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Croatia ( (listen), kroh-AY-shə; Croatian: Hrvatska, pronounced [xř̩ʋaːtskaː]), officially the Republic of Croatia (Croatian: Republika Hrvatska, listen), is a country at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, on the Adriatic Sea. It borders Slovenia to the northwest, Hungary to the northeast, Serbia to the east, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro to the southeast, sharing a maritime border with Italy. Its capital, Zagreb, forms one of the country's primary subdivisions, along with twenty counties. Croatia has an area of 56,594 square kilometres (21,851 square miles) and a population of 4.28 million, most of whom are Roman Catholics.
Inhabited since the Paleolithic Age, the Croats arrived in the area in the 6th century and organised the territory into two duchies by the 9th century. Croatia was first internationally recognized as an independent state on 7 June 879 during the reign of duke Branimir. Tomislav became the first king by 925, elevating Croatia to the status of a kingdom, which retained its sovereignty for nearly two centuries. During the succession crisis after the Trpimirović dynasty ended, Croatia entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. In 1527, faced with Ottoman conquest, the Croatian Parliament elected Ferdinand I of Austria to the Croatian throne. In October 1918, in the final days of World War I, the State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs, independent from Austria-Hungary, was proclaimed in Zagreb, and in December 1918 it was merged into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.
Following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia in April 1941, most of the Croatian territory was incorporated into a Nazi-backed client-state, the Independent State of Croatia. In response, a resistance movement developed. This led to the creation of the Federal State of Croatia, which after the war became a founding member and constituent of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. On 25 June 1991, Croatia declared independence, which came wholly into effect on 8 October of the same year. The Croatian War of Independence was fought successfully for four years following the declaration.
A sovereign state, Croatia is a republic governed under a parliamentary system and a developed country with a very high standard of living. It is a member of the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe, NATO, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean. As an active participant in the UN peacekeeping forces, Croatia has contributed troops to the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan and took a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the 2008–2009 term. Since 2000, the Croatian government has constantly invested in infrastructure, especially transport routes and facilities along the Pan-European corridors.
Dubrovnik (Italian: Ragusa, Croatian: Dubrovnik, ˈdǔ.bro̞ːʋ.nik) is a historic city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Croatia, positioned at 42°39′N 18°04′E / 42.650°N 18.067°E. It is one of the most prominent tourist resorts, a seaport and the center of the Dubrovnik–Neretva county. Its population was 43,770 in 1991 and 49,728 in 2001. in 2001 the absolute majority of its citizens declared themselves as Croats with 88.39% (2001 census). Dubrovnik is nicknamed "Pearl of the Adria".
The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik has always been based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Ragusa was one of the centers of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists and other scholars.
The Old City (fortress) of Varaždin is a beautiful example of medieval defensive buildings. Construction began in the 14th century, and in the following century the rounded towers, typical of Gothic architecture in Croatia, were added. Today it houses the Town Museum.
Varaždin (German: Warasdin, Hungarian: Varasd, Latin: Varasdinum) is a city in northwestern Croatia, 81 km north of Zagreb on the highway A4. With a population of 49,075 (2001), the centre of Varaždin county is located near the Drava river. It's mainly known for its baroque buildings, textile, food and IT industry.
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Count Josip Jelačić of Bužim (October 16, 1801 - May 20, 1859) was Ban of Croatia, as well as a noted army general remembered for his largely successful military campaigns during the Revolutions of 1848.
Josip Jelačić was born in the town of Petrovaradin, at the time part of the Slavonian Military Frontier, in the noble House of Jelačić to Croatian father Baron Franjo Jelačić and Austrian mother Anna Portner von Höflein. Jelačić gained his versatile education in Theresian Military Academy in Vienna. After graduation he entered army with the rank of lieutenant, and was eventually promoted to the Lieutenant Field Marshal.
On October 17, 1835, Jelačić successfully led a military campaign against Bosnian Ottoman troops in Velika Kladuša. On March 23, 1848 Croatian parliament elected him to the position of the Ban of Croatia. His policy was unity of Croatian provinces and equality of people in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When Hungarian nationalist politicians refused to recognize Croats as a political people and continued to discriminate them, Jelačić, with a great support of Austria to do that "without any delay", decided to invade Hungary. In his campaign, that eventually ended with a truce, he managed to return occupied Međimurje to Croatia. In 1849, Jelačić and Prince Alfred I managed to suppress Wienies revolution, and later that year Hungarian revolution. Emperor Franz Joseph appointed Jelačić as a governor of Rijeka and Dalmatia, so Croatia was after a long time formally united.
As Ban, Jelačić abolished serfdom, helped with the establish of the Archdiocese of Zagreb, unification of city of Zagreb as well as with opening of the Croatian National Theater, constantly encouraging economic, scientific and cultural activities.
Wikipedia in Croatian