The Croats settled in the Balkans in the early 7th century and formed two principalities: Dalmatia and Pannonia. The establishment of the Trpimirovic dynasty ca 850 brought strengthening to the Dalmatian Croat Duchy, which together with the Pannonian principality became a kingdom in 925 under King Tomislav.
In 1102, Croatia entered into a personal union with the Hungarian Kingdom. After the 1526 Battle of Mohacs the "reliquiae reliquiarum" (remnants of the remnants) of Croatia became a part of the Habsburg Monarchy in 1527. Croatian lands were part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until the latter's dissolution at the end of World War I. In 1918, the Croats, Serbs, and Slovenes formed a kingdom known after 1929 as Yugoslavia. Following World War II, Yugoslavia became an independent communist state under the strong hand of Marshal Tito. When Croatia declared independence in 1991 it took four years of sporadic but bloody war before Yugoslav army left Croatia. Under UN supervision the last Serb-held enclave in eastern Slavonia was returned to Croatia in 1998. The conflict resulted in a mass exodus of the native Serbian minority (to Bosnia and Serbia) which had inhabited portions of Croatia for centuries. Prior to the war of independence, Croatia's Serbian minority made up around 15% of the overall population.
Visitors now to Croatia's more popular towns would see little physical evidence of this violence. Croatia's coastal areas are especially stunning, and have the hybrid charm of Eastern European and the Mediterranean.