Although Croatia developed under the impact of many different cultures – Greek, Roman, Celtic, Illyrian, Austrian, Hungarian, Byzantine, Islamic – it gave its own and unique imprint to the history of European civilization.

See Prehistoric Archaeology in Croatia.

Let us first give a very rough sketch of the main historical periods of the Croatia’s past:

  • the arrival of the Croats to the Balkan peninsula at the beginning of the 7th century,
  • the period of Croatian Princes and Kings of native birth (until 1102),
  • Croatia sharing with Hungary a new state under common Hungarian and Croatian Kings (1102-1526),
  • Croatia ruled by the Habsburgs, as a member of the Habsburg Crown (1527-1918, Austrian-Hungarian Empire from 1867 to 1918), parts of Croatia under Venice, Turkish Ottoman Empire and France,
  • Croatia in the first Yugoslavia (1918-1941),
  • The Independent State of Croatia (1941-1945),
  • Croatia as a republic in Tito’s (or second) Yugoslavia (1945-1991),
  • internationally recognized Republic of Croatia (January 1992).

Croatia is a point of contact of very different cultures and civilizations. Across its territory or along its boundary

  • the border between Western and Eastern Roman Empire had been laid by the Roman Emperor Theodosius in 395,
  • the border between Francs and Byzantium (9th century),
  • between Western and Eastern Christianity (11th century),
  • and between Islam and Christianity (15-19th century).

Aucune frontière en Europe n’est plus lourde d’histoire que celle qui sépare Rome de Byzance, l’Occident de l’Orient.
[Gregory Peroche], p. 250.

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