Croatia is a South-Eastern European state, bordering the Adriatic Sea, located between Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia. As a result of the break-up of Yugoslavia, Croatia has been an independent parliamentary democracy (with a presidential character) since 1991.
It consists of several ancient territories, which once belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire : Croatia proper, around Zagreb, Slavonia in the North-East, Istria, a large peninsula on the Adriatic Sea and Dalmatia, which develops along the coastline of the same sea.
The total area of the country is 56.542 km2 and its population is 4.5 million (2009). Administratively, Croatia, member of the European Union since 1 July 2013, is divided into 20 provinces (zupanije; singular: zupanija) and one city (grad), Zagreb, which is the capital. Other large cities : Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Zadar, Dubrovnik, etc.