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ponedjeljak, 15. srpnja 2013.

Croatian Troops Invited To French Bastille Day Ceremonies

Croatian President Ivo Josipović and Croatian military representatives were in attendance at Bastille Day ceremonies in Paris (Foto: Reuters)

I wasn't planning on doing anything military related for quite a while, but this caught my interest more for the history behind it, then after accidentally coming across some images related to this piece, I decided to do it afterall.  (I used to be in the military, but I'm more like "Been there, done that", the weekend keg parties and weekend get away's were the best part, lot's of babes in the military back then too, and come to think of it, we used to head to Montreal on weekends quite a few times too, which is actually part of French Canada). Anyway, yesterday was Bastille Day in France, France's biggest and most important holiday, and among various guest representatives this year, (Mainly representatives from France's former African colony of Mali, because of current Mali/al-Qaeda issues).. surprisingly it was also Croatia that was asked to take part as well. Now, you may be wondering why?..afterall Croatia was never a colony of France, Croatians were never slaves, (ignobles serviteurs)..we aren't part of any current foreign geopolitical policy activities anywhere in the world that is involving France. (Well, the fact that Croatia is in the European Union now, as well as NATO for some time, could be part of the reason, but so are a number of other European nations)  So why did a small contingent of 75 Croatian soldiers and the Croatian President get asked to participate in France's biggest national holiday as guests of honour? The answer to that question is very simple,'s because Croatian's have a military history with France reaching back centuries, a fact which probably many people didn't know about.....

Footage of the Presidents of Croatia and France viewing the march past of the Croatian troops in Paris. 75 Croatian Armed Forces members took part in the Bastille Day Military Parade through the streets of Paris.

...In a nutshell, during the time of Napoleon, after he defeated the Austrians, a big chunk of the Croatian lands were put under Napoleons French administration from 1809 to 1816, which he decided to administer under the name of the Illyrian Provinces. Many of the Croats lived in the mountains and formed good light infantry serving in the Austrian and French armies. French general Teste said: "they were always organized and always ready." The Croats were experts in skirmish-order hill fighting. He was familiar with their exploits during their battles against the Ottoman empire and their incursions into Europe over the centuries. (See Battles involving the Habsburg Croatia and Croatian-Ottoman Wars). It was also at this time that many Croatian soldiers for a time were obliged to form a part of the armies of Napoleons French Empire. At the beginning of 19th century many Croatian troops (as a part of Austrian imperial army) fought in Napoleonic wars against French Grande Armée. After the Treaty of Schönbrunn and formation of Illyrian Provinces, several Croatian units were formed as a part of the French Army. Napoleon was even recorded as saying on various occasions that the Croat soldiers in his ranks were among of his finest. Oh yeah, and not only that, we were also paid soldiers of France during the reign of the "Sun King", Louis XIV in the 17th century. Both times Croatian soldiers were renown for their bravery and skill on the battlefield. (This was a common trait in the preceding centuries when as a part of the Austro-Hungarian armies as well). The Croatian soldiers who went off to war in the 17th century, had even ended up making an unplanned for fashion statement in the process. A trend that would grow and is still with us today, coming to be known to us today as the modern neck tie, or "Cravat" as it was originally called and still is today, which was named after us. (More on this interesting topic Here)

 A ceremony in front of the commemorative plaque for Croatian soldiers at the French Military Museum in Paris on May 12, 2000. Image M. Meter. Source:

In the French Military Museum in Paris (Maison des Invalides, pic above) there is a memorial tablet containing the following words ("To the memory of Croatian regiments that under the French flag have shared the glory of the French Army''):


