Saturday, 22 February 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.

Email: mark.thomas@dubrovnik-times.com

The Irish low-cost airline, Ryanair, will operate direct flights between Budapest and Zadar this year, commented the Croatian National Tourist Board today.

The most popular low-cost airline in the world will fly twice a week between the Dalmatian city of Zadar and Budapest for the summer season, from July to September, and the flight time is one hour and 15 minutes.

Tickets are already for sale on the airline’s website and this new service is sure to be a boost for the whole region.

In 2019 around 644,000 Hungarians visited Croatia and achieved 3.3 million overnight stays.

 

You’d be hard pressed to pick a favourite European capital city, each with its own unique history and cultural attributions - but which of Europe’s capital cities are among the healthiest places to live?

A new survey of the healthiest capital cities in Europe by treated.com reveals that Copenhagen is the top of the list, whilst Zagreb finished in 16th position. A whole range of factors were taken into account to produce the list, such as air quality, water quality, health expenditure, cost of gym membership and green spaces.

“We collected data for 10 variables relating to health, which were each ‘ranked’ out of 46. (Because a total of 46 European capital cities were considered in this accumulative process),” stated treated.com

The top five were – Copenhagen, Vienna, Bern, Helsinki and Berlin. Whilst at the other end of the scale were Baku, Moscow, Bucharest, Rome and Ankara.

The Croatian capital was listed in 16th position, between Tallinn in 15th place and Madrid and Reykjavik in joint 17th position.

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Last year there were 863 births enrolled in the birth registry in Dubrovnik, seven fewer than in 2018. 694 people died, 28 more than the previous year. The number of marriages also fell on the previous year, a total of 233 civil marriages and 125 church marriages were registered showing a serious shift away from getting married in church.

And the number of same sex marriages, or rather life partnerships, increased in Dubrovnik. In 2018 there were zero life partnerships registered, not one same sex ceremony. But last year the number jumped to three. A life partnership is a register between two people of the same sex, it is concluded with the registrar and in rights is equal to marriages of people of the same sex.

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The latest data released by the Central Bureau of Statistics says the average age for getting married is 30.4. In Croatia, men most often marry at 31, and the bride's average age has increased to 28.

And it isn’t only the age of the bride and groom that has increase, so has the number of divorces. It is calculated that the average marriage lasts for 14.7 years in Croatia.

Interestingly when you look at the number of weddings in Dubrovnik there were 233 civil weddings. Breaking down this figure over half of the number were actually foreign nationals tying the knot. 132 foreign civil weddings were recorded in Dubrovnik last year showing that the city is still a magnet for international ceremonies.

 

Following the central mass of the 1048th festivity of the patron saint of Dubrovnik, St. Blaise, a solemn procession was held on the ancient streets of the City with the relics of St. Blaise and all the banners and flags.

This colourful procession is always one of the most important event in the day of St. Blaise and as ever thousands of people packed the streets of the city to be involved in the celebrations. Flags, banners, colourful traditional costumes, relics, bishops and thousands of pilgrims all collected on the Stradun for the main procession.

Check out the gallery by Tonci Plazibat to get a feel of the atmosphere for the biggest day on Dubrovnik’s calendar.

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Big and small, old and young, all smiling and all in beautiful and colourful Konavle folk costumes. For a long time the citizens of Konavle who made the pilgrimage to the City for the Festivities of the patron saint of Dubrovnik, St. Blaise, have been planning this special group photo, and today they have finally succeeded in making it.

After the end of the festive procession on the stairs of the Jesuit the colourful “models” were brought together by photographer Milan Miki Kovac from Dubrovnik and made an unforgettable joint portrait. He had planned this photo shoot last year, but the rain got in the way of his plans. This February the clouds and rain cleared and made an unforgettable experience for everyone in the photo.

Well done to all involved for this truly special moment.

konavle costumes at st blaise 2020

 

The tradition of celebrating the patron saint of Dubrovnik all over the world continued. For the 29th time the festivities of St. Blaise were celebrated at the St. Anthony Croatian Centre in Los Angeles.

Around 300 guests from Los Angeles, San Pedro and Southern California, came to express their love and reverence for the tradition of St. Blaise. The program began with a holy mass, followed by a traditional procession of banners and flags with the sounds of the hymn of St. Blaise and a video presentation of the millennial festivity from the City.

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The American anthem was sung by Ann Marie Boskovic, an American singer of Croatian roots, and the Croatian anthem by Petra Tulic. This year's traditional masters of ceremonies were Jany Hansal and Johnny Cvjetkovic, who both gave speeches. The Children's School and the Colo group of St. Anthony's Church, as always, delighted all those present with appropriate songs and of course the indispensable folklore dance, Lindo. All those present were greeted and blessed by the vicar of St. Anthony’s Church, Zvonimir Coric.

