Croatia - education
Croatian education in the 1990's aims partly to overcome the harmful effects
of the war, and partly to implement new laws and curricula to replace the
previously strongly centralized Yugoslav school system. There is mother tongue
education for the country's many minorities, and it has become possible to set
up private schools, although there are still quite a few.
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Preschool for 1-6 year olds is free in the last year. There is eight years of
compulsory schooling, which is fulfilled in primary school for
6-14-year-olds. This is followed by three different youth educations: colleges
and art schools that are four years old, as well as vocational schools of 1-4
years duration. 40% were educated at this level in 1991. There are four
universities, which are located in resp. Zagreb, Split, Rijeka and Osijek.
OFFICIAL NAME: Republic of Croatia
CAPITAL CITY: Zagreb
POPULATION: 4,220,000 (Source: COUNTRYaah)
AREA: 55,920 km²
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (S): Croatian, Serbian, other
RELIGION: Catholics 86%, Orthodox 4.5%, Muslims 1.5%, Protestants 0.3%, others el. no
CURRENCY CODE: HRK
ENGLISH NAME: Croatia
Croats 90%, Serbs 4%, others 6%
GDP PER residents: $ 13,500 (2014)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: men 72.8 years, women 80.2 years (2014)
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, HDI: 0.818
INDEX OF LIVING CONDITIONS, POSITION: 47
INTERNET DOMAIN NAME: .Sir
Croatia, republic of the Balkans. In the first half of the 1990's, the country
was severely affected by the Yugoslav wars. After a lengthy political process,
the country was normalized in the years after the turn of the millennium. The
country joined the EU in 2013.
Croatia - Constitution
Republic of Croatia is a parliamentary democracy. The constitution is from
1990 with later, comprehensive revisions. Legislative power lies with a
parliament, Sabor, which has 153 members elected on party lists in
direct elections. They are elected for four-year periods.
The executive power lies with the president, who is elected by direct
universal suffrage for a term of five years. The President appoints the Prime
Minister. It usually becomes the leader of the majority party or coalition,
which then has to be approved by parliament.
Croatia - economy
Since independence in 1991, the Croatian government has sought to privatize
and restructure the socialist economy, but economic development was strongly
influenced by the war against Serbia and the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Croatia financed its war expenses through the issuance of banknotes and
coins, which led to a resurgence of the hyperinflation that had plagued
Yugoslavia in the late 1980's.
In 1993, the government, with the support of the International Monetary
Fund, IMF, launched a stabilization program which, among other things, sought
to curb inflation through tight economic policies and, through restructuring,
create the basis for a market-based recovery.
A privatization fund was set up the same year with the aim of restructuring
the former state-owned enterprises and streamlining the privatization program
launched two years earlier. In 1994, another stabilization program was launched,
this time with the aim of restructuring the banking sector and the loss-making
The stabilization policy has been successful. The economy has thus been
growing since 1994, from 2000 with annual growth rates around 4%. Public budgets
came into balance, inflation stabilized at a low level, and considerable
confidence was created in the currency, the kuna, which in May 1994 replaced the
transitional currency, Croatian dinars. However, a persistent trade deficit and
borrowing to build the infrastructure have led to an increase in the external
debt to approximately 90% of GDP (2005).
Since 2000, the tourist visit has been progressing, but the privatization
program and the IMF's demands for public savings have maintained the high
unemployment rate of approximately 17%. At the same time, a general government deficit
has emerged (5% in 2005). Croatia became a member of the WTO in 2000 and in 2004
was approved as an EU candidate country; the accession negotiations began the
In 2005, Germany and Italy were Croatia's most important trading
partners. Denmark's exports to Croatia in 2005 amounted to DKK 781 million. DKK,
while imports from there amounted to 131 mill. kr.
The armed forces OSRH (Oružane snage Republike Hrvatske) were
built and streamlined in preparation for the revenge wars in 1995. They are
(2006) at 20,800, of which approximately one-third are conscripts with six months of
service. The Army HKV (Hrvatska Kopnena Vojska) is at 14,050, the
Navy HRM (Hrvatska Ratna Mornarica) at 2500 and the Air Force & Air
Defense HRZ (Hrvatsko Ratno Zrakoplovstvo) at 2300. The reserve is
108,200. The defenses are predominantly equipped with equipment of Soviet and
ex-Yugoslav origin. The security forces include approximately 10,000 in an armed
Croatia joined NATO in 2009.
