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Croatia ( /krˈʃə/ ( About this sound listen), kroh-AY-shə; Croatian: Hrvatska, pronounced  [xř̩ʋaːtskaː]), officially the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Republika Hrvatska, ), is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro to the southeast, and shares a maritime border with Italy to the west and southwest. Its capital and largest city, Zagreb, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, with twenty counties. Croatia has 56,594 square kilometres (21,851 square miles) and a population of 4.07 million.

The Croats arrived in the 6th century and organised the territory into two duchies by the 9th century. Croatia was first internationally recognised as independent on 7 June 879 during the reign of Duke Branimir. Tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom. During the succession crisis after the Trpimirović dynasty ended, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of Austria to the Croatian throne. In October 1918, the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, independent from Austria-Hungary, was proclaimed in Zagreb, and in December 1918, merged into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, most of Croatia was incorporated into a Nazi installed puppet state, the Independent State of Croatia. A resistance movement led to the creation of the Socialist Republic of Croatia, which after the war became a founding member and constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991, Croatia declared independence, and the War of Independence was fought for four years following the declaration.

A sovereign state, Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system. It is a member of the European Union, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization, and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. An active participant in United Nations peacekeeping, Croatia has contributed troops to the International Security Assistance Force and took a nonpermanent seat on the United Nations Security Council for the 2008–2009 term. Since 2000, the Croatian government has invested in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors.

Croatia is classified by the World Bank as a high-income economy and ranks very high on the Human Development Index. Service, industrial sectors, and agriculture dominate the economy, respectively. Tourism is a significant source of revenue, with Croatia ranked among the 20 most popular tourist destinations. The state controls a part of the economy, with substantial government expenditure. The European Union is Croatia's most important trading partner. Croatia provides social security, universal health care, and tuition-free primary and secondary education while supporting culture through public institutions and corporate investments in media and publishing. ( Full article...)

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The Široka Kula massacre was the killing of 41 civilians in the village of Široka Kula near Gospić, Croatia during the Croatian War of Independence. The killings began on 13 October 1991 and continued until late October. They were perpetrated by the Croatian Serb SAO Krajina police and generally targeted ethnic Croat civilians in Široka Kula. Several victims were ethnic Serbs suspected by the police of collaboration with Croatian authorities. Most of the victims' bodies were thrown into the Golubnjača Pit, a nearby karst cave.

Thirteen individuals were charged and tried in connection with the killings, four were convicted in absentia in Belgrade. The other eleven were tried and convicted in absentia in Gospić. One of those convicted by Gospić County Court subsequently returned to Croatia, where he was granted a retrial and acquitted. A monument dedicated to the victims of the massacre was built in the village in 2003. ( Full article...)

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Andrea Mantegna - King Matthias Corvinus of Hungary.jpg

Matthias Corvinus, also called Matthias I ( Hungarian: Hunyadi Mátyás, Romanian: Matei Corvin, Croatian: Matija/Matijaš Korvin, Slovak: Matej Korvín, Czech: Matyáš Korvín; 23 February 1443 – 6 April 1490), was King of Hungary and Croatia from 1458 to 1490. After conducting several military campaigns, he was elected King of Bohemia in 1469 and adopted the title Duke of Austria in 1487. He was the son of John Hunyadi, Regent of Hungary, who died in 1456. In 1457, Matthias was imprisoned along with his older brother, Ladislaus Hunyadi, on the orders of King Ladislaus the Posthumous. Ladislaus Hunyadi was executed, causing a rebellion that forced King Ladislaus to flee Hungary. After the King died unexpectedly, Matthias's uncle Michael Szilágyi persuaded the Estates to unanimously proclaim Matthias king on 24 January 1458. He began his rule under his uncle's guardianship, but he took effective control of government within two weeks.

As king, Matthias waged wars against the Czech mercenaries who dominated Upper Hungary (today parts of Slovakia and Northern Hungary) and against Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor, who claimed Hungary for himself. In this period, the Ottoman Empire conquered Serbia and Bosnia, terminating the zone of buffer states along the southern frontiers of the Kingdom of Hungary. Matthias signed a peace treaty with Frederick III in 1463, acknowledging the Emperor's right to style himself King of Hungary. The Emperor returned the Holy Crown of Hungary with which Matthias was crowned on 29 April 1464. In this year, Matthias invaded the territories that had recently been occupied by the Ottomans and seized fortresses in Bosnia. He soon realized he could expect no substantial aid from the Christian powers and gave up his anti-Ottoman policy. ( Full article...)

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In the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea, there are 718 islands, 389 islets and 78 reefs, making the Croatian archipelago the largest in the Adriatic Sea and the second largest in the Mediterranean Sea, after the Greek archipelago.

Of the 718 islands, only 47 are inhabited in the sense that at least one person resides on that island. Some sources indicate that Croatia has 67 inhabited islands, counting those that have a settlement, but 20 of those have lost all of their permanent population as a result of the population decline occurring throughout the Croatian islands due to insufficient economic activity.

Data on the populated islands of Croatia
# Island County Population
(as of 31 Mar 2011)
Area Highest point Population
1 Krk Primorje-Gorski Kotar 19,383 405.78 km2 (100,270 acres) 568 m (1,864 ft) 47.8/km2 (0.193/acre)
2 Korčula Dubrovnik-Neretva 15,522 276.03 km2 (68,210 acres) 569 m (1,867 ft) 56.2/km2 (0.227/acre)
3 Brač Split-Dalmatia 13,956 394.57 km2 (97,500 acres) 780 m (2,560 ft) 35.4/km2 (0.143/acre)
4 Hvar Split-Dalmatia 11,077 299.66 km2 (74,050 acres) 628 m (2,060 ft) 37.0/km2 (0.150/acre)
5 Rab Primorje-Gorski Kotar 9,328 90.84 km2 (22,450 acres) 410 m (1,350 ft) 102.7/km2 (0.416/acre)
( Full article...)


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Hvar ( local Croatian dialect: Hvor or For, Greek: Pharos, Latin: Pharina, Italian: Lesina) is a town on the eponymous island of Hvar in Dalmatia, Croatia. The municipality has a population of 4,138 (2001) while the city itself is inhabited by 3,672 people, making it the largest settlement on the island of Hvar.

The town's harbour provided a suitable location for a port, being geographically ideal and also protected by islands, making it a safe haven for boats hiding from hazardous winds.