croatia.eu land and people
Knin. From the time of the reign of the Trpimirović dynasty, Knin was the occasional seat of the Croatian rulers and, from the time of Dmitar Zvonimir, the permanent seat of the Croatian Kingdom, where, from the 12th to 14th centuries, the herceg (duke) and the ban (governor) ruled alternately, and the sabor (diet) held sessions.

History

Contemporary Croatia, which gained independence in 1991, is the successor of the 9th century Croatian medieval prinicipalities established in the marches of the Carolingian Empire, followed by the Kingdom of Croatia, founded in 925 by King Tomislav. Soon after the death of the last great Croatian king, Dmitar Zvonimir, Croatia entered into a personal union with Hungary, while the French Anjou dynasty acceded to the throne in the 14th century. After the Ottoman invasions in the 16th century and the loss of much territory, Croatian dignitaries elected Ferdinand Habsburg as monarch in 1527, and the country remained within the Habsburg Monarchy until 1918. The first half of this period was marked by constant wars with the Ottomans and Venetian encroachment upon territories along the coast (Istria and Dalmatia), apart from the far south, where the independent Dubrovnik Republic developed trade in the Mediterranean between 1358 and 1808. After the defeat of Venice and a short period in which southern Croatia was incorporated in Napoleon’s Illyrian Provinces (1809–13), all the Croatian lands were brought together within the Habsburg Monarchy, though they were still separate entities. After the First World War, Croatia became part of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which was transformed after 1945 into a Communist federation, in which Croatia was one of six republics until 1991. Although recognised as an independent state by the international community on 15 January 1992, Croatia was forced to defend its independence through armed struggle until 1995, when the occupied territories were liberated. In 1992, Croatia became a member of the United Nations, in 2009, of NATO, and on 1 July 2013, of the European Union. Croatia will preside over the Council of the EU in the first half of 2020.

The Prehistoric period

The earliest traces of human presence on Croatian soil ate back to the Palaeolithic Age. In Šandalja Cave near Pula, and in Punikve near Ivanec, flints made by pre-Neanderthal people have been found, while the remains of Neanderthal prehistoric humans have been...

Ancient times and the early Christian period

Thanks to trade routes and communications, the ancient peoples of the Bronze and Iron Ages living in the land which is present-day Croatia were in touch with the artistic output of the Greeks and Etruscans from as early...

The emergence of Croatia

The first Slavic tribes arrived in the area which is modern-day Croatia in the 6th and 7th centuries, during great tribal migrations. Among them were the Croats, who are mentioned in sources in connection with a wider area, but were ethnically most...

Croatia in union with Hungary

After the death of the last member of the Trpimirović dynasty, King Stjepan II, there was a battle for the throne in Croatia, which ended with the election of the Hungarian king, Koloman Arpadović, and the contracting of a personal union with Hungary...

Between Venice, Vienna and Pest

In the Great (Viennese) War (1683–99), large parts of Croatia and Slavonia were liberated from Ottoman rule and the border of the Dubrovnik Republic finally determined. The Venetian Republic, which had established itself in Dalmatia, also participated...

Yugoslavia and World War II

The unification of the Kingdom of Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia (known from 1929 on as the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) was implemented in opposition to the federal concept advocated by the Croatian elite, and was never ratified by the Croatian Sabor.

Contemporary Croatia

The process of the emergence of the contemporary Croatian state began with the crisis in Communism in Eastern Europe in the late 1980s, the strengthening of democratic movements and the restoration of multi-party systems. Such movements, from the Baltic...