Croatian history is both complex and diverse. This is what makes it so interesting.
People have been inhabiting and invading the region for thousands of years, leaving behind traces and remnants of their arrival.
And because Croatia is located on the Adriatic Sea, it has been a prime trade route between the east and west for a very long period of time.
Many different cultures have lived in Croatia, influencing the country in myriad ways. The earliest evidence of habitation in the country stretches back to prehistoric times. In caves along the Adriatic Sea archaeologists have found artefacts from the Stone Age. Evidence has also been found on the Croatian islands.
It is well known that in the sixth century BC the ancient Greeks had trading ports in Croatia and the surrounding islands. Trade was conducted with the Illyrians for many years. Although the Greeks were in Croatia for business purposes before the Romans, it wasn't until the rise of ancient Rome that the area started to see real growth in terms of civilization. To put it in clearer terms, the Romans were the first to build stately palaces and summer homes in Croatia.
The area became more prestigious during this time period and started to evolve as a destination for both culture and trade. Because the Adriatic Sea was used so often for commerce, archaeologists have found a plethora of interesting items in the sea itself, including pottery remains and even shipwrecks.
The Slavs have also had a strong historical influence on Croatia. Although the region was no stranger to conflict, culture and trade continued to be important throughout the years. The Republic of Dubrovnik was particularly influential in terms of culture.
Croatia was no stranger to Napoleon's conquests, however, his reign over the region was very short. After Napoleon, the country was often the location of battles between Austria and Italy, which ended in the battle of Vis island in 1866. In the end the Austrians were triumphant.
After this famous battle Croatia was left under Austro-Hungarian rule. Shipbuilding and trade began to grow as Croatian ports were built. During WWI the Adriatic Sea was host to many naval battles. The shipwrecks from these conflicts still lie under the waters in the region.
The many historical events that have taken place in Croatia over the years have made it a unique destination in all of Europe. The culture is rich and full of life - the natural beauty of the area is striking and memorable.
You'll learn a lot on a trip to the country even if you only stay a few days. If you're planning a trip to Croatia, be sure to plan several outings to some of the more famous historical sites in the country.
The city of Dubrovnik, for example, contains many attractions you'll enjoy if you're a history buff. View Diocletian's Palace in Split and explore many of the other ancient ruins left by the Romans. Whatever you fancy, you'll be able to find it in Croatia.
Get ready to plunge yourself in a fulfilling travel experience!