Croatia is a small but very picturesque country with a distinctive culture, amazing landscapes and historical monuments. Here you can replenish your baggage of impressions and discover the world from the other side.
Who and why should go to Croatia
Croatia has many cultural and historical sights. First of all, it is worth visiting local museums to learn more about this country. The Archaeological Museum of Istria presents exhibits on the history of the peninsula and numerous archaeological finds. And at the Museum of Modern Art you will get acquainted with contemporary artists and their works. You should definitely take a look at the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary and the ancient Roman temple of Jupiter. Of the ancient buildings, the Amphitheater and the forum of Pula are also noteworthy.
The country is also famous for its pristine nature. There are national parks where you can walk, enjoy the tranquility and see rare plants, animals, birds and other natural wonders.
Unusual impressions can be obtained from visiting the Biseruiki karst cave — in its cool halls there are many stalactites and other formations of bizarre shapes. It is also worth looking at the natural monument Brela stone, located near the cleanest beach.
Cultural attractions and museums
The arena was built in the 1st century AD for gladiatorial competitions. In the Middle Ages, fairs and knightly tournaments were held at this place, cattle were brought to pasture. The building was restored in the 18th and early 20th centuries.
Today the amphitheater is also used as a stage. It hosts music concerts ranging from rock to classics, and staged gladiator fights are held every week in the summer.
Archaeological Museum of Istria
The museum is a regional institution and tells visitors the history of not only the city, but the entire Istrian peninsula. Most of the collection is represented by objects that were found in the process of archaeological research of ancient caves, cities and necropolises, as well as settlements of Byzantium.
On the ground floor of the museum there is an exposition of antique inscriptions on stone slabs. The second is reserved for the exhibition of the collection dedicated to ancient history. On the third floor there are expositions of the Middle Ages and late Antiquity.
Temple of Jupiter
There is a Roman temple in Split, which is dedicated to Jupiter, the main ancient Roman god. It was built in the III century, and in the Middle Ages it was rebuilt into the baptistery of St. John the Baptist.
The temple has been well preserved to this day, not only externally, but also from the inside. Here you can see two sarcophagi with the archbishops of Split buried in them — Ivan II and Lawrence. The temple also houses a bronze sculpture of John the Baptist.
This unusual museum is located in the Upper Town of the capital of Croatia. The reason for its appearance is the separation of two Zagreb artists, Drazen Grubishic and Olinka Vishtica. They decided to collect a collection of items that were important to their love story, and then it was replenished with other exhibits.
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
On the site of the modern temple, there was previously a Romanesque cathedral, which was destroyed by an earthquake in the 17th century. After that, it was decided to restore the building, and the cathedral that we see today appeared on the site of the old building.
Inside the temple, the altar of St. Bernard, the relics of St. Vlaho, as well as the icon «Madonna and Child», dating from the 13th century, and the triptych of Titian’s «Ascension of the Virgin Mary» are kept.
Modern Art Museum
The museum is located in Pula. And although this city is known for its historical sights, modern art is also treated with due respect here.
The exposition is presented in four directions:
- collection of poster art, which includes works of applied and graphic design,
- a collection of video and photo materials, where you can see the masterpieces of the cinema art of Istria and European countries,
- international collection of paintings, sculptures and prints,
- collection of contemporary art.
The Forum is the main square of the ancient and medieval part of Pula and is located near the sea at the foot of the hill. In former times it was a judicial, administrative, legislative and religious center.
Three temples once stood in the northern part of the forum, and the ruins of only two of them have survived to this day. Today there is a market square — a pedestrian zone with many cafes and restaurants.
Nature and parks
Plitvice Lakes Park
Plitvice Lakes are included in the UNESCO list and the top most beautiful places on Earth. Various animals and birds live in the park, so independent walks in the thicket of the forest are not recommended.
Tourists are offered a ride on a special electric train, and water excursions are also held here. The lakes themselves are very deep and clean, but swimming in them is prohibited. But almost every year a new waterfall appears in the park.
