Croatia - Culture
Twentieth century sculptor Ivan Mestrovic is the pride and joy of Croatia's art world. His work can be seen in town squares throughout the country, and he has also designed several imposing buildings, including the Croatian History Museum in Zagreb. Croatian literary figures include 16th century playwright Marin Drzic and 20th century novelist, playwright and poet Miroslav Krleza - the latter's multi-volume work, Banners, is a saga about Croatian life at the turn of the 20th century.
Croatian folk music is a hotch-potch of styles. The kolo, a lively Slavic round dance, is accompanied by Roma-style violinists or players of the tambura, a Croatian mandolin. Dalmatia's gentle guitar and accordion bands have a distinctly Italian flavour.
Croats are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic, while virtually all Serbs are Eastern Orthodox. In addition to various doctrinal differences, Orthodox Christians venerate icons, let priests marry, and couldn't care less about the Pope. Thoroughly suppressed during Yugoslavia's communist period, Roman Catholicism is now making a comeback, with most churches strongly attended every Sunday. Muslims make up 1.1% of the population and Protestants 0.4%. There's a tiny Jewish population in Zagreb.
Croatians love a bit of oil, and among the greasy delicacies you'll find here are burek, a layered pie made with meat or cheese, and piroska, a cheese donut from the Zagreb region. The Adriatic coast excels in seafood: regional dishes include scampi and Dalmatian brodet (mixed fish stewed with rice). Inland look for specialities such as manistra od bobica (beans and fresh maize soup) or struki (baked cheese dumpling).
Virtually every region produces it's own varieties of wine.