The Republic of Croatia (Republika Hrvatska) is a country located in the northwestern portion of the Balkan Peninsula at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe. It is composed of the Croatian regions of Croatia-Slavonia, Istria, and Dalmatia. Croatia was a fearsome kingdom during Tomislav’s reign. It entered a personal union with Hungary in 1102. It became the State of Slovenes, Croats, and Serbs, a state independent from Austria-Hungary, in October 1918. It merged with the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in December 1918. It was a part of Yugoslavia for much of the 20th century, and they separated in 1990. However, Croatia was internationally recognized as an independent nation in 1992. Croatia joined the European Union in 2013.
The kuna is the monetary unit in Croatia. One kuna is equivalent to 100 lipa. The word “kuna” is Croatian for marten and “lipa” is Croatian for linden trees. Croatians used marten pelts as a unit of value in medieval trading, and linden trees were traditionally planted around marketplaces under the Habsburg Monarchy. When Croatia became part of Yugoslavia, it used the Yugoslav dinar. After Croatia separated from Yugoslavia, it used the Croatian dinar as a transitional currency until the introduction of the modern kuna in 1994. The first modern kuna banknotes, issued by the Narodna Banka Hrvatske (National Bank of Croatia) were designed by Miroslav Sutej and Vilko Ziljak. The banknotes featured prominent Croatians on the front and architectural motifs at the back, had intaglio printed geometric figures to aid the sight-impaired, and a microprinted version of the national anthem, Lijepa Nasa Domovino. In 1995 the 10 kuna banknote’s color scheme was altered because it looked similar to the Federal Republic of Germany’s 10 deutsche mark note. In 2001, the Narodna Banka Hrvatske was renamed to Hrvatska Narodna Banka (Croatian National Bank). The Croatian National Bank issued a new family of banknotes. These kuna banknotes have the same design as the previous family, but their security features were enhanced and the name of the issuer was changed. The Croatian National Bank issued two commemorative banknotes to celebrate landmark anniversaries of the modern kuna: the 10-kuna banknote in 2004 for its 10th anniversary and the 20-kuna banknote in 2014 for its 20th anniversary. On July 10, 2020, Croatia joined the Exchange Rate Mechanism of the European Union. Because of this, the kuna is expected to be replaced by the euro.