Independent nation and former constituent republic of Yugoslavia in the NW part of the country, on the Adriatic Sea. It includes Slavonia, Dalmatia, and most of Istria as well as Croatia itself. In ancient times it was part of Pannonia, a Roman province. In the seventh century a.d. it was settled by the Croats, a Slavic people who migrated from the Ukraine. Croatia became a kingdom in the 10th century and acquired some surrounding territory by force, but it in turn was conquered in 1091 by King Ladislaus I of Hungary. The Croats remained in union with Hungary until 1526 when a Turkish victory at the Battle of Mohacs put most of the land under Ottoman rule. By the end of the 17th century the Ottoman Empire was in decline, but Croatian autonomy was restricted by the Hapsburg monarchs of Austria.
Part of Croatia was included in the Illyrian Provinces set up by Napoleon I in 1809 but was restored to Austrian rule in 1815. Croatian nationalism, always fervent, was expressed in an unsuccessful revolt in 1848. In 1867, with the formation of the Austro-Hungarian dual monarchy, Croatia proper was included in Hungary with Zagreb as its capital. The following year Croatia and Slavonia were given some autonomy. When World War I resulted in the collapse of Austria- Hungary, Croatia became part of the kingdom of the Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, renamed Yugoslavia in 1929. However, Until World War II some Croat patriots struggled fiercely for more autonomy or even for independence. In 1941 the Nazi invasion of Yugoslavia put Croatia under German and Italian rule in the form of a supposedly independent state until 1945, when Yugoslavian freedom was restored.
Croatia declared independence in 1991. Croatian Serbs declared autonomy in ethnic enclaves supported by Serbian forces. By 1995, Croatia, had taken control back from the Serbian forces. Croatia’s economy has improved, but there is still friction between ethnic groups within the nation and between Croatia and its neighbors Slovenia, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. In 2003, Croatia applied for membership in the European Union.
Croatia used to be one of the largest parts of the country of Yugoslavia, though Serbia was the largest republic. The Croat port of Split was the place where the wars in the former Yugoslavia began. The Croats were the first to proclaim independence, and the Yugoslav army attacked Split before attempting to invade the whole country.
The capital city of Zagreb is where the majority of tourists would travel to when going to Croatia. There are interesting places to see and there are cultural and historical places to visit. In Zagreb the old buildings are similar to those found in other parts of the former Habsburg empire.
In parts of Croatia there Roman buildings that can be seen, in varying States of decay, with the best preserved examples been found in Split. In other places there are example of Venetian architecture from the parts of Dalmatia that used to be ruled by Venice. In recent years some of the places that resemble Venice the most have been for locations in films.
Aside from Zagreb itself the best-known places to tourists are Split in Dubrovnik. Both places are worth traveling to and visitors will find plenty of things to see.