Medvednica is a mountain range and a natural park on its territory, located north of Zagreb. The 240 km2 park is dominated by spruce and beech forests, as well as about a thousand different plants, birds, animals and insects.
The highest point of the reserve is Mount Sleme with a height of 1033 meters. It is also home to a popular ski resort. And on the northern slope of Medvednitsa, international slalom competitions are held.
Krka National Park
This park of incredible beauty is known for its 7 waterfall cascades interconnected. The waterfalls are surrounded by dense forest, untouched by man — cutting down trees is prohibited here. The full-flowing river Krka, flowing through the park, swiftly sweeps through the limestone rocks. About 200 species of birds live in the park, but golden eagles are of particular pride.
The largest karst cave on the island of Krk was discovered in 1843. However, it was formed much earlier — bone fragments of a cave bear found by archaeologists testify to this.
According to legend, pirates and robbers hid their treasures here, hence the name: «beads» in Croatian «pearls». There are many stalactites and stalagmites in the cave, as well as amazing statues created by nature itself.
The park was built in 1863 and is the oldest in Poole. In its center there is a monument to Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, on both sides of which there are playgrounds.
The marine park managed to be kept in its original size — the changes affected only the plants, since not all of them were able to take root and adapt to the new conditions. It often hosts music concerts in open areas and presentations of interesting projects.
This unusual natural attraction is a symbol of the city of Brela and is located near the beautiful Dugi Rat beach — with white sand and azure sea, surrounded by a pine forest. The stone is a fragment of a huge rock that once fell from the top of a mountain range. But local residents tell various stories and legends related to its appearance. The Brela stone is a natural monument and is under protection.
Mljet Island National Park
The national park, founded in 1960, is located in the western part of the island of Mljet. The place was not chosen by chance: the island is 70% covered with forests. On the territory of the reserve there is a real natural phenomenon: two salt lakes, which appeared with the assistance of man.
The lakes are connected to the sea by a narrow channel dug by monks in the 12th century. The park is home to wild mongooses, which were brought here in the Middle Ages to get rid of snakes.
The construction was created in 1319 in Dubrovnik and initially looked like a quadrangular tower. In the middle of the 15th century, the inhabitants of the city began to think about defense due to the increasing attacks of enemies.
The Minceta tower was rebuilt: a round citadel appeared around it, necessary for the conduct of hostilities. It connected with the fortress wall and its fortifications. The tower still remains a symbol of a persistent and rebellious city.
Palace of Diocletian
The palace is an architectural monument of the Roman Empire and was built for the Emperor Diocletian. According to legend, the ruler ordered to begin its construction before his abdication. He loved luxury, so he spent the last years of his life in exquisite interiors and comfortable conditions. The palace is well preserved, and since 1979 it has been included in the UNESCO list.
The sea organ is located on the Zadar peninsula. This is a musical instrument with an unusual sound: coastal waves running up the steps push the air through the pipes, and as a result, amazing music of the sea is heard.
The castle on a small island was built in the 16th century by Benedictine monks from Split. The purpose of the construction was to protect the farmers who worked on their lands. The building is well preserved. In the southern part of the courtyard there is an observation tower through which you can get inside the castle. A wide stone bridge leads to the entrance, built much later than the building itself.
The Prince’s Palace in Dubrovnik is a Gothic style building with Renaissance details. It was erected in the 15th century as a residence for princes who were elected from the republican administration.
The castle was destroyed and rebuilt several times. Today it is a one-story building with a patio and a small gallery on the mezzanine. The palace has a museum where you can see antique furniture, antiques and paintings.
Fort Punta Cristo
The construction of this fort dates back to the 19th century. It was needed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire to protect its main naval port in Pula. Today, most of the fortresses are abandoned, but they have historical and cultural value. In summer, the fort hosts concerts, festivals, exhibitions, performances and other cultural events.