In August 1995, the Croatian armed forces participated in Operation Oluja, in
cooperation with the Bosnian forces, to drive the Serbs out of areas they had
occupied. The action was endorsed by US President Clinton and led to the Dayton
Accords in November of that year, marking the end of the Yugoslav Civil War.
Croatia - mass media
The Croatian press experienced an unusual degree of freedom in the late 1980's
during the collapse of the communist system. Private media business was allowed
in 1990, and a few years later the former all-dominant Vjesnik magazine house
- the largest in the Balkans - was split up.
But the new government, which came into being after the first multi-party
elections in 1990, gradually secured more or less direct control of all major
news media, e.g. through opaque privatizations, and press freedom was curtailed.
In particular, the state Hrvatska radio-televizija, HRT, which had a monopoly
on broadcasting nationwide radio and television, and the state news agency HINA
were marked by the regime's propaganda and nationalism.
The Večernji List is the largest daily newspaper (circulation 160,000 in
1995), but is surpassed by the sensational weekly newspaper Globus. The media
supply is varied with more than 800 newspapers, weeklies and magazines
(1995). Only a few independent and government-critical media claim, including
Radio 101 in Zagreb, the newspaper Novi List in Rijeka and the satirical weekly
Feral Tribune (50,000 in 1996).
South Slavic art - visual art and architecture
architecture and visual art in the western South Slavic countries,
ie. Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia,
which made up Yugoslavia from 1918-92 .
From the period before the immigration of the Slavic tribes to the area in
the late 500's and in the 600's, many Roman buildings have been preserved,
the amphitheater in Pula and Diocletian's palace in Split; from ancient
Christian times the basilica of Poreč on the peninsula of Istria with mosaics
from the 5th century.
The architecture and art around the year 1000 were in the north characterized
by the Central European Romanesque art, in the south by the Byzantine
art; famous is the round church Sveti Donat from approximately 810 in Zadar in
Dalmatia and Sveta Sofija Cathedral on Lake Ohrid in Macedonia with 1000's
From the 13th century, beautiful stonemasonry is known in Dalmatia by the
sculptor Radovan in Trogir and Zadar and by the woodcarver Andrija Buvina in
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, a peculiar production of stone stems with
stone-carved ornaments emerged; almost 40,000 of these stećci have been
preserved. Byzantine art flourished especially in monasteries and churches in
Macedonia, Serbia and Kosovo in the 12th and 14th centuries, such as the
frescoes in the Sveti Kliment church in Ohrid.
In Bosnia there are some wonderfully illuminated Bible manuscripts, while in
Croatia and Slovenia there are small churches with late Gothic frescoes inspired
by southern Germany and northern Italy.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, a large part of the South Slavic area was
occupied by the Turks, and many mosques, bathing facilities and bridges were
built, among others. the beautiful bridge in Mostar from 1566 (destroyed 1993).
However, Byzantine-style frescoes and icons were still performed, especially
in Macedonia, but the most intriguing works are found in Dubrovnik, whose
buildings and visual art show the close contact with medieval, Renaissance and
Baroque Italy. The most famous architect was Juraj Dalmatinac (d. 1475), and the
foremost painter Nikola Božidarević (d. 1517/18). In addition, a varied folk art
The 18th century in particular was rich in magnificent woodcarving work, for
example in the many wooden iconostases in Macedonia and part of Serbia, and in
the 18th and 18th centuries, icons were painted on glass in Vojvodina.
The 19th century was marked by the influence of contemporary Western
painting, while in the 20th century, especially in the northern areas, a naive
painting style developed, strongly influenced by folk life and folk art. In the
field of sculpture, the Croatian Ivan Meštrović from Split has become
Croatia - literature
The spread of Christianity in the Balkans led to the 1400's. a Croatian
translation literature in the form of saint biographies, apocrypha and mystery
games along with secular literature such as an Alexander novel.