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Masters of ceremonies 

The songs and entertainment were organised by Petra Tulic, and the special guests of the evening were the duo “Samoana” who flew over from New Zealand just to perfrom at the evening.

The NFCA (National Federation of Croatian Americans) presented awards for talented young people of Croatian descent from LA for the achievements in their careers, which they have distinguished in Croatian communities. They were awarded to Ann Marie Boskovic, Johnny Cvjetkovic, Anthony Zoric and Maja Keres. And the awards were handed out by Bobby Grubić, a successful young director and producer, and Peter Hazdovac, a successful entrepreneur, and a previous recipient of this award.

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Award winners 

The presenter of the whole evening was Luci Basor of Watsonville wearing an original Konavle costume. The sponsor and organizer of the Festa was the Libertas Foundation, which donated all the proceeds to charity for individuals and associations from Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

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Check out this video of the highlights from Los Angeles by John Marich 

 

A contract for a project to develop broadband infrastructure in the Dubrovnik area, which would provide access to ultra-fast internet for about 11,000 households and 1,200 companies and institutions in the area for the whole of the Dubrovnik region was signed on Monday in Dubrovnik.

It was signed by the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, and the director of the EU BB Program Development and Implementation Unit at Croatian Telecom, Milan Meden. The City of Dubrovnikin partnership with the municipalities of Konavle, Župa dubrovačka and Dubrovnik Primorje have jointly entered into a 93 million Kuna project to bring ultra-fast internet to the region. And Mayor Franković thanked the Prefect of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, Nikola Dobroslavić, for the vision and preparation of the project as preconditions for realization.

"Most of the funds will be withdrawn from EU funds, while others will be financed by Croatian Telecom. This will make it easier for the inhabitants of Dubrovnik, Konavle and Zupa Dubrovacka to have faster, better and safer Internet," commented Frankovic.

Dobroslavic recalled that the project for the development of broadband infrastructure in the county began four years ago.

"We have three sub-areas. The first is Dubrovnik with the area from Dubrovnik Primorje to Konavle, the second is Peljesac with the islands, and the third is the Neretva Valley. All three projects are ready for application. The first area has succeeded, and I expect HT will show interest in the other two areas. We care about the whole county being covered and I hope that the state will repeat this contest," explained Dobroslavic.

Meden said the contract stipulated the continuation of broadband infrastructure in southern Croatia.

"Croatia Telecom is one of the largest private investors in infrastructure, comparable to the investment in the Peljesac Bridge with access roads. We have already realized a number of such projects in the Dubrovnik area, because our role is for all citizens to receive the quality of a broadband project," added Meden.

He added that these projects ensure digital transformation, innovation, boosting employment and GDP and utilizing the services of e-Citizen, e-County, SmartParking and the like.

The total value of the project is 93 million Kuna, of which Croatia Telecom will finance 57 million, while the remaining amount will be financed from grants from the European Regional Development Fund. The ultra-fast broadband internet should be operational by December 31, 2023.

 

With the traditional passing of Dubrovnik Brass Band and the flags and banners waving in the bright Sunday air the 1048th Festivity of St. Blaise opened today.

The Bishop of Dubrovnik, Mate Uzinic, opened the proceedings with a speech in which he placed special attention on the aging of the Croatian population, and indeed the Church as an institution.

The Rector of the Church of St. Blaise, Tomo Lucic, read out congratulations on the Day of the City of Dubrovnik and the celebration of the patron saint of Dubrovnik, St. Blaise, which had arrived from all over the world.

After the bishop's address, the white doves were released, while the two traditional masters of ceremonies, Captain Ivica Djurdjevic Tomas and craftsman Ivica Vrlic raised the official flag, and the festivities were officially opened. The Libertas Mixed Choir performed the hymn of St. Blaise.

The main events take place tomorrow and the city will be awakened by the blasts of the Dubrovnik Musket-bearing Guard of Honour at 6:00 am to announce the biggest day of the Dubrovnik calendar. And then from 7:00 am the Dubrovnik Brass Band will perform along the streets of Dubrovnik.

At 10:00 am the main celebration will take place in front of the Dubrovnik cathedral which this year will be led by the Bishop of Senj. After this a procession through the streets of Dubrovnik, with the flags and relics of the patron saint leading the way.

At 4:00 in the afternoon the traditional raffle will be held in front of the St. Blaise Church.

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The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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