During the years of French administration in the Croatian-Slovenian areas, Croatians served in many French military formations. Croats were by far not the only foreign nationals to join the ranks of his armies, after defeating the combined Russian and Austrian armies at Austerlitz (Sadkov) in 1805, Napoleon promoted nations penalized under the ancien regime, especially the Poles, Italians and Croats. (Throughout the period Irish, Dutch, Swiss and even German regiments were created). After 1806, about 1/3 of the French army were foreign; by 1812 more than 1/2, however the Croats especially left a long lasting impression on him. Napoleon was one of many rulers that were fascinated by Croatian war skills, he is reported as saying to General Marmont: "I never had more braver and better soldiers." Napoleon also said this: "Croatians, they are best soldiers in the world. If I had only 100,000 Croatians, I would conquer the entire world!" (See Here). This post is actually just another part of Croatian Military History that reaches back to the early Middle Ages. Probably quite a new revelation for people who think Croatian military history only started 23 years ago with independence. (If you're interested in very early Croatian military and non-military history, then check out

Also related to this story, at this years Bastille Day ceremonies the famous Croatian scientist, physicist, polymath, astronomer, philosopher and more, Rudjer Bošković, was celebrated as well by having an avenue in a Paris park named after him. (See post Here for a rundown of who Rudjer Boskovic was). He was a scientist that heavily influenced many scientists that came after him, and his atomic theory was even a basis for the formation of Einstein's theory of relativity. He had French citizenship and lived in Paris for a time. (While living in Paris and attending to a military parade where he saw a Croatian unit from  Dubrovnik,  his words were: "there are, my brave Croats. In a letter to his brother from 1757, he describes this encounter and remarks at the end of the letter: "Eviva Haddick e i nostri Croati!", meaning "Long live to Haddick and to our Croats!"). During his 9 years in France and 7 months in England, he met and impressed many of the famous scientists of his time. He also met Benjmanin Franklin, who showed him some of his electrical experiments, see an article by Branko Franolic. All this is just some of the facts that get lost or forgotten in the general history of Europe in those times. I came across this excerpt of a short story by author Brad Steiger from "Napoleons Book of Prophecy". It takes place shortly before Croats had become soldiers in Napoleons army, while they were still in the ranks of the Habsburg Austrian forces. I don't know how true it is or not because it's the first time I've heard it, but it seemed interesting enough to add here...

".......As Napoleon spent those last brooding days staring forlornly out to sea, he had valid reasons for believing that a book written 262 years before his rise to glory had accurately foretold his fate.

According to some accounts, as he lay on his death-bed at St. Helena he was heard to call out during the night, "Steingel, hurry, attack!"

Since the battle of Marengo in 1800, Napoleon had been haunted by a premonition that one of his seasoned artillery officers had received in a dream. Steingel, a rugged campaigner had been so convinced that the next day's battle would be his last that he had his will drawn up and asked Napoleon to be its executor.

"Last night I dreamed I leaped forward on my horse at a decisive moment in the battle," Steingel told him. "I found myself facing a gigantic armored Croat. I advanced and hit him with my sword. The blade glanced off his armor.

"Then the armor and the uniform fell off the Croat and I saw Death with its sickle before me. He gave a great mocking laugh, raised his sickle, and struck me down."

After the day's fighting had ended, Napoleon was notified that Steingel had been slain on the battlefield. With a demand that became an obsession, Napoleon ordered an investigation of the circumstances under which one of his favorite officers had died.

From eyewitness accounts, Napoleon learned that Steingel had jumped forward on his horse to attack and had been blocked by a gigantic Croat. One look at his opponent, and Steingel had cried out, "That is him!" and had sat on his horse as if paralyzed.

The Croat charged and Steingel struck him with his sword. The weapon bounced off the armor of the giant, who thrust Steingel a death blow.

The eerie accuracy of Steingel's premonition was but another dark bead which Napoleon mentally added to a string of circumstances which, in his analysis, led him to conclude that one's life is preordained. As he had declared to Dr. Arnott, "Our hour is marked and no one can claim a moment of life beyond what fate has predestined."


