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Art and culture - Croatia


The Ancient Heritage is a component of Croatia’s culture. Ancient monuments from the Paleolithic era are simple stone and bone objects. From the Bronze Age, the Vinkovci culture is identifiable by the bronze objects that were substitutes of needles and buttons. The culture of Illyrians from the Bronze Age is preserved through monumental sculptures and the citadel. The Romans transformed the citadels into urban cities. The best preserved monuments from the Roman times are Pula Amphitheater from the second century. In the third century AD, the emperor Diocletian built the Diocletian’s Palace, which is a proof of antique architecture.

In the 7th century the Croats came from North Europe to the actual region. They were fond of Roman art and culture and the strongest influences of Roman art were in Dalmatia. The first churches were used as royal sanctuaries. The most impressive church from the 9th century is St Donatus situated in Zadar. The windows were rich decorated with transparent shallow string like ornament, called Croatian pleter.

In the 11th century, Romanesque art appeared in Croatia and monasteries and churches developed. An example of Romanesque sculpture are the wooden doors of the Split Cathedral and the Stone portal of the Cathedral of Trogir.

In the 14th century, the gothic art projects were the construction of seven kilometers of wall with guard towers. A good preserved gothic painting is the Istria and is called Vincent from Kasty, being placed in the Church of Holy Mary.

The cathedral of St James from Sibenik was built in 1555 and is in UNESCO World Heritage site.

Some of the famous Croatian Renaissance artists lived abroad like Francesco and Luciano Laurana, the miniaturist Giulio Clovio and the painter Andrea Schiavone.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, due to the Ottoman threat, large fortifications with radial plans, towers and ditches were built. In the 19th century, the architect Herman Bolle built the half kilometer neo- Renaissance arcade with twenty domes in Zagreb. The 20th century was turbulent and reoriented politically the country but the culture was not affected and continued to flourish.

The cultural heritage of Croatia is mostly proven by Croatian folk music. The music of Croatia has three major influences: the Mediterranean influence, the Balkans influence and the central Europe influence. The most famous types of music are tamburitza, klapa, gusle, becarac, Ojkanje and Istrian scale. Nowadays, both pop and rock are popular in Croatia and often include folk elements. Schlagers and chanson inspired music have formed the base of Croatian popular music.

The government sponsors primary and secondary level education and partially the university education. The students who have good results benefit of free, government sponsored higher education.

Culture of Croatia, famous Croatians & Unesco sites

Some of the people that confer pride to Croatia are the poet Marko Marulic, prose writer Marin Drzic, inventor of parachutes Faust Vrancic, Physicist and diplomat Ruder Boskovic, poet Ivan Gundulic, sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, inventor of torpedoes Giovanni Luppis, chemist Lavoslav Ruzicka, inventor of ink pens, the rail car brake and the anode battery Eduard Slavoljub Penkala, writers Miroslav Krleza and Vladimir Nazor.

UNESCO has included several places in Croatia in World Heritage Sites: Euphrasian Basilica, Cathedral of St James, Historic city Trogir, Diocletian’s Palace, Dubrovnik, Plitvice Lakes and Stari Grad Plain. Croatia has eight national parks that are of incredible natural beauty.

Austrian and Hungarian influences in the architecture of Croatia are visible in public spaces and buildings, large squares, parks and pedestrian-only zones. Along the coast, the architecture is Mediterranean with influences of the Renaissance architecture.


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