5 Things Most People Don’t Know About Croatia
Croatia is a fascinating country with lots of interesting fun facts that will surprise you. Many people even choose to visit the country because of them!
Indeed, we are talking about one of Europe’s most popular summer destinations. It’s impossible not to fall in love with its beautiful sea and coastline, indulge in its delectable cuisine, and get inspired by its cultural and natural heritage.
Despite being a relatively young country – it gained its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 – Croatia has a rich history and plenty of interesting facts.
So, let’s see 5 fun facts about Croatia.
1. Their currency, the Kuna, is named after an animal
Kuna is the Croatian word for marten. In ancient times, this animal’s prized fur was used as a medium of exchange in the territories of today’s Croatia.
In the early Middle Ages, this commodity acquired a specific worth and started being used as a currency. During that period, marten fur was also used to pay taxes. Kuna even became the name of a tax.
Later on, during the 13th and 14th centuries, the marten adorned silver coins and became an official symbol of the country.
For at least ten centuries, the Kuna has linked many Croatian regions as a name and symbol. So it’s no surprise that today’s currency still reflects that tradition in its name.
2. Game of Thrones and other major productions were filmed here
That’s right! Fans of this popular show will love this fun fact about Croatia.
Dubrovnik’s beautiful old town was the filming location for King’s Landing. You can even go on Game of Thrones tours to immerse yourself in the world of this global hit series.
But Game of Thrones wasn’t the only major production filmed in Croatia. Did you know that Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi – was also filmed in Dubrovnik?
But there’s more. Croatia was the filming location also for Oscar-winning films The Fiddler on the Roof and Sophie’s Choice.
3. The Croatian Archipelago is the largest in the Adriatic
With its 718 islands and 389 islets, the Croatian archipelago is the largest in the Adriatic and the second in the Mediterranean after Greece.
However, only 48 of Croatia’s islands and islets are inhabited. This means that most of them are blessed with wonderful, unspoiled nature.
Not everyone knows that Hvar is the sunniest island in Europe, with 2800 hours of sunshine a year.
Now that’s something to keep in mind when planning a beach vacation!
4. Dalmatian dogs get their name from Croatia’s coastal region of Dalmatia
The animated classic 101 Dalmatians has won the hearts of generations of children and grown-ups with the adventures of cute black and white puppies and the infamous Cruella De Vil. The beloved 1961 Disney masterpiece put this breed with a unique history under the spotlight.
Dalmatian dogs spread worldwide during the Middle Ages, thanks to the seafarers of the Dubrovnik Republic.
Their lively temperament, friendly nature, and eye-catching looks soon won over many people, who started using them for various jobs.
In 1994, the International Cynological Federation recognized the Dalmatian dog as an autochthonous Croatian breed. In addition, these dogs often end up winning major international dog shows.
5. The necktie was invented in Croatia
Another interesting fact about Croatia is that the necktie was invented here. However, as it often happens, there are several versions of how it came to be.
It’s a fact that the story of this men’s fashion accessory begins in the 17th century. Still, there are conflicting opinions on what it was used for at the time.
According to the most widely accepted version, these handkerchiefs – often made of silk – were worn by Croatian soldiers hired by the King of France, Louis XIII. Another version contends that women tied handkerchiefs around their men’s necks to express their feelings.
Discovering the Many Wonders of Croatia: How to Get There
These 5 interesting facts are only a tiny part of what makes Croatia so fascinating. The country is also jam-packed with natural and architectural treasures that are well worth visiting.
If you happen to be in Northern Italy, the easiest way to get to Croatia is by taking a Venezia Lines ferry from Venice. It only takes a pleasant few hours to cross the Adriatic and reach one of the Croatian ports served by Venezia Lines: Poreč, Rovinj, or the beautiful Pula, the main city of Istria. Plus, with Venezia Lines, you have many offers and deals, such as family or group packages and the exclusive VIP Club.