Easter Sunday in the historic Old City of Dubrovnik was, in spite of the bad weather, a joyous day. Tourists and locals enjoyed the celebrations on the Stradun and the traditional colouring of Easter eggs drew huge crowds.
The Association of Dubrovnik Primorje held a workshop in front of the Sponza Palace in the heart of the city presenting the traditional colouring of Easter. Dressed in costumes from the Primorje region members of the association made the Easter eggs in front of tourists who were fascinated by the whole process.
3LHD's project for the freshwater aquarium in Karlovac has won two A+Awards prizes rewarded by one of the most popular world portals dedicated to architecture - Architizer.
The freshwater aquarium in Karlovac won in the category of Architecture + Landscape dedicated to innovative projects that create natural environment. It was rewarded with the Jury Prize A+Award and the readers of the portal A+Popular Choice Award.
For the fifth year in a row the A+Awards program promotes the best projects and products in the field of architecture and product design as well as their potential to have a positive impact on a daily life.
Thanks to the popularity of the Architizer portal and A+Awards program, rewarded projects have been presented to the audience of more than 400 million users and readers of Architizer.
The world recognition for 3LHD came for their innovative solution for ‘’Aquatika’’. The building of the freshwater aquarium in Karlovac is nicely fitted into the natural environment along the river Korana and is completely covered with soil. The design concept was inspired by levees and trenches of the city's historic centre.
At the centre of the building, there is a square with an entrance space, a souvenir shop, a cafe bar, a reading room and offices. The exhibition area of the aquarium represents flora and fauna of Croatian rivers and their ecosystems, as well as their geological history and traditional culture. The scenario of the exhibition is linear and follows the entire flow of the karst river, from its ''source'' in the square, across a ramp with aquariums, a cave and a tunnel to the aquariums that represent swamplands and travertine barrier.
The freshwater aquarium ‘’Aquatika’’ was created within the program entitled ‘’Freshwater Aquarium and Museum of Rivers – KAquarium’’. The project was co-financed by the European Union Regional Development Fund within the "Regional Competitiveness 2007-2013’’ Operational program. The total value of the project is 36.691.939, 28 Kunas, whilst the grant from the European Regional Development Fund was 36,222,282.45 Kunas.
If you are heading to Dubrovnik this summer, get ready to meet the locals: Dalmatians are generally friendly, helpful and talkative. And proud. And intolerant, regarding certain topics. In any event, do talk to them. Learn. Absorb. Make friends. But remember, that in Dubrovnik, you are in the Balkans at the same time, which means that the number of sensitive conversation topics is slightly more concentrated than elsewhere in Europe. These are the major critical themes and hints how to grasp them, that might save you some awkwardness, feelings of being (or being considered) insensitive, and potentially unpleasant conversations:
1 - The war, known otherwise as domovinski rat. The two sides involved were Serbs and Croats, and Dubrovnik was one of the most affected areas in Croatia. It was not a local conflict, but a full-scale war that included civilian casualties, enormous material damage and, most importantly, lasting emotional scars on two generations. Most people became refugees or captives in their own hometown; there is no single family that would not have some tragic experience related to the war. People will mostly appreciate, if you ask them about their memories of the war, because every single person has a story to tell. After you have heard the story, though, refrain from any judgmental comments. It is not a rule, but the current relations towards Serbs tend to be negative. You may hear comments that would seem like an unfair generalization to you and, of course, you can express that, but be prepared to get a reaction.
2 – The church, that is the Roman-catholic church. This is a major institution in South Dalmatia. Priests are among the highest-ranking occupations, in terms of prestige and, often, in terms of social and sometimes even political influence. No matter that the proportion of hypocritical or pragmatic church-goers might be just about the same as in any other country, ironical or degrading comments about Catholicism might earn you strong counter-comments.
3 - Gay rights and the LGBT community. Unfortunately, South Dalmatia is one of the most gay-intolerant areas I have ever known. If you want to talk gay marriages, gay adoptions or gay rights in general, it is important to keep in mind that you are not in Amsterdam: most local people have only considered these topics from the perspective of the catholic church or their family tradition of (heterosexual) marriages – it has even been (recently) declared in the Croatian Constitution, that marriage is a union between a man and a woman. Particularly if you are a western liberal democrat, this might be infuriating, and tempting for you to spread education and enlightenment. Try it, if you can’t help it. But keep in mind, that, unlike in most of western Europe, open disapproval of homosexuality is not considered shameful or even unpopular here.
