Fun Facts

Croatia is one of the most famous and known European countries for your summer vacation. Most of the visitors that fell in love with its coast and sea are thrilled about the food and inspired by its cultural and natural heritage. Most are surprised when they hear about some of less known facts about Croatia and some of the people even visit Croatia in the first-place due to some of these facts.

Here we give you a few fun facts about Croatia that you will entice and enhance your visit.

• Croatia has over 1200 Islands, islets and inlets for you to sail through


• Thanks to Croats, men look good in their suits. Croatia invented the necktie that was later adapted by Napoleon who named that fashion detail Crovat or as today they call it a Cravat or a necktie in English


• Croatian Slavoljub Penkala invented in 1906 is a mechanical pencil called Penkala. Today we call it “Pen”


• Croatia is home to one the world’s popular dog breed Dalmatians


• The hit HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’ was filmed on the Dalmatian coast in Split and Dubrovnik


• World’s famous inventor Nikola Telsa was born in city of Smiljan a mountain region in Croatia


• The most famous beach in Croatia is on the island of Brac. The Golden Horn beach is known for changing its shape and color depending on the wind


• Croatia is home to the amphitheater in Pula which was once the home of the bloody Roman gladiator fights. It is one of only three existing amphitheaters in the world from Croatia


• The world renowned red wine Zinfandel originated in Croatia. In Italy, the wine is called Primitivo and in Croatia the wine is called Dingach


• Split’s Diocletian Palace has a genuine Egyptian sphinx thanks to the Emperor Diocletian who had it brought in from Egypt to adorn the entrance to his tomb


• The lucky people in Croatia enjoy 2,715 hours of sunshine a year. That’s more than people living in Sydney, Australia


• According to Alfred Hitchcock, the seaside city of Zadar in Dalmatia holds the title of the best sunset in the world. Quoted as saying ‘Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, Florida’


• Croatia has the highest number of UNESCO Intangible Goods of any European country together with Spain


• Zadar has the world’s first pipe organ played by the sea


• Almost 10% of Croatia is made up of 10 nature parks, eight national parks and two nature reserves


• Croatia is home to the world’s smallest town. In the Northwest Croatia, you will find a small town called "Hum" which holds the world record for being the smallest town in the world. The population is only 23 people

For a small country of only 4.2 million people Croatia can claim some of famous people with Croatian heritage:

           To name the few here is our list of the most famous:

John Malkovich - American actor and director
Mr. Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 films, receiving a number of Academy Award nominations. His grandparents are from Ozalj, Karlovac.

 Krist Novoselic - Guitarist and songwriter
Along with his friend Kurt Kobain they co-founded legendary the band Nirvana. His parents are Croatian born.

Lorde – Singer and songwriter
Born Ella Yelich-O’Connor, better known as Lorde, burst onto the music scene as a teenager a few years ago thanks to her smash hit ‘Royals’. That hit spent nine weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart and won her two Grammy Awards. Her mother is from Croatia.

Eric Bana - Australian-born actor
Eric gained Hollywood’s attention for his roles in Troy, Black Hawk Down, Hulk and Troy. His father and mother emigrated to Australia after WWII.

Joe Manganiello - American actor
Mr. Manganiello has starred in a number of films and TV shows. His repertoire includes theSpider-Man trilogy, ER, How I Met Your Mother, One Tree Hill and True Blood. Manganiello was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His mother has Croatian roots, whilst his father is of Italian descent.

Werner Herzog – Film Director
He is one of the greatest figures in German cinema. The screenwriter, film director, author, actor, and opera director was named one of the 100 most influential people on the planet by Time magazine in 2009. Herzog’s films often feature heroes with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature. Herzog was born Werner Stipetić in Munich, to Elizabeth Stipetić, of Croatian descent, and Dietrich Herzog, who was German.

Jenna Elfman - American television and film actress,
She is best known for her role as Dharma on the 1997–2002 American hit television sitcom Dharma & Greg. Born Jennifer Mary Butala, she is of Croatian ancestry on her father’s side. Her grandfather immigrated to America in the middle of the 1900s from around the Karlovac region in central Croatia.

