As the country has been governed by a variety of rulers and nations, the history of Croatia is among the most diverse and turbulent in the world. Many cultures have taken over, mixed, and assimilated into the area throughout the centuries, and diversity marks the Croatia facts that outline the history of the country. Favorable conditions along the coast have made it a significant sea and trade route. Beginning with the Greeks and Romans, followed by Slavic and Austrian rule, Croatia history is a tumultuous saga.
The alluring blue of the Adriatic has been inhabited since the Stone Age; findings have revealed cave dwellings in the most accessible areas. Archaeological Croatia facts point to an occupation of Greek trading commerce and ancient colonies established in the sixth century in Pharos, Starigrad, Hvar, and Vis.
The Romans followed; throughout history, Romans have always done things in a grand way, and Croatian history is no exception to that rule. Grand palaces and summer homes stretched towards the temptress of the sea atop the limestone cliffs, and the Pula Arena and Diocletian's Palace still stand here. Croatia facts prove that the Adriatic was also a very important trading route during this part of history; remains of sunken ships and cargo are featured at many of the popular diving locations off the coast and around the islands.
The arrival of Slavs in 1918 marked a turning point in Croatian history filled with a struggle for power among nations. Dubrovnik played an important part during this period, maintaining an independent standpoint of trade and commerce.
For a short time, Napoleon ruled the land, after which Austria gained power, and was soon involved in a hundred-year conflict with Italy for power over the coast, as it was a dynamic trading site. The battle of Vis terminated the struggle; an Austrian fleet overpowered the Italian flagship, forcing the fleet to declare defeat and withdraw. After the Italian retreat, an Austro-Hungarian rule took over the land. In many locations over land and under sea, evidence of these battles and conflicts are still visited by tourists and divers.
Shortly before World War I, Croatia severed ties with the Austro-Hungarian government and created a union with Slovenia. At the end of World War II, the Yugoslavian government expanded its borders to encompass Croatia, making Croatia one of the six parts of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The economy was a market socialist economy, and the industry improved immensely until the death of Josip Broz Tito, the head of Yugoslavian Croatia. Uprisings and unrest ensued throughout this part of Croatia history, followed by the Yugoslav Wars from 1991 to 1995, resulting in independence and the Republic of Croatia.
Today, Croatia is an independent country that celebrates its freedom at each and every opportunity. Throughout the year, festivals and events mark turning points in Croatia history, and visitors should most certainly join in the celebrations for a remarkable cache of memories to take home from this beautiful country that holds the dark secrets of a turbulent past.
The agitated Croatian history is a momentous reminder of a constant struggle for freedom and peace, and today’s Croatia is a fine example of adjusting and learning from past events. Visitors and tourists can find a great deal of relics and reminders in museums and during adventurous underwater excavations; diving is a great opportunity for the excitement of visiting antiquated ruins of grand ships that navigated the blue waters of the Adriatic Sea.