Wednesday, 23 October 2019

An exhibition of photographs by the Croatian - German artist Iva Batistić was this week in Dubrovnik in the gallery of the Croatian Heritage Foundation of Dubrovnik. The exhibition, entitled Croatian Street photography, features stunning black and white images and was opened by the art historian Andrea Batinić Ivanković.

“It is actually with street art photography that the artist brings many famous street motifs from Dubrovnik, Zadar, Sibenik, Korcula and Zagreb to the public,” commented Batinić Ivanković.


Iva Batistić is a freelance photographer who lives in Frankfurt/Main, Germany. She is the daughter of Croatian immigrants and was born in Frankfurt in 1979. In 2006 she graduated from the Faculty for Applied Linguistics and Cultural Studies of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

The Dubrovnik exhibition will remain open until the 9th of September from 9.00am to midday at the gallery in the Old City on Petilovrijenci Street.

Last night an earthquake rumbled through the Pelješac peninsula.

At exactly 3.04am the earthquake was recorded with the epicentre in the sea off the peninsular near the village of Drače.

The magnitude of the earthquake was 3.3 on the Richter scale and it was felt in surroundings residential areas. No material damage has so far been recorded.

peljesac earthquake

An impressive increase and record figures that have been recorded in arrivals and overnight stays this year only confirm that the tourism industry is the most profitable part of the fragile Croatian economy.

Although private accommodation still dominates the country's tourist offer, hoteliers have achieved great results and made the best out of tourist potentials along the Adriatic coast.

Over the past few years, leading hotel groups have initiated an investment wave that has led to a rise of the accommodation quality and the number of four-star and five-star hotels. Modernization has brought higher service standards and numerous additional attractions that attract tourists that are more demanding.

With the development of tourist services on the Croatian market, first class hotel brands have also appeared on the tourist scene. Currently twelve global and six European brands are branding 46 hotels with 9,500 rooms in the country.

Croatia is characterized by a very high level of consolidation of the hotel market, as it is evidenced by the fact that the 10 largest domestic hotel and tourism companies are managing more than 40 percent of the total hotel rooms.

The lion's share of the market pie goes to the two leading groups – Valamar Riviera and the Luksic Group, which unites three major hotel companies in its portfolio (Plava Laguna, Istraturist Umag, and Adriatic Luxury Hotels).

Here are the Top 10 largest hotel companies in Croatia

1. Valamar Riviera ( 1,559,000 million Kunas in revenue; 2,594 employees)

2. Maistra ( 955 million Kunas in revenue; 1,561 employees)

3. Plava Laguna ( 545 million Kunas in revenue; 942 employees)

4. Istraturist Umag ( 482 million Kunas in revenue; 1,059 employees)

5. Adriatic Luxury Hotels ( 453 million Kunas in revenue; 770 employees)

6. Arena Hospitality Group ( 392 million Kunas in revenue; 652 employees)

7. Solaris ( 354 million Kunas in revenue; 733 employees)

8. Liburnia Riviera Hotels (295 million Kunas in revenue; 602 employees)

9. Grand Hotel Lav ( 280 million Kunas in revenue; 193 employees)

10. Jadranka Hotels ( 264 million Kunas in revenue; 688 employees)

Every week The Dubrovnik Times goes to new levels for your pleasure. This time it’s all about culinary pleasure. We have scoured the menus of Dubrovnik to bring you our favourites. And not only did we just research the menus we have gone that extra step and tasted the food in advance for you... its hard work but someone has to do it. This week I visited the Taj Mahal restaurant in Hotel Lero for some authentic Bosnian cuisine.

taj mahal hotel lero food

No, it isn’t Indian its Bosnian! The Taj Mahal Restaurant is located in the Hotel Lero, easy to find and plenty of parking, or if you are in the historic Old City there is the first Taj Mahal. I have to admit that I am not an expert on Bosnian cuisine, I thought it started and ended with cevapi! How wrong I was. In fact I would go so far as to say don’t order cevapi, instead ask the waiters for assistance, try something new, you can’t go wrong.