4 - Gender equality. If you understood Croatian, you might hear a record number of gender-insensitive jokes and comments in Dubrovnik. Why? Because that it how the society is. And because local women don’t make a big deal out of it (yes, often to their detriment, and often unaware of the real, lasting consequences of being tolerant to injustice). Dressing up in order to be noticed by a potential husband is definitely not considered pathetic, primitive or degrading. Sometimes it is, in fact, a relief that the uptight political correctness doesn’t rule over everyday life and the human nature. In any event, if a man is a feminist here, it is considered original and fine, while a woman-feminist is just hysterical about rights that have never really existed. Sad.
5 - Communism. Who hasn’t been there does not have an idea. From the distance, the Cold war seems more like the setting of a Bond movie, not a reality that has been strangling people’s lives for decades. Although the Yugoslav model of communism has often been considered more moderate in its form than in, say, Czechoslovakia or Romania, its harmful effects on society were identical. And yes, there were thousands of real victims, political opponents, who were either killed, imprisoned or deported, many of them from the Dubrovnik area. Any comments suggesting that communism surely had its positive sides, are considered naïve, uneducated or arrogant. (Believe me, there has never been anything good about any kind of communism ever.)
6 - The EU, the UN and other supra-national structures. People are generally doubtful about any redistribution of power upwards. There are at least two relevant reasons for this mind-set: first, it is the experience with being part of the larger entity of former Yugoslavia, which resulted in a war, and second, it is the experience with the post-war reconstruction lead by the UN and its agencies (many locals had a poor experience, too). Also, as the sea and fishing form a major aspect of living here, there is a general fear that some vicious EU regulation will limit local fishing rights (and there have been hints of this). In case you are a strong EU advocate, your enthusiasm might get an ice-cold shower here.
If you know the concept of withlocals.com, it must cross your mind – why don’t they expand to Croatia? It would be a charitable deed in the area of intercultural understanding. Having the opportunity to contact a local and get a private tour of town (or a trip or homemade dinner or an authentic fishing night) totally changes tourism as we know it. The exchange of ideas is a huge enrichment for both – the guest and the host, too, and the greatest tool of melting down prejudice of any kind. Let’s wait for it.
Blanka Pavlovic a.k.a. the Adriatic Bride is a Czech writer. She studied law (Prague) and creative writing (Oxford). As a lawyer, she specialized in international human rights law, first working for the European Court of Human Rights, then for a peacekeeping mission in Kosovo. She wrote five books, among them Total Balkans, The Handbook of the Adriatic Bride or The Return of the Adriatic Bride. She now lives with her family between Dubrovnik and Donji Brgat. More information and English translations of her work are available through www.blankacechova.com
Hedona Ltd Chocolaterie was founded by the Association of Disabled People Krizevci in February 2013 with the aim of providing work primarily for the disabled. In May 2015, this small chocolate factory had six employees, but as the market started recognizing the quality of the products, business started to grow.
Most of the employed people with disabilities have never worked before so this was their first chance to contribute to the society and at the same time feel useful and good about themselves.
The employees of Hedona Ltd Chocolaterie make a small-trained team; they work eight hours a day, pour the chocolate mass into the moulds and then pack their divine homemade chocolate products in attractive packaging.
The factory produces 900 chocolate products a day of three basic types of chocolate, white, dark and milk. They produce dark chocolate with 71 percent cocoa, milk chocolate with 34 percent cocoa in a 100 g packaging, Goddess broken chocolate, which is a mixture of milk, and dark chocolate with chopped hazelnuts and dry fruit, as well as pralines with various fillings.
Hedona is the first social enterprise in Croatia; therefore, it means that every earned Kuna is being invested in workers.
‘’The establishment of our social enterprise provides an example to the entire country that one association is able to found such an enterprise itself and employ people with disabilities’’, claims Petar Gastric, the president of the Association of Disabled People in Krizevci.
Dubrovnik is in an Easter mood. The Easter weekend is upon us and Easter Monday is a public holiday in Croatia. Good Friday was once again marked with a traditional procession through the Old City of Dubrovnik this year.
The bishop of Dubrovnik, Mate Uzinić, led the rites of Good Friday in the Dubrovnik Cathedral. And after the ceremony a procession, with the cross, was lead through the streets of Dubrovnik before signing of Lent carols and prayers.
This Friday brought that summer feeling to Dubrovnik! It almost felt like it was a middle of the season with crowds of tourists walking around.
Short sleeves, shorts, hats - not so usual during April, but it really worked with this sunny and warm day. Ice creams and selfies were a big hit too. Easter weekend should bring even more tourists in the City and we can just predict that this season will be a real record-breaker.
