Friday, 19 October 2018

In the St. Blaise procession through the streets of Dubrovnik there was one special guest. Walking in the traditional costume of the Zupa region was a young lawyer from Milan, Cristiano Pambianchi. Although Christiano has absolutely no connection to the parish, or even Dubrovnik or Croatia, apparently it was his lifetime wish to participate in the Day of the patron saint of Dubrovnik - St. Blaise.

During the war in Croatia he collected humanitarian aid and whilst working as a journalist forcibly warned that Croatia was fighting a Homeland and not a civil war.

“Wearing the traditional costume of the parish of Zupa in the procession today is a way of expressing respect for the tradition of the local people, their culture and identity - said Cristiano. Yesterday he proudly walked in the St. Blaise procession on the Stradun, his lifelong wish fulfilled.

lawzer st blaise

According to data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (HZS), the country recorded 19,834 marriages and 6,010 divorces in 2015. In other words, 303 marriages out of 1,000 ended up in divorce.

These data may seem like ''depressing'' romance statistics, but according to the HZS the number of divorces in Croatia is actually in a decline. In comparison to 2014 when 19,501 marriages and 6,570 divorces were recorded, in 2015 there was a rise in the number of marriages and a drop in the number of divorces.

It is interesting to note that according to numerous statistics the number of divorces around the globe is growing. John Gottman, the psychologist at the University of Washington and the founder of the Gottman Institute for relationships explains that the main reason for a divorce is - contempt.

On the other hand, Michael Rosenfeld, the professor of sociology at Stanford University confirmed that women were more likely to initiate divorce. According to his data collected between 2009 and 2015, almost 70 percent of all divorces were initiated by women.

The 1045th Day of St. Blaise was marked today in Dubrovnik with a holy mass and a procession through the streets of the Old City.

Thousands of people turned out to watch the big day and the city was alive with colours and sounds as banners and flags carried by worshipers in traditional costumes paraded down the Stradun.

The 3rd of February is one of the most important days on the city’s calendar as praise is given to the patron saint of Dubrovnik – Saint Blaise.

Check out our bumper photo gallery of today by Zeljko Tutnjevic


After twenty years the world popular English musician, singer, songwriter and actor is coming back to Croatia this summer.

On the 26th of July Sting will perform at the Pula Arena as part of his 57th & 9th Tour. The concert in Pula will be his only concert in the region.

Sting's highly anticipated rock/pop album ''57th & 9th'' is his first rock album in 13 years released on the 11th of November 2016. His concerts in Europe and North America have already been sold out.

The ten-song collection represents a wide range of Sting’s musical and song writing styles. Sting described the album as having a spontaneous feel, featuring "a lot of rock 'n' roll" with themes of searching, travelling, the road and the pull of the unknown.

The album, produced by Martin Kierszenbaum, was recorded over a period of three months with Sting’s long-time collaborators Dominic Miller (guitar) and Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), as well as drummer Josh Freese (Nine Inch Nails, Guns n’ Roses), guitarist Lyle Workman and backing vocals by the San Antonio-based Tex-Mex band The Last Bandoleros.

Around 2,000 visitors are expected to arrive in Dubrovnik for the Day of St. Blaise as the city starts the year with a huge increase in winter tourism. In January, according to data from the e-Visitor system, there was a massive 31 percent increase in the number of tourist arrivals and a 34 percent increase in the number of overnight stays, compared to the same period from last year.

The Dubrovnik Tourist Board released figures for the start of 2017 which stated that there were 11,657 tourist arrivals in January and 34,848 overnight stays in the first month of the year. The winter period in Dubrovnik is always a problem for the tourist industry in the city with the majority of the hotels choosing to close their doors until at least the beginning of March. These encouraging figures might convince more to stay open outside of the traditional summer season.

The majority of tourists in January were from neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by guests from Korea, France, USA, UK, Japan, Spain, Albania and Germany. “A variety of winter activities and sights in the city and direct year-round flight connections from Frankfurt and Istanbul, as well as flights from London,” were given as the reasons for this huge jump in tourists at the beginning of the year by the tourist board.

Most of the overnight stays were recorded in hotels, but there was also an increase in the number of guests staying in private accommodation.