(As is usually the case, it didn't take long for Serb reactions to attempt to put a damper on anything Croatia related. Shortly after the news and images of the Croatian President and soldiers parading in the Bastille Day celebrations came out, Serbian state leadership, led by their current Prime Minister, Ivica Dacic, (the guy saying a speech) issued a statement. They decided to boycott the invitation to the Bastille Day reception that was being held by the French ambassador in Belgrade, Serbia. The Serbian Prime Minister had a pickle up his ass and was quoted as saying that the Serbs should have been invited to represent at the parade too, that the Serbs are a hundred times more worthy of being represented in the parade than the Croats. This is known as the Serb shitfickery overcompensating klepto-complex I've discussed about quite a few times on this blog. (In Croatian: Jesi dosadan pička ti materina). Why? Well, because they were Turkish Ottoman subjects for 500 years, but mainly because they bitch slapped a bunch of Albanian grannies in the 90's and....oh..... and because he said so...The Serbian Prime Minister is the guy photographed during a speech for Serbian supporters of Slobodan "Butcher of the Balkans" Milosevic. The Serb Prime Minister was basically upset that these guys were not allowed to parade and and celebrate feats such as this and this as well. You can't blame him though, he's still upset about finding out that Bono isn't Serb after all. I think they should just concentrate with making up their own histories and leaving Europe to the Europeans and all the Non-Serbs)

Bonus addition to the above info:.....


3/19/2013 - Deathtoll rises as Violence against Hungarians continues in Serbia. AHF continues to be deeply concerned with anti-Hungarian attitudes and the lack of progress toward acceptance of diversity and the re-establishment of autonomy for the Vojvodina province. Recent attacks in the early part of 2013 include the severe beating of two teens in Temerin in January, one of whom required surgery to save his eyesight. In February in Szabadka (Subotica), 5 teens were severely attacked, for speaking Hungarian and being Non-Serbs. These violent acts have repeated across the province. [see this HirTV documentary (in Hungarian)]

(If you would like your noggin partially mentally squeezed with history, intrigue, wizardry and amazing factual similarities, possibilities and information about the possible connection between the early Croatian realms and royalty even to the very beginnings of the French nation (and German nation as well, history can be very interesting as you'll see)




President Josipović, Croatian troops at Bastille Day parade



Croatian President Ivo Josipovic on Sunday attended Bastille Day celebrations in Paris where also 75 Croatian Armed Forces members took part in the Bastille Day Military Parade.

Josipovic and the 75 soldiers from the Croatian army, navy and air force, arrived in Paris at an invitation of French President Francois Hollande.

This year's Bastille Day Military Parade opened with Malian forces. The parade passed down the Champs-Elysees from l’Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde.

Before the parade, Josipovic held a brief meeting with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who congratulated Croatia on its admission to the European Union and expressed hope that Croatia's EU membership would positively impact southeastern Europe.

Ban Ki-moon informed Josipovic about his plan for empowerment of women in post-conflict situations which he would soon propose to the UN General Assembly.

On Saturday, Josipovic met with Hollande and also formally inaugurated the Rudjer Boskovic Esplanade at a ceremony being attended by Patrick Bloche, mayor of the 11th arrondissement of Paris and president of the Croatian-French friendship group in the French National Assembly, and Pierre Schapire, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of international and European affairs and the Francophone world.

The Rudjer Boskovic Esplanade is located in the central park area on the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir in the 11th arrondissement.

Rudjer Boskovic Esplanade opens in Paris

Rudjer Boskovic pictured on the front of a Croatian Kuna currency note.



Croatian President Ivo Josipovic in Paris on Saturday opened the Rudjer Boskovic Esplanade in the presence of Patrick Bloche, mayor of the 11th arrondissement of Paris and president of the Croatian-French friendship group in the French National Assembly, and Pierre Schapire, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of international and European affairs and the Francophone world.

Rudjer Boskovic was a Croatian scientist who also had French citizenship. The Rudjer Boskovic Esplanade is located in the central park area on the Boulevard Richard-Lenoir in the 11th arrondissement.

