Friday, 03 April 2020

Popular British stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard has sent a special greeting to the citizens of Zagreb who, in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic, are battling the aftermath of a powerful earthquake.

Eddie Izzard posted on the London Calling Stand Up Facebook page, and sent a message to the citizens of Zagreb, as well as the whole of Croatia in these challenging times.

"I'm terribly sorry you have a coronavirus problem that many countries around the world are facing, but you also had an earthquake that happened on March 22, I ran a marathon in Zagreb, which was great, and now you have problems just like anything else," commented Izzard on the video.

Check out the full message below


Where once thousands of tourists skimmed their sandals over the limestone cobbled streets of Dubrovnik now only the odd cat scamper over the stone.




The historic Old City of Dubrovnik went from being the darling of the word’s travel business, adorning cover pages and used as the location for Hollywood productions, to being a complete ghost town literally overnight. If the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted one thing in Dubrovnik it is how few people still actually live inside the protection of those iconic city walls.

As regulations restrict movement then the number of people that call the UNESCO World Heritage Site home is probably less than the numbers of pigeons. And that is one of the saddest facts. Tourism will at some point come back again, and coronavirus will be lost in our memories the same as Spanish flu, but the families who once called the Old City home probably never will.

So until the tourists return the stone streets will slowly be returned to nature and pretty soon we’ll all be playing golf along the Stradun.

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Coronavirus pandemic has paralyzed air traffic worldwide, including in Croatia. And what are the proportions of the difficult situation in which the aviation industry has found itself shows the data on passenger traffic for March at the three largest Croatian airports - Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik – reports.

While the Zagreb Airport has four daily scheduled flights operated by Croatia Airlines, so some passengers can still be seen at the airport, Dubrovnik and Split are completely deserted without any flights daily. The situation is the same at smaller Croatian airports - Zadar, Pula, Rijeka and Osijek.

According to, the Zagreb Airport (Franjo Tudman) recorded a 58 percent drop in the number of passengers in March compared to March 2019, when 232,978 passengers passed through the largest Croatian airport.

Split Airport had 50,037 passengers in March last year, and only 16,466 in March this year.

When it comes to Dubrovnik, 57,773 passengers passed through the airport in the third month of 2019, and 19,480 in March this year, which is a 66.3 percent drop. But it's important to emphasize that Dubrovnik Airport has been closed for all the civil traffic from March 19th, after the first case of COVID-19 was dicovered with an employee of Dubrovnik Airport. It is planned to stay closed until April 15th and, combined with the world situation, there is no bright future for the traffic numbers in the next couple of months. According to, in April last year more than 210 thousand passengers passed through this airport.

Croatia Airlines operates four more flights from Zagreb to Frankfurt, London, Brussels and Amsterdam. At the Dubrovnik airport, was told that all airlines canceled their flights for April and May, but their hope is that they will start returning in June.

One of the symbols of Zagreb, the Grič cannon, that marks noon with a blast that echoes over the capital every day, will not fire until further notice.

"After the recent earthquakes, the firing of the Grič cannon and the resulting vibrations further annoyed the citizens of Gornji Grad, so from March 28 until the situation calms down, the firing of the Grič cannon has been suspended," stated the City of Zagreb.

The Grič cannon is one of Zagreb's landmarks. The marking of noon began on the 1st of January 1877, and in the past the firing of the Grič cannon was stopped only at the end of the First World War.

The cannon was originally housed in the building of the Hydro-meteorological Institute, and today it is located in the Lotrščak Tower in Gornji grad.


The number of cases of coronavirus in the Dubrovnik- Nerevta County remains the same as yesterday with 43 reported cases.

13 patients are hospitalized, 3 were previously transferred to the respiratory centre of the Split Hospital and their condition is difficult but still stable, and two people have made a full recovery.

"As for the measures, I would like to say that I am very pleased with how our citizens are following all the measures, there was one small exception to self-isolation. I would also like to acknowledge our health professionals in the fight against coronaviruses, as well as everyone else, the police, inspection, local government units, the Red Cross and volunteers,” added the Prefect of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County, Nikola Dobroslavic.

