Sunday, 05 April 2020
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

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.


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

It’s important to give your mind a workout whilst stuck at home. Grab the rest of the family and try these 40 general knowledge questions to get those grey cells working. From geography to politics your brain will get a good dusty.



What is the longest river in Europe? Who is the airport in Liverpool named after? Simple and tough we’ve mixed them all in our isolation quiz.

Let us know how you get on and good luck!

The flagship airline of the UK, British Airways, has announced that it will suspend 36,000 employees due to the negative effects of coronavirus on business. British Airways, owned by International Airline Group (IAG), announced on Tuesday that it was temporarily suspending all flights from Gatwick, the UK's second busiest airport due to coronaviruses.

The travel and tourism industry has been hit the hardest by the coronavirus pandemic and the airlines are at the sharp end of this industry. The UK airline, Flybe, has already gone bankrupt and EasyJet have grounded their entire fleet. And now the BBC reports that one of the most prestigious airlines in the world will suspend 36,000 jobs, the airline has reached a broad agreement with the industry union Unite and will include an immediate job suspension of about 80 per cent of cabin crew, ground staff, engineers and those working at the company headquarters.

The aviation sector has been hit hard by the spread of coronaviruses worldwide, which has led many countries to introduce travel restrictions.


The coronavirus crisis has left the cobbled streets of Dubrovnik echoing to the sound of silence. The Stradun would normally be packed, the side streets bustling with cafés and restaurants and the roads already busy. Today the picture is very different.



The vast majority of people are at home, following the instructions of the authorities, Dubrovnik resembles a ghost town.

Check out this video sent to us clearly showing the empty streets -


The number of people infected with coronavirus in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County has risen to 43 with 2 new cases confirmed today. At the regular daily press conference of the County Civil Protection Headquarters, the latest data arrived, according to which the total number of infected people in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County is 43, which means 2 more cases have been confirmed.

13 patients are hospitalized, three have been previously transferred to the respiratory centre of in the Split Hospital, and their condition is difficult but still stable. And on a positive note two people have recovered from the virus.

There are 25 people positive for COVID-19 in self-isolation in the county. No violations of the self-isolation measure have been identified in the last 24 hours, and a total of 14 cases of violations of the self-isolation measure have been identified since the start of the pandemic.

Only emergency personnel are still allowed at Dubrovnik Airport.


"In the past 24 hours, 96 new cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Croatia. The total number of infected people has soared to 963. Six people have died and there are 34 patients on respirators,” commented the Croatian Minister of Health, Vili Beros, at the daily press conference today.



On the positive front 73 patients have made a full recovery. A total of 7,680 people have been tested and the average age of coronavirus patients in Croatia is 48.27 years-old. "We must not relax and we must continue to act responsibly," Beros stressed.

The director of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, Krunoslav Capak, added that 21,071 people were in self-isolation, of which over a thousand were healthcare workers, with 53 doctors tested positive.

"We are fine. But we don’t know at what stage of the game we are, whether we are nearing the end of the first half, the second half, but it is certain that we are preparing and that we will play extra time if necessary," concluded Beroš. Adding "The whole of Croatia is on pitch and we are playing a match against coronavirus for the health of the entire nation. It is essential to follow the instructions."

The staff members of the Civil Protection Divertive reiterated - stick to the directions, keep an eye on personal hygiene and keep social distancing.

A bitterly cold northerly wind, freezing temperatures and snow, yes snow, greeted Dubrovnik this morning as April opened with extreme weather.

The hills and mountains in the wider Dubrovnik region have a dusting of snow, like icing sugar on a birthday cake, and still the sleety snow start to fall. The current temperature in Dubrovnik is a chilly 3 degrees and with the northerly wind the real feel is unbelievably minus 6 degrees!

The forecast for the rest of the day shows highs reaching 10 degrees with light rain and sleet all day.

snow in zupa dubrovnik 2020 01.04

ronald brown mountian with snow 2020



mokosica snow 2020 01.04



“We have five new cases of infection since yesterday. This is still a stable and satisfactory epidemiological situation, according to experts, but the figures themselves have repeatedly warned that the situation is very sensitive, that the epidemic is still a great threat and that we should act accordingly. It is good that the epidemic did not enter the elderly population, which is most vulnerable to the effects of coronavirus. It shows that we behaved well at this time and that we adhered to self-isolation and all prescribed measures,” commented the Prefect of the Dubrovnik – Neretva County at today’s press conference.

There are currently 39 cases of COVID-19 in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, with five new cases confirmed in the past 24 hours.

“So far, 258 samples have been sent for testing and there are 39 positive patients in the county, we are expecting more results from four samples,” said the Head of the County Civilian Protection, Josko Cebalo.

Breaking down the number of patients by region in the Dubrovnik – Neretva County there are 16 patients in Konavle, 15 in Dubrovnik, 5 in Trpanj 2 in Zupa and 1 in Vela Luka. The average age of patients is 52 years-old, with the youngest being 15 years-old and the oldest 77 years-old, most are in the 50-59 age group.


The Voice of Dubrovnik


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