Both homelands are paying their respects to Rudjer Boskovic by naming this esplanade after him, Josipovic said in his speech.

Earlier today, Josipovic held talks with French President Francois Hollande and tomorrow he will attend the Bastille Day military parade together with 75 members of the Croatian Armed Forces who will participate in the parade.

Croatian Troops In French Service


This was Napoleon's address to his Croatian soldiers (Two Croatian regiments) who fought bravely during the retreat from Moscow losing 757 men and 10 officers, only 296 men survived to hear Napoleon's speech.

He said: Quote:

Hier, j'ai pu m'assurer de mes propres yeux de votre courage et de votre fidélité. Vous avez acquis la gloire immortelle et l'estime, et je vous place parmi mes meilleurs troupes. Pour votre courage, je vous promets de vous accorder tout ce que vous me demanderez de bon droit lorsque nous serons de retour. Je suis satisfait de vous, trčs satisfait.


Yesterday, I saw with my own eyes of your courage and your fidelity. You acquired immortal glory and esteem, and I place you among my best troops. For your courage, I promise to you to agree all that you will ask me of as soon as we are home. I am satisfied with you, very satisfied.

So who were these troops?

The Peace of Vienna in 1809 ceded the Croatian frontier of the Austrian Empire to France. France divided this area into six geographic area's, each of which was then required to produce two battalions of infantry.

These regiments abandoned the traditional Austrian uniforms and adopted a French style uniform with a green jacket and breeches. The voltigeurs had green epaulets, the carabiniers wore red epaulets and the chasseurs had shoulder straps of the regimental color. The cuffs, collar and turnbacks were also of the regimental colors.

Regiment Color

1st Orange
2nd Crimson
3rd Light yellow
4th Light Brown
5th Sky Blue
6th Light Green

In 1811, two provisional regiments were raised, each of two battalions, for service with the Grande Armee.

The 1st Provisional Regiment served in Brigade Rousel as part of the 13th Division (Delzons) IV Corps (Eugene) and, the 3rd Provisional Regiment served in Brigade Amey as part of the 9th Division (Merle) of the II Corps (Oudinot)

1st Provisional Regiment

The 1st Provisional Regiment was formed on the 26 October 1811 from the 1st Battalion of the 1st Croatian Regiment (Lika) and the 1st Battalion of the 2nd Croatian Regiment (Ottochaz) totaling about 1,700 men when they marched from Trieste to join the IV Corps.

Their Regimental Colonel, Slivarich, was promoted to General by Napoleon, but only 53 men survived the campaign to return to Konigsberg. The men of the 1st Provisional Regiment were awarded six crosses of the Legion d’honneur.

3rd Provisional Battalion

The 3rd Provisional Regiment was formed on the 21 September 1811 from the 1st Battalion of the 5th Croatian Regiment (1st Banat) and the 1st Battalion of the 6th Croatian Regiment (2nd Banat), and proved itself to be an extremely brave and hard fighting regiment at the second battle of Polotsk, and throughout the Campaign, only 17 officers and 141 men out of almost 2,000 remaining under arms on the 30 December 1812.

On their return the survivors of these regiments were absorbed into their parent units and the provisional regiments were never re-raised.


Both regiments wore dark green uniforms cut in the style of the French light infantry, with yellow facings and piping. The 3rd Provisional Regiment were distinguished by a light blue collar patch; the 1st Provisional Reigment by a red collar patch.

Fusilier 2nd Company, 1st Provisional Regiment (Croatian)

Voltigeur, 3rd Provisional Regiment (left), Officer, 1st Provisional Regiment (right)

Napolean's French Empire, the Illyrian Provinces (1809-15) and the temporary and precarious political situation of Europe in 1811.

Sedentary Croatian regiments


The six Austrian Grenzer regiments forming the bulk of the Croatian land forces were incorporated as such in French and renamed Sedentary (or Provincial) Croatian Regiments.

