7 Things You Didn't Know About Croatia
Nestled along the pristine Adriatic Sea, Croatia is a country that keeps surprising its visitors with its hidden treasures. From breathtaking landscapes to rich cultural heritage, this jewel of the Balkans offers a delightful mix of history, natural beauty, and warm hospitality. Prepare to be enchanted as we reveal seven fascinating secrets about this captivating country.
1) Inventors of the Pen
The mechanical pencil, also known as the “penkala,” was invented by Slavoljub Eduard Penkala, a Croatian engineer, in 1906. His invention revolutionized writing instruments and is still widely used today.
2) Diverse Islands
Croatia boasts over 1,000 islands along its stunning coastline in the Adriatic Sea, making it one of the most island-rich countries in the world. Only about 50 of these islands are populated.
3) Tie Origin
The necktie, now a global fashion accessory, is believed to have originated in Croatia. The term “cravat” comes from the French word “croat,” meaning Croatian, as French soldiers were impressed by Croatian mercenaries’ distinctive scarves during the Thirty Years’ War.
4) Oldest European Town
The town of Pula, located in the region of Istria, is home to one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheaters in the world. Known as the Pula Arena, it dates back to the 1st century AD and is one of the largest surviving Roman arenas.
5) Unique Coastline
Croatia’s coastline features a striking geographical phenomenon called the “karst.” This type of landscape is characterized by limestone formations, caves, sinkholes, and underground rivers. Plitvice Lakes National Park showcases this karst landscape beautifully.
6) Zinfandel Connection
The red wine grape variety Zinfandel, commonly associated with the United States, has its origins in Croatia. The grape variety is known as “Crljenak Kaštelanski” in Croatia, and its DNA analysis has confirmed its connection to Zinfandel and Primitivo grapes.
7) World’s Smallest Town
The town of Hum in Istria holds the title of the world’s smallest town. It has a population of only around 20 people and covers an area of about 100 meters. Despite its size, it is officially recognized as a town.