Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
Austrian tourist Margit Müller has been coming to Dubrovnik for 50 years now and because of her loyalty to the city she has been rewarded with a small ceremony organized by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board. This event took place today in Zaton Mali, where this special guest received a bouquet of flowers and a glass statue of St. Blaise, for being one of the best promoters of Dubrovnik.
Margit comes from Salzburg, Austria spent her first vacation in Dubrovnik as a child of 7 years old in 1967 when she came with parents to Zaton Mali, with the Viska family and Marija Puljizevic, all to 1991, when there was a break of three years because of the war. Since 1994, this tradition has continued to this day.
Margit Müller sees the family Puljizevic as her second family and their home as hers. She spent almost every summer in Zaton, so she has many friends among the locals. This beautiful friendship began in 1967 when Margit’s parents during a spontaneous walk with their 7-year-old girl through Zaton asked the locals Viska and Maria Puljizevic to join them when they went on a boat to try fishing. After good catches, deliciously grilled fish and warm hospitality, they decided to spend their summers there.
These kind of guests are a great value to Dubrovnik and are often rewarded by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.
Midsummer Night's Dream is currently wowing audiences in Dubrovnik. Shakespeare’s comedy is being performed as part of the Midsummer Scene festival in the Lovrijenac Fortress overlooking to ancient Old City of Dubrovnik. Every evening at 9.30 the international cast leaps onto stage and delights the public with this fun and colourful production. We caught up with Sheetal Kapoor, who plays the impish Puk as well as Philostrate, to discover how she is “coping” with a summer season in Dubrovnik. Sheetal trained at Drama Studio London and has appeared in numerous theatre and film roles. She has also taken a hands on role in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a choreographer.
Is this your first visit to Dubrovnik? What do you think about the city?
Yes, and it has become one of my favourite places in the world. Dubrovnik is beautiful. I love the views and the City Walls are amazing. I like how everything has preserved its history.
Did you meet local people?
Yes, they have all been so lovely and polite. Very friendly people and beautiful too!
What do you do in your free time, while you are not acting? (In Dubrovnik, and generally)
I like going to Banje Beach Club, it has a great atmosphere and the music there is good. I also really like Buza Bar, it’s so unique, I haven't been to another bar like it. I also enjoy painting and drawing in my free time.
What was your first impression of the stage where 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' is performing?
I thought it was incredible! It is the best venue I have ever performed in. I can't imagine anywhere better.
Taking the 1930s as its starting point, this production will also feature Bollywood-style choreography. Can you tell us a few words about that exotic twist?
I think when the Bollywood dance comes in, it brings all the magic of the Fairy world to life. It really shows the difference between the world of Athens and the world of the Fairies, which is colourful and represents how the fairies can travel all around the world and are influenced by everything they see.
How is it to be an actress and at the same time a choreographer of the play?
It’s great! I get the best of both worlds. I love playing Puck/Philostrate and the cast have been brilliant at learning the dance and supporting me through the process.
The British cast is supported by an international creative team. How do you all get along?
We all really get along and have lots of fun. We’ve become a family out here. For many of us, it is our first time in Dubrovnik and we are enjoying sharing this experience together.
Do you ever get tired of acting and dancing?
No, it’s fun to bring the two together. Puck is a very physical character too, so I think it complements the style of the character.
What do you expect from a Dubrovnik audience?
I hope that they enjoy the show. Everyone has worked very hard. I think our director Helen Tennison has great vision and the creative team have been exceptional. So I hope people like the magic we try to create on stage.
Did something interesting or strange happen to you here in Dubrovnik?
Being part of Midsummer Scene festival has been the best part of my experience here. The views from the Fort are incredible. The strangest is how many mosquitos haven bitten me since I've been here!
Will you come back to our city?
Definitely! I will also encourage all my friends and family to visit too.
According to data from the real estate advertising portal Crozilla.com, the highest prices of houses in Croatia in May were recorded in Dubrovnik and Zagreb, whilst the most attractive location to potential buyers from abroad was the city of Zadar.
The biggest price change on a monthly level was recorded in Dubrovnik where the average house price rose by 4.2 percent making the average price per metre squared a staggering 4,134 Euros. On the other hand, the increase in house prices was much lower in the Croatian capital of Zagreb (0.7%), making the average price per square metre 1,229 Euros or almost four times cheaper than in Dubrovnik.
The data also showed that the Dalmatian city of Zadar recorded a monthly increase of 0.3 percent, whilst the average price per square metre was 1,599 Euros.
The highest decline in house prices during May was recorded on the continent of Croatia in Bjelovar and Slavonski Brod. The average price per square metre in Bjelovar was 470 Euros, whilst in Slavonski Brod it was 632 Euros.
The cities of Osijek, Porec, Zadar and Zagreb were among the most browsed locations for houses on sale in May on the Croatian real estate advertising portal. Potential foreign buyers searching for houses advertised on Crozilla.com were mostly from Switzerland, Germany, Slovenia, Austria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. They showed the biggest interest in houses at sea, predominantly in those located in Zadar and in the Zadar County, as well as in the area of Crikvenica and in Istria.
According to the latest UN report on demographic situation in the world entitled ‘’World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision’’, by the end of this century, Croatia's population will drop to 2.5 million.