“In Dubrovnik we are currently host to the crew from the from the film "Robin Hood Origins" as well as the presentation of the new Nissan Micra model which has helped to greatly increase the tourist numbers in the city during this period,” added the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.

After a Mass held in front of the Dubrovnik Cathedral the 1045th Day of St. Blaise continued with the traditional procession through the streets of the Old City.

The historic city core was packed it worshippers as the relics of St. Blaise were carried through the streets. These are traditions dating back to the 15th century and the Festival of St Blaise is also the City of Dubrovnik Day.

People turned up from all over the Dubrovnik region, and beyond, to respect the Day of St. Blaise in Dubrovnik, the patron saint of the city. Banners, colourful costumes and flags marked the day as Dubrovnik celebrated.

saint blaise dubrovnik mass

blaise dubrovnik church

blaise patron saint dubrovnik procession

Martin Cruickshank, a Croatian war veteran, is trying to break the Guinness record and become the first Croatian to row an ocean. And if you thought his name doesn’t sound very Slavic you are right, Martin was born in Scotland.

In 2015, Martin and his sister Fenella McAlister undertook an attempt to row the Atlantic from Sagres in Portugal to Barbados on board the boat Fifty-Fifty.

The brother-sister team has already rowed halfway to the other side of the Atlantic or more than 1,500 nautical miles out of 2,602 in a boat with no sails and no outboard motor.
It is interesting to note that Martin Cruickshank was born in Scotland, where he acquired a military education. During the Homeland War in Croatia in 1991, he joined the Croatian Armed Forces and was one of 481 foreign volunteers from 35 countries who defended Croatia in 1991-1995. Today he works as a Security and Investigations Consultant and Contractor; he is a member of the Croatian Forces International Volunteers Association and an adventurer. Martin is a Croatian citizen and lives in Velika Gorica with his family.

The Ocean Rowing Society International has been following and reporting about this adventure. If the team succeeds in this endeavour, Martin and Fenella will become the first brother-sister team, and Martin-the first Croatian to row an ocean. Thus, they will surely enter the Guinness Book of Records.

Today Dubrovnik is celebrating the 1045th Day of St. Blaise and the Day of the City. The procession along the main street the Stradun will be after the ceremonial celebrations held in front of the Dubrovnik Cathedral at 10.00am. The most important day on Dubrovnik’s calendar is here and the patron saint of the city will be celebrated until a mass on Sunday the 5th of February.

It is expected that the Croatian President, Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, and the Parliament Speaker, Bozo Petrov, will both attend the festivities.

The festivities were officially opened yesterday when the Bishop of Dubrovnik, Mate Uzinic, released doves from the front of the St. Blaise Church and the flag of the patron saint was raised over the city.

For the very first time in its history the renowned gastronomic guide Michelin has published a restaurant selection for Croatia and one Croatian restaurant has been awarded a coveted star. In total 34 restaurants throughout the country are now featured on the Michelin restaurant maps, including an online interactive version.

And for the first time in history Croatia has a Michelin star restaurant, Monte in Rovinj.
In fact Michelin’s guide to Croatian restaurants is concentrated on three regions, Istria which has by far the largest number in the guide, the capital Zagreb and Dubrovnik.

Pantarul, Vapor, Nautika, Proto, Stara Loza, 360°, Kopun, Azur, Dubrovnik and Bistro Tavulin make up the ten restaurants from Dubrovnik recommended by Michelin Guides. The restaurant and hotel guide books from Michelin have been published for more than a century.

michelin star guide

Even though Robin Hood is setting up camp on the Stradun and the festivities for the St. Blaise Day are well underway there is still room on the main street for games. These children, possibly inspired by the recent handball championships, played an impromptu game of handball on the Stradun yesterday. Instead of jumpers as goals they used the small side streets off the Stradun as goals and played across the Stradun.

handball stradun


A few centuries ago this wouldn’t have caught any ones attention, but as the population of the historic city core has been plummeting it as almost unusual to see children playing in the streets. The estimates suggest that only between 750 and 850 people actually live in the Old City today, a sharp drop from times gone by. In 1961 over 5,500 called the Old City home, today we are left with a handful of children playing handball.

handball stardun 1




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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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