Don't miss our photo gallery to get that Friday summer feeling.
On the initiative of Pawel Wlodarczyk, the Honorary Consul of Croatia in Kraków, the second largest Polish city will become home of ''Little Croatia''.
A group of 25 Croatian and Polish students, mentored by their professors from the Universities of Zagreb, Split, and Kraków, participated in a workshop/competition, from the 27th to the 31st of March 2017, in order to reinvent Kraków’s Bagry Wielkie Park so it would remind the Poles of summer fun in Croatia.
The workshop was designed to select the best land development project, according to which the popular park in Kraków will be rebuilt.
The winning project included the proposal of the Honorary Consul to build an educational path – a walkway resembling the shape of the Croatian border. The students designed structures that feature Croatia’s largest and most popular cities (Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Vukovar, Pula and others), as well as relaxation areas, including benches, lighting and signs that tell the story and history of each Croatian city and its relations with Poland.
Despite the fact that the project initiator has not yet found funds for the park’s development, the students and mentors involved in the project expressed satisfaction of taking part in such process. The Honorary Consul Paweł Włodarczyk emphasized that he saw an opportunity for even closer relations between the two countries. On the other hand, the project will surely contribute to promotion of Croatia in Kraków and southern Poland.
It is interesting to note that the Bagry Wielkie Park is a popular destination for citizens of Kraków, especially during the summer, as it is located only 5 km from the city centre and has a beach on the lagoon with a swimming area, as well as sailing and other recreational activities.
One of the leading manufacturers of batteries and battery packs from China will invest $30 million in the Croatian electric car manufacturer Rimac Automobili.
A few days ago, Camel Group from China signed an agreement on investing $27 million in Rimac Automobili and $3 million in Rimac’s Greyp Bikes.
The Chinese company said in a statement that the Rimac technology is definitely at the top of the world level. They also stated that Camel Group focused on high performance electric cars, battery systems, automotive electronics and the development of systems for information and fun.
Camel Group Co., Ltd. is an integrated high-tech enterprise specialized for developing, manufacturing and sales of batteries in China, Europe, the United States, Africa, and Southeast Asia. The company produces almost 400 types of batteries that are used in automobiles, agricultural vehicles, ships, trucks, golf carts, electric cars, electric motors, electric bicycles, and for various special purposes.
The company is also involved in the lead recycling business and production of various battery related plastic products.
Camel Group Co., Ltd. was founded in 1980 and employs 5,755 people.
There should be around eight thousand tourists in Dubrovnik during the Easter holidays, according to the expectations of Dubrovnik tourist workers and reservations. Tourists that are expected are from Croatia, USA, Spain, Korea, UK and other countries.
There is a different, more vivid feeling in Dubrovnik since the beginning of April and the start of summer flight schedule. During the Easter holidays the city will be even more busy. For all the guests and locals the Dubrovnik Tourist Board has prepared a traditional program on the Stradun – egg painting and various entertaiment programs.
During the Easter week there will be couple of concerts combined with traditional liturgical ceremonies. Procession will be held through the streets of the historical centre on Friday. On Easter, April 16th, you can enjoy the performance of KUD Ivan Vitez Trnski from Nova Raca. The program will continue with the concert of vocal group Subrenum. Ladies in traditional costumes will give away traditionaly painted eggs and leaflets describing Easter traditions of Dubrovnik region, as a special gift of Dubrovnik Tourist Board. In front of the Sponza Palace, starting at 10 am, there will be a workshop, showing traditional way of decorating the eggs by Dubrovacki primorski svatovi.
EASTER BRUNCH IN DUBROVNIK RESTAURANTS
Along the Croatian part of the Adriatic coast one of the most popular daily meals is certainly brunch. That is a late morning meal that is consumed around 11 am or later, and it’s locally called ‘marenda’. Brunch is increasingly replacing the traditional lunch, especially for the feast of Easter, and because of that the Dubrovnik Tourist Board organized gastronomic days called - Easter brunch, that will happen from 15 to 17 April.
Restaurants that offer Easter brunch are Domino, Gusta me, Kopun, Lajk, Mimoza, Orsan, Porat, Taj Mahal in the historic centre and Taj Mahal in Hotel Lero. Their menus offer traditional Dubrovnik Easter cake – pinca, eggs, ham in bread, green onions, lamb with peas, fish, oysters, Dubrovnik sweets and many other festive dishes.
On Monday, April 17th, the traditional event Easter in Primorje will happen. It’s oganized by the association Dubrovacki primorski svatovi and will be held in Klisevo.