The imperial order of May 22nd, 1810 regulated the new uniform for these regiments seems to have introduced at the same time the name “Illyrian Chasseurs”

 The Croats. "They were always organized and always ready." - General Teste

Provisional Croatian regiments

The Emperor Napoleon decides in 1811 to reactivate the Austrian usage to detach one battalion from each of the sedentary Croatian regiments to raise field provisional regiments.

1st Provisional Croatian Regiment

The 1st regiment is raised on October 26th 1811 with one battalion from the 1st(Lika) and 2nd (Ottochatz) Illyrian Chasseurs regiments. It takes part in the Russian campaign within the IVth Army Corps (prince Eugene) in 13th Infantry Division (Gen. Delzons).

Both battalions are reorganised in February 1813, using remnants of former battalions and new recruits coming from Croatia, and posted to garrison the city of Glogau where the regiment is disbanded in January 1814

Unit commanders

26 October 1811: Marc Slivarich von Heldenbourg
1813: Jean Coste


1812: Ostrowno, Malojaroslawetz, Krasnoë, Beresina
1813: Glogau

2nd Provisional Croatian Regiment

The 2nd regiment is raised in February 1813 with one battalion from the 3rd(Ogulin) and 4th(Sluin) Illyrian Chasseurs regiments. It takes part to the campaign of Germany within IVth Army Corps (Gen. Bertrand) in 12th Infantry Division.

In July 2nd regiment is posted to garrison the city of Glogau where it is disbanded in January 1814.
Unit commanders

1813 : Colonel Robert de Gordon
1813 : Colonel Joseph Mamulla von Türkenfeld

3rd Provisional Croatian Regiment

The 3rd regiment is raised on September 21st 1811 with one battalion from the 5th(Glina) and 6th(Petrine) Illyrian Chasseurs regiments. It takes part in the Russian campaign within the IInd Army Corps (Mar. Oudinot) in 9th Infantry Division (Gen. Merle).

His remnants are incorporated in the 1st Provisional Regiment and it is officially disbanded in July 1813.

Unit commanders

1st October 1811: Etienne Joly


1812: Polotsk, Bérézina

4th Provisional Croatian Regiment

The decision to raise a 4th regiment with one battalion from the 5th(Glina) and 6th(Petrine) Illyrian Chasseurs regiments is taken in August 1813 but this regiment is disbanded in January 1814 without being fully organised.


French cut coat in dark green cloth. Light buff collar, sometimes bearing a patch in the parent Illyrian Chasseurs Regiment colour. Green shoulder straps piped buff. Green pointed lapels piped buff. Buff pointed cuffs. Buffs turnbacks and vertical pockets simulated by a buff piping. White metal buttons.

White vest. Green breeches and black short gaiters. Green or white overalls in marching order. French black felt shako with black leather top and bottom bands bearing a white metal imperial eagle over shield stamped with regimental number. White lenticular pompon with company coloured rim and battalion number in black over French cockade with white strap. Black leather peak and white metal chinscales. White leatherwork. Black leather cartridge pouch bearing a brass imperial eagle.


Troopers’ dress with scarlet fringed epaulets and scarlet grenade patches on turnbacks. Scarlet laces to shako, scarlet pompon and plume. Brass grenade badge on cartridge pouch and French infantry sabre with scarlet sabre strap.


Tenue de la troupe avec des épaulettes jaunes à franges vertes ou vertes à tournante jaune et des cors verts aux retroussis. Shako galonné de chamois, pompon jaune ou verte et plumet écarlate à sommet jaune. Giberne ornée d’un cor de laiton et sabre d’infanterie à dragonne verte et gland chamois.


Tenue de la troupe en drap bleu céleste (avant 1812 ?) ou tenue de la troupe galonnée du galon de la livrée impériale (après 1812 ?).


Tenue de la troupe en drap bleu céleste (avant 1812 ?) ou vert (après 1812 ?). Colback ou oursin de fourrure noire. Insigne de sapeur (haches croisées) sur les bras et aux retroussis.


