that if you’ve ever heard of Croatia, it was in the context of atrocious warfare. Some of the bloodiest conflict since the end of World War II was waged in the Balkan region during the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, and the scars, both physical and psychological, have yet to fully heal. However, for anyone who’s actually visited Croatia, it’s a sun-drenched coastal paradise of gorgeous medieval architecture, thousands of dreamy island getaways, and some of the best wine on the planet.
The picturesque secret is out, through more successful tourism each year and more recently, due to fantasy-related television programs that we’ll get to in a minute. Croatia is a great place to visit and it has a few quirky claims to fame.
Croatia invented the necktie
This may be Croatia’s most successful export. The origins go all the way back to the 17th century, when Croatian mercenaries fought for the French in the Thirty Years’ War, bringing their distinctively knotted neckwear along with them. From there it spread to other militaries, other countries, and into the cubicles of modern-day offices.
Dalmatians were named here
If you have read about Croatia, you will find out that its waterfront is known as the Dalmatian Coast, and that is where the dog breed got its name. The region has been known as Dalmatia since imperial Roman times and though most of the breeding took place in England, its origins have been officially recognized as Croatian. Dalmatians served as guard dogs and companions to nomadic Croatian tribes.
Their money is named after a rodent
The Croatian currency is the kuna, which is the Croatian word for the marten, a ferret-like little rodent prized for its luxurious fur. The kuna has only been the currency of Croatia since 1994, succeeding the Yugoslav Dinar after the breakup of Yugoslavia and since Croatia is taking steps to join the Euro, the kuna may not be around forever.
Their coins are named after a lime tree
The kuna is divided into 100 lipa, which is the Croatian name of the linden lime tree. So they’ve got the plant and animal kingdom covered in their currency. Interesting.
It’s home to King’s Landing
You are probably far more familiar with Croatia than you realize and we have Game of Thrones to thank for it. Though the show has taken viewers all over the world, it showcased Croatia’s most famous city, the walled seaside fortress of Dubrovnik, which was chosen as King’s Landing. It just takes a brief stroll through Dubrovnik to see why. Its stone buildings, medieval architecture, pedestrian streets, walled fortifications and lack of modern-day billboards could not have provided a more perfect setting for the capital city of a fantasy kingdom.
Filming has since expanded to other Croatian cities, including Split, which is home to a Roman emperor’s retirement palace. You would have a hard time finding a better place than Croatia for capturing medieval magnificence, and although a few castles were added to the background in a few places, visiting Dubrovnik is every bit as good as everyone says.