Download The Rough Guide to Croatia, 1st Edition (Rough Guide Travel Guides) ebook
eBook By Jonathan Bousfield / DMCA

The Rough Guide To Croatia, 1St Edition (Rough Guide Travel Guides)

INTRODUCTION Few countries in contemporary Europe have experienced the collapse of communism, a war of national survival and the securing of independence all within the space of half a decade – yet this is what happened to Croatia (Hrvatska) at the beginning of the 1990s. Much of this drama was acted out on TV screens across the world, and images of the conflict which followed the break-up of Yugo...

Series: Rough Guide Travel Guides
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Rough Guides; 1 edition (November 1, 2000)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1858285445
ISBN-13: 978-1858285443
Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.8 x 7.7 inches
Amazon Rank: 14682772
Format: PDF ePub TXT book

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“This book was a great help when I was planning my trip to Croatia as well as a perfect guide once I arrived. The condition of the book was perfect. A little known country explained well by this author!...”

lavia still colour outside perceptions of what the country is like today. In the circumstances, it’s making it all too easy to forget that Croatia was – and still is – among Europe’s prime holiday destinations, boasting one of the most dramatic stretches of coastline that the continent has to offer, with almost 2000km of shoreline and over 1000 islands and although parts of the coast were damaged during the 1991–95 conflict – the period of wartime isolation has, paradoxically, made the region all the more alluring now – over-exploitation of the coast has been kept in check, and there are still enough sparsely populated islands, quiet coves and stone-built fishing villages to make you feel you’re visiting one of the Mediterranean’s most unspoilt areas.The return of the tourists has been keenly awaited by the Croats, not least because they represent the country’s major source of income. Visitors will be struck by the tangible sense of pride that independent statehood has brought, and the feeling of togetherness and unity that the experience of war has engendered. National culture is a far from one-dimensional affair, however, and much of Croatia’s individuality is due to its geographical position straddling the point at which the sober central European virtues of hard work and order collide with the spontaneity, vivacity and taste for the good things in life that characterizes the countries of southern Europe – a cultural blend of Mitteleuropa and Mediterranean which gives Croatia its particular flavour. Not only that, but the country also stands on one of the great faultlines of European civilization – the point at which the Catholic West meets the Orthodox and Islamic East – and though Croats traditionally see themselves as a Western people, distinct from the other South Slavs who formerly made up the state of Yugoslavia, many of the hallmarks of Balkan culture – patriarchal families, hospitality towards strangers, and a fondness for grilled food – are as common in Croatia as in any other part of southeastern Europe, suggesting that the country’s relationship with its neighbours is more complex than many Croats themselves will admit.National sensitivity about such matters has its roots in Croatia’s troubled relationship with the Serbs, who arrived in southeastern Europe at around the same time. Historical circumstances later drove the two groups psychologically and culturally apart, even though they often continued to live together – the fact that so many areas of Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina were ethnically mixed is one reason why the break-up of Yugoslavia was such a tragically messy affair. Despite the events of recent years, however, the destinies of Croats and Serbs look set to remain intertwined: there’s still a sizeable Serb minority within Croatia, and Serbs who fled the country in the wake of the Croatian army’s campaigns in 1995 are (officially, at least) being encouraged to return.Bringing life back to war-damaged areas and resettling both Croatian and Serbian refugees is just one of the problems faced by a country which continues to suffer many of the ills experienced by post-communist societies in general: the collapse of outdated industries, high unemployment, low wages for the majority, and the rise of a new entrepreneurial class which is often flamboyantly corrupt. Unlike many of her Eastern European neighbours, however, Croatia has been slow to receive aid and investment from the West, mainly thanks to the less-than-innocent role played in the conflict in Bosnia-Hercegovina by the ruling HDZ party of former President Franjo Tu3man, whose authoritarian right-wing rule left the country with increasingly few friends on the international stage as the 1990s progressed. Tu3man’s death in December 1999 and the sweeping electoral defeat of the HDZ in January 2000 unleashed popular aspirations that the new EU-friendly, centre-left coalition government will! find difficult to fulfil. Nevertheless, the country had passed an important test of political maturity, and entered the new millennium eager to make up for lost time. An optimistic, welcoming and, above all, safe destination for travellers, Croatia is yet to be overrun by vacationing hordes – which is why now is the ideal time to visit.