World EXPO’s history

Since its independence, the Republic of Croatia has participated in three World Expos (Hannover 2000, Aichi 2005, and Shanghai 2010), and in two of three Specialised Expos (Lisbon 1998 and Zaragoza 2008).

Hannover 2000 – Croatia presented itself as one of its 1185 Adriatic islands. The natural and cultural versatility of the “mini-continent” of Croatia has been summarised in the film screened at IMAX Cinema, which also demonstrates the combination of technical progress with the protection of Croatia’s environment. The visitors of the Croatian Pavilion ‘levitated’ through Croatian land, coastal rocks, lavender fields, forests, and vineyards. The topic of the Republic of Croatia at EXPO 2000 was “Humanity – Nature – Technology.”

Aichi 2005 – The concept of Croatia’s presentation at World Expo 2005 in Aichi in Japan was based on the idea, arrangement, and metaphor of salt pans. This concept builds upon the initial, general topic of “Waterdrop” and develops it into “Waterdrop – Grain of Salt” due to the recognisable feature of Croatian landscape and history, salt pans, whereby the philosophic and spiritual imagination is united with reality. Since we are a country that adopts stimuli from two major areas, the European continent and the Mediterranean Sea, it is said that Croatia is a combination of water molecules. The visitors of the Croatian Pavilion felt as if they were flying above Croatia with videos from a bird’s eye view, filmed at the level of its landscape, sea, cities, people, and cultures.

Shangai 2010 – The Croatian Pavilion and programme for EXPO 2010 in Shanghai (China) was presented in accordance with the topic of EXPO 2010 “Better City, Better Life.” The Pavilion, entitled “Life Is Between” was designed by Branko Silađin, an architect from Zagreb. The videos and images were projected on the inner walls of the Pavilion, and depicted urban everyday life, the contrast between inland and coastal areas, and cities both ancient and modern. Croatia presented itself as a country that seeks to recreate an experience of a traditional town square as the site of urban gathering and exchange.