taj mahal hotel lero dubrovnik

 The three things that stood out for me were a – the full flavours of the meals b – every meal had a story and a history and c – the passion that the owners and staff have for their food. “I would like to offer you a tasting menu today so that you can taste all the different flavours,” smiled the friendly co-owner. She wasn’t wrong! Every dish had a distinct character.

food taj mahal dubrovnik

 I would certainly recommend the Begova Soup – a thick base broth style soup that was apparently only served in the most wealthy homes centuries ago – truly delicious. And then the peppers filled with cottage cheese. This is a summer favourite as it is light and refreshing. The green peppers are filled with cottage cheese and then left for 40 days. This process gives the peppers that cheesy flavour. Bosnian cuisine takes its roots from the East and the West and a Turkish style rolled cabbage leaves filled with rice, mint, lemon peel and dried white raisins is a real Eastern dish.

taj mahal dubrovnik 2

 One true star of the menu is a sweet cevapi. It is hard to describe this dish (my mouth is still watering) it is small pieces of veal prepared with dried figs, dried raisins and granny smith apples, told you it was hard to describe. The flavour is so strong and distinct, the meat melts in your mouth and the sauce has you reaching for the bread (yes, that’s also homemade and Bosnian) to mop it up.

taj mahal dessert

 And the traditions and flavours don’t stop with desserts. An almond jelly (called Bademli Almasia) is a dessert that was made for a specific occasion (a very specific occasion) when mother’s had just given birth! Yes, we told you that every dish has a story. It isn’t too sweet and is made of milk, gelatine and almonds, again extremely refreshing. Or there is the more classic Baklava, but this time is isn’t overly sweet, in fact I would say just right. They actually use buckwheat flour which probably takes away some of the normal sweetness. All in all the Taj Mahal is more than just a meal it is a gastronomic adventure.

 taj mahal logo dubrovnik

Old City – Nikole Gučetića 2
Hotel Lero – Iva Vojnovića 14
Tel - +385 (0)20 323 221
Open from – 10am –12am


One of the stars basketball had a tough time escaping from Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik this week. Ante Tomic, the centre for Barcelona, played the Escape Room in Dubrovnik with his girlfriend. Tomic, who also represents the senior Croatian national basketball team, stands at an impressive 2.18 metres tall (or 7ft 2 in) and is frequently spotted in Dubrovnik on holiday. He played the Escape Room this weekend.

Escape room is a new concept of entertainment where you and your teammates are challenged to solve a series of riddles, hints and mysteries within a set time frame! You are “locked” inside a room, based on the Game of Thrones, which has used Dubrovnik as the location of King’s Landing and have 60 minutes to work with your team to finish the mission and get out. It is a fun, unique and exciting experience to enjoy with your friends, colleagues or family! The game can get challenging but will give you a great sense of achievement and encourage you to work together with your team to finish the mission!

“He was a regular customer and it was until another client started cheering and asking for a photo that I even realised who he was,” commented Bogdan Dascalescu the co-owner of the Dubrovnik Escape room.

August is getting hotter and hotter in Dubrovnik.  According to the State Hydrometeorological Institute, there is a great danger of the heat wave on August 8th and 9th, while even higher risk of heat wave is projected for August 10th and 11th  in Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Here are some tips to fight the heat wave:
-    Drink regular or mineral water and low calorie beverages without caffeine, alcohol and sugar
-     Avoid staying in the sun for a period of 10am to 5 pm (especially children, pregnant women, elderly people, heart patients and those with chronic illnesses)
-    Shower or bathe in warm water
-     Wear light clothing of natural materials
-    If you have to leave the house,  wear a hat, sunglasses, use sunscreen and always take a bottle of water with you
-    Eat more often small and if possible liquid meals

The leading Croatian and regional ice cream producer Ledo has started exports to Portugal, whilst the first consignment of ice cream has already been delivered to the Portuguese retail chain Pingo Doce.

