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Croatia

Understanding Croatia before you leave

To really make the most of your trip to Croatia, it can be interesting, useful and enriching to first read certain books, which will enable you to really penetrate to the heart of the country's diversity.

A bit of history

To understand Croatia, you first need to immerse yourself in the country's eventful history. With this in mind, here is a list of books that will give you some insights before visiting Croatia.

The following titles are factual, academic type works, not fiction or travel writing.

  • Sotirovic, Vladislav. (2012). Creation of the first Yugoslavia: How the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was established in 1918. Germany. LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.
  • Johnson, Lonnie. (1996). Central Europe: Enemies, Neighbours, Friends. Oxford. Oxford University Press.
  • Ramet, Sabrina P. & Lukic, Reneo (Eds). (2008). Croatia since Independence: War, Politics, Society, Foreign Relations. Berlin: De Gruyter Oldenbourg.
  • Supicic, Ivan. (2001). Croatia in the Early Middle Ages: A Cultural Survey. London: Philip Wilson Publishers Ltd.
  • Tanner, Marcus (2010). A Nation Forged in War. New Haven; London: Yale University Press.

To whet your appetite before you depart, there are also some beautifully illustrated books and fascinating travel guides about Croatia.

  • Cosic, Stjepan et al. (2009). Croatia: Aspects of Art, Architecture and Cultural Heritage. London: Frances Lincoln.
  • McKelvie, Robin. (2014). Berlitz: Croatia Pocket Guide. London: Berlitz.
  • Mutic, Anja & Dragicevich, Peter. (2011). Lonely Planet Croatia. London: Lonely Planet.

Literature

Croatia has produced a number of authors, novelists and poets through whose works it is possible to gain a deeper understanding of the country's culture and traditions. The following are some of the essential titles to get hold of.

  • Andrić , Ivo. (1977). The Bridge on the Drina. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
  • Selimović, Meša. (1970). The Fortress. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.
  • Selimović, Meša. (1996). Death and the Dervish. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press.

Pula, home to the famous film festival

Films

Croatia was used as a setting by a number of directors in the 20th century. An impressive number of films have been shot there, providing a fascinating glimpse of its towns, countryside and landscapes. Though not an exhaustive list, the following were all filmed in Croatia: Sophie's Choice (1982; scenes filmed at Samobor Castle); Game of Thrones (2012; filmed in Dubrovnik); Diana (2013; filmed in Rovinj); and Welcome to Sarajevo (1997; filmed in Zagreb).

To really get to know Croatia, however, you need to immerse yourself in the world of the country's own, home-produced directors, who bring the kind of experience and insights to their work that only native Croatians can provide. Croatia has a very active and highly-rated film industry. The following is a selection of films to watch before you depart.

  • Story from Croatia, 1991. A drama centred on the Croatian Spring.
  • The Priest's Children, 2013.
  • What is a man without a moustache?, 2005.

Croatia also plays an important role as a producer of animated works, such as the famous TV series Professor Balthazar.

Caroline Guibert
22 contributions
Updated 8 April 2016

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