If corrected predictions of UN demographic experts prove right, in 2050 Croatia will have only 3,461,000 people, whilst that number will continue to plummet to 2,5 million by the end of 2100. According to the UN data, Croatia now has a population of 4,189,000 people; however, Croatian data show that the country has 4,050,000 inhabitants.
On the other hand, the number of the world population is growing continuously. It is estimated that by 2050 that number will reach 9,8 billion, mostly due to a higher natural growth in African countries. Unfortunately, Croatia does not follow this positive trend. Actually, by 2050 a decline of 728,000 is expected, whilst the population figures will drop to 2,5 million by the end of this century.
The UN report also states that half of the world’s population growth concerns only nine countries - India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the United States, Uganda, and Indonesia.
It is interesting to note that the population growth is declining in almost all regions around the world. However, a group of 47 most underdeveloped countries had a relatively high fertility rate of 4,3 children per woman in the period from 2010 to 2015. An increasing number of world countries currently have the fertility rate below the limit that keeps the number of population constant. Croatia is among them, the birth rate in the country is lower than 1.5.
Therefore, Croatia is one of the European countries that are threatened by the demographic collapse. A decline in the number of inhabitants by the middle of this century represents a threat to 51 world countries, but only ten of them will record declines higher than 15 percent; Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Moldova, Ukraine, and the US Virgin Islands.
The most significant consequence of the decline in the number of population is economic situation. Apart from the lack of labour force, there will be a lack of people to spend money, which further affects investments as well as the pension and health care system.
Bebel Gilberto, an American/Brazilian popular singer, performed in Park Orsula last night.
Jazz, bossa nova, flamenco music – that’s what the audience enjoyed last night, played on the one of the most beautiful stages in Dubrovnik. The interest was high and it seemed like everybody enjoyed the performance.
Dubrovnik jazz vocalist Maja Grgic with her trio performed as an opening band. See a bit of atmosphere in the photo gallery.
The international opera arias festival "Tino Pattiera" begins on June 30th with a big concert "Chansons d'amour" in front of the Rector's Palace at 9:30 pm. The festival will last until July 4th, and will be held in the organization of the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. It is organized in memory of the world famous opera singer, Tino Pattiera from Cavtat. Tino Pattiera was the great and glorious name of European and world opera houses in the first half of the 20th century. He was the champion of the Royal Hall of the Court Opera in Dresden and a member of the Berlin State Opera, and was often called the successor to the great Enrico Caruso.
In honor of it, the festival is held for the tenth year in a row and is for the fourth time organized by Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra. The music director of the festival is Israeli conductor Noam Zur, and internationally acclaimed opera singers will be soloists this year, such as Armenian soprano Liana Aleksanyan, German mezzosoprano Ursula Hesse von den Steinen, Spanish tenor Xavier Moreno, Ukrainian bass Taras Konoshchenko and Dubrovnik pianist Stefani Grbic. Delightful opera arias concerts and one recital will surely be a great pleasure for the audience.
At the festival's opening concert in front of the Rector's Palace, all four soloists will perform with the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra under the guidance of Master Noam Zur and will perform arias from renowned operas such as Voici des Roses from Faust's Damnation by H. Berlioz, La fleur que tu m'avais from the Bizett’s Carmen, E lucevan le stele from Puccini's Tosca, Un bel di from Puccini's Madame Butterfly, Paris, the Emperor from Verdi's Traviata," Nessun dorma from Puccini's opera Turandot and many others. It will be the night of opera arias dedicated to all forms of inexhaustible inspiration - love.
As from 27th of June, the Croatian police and security services have access to the Schengen Information System (SIS).
According to the words of the Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, this access will increase the efficiency and credibility of the Croatian police and security services networked with partner countries.
The Schengen Information System, which was presented to the Croatian Prime Minister, the Croatian Minister of the Interior and the press at the Bregana border police station on the 27th of June, is considered a significant step in meeting the criteria necessary for Croatia's entry in the SIS.
The information system allows access to the main database, which helps find over 200,000 missing persons, vehicles, documents and objects a year.
In addition, the SIS contains more than 70 million pieces of data that can be used and verified by countries with access rights. The implementation of the system worth 5 million Euros is financed by funds from the European Union.
On this occasion, the Croatian Minister of Interior Davor Bozinovic said that with Croatia's access to the Schengen Information System the country's security system was raised to a higher level, which is highly important for protection of Croatian citizens and visitors to the country.
The City of Dubrovnik informs citizens and their guests that on Thursday, June 29th, six cruise ships are expected in Dubrovnik, with a total capacity of 9,123 passengers. The arrival of four cruisers is expected from 6.30 am to 9 am.
All ships will be anchored in Port of Gruz because of the possibility of bad weather, so traffic jams are expected, as well as greater pressure on pedestrian traffic in the area of the historic core and the contact zone.
All the competent authorities of the City of Dubrovnik, Sanitat Dubrovnik and the Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik will be ready and will coordinate all in order to reduce crowds and traffic jams as possible in critical times.
The Port of Dubrovnik, as announced at the meeting with the mayor, will apply a new regime for shuttle buses to the historic core – nine buses will go from the port area to the City at intervals of 10 minutes.