It was also pointed out that a total of 330 samples have been sent from the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, of which 43 are positive and they are currently awaiting the results of 33 more samples.


During March 2020, 16,778 arrivals were recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, which is 73 percent less than in March 2019 and 60,298 overnight stays, which is 55 percent less than in March 2019.

Since the beginning of the year, there were 63.054 arrivals, which is 45 percent less than in the same period of 2019. In the first three months of 2020, 178,437 overnights were realized, which is 39 percent less than in 2019.

World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated on April 2nd, and on that occasion blue balloons from Luza were released by Dubrovnik Mayor Mato Frankovic and Deputy Mayor Jelka Tepsic. They were joined by the commander of the Dubrovnik Fire Department and the Chief of the Civil Protection Staff Stjepko Krilanovic and the County Fire Commander Stjepan Simovic.

While drawing attention to all the challenges of life with autism, City and Staff leaders once again sent a message to the public - Stay Home.

Although traditionally throughout Croatia April 2nd is marked by various events and the traditional release of blue balloons in city squares, this year, due to the special measures because of the coronavirus, there were no such manifestations.

-When the quarantine is over, remember our isolation - said the Autism Association of Croatia, among other things, on the occasion of this year's World Autism Awareness Day.

We all need a little inspiration, and indeed distraction, in these troubled times and what better way to inspire us than the beauty of nature.

The beautiful Trsteno Arboretum published this photo on their Facebook page showing a buzzard caught in flight over the gardens. A truly glorious photo.

The common buzzard is a medium-to-large bird of prey which has a large range. The species lives in most of Europe and extends its breeding range across the Palearctic as far as the Russian Far East, north-western China and north-western Mongolia.


There are 1,011 people in Croatia infected with coronavirus with 48 new cases reported today. At the regular press conference, the Croatian Minister of Health, Vili Beros, confirmed that there are 48 new cases in the country bringing the total of cases to 1,011.

He also added that unfortunately another person has died from the virus bringing the total of fatalities to seven. Currently 35 people are on respirators throughout Croatia and in a positive note 88 people have recovered.

"There is no relaxation of measures, no relaxation," concluded the minister.

The fact that we have half the number of infected people today than compared with yesterday is an extremely favourable situation and we want to keep it that way, said the director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak.


The built landscape of Europe has been sculpted by thousands of years of war and reconciliation. Kings and Queens, Vikings and Romans, Christians and Moors, all have built castles and forts with the strength of their workers’ hands. But over the centuries, many of these magnificent castles have fallen into ruin. Some were abandoned after suffering war damage, while others just fell out of use.




Budget Direct chose seven of the most unique ruined castles of Europe and, working with a team of designers and architects, created a series of architectural renders and reconstruction animations that bring them back to their former glory, and one of these castles is in Croatia.

The seven castles included in this project are - Samobor Castle in Croatia, Château Gaillard in France, Dunnottar Castle in Scotland, Menlo Castle in Ireland, Olsztyn Castle in Poland, Spiš Castle in Slovakia and Poenari Fortress in Romania.

As efforts to contain the effects of the COVID-19 crisis ramp up, millions of people across the globe are stuck at home. This project offers a slice of escapism and much-needed armchair travel inspiration, and this is certainly worthy of grabbing your attention.

Samobor Castle was built between 1260 and 1264 by the Czech King Ottokar II of Bohemia who was then in a war with the Hungarian King Stephen V. The castle is situated on a 220 metre hill. Over the centuries, the stone fortress, built on solid rock, has had many owners. Interestingly, some of them were often in conflict with Samobor’s residents. In 1902, the deserted castle became the property of Samobor for 5,293 korunas.



The Samobor Castle is an iconic landmark that dominates the whole area. Well done to the team at Budget Direct for these brilliant project and check out the video below to see the steps that they went through to bring this popular castle back to its former glory.

samabor castle before 2020

Samobor Castle before the reconstruction

samabor castle after 2020

And the castle returned to its former glory 

Check out all of the reconsturtions here

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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