The first Croatian art poetry of importance originated in Dalmatia in the
1400's. under the direct influence of the Italian Renaissance and with the
city-republic of Dubrovnik as the cultural center.
The most important writers of this period were the humanist and poet Marko
Marulić (1457-1527), the moralist Mavro Vetranović (1482-1576) and the comedy
writer Marin Držić (1505-67).
With the two Dubrovnik poets Dinko Ranjina (1536-1607) and Dominko Zlatarić
(1558-1609), the Renaissance resounded and gave way to a strict and moralizing
Baroque literature, whose greatest name was Ivan Gundulić (1589-1638), who in
his unfinished epic Osman depicted Christianity's final victory over
After Dalmatia had been the cultural powerhouse throughout the Renaissance,
began from the 1600's. also the interior of Croatia to assert itself in
literature, primarily through the Jesuit Juraj Habdelić (1609-78), who wrote
religious books, and the nobleman Petar Zrinski (1621-71), who wrote about the
Turkish siege of Szigetvár in Hungary. German Enlightenment ideas were conveyed
by Matija Antun Relković (1737-98), and a historical chronicle of the Franciscan
monk Andrija Kačić Miošić (1704-60) achieved great favor in his time.
With the romance, it came to a national awakening in Croatia. The three main
dialects štokavisk, kajkavisk and čakavisk, had all served as literary
languages, but in the 1830's, Croatian intellectuals gathered around the
štokavian dialect, which the Croats had in common with the Serbs.
By choosing this dialect as a language of literature, they would pave the way
for a political and cultural unification of the South Slavic tribes in an
"Illyria". The Illyrian movement, inspired by pan-Slavism, had Ljudevit Gaj as
its banner bearer and ideologue.
It was first and foremost a political-national movement, and the bulk of the
literature was little more than national agitation. However, three poets from
this period have remained: Stanko Vraz, Ivan Mažuranić and Petar Preradović
After the revolution of 1848 and a ten-year period of stagnation, national
and political ideas flourished through the 1860's and 1870's with August Šenoa,
and from approximately 1880 followed a realistic and socially critical literature with
French and Russian role models. A central theme of the Croatian realists was the
disappointments and defeats of the people who had broken away from the
patriarchal village milieu to seek happiness in the cities.
The social indignation was most evident in Ante Kovačić (1854-89), Josip
Kozarac (1858-1906), Vjenčeslav Novak (1859-1905) and Ksaver Šandor Đalski
(1854-1935). The poet Silvije S. Kranjčević (1865-1908) stood with his
mythical-visionary poems as a forerunner of the first Croatian modernism in the
The aesthetic programs that characterized the turn of the century in the
capitals of Western Europe also had an impact on the cultural atmosphere of
Zagreb. In a bitter confrontation with the older generation of writers, the
young poets demanded artistic freedom and rejected the earlier literature as
provincial and dilettante.
The encounter with European culture was so overwhelming and diverse that
Croatian modernism was variegated like an open peacock tail. The novel stepped
into the background, and the lyrics, the symbolist drama and short prose forms
dominated. At AG Matoš we find a finely chiseled language, the search for beauty
and an almost exaggerated aestheticist who influenced many later Croatian poets.
Vladimir Vidrić's (1875-1909) poems are set in an unreal mythological world,
and Dragutin Domjanić (1875-1933) writes melancholy and life-weary about the
past. With Vladimir Nazor (1876-1949), the national and the Yugoslav idea
re-entered literature with an optimistic nature- and life-enthusiastic lyric
inspired by ancient Slavic legends and legends; together with Ivo Vojnović,
Nazor was one of the hottest advocates of a gathering of Croats and Serbs.
During and in the first years after the First World War, Expressionism
intervened with Miroslav Krleža's antimilitarist literature and the poetry of
Antun Branko Šimić (1898-1925). Together with August Cesarec (1893-1941) and
Ulderiko Donadini (1894-1923), they formulated the view of art of expressionism
in several journals, but as a direction, expressionism in Croatian literature
lasted a short time.
One of the most original figures of the interwar period was the lyricist Tin
Ujević, whose contrasting lyricism oscillated between deep pessimism and
devilish defiance and bore memories of French symbolism and surrealism.
