For 900 years Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but with the empire’s defeat in World War I, the country became part of the newly formed kingdom of Yugoslavia. The end of World War II then saw the end of the Yugoslav monarchy and the establishment of a federal republic ruled by President Tito.
Whilst he was alive, Tito amalgamated the six Balkan states (and two autonomous provinces) under his control into one unified country, but after his death in 1980 there was a clamour for independence which resulted in the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, with Croatia gaining full independence in 1995.
The country has a population of just over 4 million with the capital of Zagreb having around 800,000. It has a varied landscape with most tourists heading for the island studded Dalmatian and Istrian coasts on the Adriatic Sea.