Some convincing clues allow to assume that the 3rd Croatian Regiment was awarded in 1812 a flag of the new type. It is very likely that 1st Regiment at least has also received an eagle.

Tricoloured silk of 80x80cm divided in three vertical bands with blue one at hoist. Gold fringes and embroideries. No battle names on reverse and on observe the words:


In the French Military Museum in Paris (Maison des Invalides) there is a memorial tablet containing the following words (``To the memory of Croatian regiments that under the French flag have shared the glory of the French Army''):


 Croatian Hussars Regiment

After the disastrous Russian Campaign the French army tries by all means to compensate for the enormous cavalry losses sustained during retreat. The governor of the Illyrian Provinces, general Bertrand, orders on February 11th 1813 to each Illyrian Chasseurs Regiment to detach a troop of 100 men mounted and equipped as cavalryman. This decision is confirmed by the imperial decree of February 23rd that raises the 1st Croatian Hussars Regiment with strength of three squadrons.

As organisation proceeds the regiment is called, along with 4th Illyrian Chasseurs Regiment (Sluin) to fight back a Turkish raid.

Before reaching his full definitive establishment of six squadrons, the regiment is sent to Lyon in August 1813 to avoid being faced to Austrian troops.

The imperial decree of November 25th 1813 disbanding all foreign regiments is applied there to the hussars. On November 25th the Croats are disarmed and transformed into a battalion of Pioneers of five companies.


Some time ago I was asked to explain the name's origin of the "AVENUE DES CROATES" in France. The first answer to it I've found in a book titled: "CROATS - WARRIORS' PICTURES FROM THE PAST" by Grbasici, Mazuran, Radilovic, Trnski and Vukic published in Zagreb 1993. My translation from there is as follows:

By 1667 many Croatian soldiers were still on duty in France and the French command formed a hussar regiment for them. The regiment got that honorable name of Royal Cravattes. This regiment was one of the few elite hussar regiments who were dressed in royal blue colored uniforms. The Croats' uniform was generally gray similar to other 40 or so hussar regiments except that their jackets were of royal deep blue color. The Croatians wore large handkerchiefs fixed in a peculiar way around their necks that the Parisians liked very much. This kerchief had come in fashion at the Royal court known as the "CRAVATTE". 

The ROYAL CRAVATTES had been fighting under French command in many battles against the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy particularly after 1671. In the battle at Steenkerque 1692 the English had surprised the French in their camp. English army was close to the victory had not the French hussars without hesitation jumped onto their horses and repelled the attackers. The French hussars were mainly from the Royal Cravattes regiment who haven't had much time to properly knot their handkerchief before mounting their horses. With their flying kerchief around necks they entered the battle ­ thus the French called it the "Cravatte la Steenkerque" afterwards.

Croatian Cavalry Officer from period of the Thirty-Year's War.

Even before that when the Thirty-Year's War (1618-1648) was raging in Europe the Croatian soldiers were drawn into this tragic episode too. In that war France and Sweden had united forces against the German Empire. The Croatian soldiers served as mercenaries in the light cavalries of both armies. They first gained a reputation of being exceptionally courageous and well trained within the German ranks. After the victories they won over the French troops, Cardinal Richelieu insisted on including Croatian mercenaries in the French army too. In 1633 the first French troop was formed made up of Croatian cavalry. They arrived at Paris under the leadership of their Vice-Roy (in Croatian "Ban").

The Croatian traditional military dress included picturesque scarves worn around the neck in a distinctive manner. This handsome "Croatian Style" captivated the fastidious French so that, during the reign of Louis XIV, they too, adopted the new fashion item worn "a la Croate". This expression soon became the root of the new French word "cravate". Thus the tie entered the bourgeois fashion of the time as a sign of cultivation and elegance and went on to conquer the whole Europe and, today, the entire civilized world.

Croatian horseman of the Royal Cravattes 8th regiment.

