Known and Unknown Facts About Croatia (part II)

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The second part of the article about Croatia brings you some pretty amazing info, different in nature to the thing in the first part of the article. We'll be honest and admit: this is another attempt to intrigue you.

Tie or „kravata“

It should be known world widely by now that Croatians invented a tie. This is a historical fact and the story about tie inspired French writer Francion Chaille to write a book about it – „La Grande Historie de la Cravate“. In his book, Chaille explains how 6.000 Croatian soldiers arrived in Paris in 1635 as a support to French king Louis XIII. Their traditional outfits were decorated with colored and decorated scarves tied around their necks. Those scarves were made out of different materials, from plain cloth (worn regular soldiers) to finest cotton (worn by the high ranked officers). People on the French court were very intrigued by that, as the called it „elegant Croatian style“ and since that time, the tie, or „cravate“ in French language, became widely accepted as a symbol of culture and elegance. French people made it popular all over the Europe in 1650. Croatian name „kravata“ comes from French word „croata“ meaning “Croatian”. „Kravata“ came to England thanks to the king Charles II after his return from exile. In no time, „kravata“ conquered whole Europe.

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World travelers

Marco Polo – one of the most famous merchants of middle age, known for his travels along China was not Venetian according to Croatian sources but full blooded Croatian born in 1254 on Korčula island. Croatian sources are referring to a certain document from 15th century although, there is no consensus regarding that issue. One more thing that goes in favor of him being Croatian is the fact that family name Polo originates from Korčula Island. Furthermore, in the center of Korčula town (on the Kročula Island) there is an old stone house that belonged to Polo family. Many believe it is the actual Marco Polo's birthplace. He was captured in naval battle between Genoa and Venice that took place in front of Korčula, and was transferred and incarcerated in Genoa. There, he told the story of his travel along Asia to his cellmate Rustichelli. Rustichelli wrote down all stories and that is how the book „Il Milione“ was written. That book is the third most translated book in the history of mankind after Bible and Kuran. In this followin video you can see how the house looked like before it is restaurated. Pictures, down in the gallery, show the interior of Museum today.

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More inventions

Next time when you take a pen in your hand and wish to write something, remember that you are holding Croatian invention in your hand. Croatian inventor Slavoljub Penkala invented the ball-point pen at the beginning of 20th century, precisely in 1906. Year after, he invented the first solid-ink fountain pen. So, remember: Pen comes from PENkala, Slavoljub Penkala, Croatian guy.

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Let there be light!

Maybe you are not aware of the fact that Nikola Tesla is the reason why our world is not a dark place. He is considered as a scientist although he had no formal education, inventor and master of the electricity. He was born in small village Smiljan near town of Gospić. Few years ago Croatian government built the complex around his birth house where you get to take a peek inside his wonderful mind and ideas. Interesting: he was not a materialistic person but totally and utterly devoted to his inventions. In 1912 he won the Nobel prize with Thomas Edison. Although he needed the money, he refused it claiming Edison in not true inventor. Some of his most popular inventions:
- Radio (1897) – and NO, Marconi did NOT invent the radio but Tesla did and US Supreme court confirmed that in 1943.
- Tesla coil (1890)
- Alternating Current Motor (1883)
- Rotating Magnetic Field (1882)
- Remote (Radio) Controlled Vehicle and many others…
- Neon lights
- Wireless communication technology

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As we wrote in one of our previous articles about Croatian wines, it is scientifically proven that California's favorite grape, Zinfandel, comes from Croatia. Its ancestor is Croatian old wine variety known under the name Crljenak Kastelanski. Actually, DNA testing proved that Zinfandel grape and Crljenak Kastelanski are the same grape variety. So, do not be surprised by the quality of Croatian wines.

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First nudist holidays

Believe it or not, Croatia was the first country in the world to offer nudist holidays. Well, according to the legend, nudism is not Croatian invention but British. Not „regular“ British but ROYAL British idea. Allegedly the idea came from British King Edward VIII that swam naked with his mistress in the Bay of Kanda located on the Rab Island. It was long time age, in 1930.

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101 Dalmatian

Dalmatinac or „Dalmatiner“ or „Dalmatian“ is an very old dog breed, easily recognizable by white hair with black marks. The breed got the name after Croatian region Dalmatia, where its origins are. Some ancient drawings of this breed are dated more than 4000 years back in history.

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Great Wall of China, sorry....Croatia

Have you ever heard of Ston? No? Small city on Pelješac peninsula? Still nothing? Place famous as a farming ground for top quality sea shells: mussels and oysters? Well, if all this doesn't ring a bell than you probably do not know this: Ston was surrounded by the fortification walls built in 14th century. And, pay attention to this, those fortification walls are the longest IN WHOLE EUROPE! They stretch over 5.5 kilometers and have 40 towers and 5 fortresses. Just 5.5 kilometers you say? Well, try to walk them during hot summer day and then say „just 5.5 kilometers“. Suggestion: visit Ston, if not because of the walls than for splendid mussels and oysters.

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Largest in the world

If you do not have anything wise to do, scroll through the Guinness World Records book. There, you will see that the biggest white truffle ever was found in Croatia or more precisely in Istrian town of Buzet. It was found on November 2nd 1999. by the famous local caterer Giancarlo Zigante and Diana, his dog.. Millenium, as it was named, with 1,31 kilogram easily found its place in the Guinness book as the largest truffle ever to be found. Sometime later it was casted in bronze and today can be seen in Zigante truffle store in Buzet. It is interesting to point out that the largest truffle ever was not sold but prepared and consumed in Istria. The whole fuss about this truffle made Livade, small place where it was found, known as one of the best truffle hunting grounds in the world.

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Sport fanatics

Croatians are very talented and crazy for sport, any sport. And basically, they do not recognize anything but top athletes. You need some examples? Ok, let’s talk about Janica Kostelić for example - probably the best female skier of all times – coming from the country that does not have single ski resorts. Tennis player Goran IvanisevićWimbledon champion from a country with no grass tennis court? Or maybe let’s talk about Croatian National Football team (football is maybe the most popular sport) – Croatian National team is mostly in top teams in the world according to FIFA rankings, never beaten, for example, by football giant, three time World Cup winner Germany although there are more registered football players in Germany than there are Croatian citizens. Or we could talk about small country Croatia that gave 12 NBA players where five of them played in the NBA in the period when European basketball players in USA were pure exotic. Remember, sport is huge in Croatia.

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Coffee / leisure time

Coffee culture is important part of Croatian lifestyle, especially in southern Croatia along the seaside where you can practically taste slow tempo characteristic from Mediterranean. So, when you get the invitation „Let's have some coffee“ it does not mean that you need to have a coffee and nothing but the coffee. It is actually an invitation for leisure time, for a chat in a bar, preferably somewhere in shade while sun is burning. So, when you sit down, do not hesitate to order whatever you prefer to drink at the moment as no one will expect you order just coffee. As we said, it is a way of life and for someone unfamiliar (like tourist) may seem that every day is bank holiday in Croatia, especially in the southern parts of the country.

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We hope we managed to interest you even more for Croatia and things related to this interesting and beautiful country. But if you would need more information, you need tip or advice about your arrival or yacht charter in Croatia, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

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