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Fun facts about Croatia

If you're planning a holiday in Croatia you can expect to find stunning coastlines dotted with idyllic little islets and reefs, as well as plenty of untouched nature to explore. Croatia is a fascinating country that boasts a wealth of culture, history and stunning medieval architecture. It's also a surprising place, with some interesting and fun facts - take a look below to find out more.

Croatia invented the necktie

Originally called a 'cravat', which is a Croatian word, they were worn in the 17th century by Croatian mercenaries fighting for the French in the Thirty Years' War.

They were thought to be so stylish that the look spread and eventually became known simply as the tie that we know today.

Game of Thrones was filmed there

Dubrovnik is the location of the hit TV show Game of Thrones' regal city, King's Landing. In seasons two and three of the programme, the spectacular walled fortress and medieval buildings of the Croatian city were a regular feature. Although digital additions were made for the show, the actual city provides an amazing sense of history and magnificence as you walk around.

Dalmatian dogs originated in Croatia

These distinctive black and white spotted dogs became popular in England during the 19th century and were often seen accompanying stagecoaches. Their name comes from the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia, with illustrations and references to this breed dating back to the 17th century.

Croatian money is named after animals and trees

Croatian currency is called kuna, which is the Croatian name for a rather cute ferret-like creature with beautiful fur. Originally, furs would have been used as currency - just like the USA buck - so it's easy to see why the name stuck. Each kuna note is made up of 100 lipa, which are smaller coins. The origins of these are less clear, as lipa is the Croatian word for lime-tree.

A Shakespearean setting

Dalmatia in Croatia is the location for Shakespeare's comedy Twelfth Night. This world-renowned play is set in the romantic setting of Illyria, an ancient region which covered the Balkans and the Adriatic coastline. The main action of the play takes place in a part of Illyria which includes the modern day region of the Western Balkans and Croatia.

Croatia is known as the country of 1,000 islands

It actually has 1244 islands, islets and reefs. Fewer than 50 of these are inhabited, making the rest untouched havens of wildlife. Croatia is very protective of its nature and countryside and is home to 11 huge nature parks, eight national parks and two nature reserves.

The Zinfandel grape variety originates in Croatia

Often associated with Californian wines, DNA analysis of the Zinfandel grapes revealed they're genetically equivalent to two Croatian grape types called Crljenak Kastelanski and Tribidrag. If you like wine, and Zinfandel in particular, you're sure to enjoy the delicious variety of local Croatian flavours here.

The biggest site of ancient Neanderthal remains in the world is here

The remains of this Neanderthal settlement were found in the Croatian town of Krapina. You can find out more about this amazing discovery and how our distant human ancestors lived at the fascinating Krapina Neanderthal Museum.

The original inventor of electricity was born in Croatia

Nikola Tesla was born in Smiljan in the Like region of Croatia. He was a prolific inventor and was the creator of the first ever alternating current – AC – for transporting electricity over long distances. However, unlike his previous employer and rival Thomas Edison he was unable to translate his ideas into money-making enterprises.

One of the highest numbers of UNESCO Intangible Goods in Europe

While UNESCO World Heritage Sites are land based buildings, UNESCO Intangible Goods is the name given to our unique human traditions, such as music, cuisine and crafts. Two Intangible Goods that you can easily pick up on your visit to Croatia are exquisite lace-making handicrafts and their highly ornate gingerbread crafts, which often come in the shape of hearts.

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