The book titled "CROATIAN WARRIORS THROUGH CENTURIES" by Tomislav and Višeslav Aralica published in Zagreb 1993 gives some information about Croatian mercenaries fighting in Europe after those times too. It had been useful to the French interest retaining the institutions of Vojna Krajina (known as the Monarchy's "Military District" in Croatia) in their newly formed Illyrian Province. They had formed a hussar regiment after the French defeat in Russia that lasted for one year only. The Croatian hussars had standard equipment of the French hussar regiments of that period. Except for their blue jackets all other uniform parts were the color of "wild goat's hair". Their weapons were the ANIX saber and the musket of the 1786 pattern. The hussars were trained at Karlovac and Ljubljana and the regiment counted 69 officers, 1.515 sub-officers and soldiers and had 509 riding horses on their disposal. After Monarchy started the war against France this regiment's soldiers disobeyed the French command and orders and had been disarmed soon after. The uninspired Croatian hussars then moved around France until they returned home after March 1812.

Croatian hussar had the standard equipment of French hussar regiments. Grenadier of the 1st Croatian regiment in French service about 1812.

Vladimir Braus wrote 1995 in the review "Postage Stamps of the Republic of Croatia" about the origin of the tie as a Croatian contribution to the general development of clothing and fashion. The name of this piece of cloth worn round the neck probably derived from the German dialect word "Krawatte" ("Kroate" is the German standard literary word for "Hrvat" meaning "Croat"). The Oxford dictionary of Modern English Language has several different entries for the word cravat: crabbat, crabat, cravett, and crevet.

The Hussar of Karlovac frontier-guard Hussar Regiment about 1760.

A member of the Varaždin Hussars around 1813. (see also Bjelovar Hussars)

Darko Zubrinic's described the changes of neck kerchief's form with the times in his virtual book "Croatia - An Overview of its History, Culture and Science" at URL: The CRAVAT has appeared in a variety of shapes, colors and materials, ranging from the simple knotted kerchief to more sophisticated, sometimes uncomfortable, stiff, high collars. In the l9th and 20th centuries the bow tie grew very popular. The modern tie is a narrow, long piece of silk or woolen fabric worn under a shirt collar and tied in a knot at the front. There are many varieties of patterns and colors designed to match the gentlemen's suits. Tiepins can be used to fasten the ties to the shirt. A tie could be a sign of affiliation - membership to an artistic elitist group (the style a la Byron or Baudelaire), or belonging to the middle class, to the class of farmers and even revolutionaries. Thus the common feature of the 1789 French revolutionaries was a black kerchief tied around their necks.

In a little tie-shop named "KRAVATA CROATA" on Kaptol 13 at Zagreb's Upper town one can find a great selection of ties mainly of original Croatian designs but prices are over US$ 60 though. The names used for this knotted kerchief are different:

* Croatian - Kravata
* Czech - Kravata
* Danish - Kravat
* English - Cravat
* Filipino - Korbata
* Finnish - Kravatti
* Flemish - Krawaat
* French - Cravate
* German - Krawatte
* Irish - Carabhat
* Italian - Cravatta
* Polish - Krawat
* Romanian - Cravata
* Slovakian - Kravata
* Spanish - Corbata
* Swedish - Kravatt
* Turkish - Kravat
* Ukrainian - Kravata
* Welsh - Crafat

Old and wise history books bear witness to the fact that a people's small item can conquer more of the world but without hatred and arms. All over the world peoples wear that symbol of Croatians as early as from mid 17th century. They wear it near the heart, between the shirt and the coat and it embraces them around the neck like a dear friend.

Scene from the "Changing of the guard" ceremony in Zagreb. The soldiers are dressed in the style of the famous "Cravat Regiment." More information HERE

Lastly, it's never a bad time for a stroll down memory lane, to 1995 in this case and just after the defeat of Serb terrorists and the liberation of previously ethnically cleansed and occupied Croatia.

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