Regional cultures are considered variations on the larger category of "Croatian", including the cultures of Dalmatia, Istria, Slavonia, and Zagorje. The capital, Zagreb, is centrally located but was not chosen for that reason. It is the largest city, but also historically the political, commercial, and intellectual center.
Croatians are protective of the their Croatian language from foreign influences, the language was under constant change and threats imposed by previous rulers (i.e. Austrian German, Hungarian, Italian and Turkish words were changed and altered to "Slavic" looking/sounding ones). The Croatian language has three major dialects, identified by three different words for "what" ća, kaj and što.
The newly independent state has had to recreate a national culture by drawing from history and folk culture. The modern national identity draws on its medieval roots, association with Viennese "high culture," culturally diverse rural traditions, and Roman Catholicism.
Architecture in Croatia reflects the influence of the bordering nations. Austrian and Hungarian influences are visible in public space and buildings in the north and central regions. Large squares named for culture heroes, well-groomed parks, and pedestrian-only zones, are features of these orderly towns and cities. Muted colors prevail, especially tones of yellow and gold. In urban areas, houses are built right up to the street. An inner courtyard sometimes provides space for a small garden. Modern houses in cities and villages usually have two or three stories with masonry and stucco. Along the coast, the architecture is Mediterranean. Houses are usually made of stucco and painted white, and have red tile roofs. Cities and towns still have the characteristic open markets, squares, and Catholic churches, but are less likely to be laid out in a neat grid. Generally speaking, continental architecture is of baroque architecture gauge and coastal areas are examples of renaissance architecture.
A cravat (in modern English renamed to Necktie), symbol of culture and elegance, originates from the 17th century Croatia. Croats disseminated it as an accessory across Europe. Then it became and to this day remained a necessary article under the name of Croatia. As armies of that time did not have uniforms of today's gauge, in order to distinguish themselves from the others, Croats wore scarves around their necks, a predecessor of the cravat.