Pingo Doce is the largest retail chain in Portugal and is part of the Jeronimo Martins Group, the leader among food distributers in Portugal and Poland.

Therefore, Ledo's Coco Majestic premium ice cream on a stick will enrich the range of premium private brand Majestic and is already available on the shelves of the Pingo Doce retail chain. It is an ice cream with a coconut flavour coated with milk chocolate and with coconut flakes topping.

''This is just the beginning of our cooperation with the Jeronimo Martins Group, whilst new projects are already being prepared for the Portuguese and Polish markets. Competition on the European ice cream market is exceptionally harsh, however, Ledo has managed to impose itself with its quality and innovation'', emphasized Tomislav Cavlek, the Export Director at Ledo.

Ledo exports a third of its total production to around twenty foreign markets, among which the regional markets are the most important. However, the number of export markets outside the region is growing year by year.

Apart from new exports to Portugal, Ledo has been successfully cooperating with Daymon Worldwide, the world's leading company that offers private brand development services for retail chains. Ledo also sells its products to other major global companies such as Tesco, Auchan, Hofer and IFFCO Group.

The Adriatic is popular as a top destination for numerous boaters, however, over the past few years it has been luring rich people who do not find anything too expensive for them thus very often they choose ''ladies of the night'' to keep them company.

Business people, managers, artists, musicians, engineers, doctors, athletes, they all have one thing in common while holidaying on the Adriatic in Croatia – they all want ''ladies of the night'' at their disposal for crazy summer parties even though they are quite familiar with the fact that prostitution in Croatia is illegal.

''They do not mind that, especially because they know that the Adriatic is full of beautiful women. Most of them are at their disposal for socializing thanks to the rustle of Euro banknotes'', explained one of skippers to the Croatian media who more than often meets with such inquiries.

During the summer months, especially in July and August, there are many young women who come to the Adriatic coast and offer sexual services to clients, except for keeping them company during nights out and social gatherings. In addition to the ''classic'' ladies of the night, students, young employed girls as well as handsome mothers also provide ‘‘sea bed service’’.

The skipper added that Croatia with its coast is also recognized around the world as a gay friendly destination thus they have more and more inquiries for male company every day.

''These guests are determined; they are always looking for handsome, muscle-bound nice guys who speak English. Everything usually starts with sex, however, we had a real love story once; after seven days of sailing, the two men became a love couple'', concluded the skipper.

It is a well known fact that countries in Southeast Europe cannot brag with high salaries in comparison to the rest of the European Union, so the question is – how much do Croats and their neighbours actually earn.

According to data for May 2017, the highest average salary in the region was paid in Slovenia and amounted to 1,050,78 Euros, whilst the lowest was recorded in Macedonia, it amounted to only 372,55 Euros.

At the same time, the average salary in Croatia in May amounted to 813,17 Euros, in Montenegro 510 Euros (data for June), Bosnia and Herzegovina 439,71 Euros, and Serbia 409,63 Euros.

It is interesting to note that in comparison to the same period last year, the average salary rose most in Croatia (+63,47 Euros), followed by Serbia (+39,93 Euros) and Slovenia (30,38 Euros), whilst the lowest increase of the average salary was recorded in Bosnia and Herzegovina (11,71 Euros), Macedonia (9,05 Euros) and Montenegro only 7 Euros.

At the end of 2016, the average salary was the highest in Slovenia and amounted to 1,020,40 Euros. The country was followed by Croatia (749,70 Euros), Montenegro (503 Euros), Bosnia and Herzegovina (428 Euros), Serbia (369,70 Euros) and Macedonia (363,50 Euros).

Sunday was really hot in Dubrovnik and many locals and tourist tried to find a refreshment. Some decided to drink a cold drink and the others to take a dip at the newly opened beach in Uvala Lapad – but since sea temperature was over 27 degrees, they probably didn’t feel much cooler.

August has been really hot in Dubrovnik, so the best thing to do is to avoid sun from 10 am to 5pm and if you really have to go out – stay hydrated!

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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