Ivana and Tomo Milicevic – She is an American actress and model and her brother is a well-known musician.
She is best known for playing Anastasia Rabitov/Carrie Hopewell on the Cinemax original series Banshee. Her brother is Tomo Milicevic, guitarist for rock band Thirty Seconds to Mars, which features actor/singer and Academy Award Winer Mr. Jared Leto as their lead singer. Both Ivana and Tomo are born to Croatian parents and moved to the United States at the age of 5.

Roger Maris - American professional baseball player
He played in 12 seasons for 4 Major League Baseball (MLB) teams from 1957 through 1968. Maris set the MLB record for home runs during the 1961 season with 61, breaking Babe Ruth’s single-season record of 60 home runs in 1927. Maris was an American League (AL) All-Star from 1959 through 1962, an AL Most Valuable Player in 1960 and 1961, and an AL Gold Glove Award winner in 1960. Maris appeared in seven World Series, five as a member of the Yankees and two with the Cardinals. He was born Roger Maras to parents, Rudolph Maras and Corrine (née Perkovich), who were both of Croatian origin. The later changed his surname to Maris.

Nikola Tesla – Scientist and Inventor
Engineer and physicist Nikola Tesla, he made dozens of breakthroughs in the production, transmission and application of electric power. He invented the first alternating current (AC) motor and developed AC generation and transmission technology. Though he was famous and respected, he was never able to translate his copious inventions into long-term financial success—unlike his early employer and chief rival, Thomas Edison. Tesla arrived in New York in 1884 and was hired as an engineer at Thomas Edison’s Manhattan headquarters. He worked there for a year, impressing Edison with his diligence and ingenuity. At one point Edison told Tesla he would pay $50,000 for an improved design for his DC dynamos. After months of experimentation, Tesla presented a solution and asked for the money. Edison demurred, saying, “Tesla, you don’t understand our American humor.” Tesla quit soon after.

Branko Lustig – Hollywood film producer
He is best known for winning two Academy Awards. One for best movie and the other as best producer for Schindler’s List and The Gladiator. He also produced the movie Black Hawk Down.

Anthony "Tony" Maglica – owner and founder of Mag Instrument, Inc.
Mr. Maglica designed the Maglite flashlight . The Maglite is a powerful and durable flashlight that has become standard issue gear used by USA police and Army forces.

Ronald Lawrence "Ron" Kovic (born July 4, 1946) is an American anti-war activist, writer, and a United States Marine Corps sergeant. He was wounded and paralyzed in the Vietnam War. He is best known as the author of the memoir Born on the Fourth of July in 1976, which was made into an Academy Award winning in 1989 directed by Oliver Stone, with Tom Cruise playing Kovic.

Bill Belichick – Head Coach New England Patriots and five time Super Bowl head coach champion
He is of Croatian heritage. His grandfather Ivan Belicic came to United States from Karlovac and his grandmother Mary Barkovic came in from the small village near Karlovac.

Mike Grgich (born Miljenko Grgić) - Croatian American winemaker in California.
He was born into a winemaking family in the town of Desne on Croatia's coastal region of Dalmatia. He is notable for being the winemaker behind the 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that bested several white Burgundy wines in the wine tasting event became known as the Judgement of Paris. In recognition of his contributions to the wine industry, Grgich was inducted into the Culinary Institute of America's Vintner's Hall of Fame on March 7, 2008.

Tony Robbins – Motivational speaker
Was born Anthony J. Mahavoric in North Hollywood, California, on February 29, 1960. His surname was originally spelled 'Mohorović' and is of Croatian descent.

Vanna White – TV personality
Vanna born Vanna Marie Rosich. She is an American television personality and film actress best known as the long time hostess of TV game show “Wheel of Fortune” since 1982.

Michael Louis Golic – Radio personality and former NFL payer
Mike is a co-host of ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike, and a former National Football League (NFL) defensive lineman playing for the Houston Oilers, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins.

Rudolph "Rudy" Tomjanovich, Jr. – NBA player and Head Coach
Rudy is an American retired basketball player and coach who coached the Houston Rockets to two consecutive NBA championships. He was an All-Star forward for the Rockets during his playing career.

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