Most of us learned our country’s history when we were kids in school. For those of us that didn’t grow up in Croatia and moved here later in life, it can be pretty hard to learn this country’s history.
To help educate foreigners on Croatia’s past, we’ve created this series to draw attention to notable dates in Croatian history, month by month.
In this post, we’ll cover the following important dates from Croatian history that occurred during the month of June including:
- Dan hrvatske diplomacije (Croatian Diplomacy Day)
- First action of Croatian Air Force
- Bitka kod Siska (Battle of Sisak)
- Dan antifašističke borbe (Anti-fascist Struggle Day)
- Opening of Zagreb zoo
- Abolition of Nin Diocese
The facts are these…
On June 7, 879, Pope John VIII recognized the sovereignty and independence of the medieval Croatian state. He did this in a letter to the Croatian Prince Branimir. The Pope blessed Prince Branimir and the Croatian people by recognizing Branimir’s authority over Croatia.
This recognition is considered diplomatic since it was the highest international recognition at the time. For this reason, we mark the Day of Croatian Diplomacy (Dan hrvatske diplomacije) on June 7.
On this day, it is now tradition to give diplomas to participants of the one-year professional study at the Diplomatic Academy of the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
On June 16, 1991, the Croatian Air Force (Hrvatsko ratno zrakoplovstvo) carried out their first major combat operation. They manually dropped improvised bombs on an enemy camp (rebellious Serbs) on the mountain of Dinara. Actions were performed at night by ultralight airplanes from low altitudes.
The Split Air Force performed more than 70 combat flights through January 1992. They were performed by Utva-75 airplanes armed with 4 Osa hand-held rocket launchers and various bombs. One of the biggest attacks was on the RTV transmitter Ćelavac, which was temporarily disabled.
In August 1992, the Croatian Air Force obtained an Antonov An-2 airplane. They used it to transport the wounded on the Dubrovnik-Split-Zagreb route 3 times a day.
The Battle of Sisak (Bitka kod Siska) was a clash between the Habsburg and Ottoman armies in the 15th century. This battle over the Sisak fortress started on June 15 and ended on June 22, 1593.
The Battle of Sisak was the third attack by an Ottoman army on the Sisak fortress. The conquest of this fortress would have resulted in Ottoman devastation in northwest Croatia, Carniola, Styria, and other Habsburg countries.
The fortress was owned by Zagreb Kaptol, which was a body under the Zagreb diocese that also owned the territory between Mura, Drava, Sava, Kupa, and Una. Today, Zagreb Kaptol is a part of the city of Zagreb located in Upper Town and the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Zagreb.
Croatian ban Toma II Erdődy was the head of the Christian army, which consisted of 4.500 soldiers. They defeated the Turkish Ottoman army, which was twice as large as the Croatian army. This was a turning point in the war against the Ottoman Empire. In memory of this event, small bells of the Zagreb and Sisak cathedrals ring every day at 14:00.
The Day of Anti-fascist Struggle is called “Dan antifašističke borbe” in Croatian. It is held on June 22 and is a national holiday.
On this day, Croatia commemorates the establishment of the First Sisak Partisan Detachment (sisački partizanski odred), which marked the beginning of the anti-fascist uprising. This was the first anti-fascist unit in Croatia and this part of Europe.
Croatian territory was occupied by Hitler’s German forces during World War II. Croatia was led by ustaše whose leader was Ante Pavelić. Ustaše pursued an ideology of hatred towards Jews, Roma, Serbs, and Croatian dissidents in alliance with the Nazis and fascists. Their terror caused great dissatisfaction among Croats, but no one could oppose the ustaše.
On June 22, 1941, Hitler began an attack against the USSR. The First Sisak Partisan Detachment was also established on this day. Members of the Partisan Detachment hid in the woods in fear of persecution by the ustaše. They had 77 members.
During the war, the supreme legislative and executive function in Croatia was under the control of the anti-fascist movement. It was called the State Anti-Fascist Council for the National Liberation of Croatia (Zemaljsko antifašističko vijeće narodnog oslobođenja Hrvatske – ZAVNOH).
In 1945, ZAVNOH became the Croatian National Assembly (Narodni sabor Hrvatske). At the end of the war, the People’s Republic of Croatia (Narodna Republika Hrvatska) was constituted. It was a federal unit of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia, which was on the side of the victorious allied forces.
On June 27, 1925, Zagreb zoo opened at the initiative of engineer Mijo pl. Filipović. His idea was supported by then Zagreb mayor – architect Vjekoslav Heinzel.
Zagreb zoo was built within Maksimir, one of the most beautiful parks in the city of Zagreb [Read: 6 reasons to visit Park Maksimir]. The zoo was positioned on Swan Island (Labuđi otok), which is the first island on Maksimir’s first lake. At the time, it was called “Small zoo” (Zoološki vrtić). It was the first zoo in Southeast Europe.
In the beginning, the zoo had 3 foxes and 3 owls. In 1927, the zoo got a lion. Today, Zagreb Zoo is home to 275 species and more than 2.200 animals. It is the biggest zoo in Croatia.
The Diocese of Nin was established in the 9th century and the seat of the first Croatian bishop Theodosius (Teodezije) in 879.
After almost 1.000 years, the Diocese of Nin was abolished on June 30, 1828 by Pope Leon XII. Edict “Locum Beati Petri” completely reorganized the Dalmatian dioceses. The area of the Nin Diocese was associated with the Zadar archdiocese. At the time, Zadar was the capital of the Kingdom of Dalmatia and the seat of the church for the whole of Dalmatia.
Bishops performed canonical visits on the territory of their dioceses. They had to often visit Rome in person or send their authorized representatives.
In 1933, the Diocese of Nin was restored as the title episcopal center of the Catholic Church in Croatia. The title diocese or archdiocese is a closed historical diocese or archdiocese in the Catholic Church.
If there are any significant events you’d like to see us cover in the future, let us know in the comments.
Learn about other notable dates from Croatian history
- Notable dates in Croatian history (March)
- Notable dates in Croatian history (September)
- Notable dates in Croatian history (October)
Please note: All information provided by Expat in Croatia is only for the purposes of guidance. It does not constitute legal advice in any form. For legal advice, you must consult with a licensed Croatian lawyer. We can recommend one if you contact us.