During the 1930's, literature was polarized in a socially engaged wing
composed of left-wing writers, whose most prominent figure was M. Krleža, and a
clerical-bourgeois wing, increasingly dominated by an increasingly overtly
fascist Blut und Boden literature, and whose captain was the later Minister of
Foreign Affairs of the State of Ustaša, Mile Budak (1889-1945).
After World War II, the conditions for literary activity had radically
changed in what is now socialist Yugoslavia. The demand for socialist realism
lasted only a few years, and at the Writers' Congress in Ljubljana in 1952,
Krleža demanded artistic freedom, and that literature in Yugoslavia liberate
itself from both Eastern and Western role models.
In particular, the poetry characterized the Croatian literature of the
fifties; Jure Kaštelan and Vesna Parun (1922-2010) broke with the schematic
"engaged" poetry and wrote real poetry about nature and about love, and a circle
of young poets around the magazine Krugovi (Circles), Slavko Mihalić, Ivan
Slamnig (1930-2001) oa, experimented with form and a highly subjective lyric.
On the prose side, Petar Šegedin portrayed man's fear of existence,
while Ranko Marinković described anti-heroes and gloomy phobias. Throughout the
1960's and 1970's, a group of poets around the magazine Razlog (Grund) went in the
existentialist direction, influenced by Martin Heidegger and Jean-Paul Sartre,
while another group around the magazine Bit (Væsen) represented the concrete
Under the influence of JD Salinger, the so-called blue jeans prose about
young, maladapted people in relation to the surrounding established society
emerged in the 1970's.
The independence in 1991 has literally brought a lot of turbulence. National
engagement has once again become a strong imperative, and while rehabilitating a
number of writers convicted of war crimes in 1945, more critical writers such
as Dubravka Ugrešić and Slavenka Drakulić are examining Croatian national myths
and Catholicism in essay writing and fiction.
Croatia - dance
Until World War II, Croatia had a living tradition of local and regional
dances. Eastern Croatia was characterized by drmeš- type dances,
performed in a closed circle and with small steps in vertical motion. In the
central part, horizontal movements with high jumps characterized the local chain
and circle dances.
Along the Adriatic Sea, since the Renaissance, there has been a significant
Venetian influence on the dance repertoire, which has consisted of double
dance, where men and women dance in two rows opposite each other, and of couple
dancing with a front dancer.
The country's ethnic minorities have had their own dance traditions. In
communist Yugoslavia, Croatian dances were choreographed for show use in the
repertoire of many dance ensembles. '
Following the independence of Croatia, traditional dance and music have
gained renewed popularity as a national symbol.
Croatia - music
Croatian music history dates back to the 1000's. Almost nothing is known about
secular music, but there is some information about church music, which is
represented by two directions. One is connected to the Roman Church and
the Gregorian chant, whose history in Croatia is illuminated by a large number
of documents from the 1000's and later. The second, the Glagolitic song, which
spread in the coastal country of Dalmatia with the Church Slavonic liturgy,
presents no documents with melodies, but the tradition lives on, for example on
the island of Krk.
Catholic church singing developed in accordance with church music in the rest
of Europe. Until the 19th century, cultural life unfolded especially in the
coastal towns. In Split, the church song was performed by Ivan Lukačić (approximately
1584-1648), who wrote a series of clerical concerts in Italian
style. In Dubrovnik, Luka Sorkočević (1734-89) wrote the first Croatian
symphonies, Julije Bajamonti (1744-1800) composed masses and motets, and the
violin virtuoso Ivan Mane Jarnović (approximately 1740-1804) performed extensively in
major European cities.
In the 19th century, the cultural center moved from Dalmatia to Zagreb. With
the national revival of illyrism arose the desire to create an original Croatian
music based on folk music.
Franjo Kuhač (1834-1911) was the first professional musicologist to publish a
collection of 2000 melodies. Vatroslav Lisinski (1819-54), who composed music in
this spirit, founded the Croatian opera.
From the middle of the 19th century, the national direction stagnated and
Illyrian activity weakened. With the formation of Austria-Hungary in 1867,
central Croatia came under strong Hungarian influence. Singing and stage music
were still the preferred forms, but the music was now more based on Italian
style. During this period, the whole musical life was strongly influenced by the
composer Ivan Zajc (1832-1914).
After 1918, the national orientation was revived, and many young Croatian
composers sought inspiration in folk music. Ivan Matetić Ronjgov (1880-1960)
turned his attention to Istria's unique folk music and paved the way for other
Numerous choral works were written and performed by Croatia's many choral
associations. Also on stage, the popular elements were expressed. Lasting
success was the ballet's main representatives Krešimir Baranović (1894-1975)
with The Gingerbread Heart (1924) and Fran Lhotka (1883-1962) with The Devil
in the Village (1934), as well as Jakov Gotovac (1895-1982) with his comic
opera Ero from the Other World (1935). Josip Slavenski (1896-1955), a
student of Zoltán Kodály, extended his interest to the whole of the Balkans and
the Orient, composing in a new, personal tone language a number of works in this
In the socialist Yugoslavia after World War II, a number of composers
maintained contact with folk music, while their tonal language sought new, more
internationally oriented forms of expression. The most modern forms of
compositional techniques were used by the Croatian avant-garde, such as Branimir
Sakač (1918-79) and Milko Kelemen.
In the new Croatia, the musical tradition is continued with renowned
ensembles such as the Zagreb Philharmonic and the Zagreb Soloists and with the
Zagreb Biennale for Contemporary Music, founded in 1961.
Croatia's folk culture testifies to the influence of many places. The
migrations caused by the Turkish wars led to mutual influences between the
ethnic groups. In addition, the influence comes from Italy, Austria and Hungary.
The pure vocal music includes lyrical and ritual songs that are often sung in
connection with chain dancing. Polyphony, especially two-part, characterizes
almost all singing and exhibits many interesting forms.
One of the oldest forms is still found in the mountainous region above the
coast of Dalmatia, where the shepherds adorn their lyrical songs with a powerful
vocal shake over a lying tone. In Istria and on the islands of the northern
Adriatic, the duet is sung in parallel thirds or sextets on a special "Istrian"
scale, a system that differs very sharply from the system of twelve identical
semitone steps. Newer forms of two-part are characterized by Western European
The most common is the so-called na bass, where the voices mostly
move in third parallels and end on an empty fifth. In the cities of the coastal
country and on the islands, one can hear both older and newer Dalmatian
polyphonic city songs performed by small groups of men. Unanimity is found, for
example, in Međimurje, where the melodies, as in Hungary, are church tones or
Musical instruments rarely perform alone. The singer accompanies his epic
with a snapped string instrument, tambura, or with the string
instrument gusle. For dance is played on bagpipes, mješnice, gajde or dude,
in Istria and on Krk dance couple dances to the cheerful music of the
oboskalmejerne sopile, in Dubrovnik's surroundings for the string
The beautifully carved double clarinet shell diple and the double flute
dvojnice are mostly used for shepherd improvisations. The accordion has in
recent times had a great impact on the tonal conditions of the old folk
music. In ensemble, string ensembles with two violins and a bass are heard, and
especially tambourine orchestras with instruments of various sizes.
In addition to traditional folk music, there is a wide-ranging network of
amateur organizations that cultivate folk music and dance in an arranged form
for the purpose of stage performances, as well as a few professional ensembles
such as LADO in Zagreb. Folk music research is primarily handled by the
Department of Ethnology and Folklore in Zagreb.
Wine is produced in two very different but almost equal zones, each having
approximately 35,000 ha with vines. In the interior south of
the Danube tributary Drava, especially fresh and full-bodied white wines are
made. Here the main grapes are Welsh Riesling under the local name Graševina as
well as Traminer, Sauvignon, Pinot Blanc and Riesling. On the
coast and on the islands, the wines have power and fullness and bear the mark of
the place of cultivation. The red Dingač and Postup are made on the grape plavacand
can easily have an alcohol percentage of 15 with the potential for many years of
storage. At Split, the same grape produces the thick and sweet Prošek,
reminiscent of plum or fig syrup. Other good red wines are made from the grape babić,
while pošip, grk and vugava give powerful white
wines. In Istria, wines in a more international style are made from French and