Sunday, 16 June 2024
Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović

Ivana Smilović – a senior journalist at The Dubrovnik Times. Born and raised in Dubrovnik, Ivana (or Smile as she is known to all) graduated Media Studies from the University of Dubrovnik. A book worm, coffee addict and want-to-be world traveller Ivana brings her unique local insight, connections and general optimistic and well smiley feel to the Times.


Skywalk - a unique visitor attraction in Croatia, was opened in the Biokovo Nature Park yesterday, on the first day of July. It is a horseshoe-shaped lookout, with a glass base for walking, which at the most convex point in the length of 12 meters covers the cliffs of Ravna Vlaska.

The lookout is located at an altitude of 1228 meters above sea level, on the 13th kilometer of the Biokovo road, next to the info center. As part of Skywalk's landscaped environment, a geological pillar has been set up, a three-dimensional view of the cross-sections of the rocks that formed the Biokovo area from its inception to the present day with a geological table of time and a description of the age and type of rocks.

The value of the Skywalk is about 10 million kuna, and it is one of the activities within the project "New Adrion - Promoting sustainable use of natural heritage of the Nature Park Biokovo", which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Operational Program Competitiveness and cohesion 2014-2020.

The total value of this project is approximately 35 million kuna, of which grants from the European Structural and Investment Funds amount to about 27 million kuna. The rest is financed by the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency and own funds of users and partners - Makarska Development Agency (MARA) and the Croatian Mountain Rescue Service (HGSS). The project, which started implementation in November 2016, consists of 12 project elements, and the completion of all planned activities is expected in January 2021.

The opening ceremony of the Skywalk was attended, among other guests, by and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenkovic, Minister of Regional Development and European Union Funds Marko Pavic and Minister of Health Vili Beros.

During the ceremonial opening of the lookout, the director of the Public Institution "Biokovo Nature Park" Slavo Jaksa pointed out: -Skywalk is a unique attraction that significantly raised the attractiveness of the visitor and tourist offer in the Biokovo Nature Park, given the fact that this presents a unique attraction at this area. Just as Biokovo has always guarded Makarska and its Riviera, the Public Institution "Biokovo Nature Park" will continue to guard Biokovo and bring its secrets and beauties closer to the public.

The Minister of Regional Development and European Union Funds, Marko Pavic, singled out Skywalk Biokovo as one of the symbols of investing European funds in Croatia.

In his speech, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenkovic emphasized that a big step forward has been made in the Biokovo Nature Park, a step forward in the park's visitor offer, as well as the offer of the entire Makarska coast and Zabiokovlje.

This modern, great and architecturally fascinating project is a new attraction that provides a unique opportunity and an incredible experience of walking in the sky - said Prime Minister Plenkovic.

During June 2020, there were 34,931 arrivals and 177,233 overnight stays in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Since the beginning of the year, there have been 102,272 arrivals, or 13 percent compared to the same period in 2019. In the first six months of 2020, 414,650 overnight stays were realized, which is 15 percent compared to the overnight stays in the first half of 2019.

130 thousand overnight stays were realized in hotels (nine percent compared to 2019), 171 thousand overnight stays in households (19 percent compared to 2019). 74 thousand overnight stays were realized in non-commercial accommodation (69 percent compared to 2019).

Currently, 11,082 tourists are vacationing in Dubrovnik-Neretva County, of which 9,994 are foreign guests and 1,088 are domestic, which is 21.5 percent compared to the same day last year.

Dubrovnik and Split airports are having more airline announcements for July this year. Croatian Aviation wrote the flight schedule of three airlines, Iberia, Windrose and Finnair.

Spain's Iberia will return to Dubrovnik Airport with a regular flight from Madrid. The company will launch the Madrid-Dubrovnik route from Friday, July 3rd, with three weeks of flight, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A319 / 320/321 aircrafts have been announced on the route.

In last year's summer flight schedule, the line operated daily, and for September this year, even A330 aircraft were announced on the route, with which this company operates on intercontinental routes.

Iberia lines to Zagreb, Split and Zadar are not on sale for July.

Ukrainian airline Windrose Airlines has announced the resumption of regular traffic on the route Kiev - Split. The line will start operating on Sunday, July 5th, with one flight per week, every Sunday. As of July 23rd, the second flight of the week is on sale, on Thursdays. As Croatian Aviation writes, this company will soon operate to Pula, while the line to Zagreb has been postponed for the winter flight schedule.

Finnair announced the introduction of direct flights from Helsinki to Dubrovnik and Split.

The Helsinki - Dubrovnik line is on sale from July 27th, and flights are announced once a week, on Saturdays. From August 3rd, the line will operate twice a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, until the end of the summer flight schedule, which is on October 25th.

The Helsinki - Split line is on sale from the same date as the line to Dubrovnik, and from the beginning of August there will also be two weekly flights , every Wednesday and Saturday.

Last summer, Finnair flew to Split as many as 6 times a week, while Helsinki was connected to Dubrovnik every day, and on Fridays it even had two daily flights – Croatian Aviation writes.

On July 1st, the Croatian National Tourist Board, in cooperation with the Rijeka Tourist Board, is organizing a celebration of the first arrival of RegioJet train from Prague to Rijeka, which will symbolically mark the return of dear and welcome Czech and Slovak tourists to Croatia.

The new line will operate on the route Prague-Brno-Bratislava-Ljubljana-Rijeka every day until the end of August, and the fact that as many as 30 thousand tickets were sold in the first two weeks speaks clearly about the great interest for this offer.

RegioJet a.s. is a private Czech provider of rail and bus passenger transport and a leading long-distance railway company in Central Europe. They have 20 million passengers a year, 11 million in rail and 9 million in bus transport.

In intensive cooperation with the Croatian Embassy in the Czech Republic and the Croatian National Bord Office in Prague, the RegioJet Management recognized the opportunity and offered a new option to connect Central European countries with the Adriatic Sea through night service with modern and quality trains offering top service to customers.

From tomorrow, 1st of July, the number of planes flying to Dubrovnik will increase – Dubrovacki vjesnik reports.

On Wednesday, the landing of nine planes was announced, of which only two are domestic, from Zagreb, unlike today when four planes arrive to the Airport at Cilipi, two of which are from Zagreb and one from Rijeka. Today, only one flight is international, the one from Brussels.

For the weekend, there will be even more traffic at the Dubrovnik Airport, so on Saturday as many as 14 planes will land. In the coming days, on average, ten planes will land at Dubrovnik airport daily, mostly international flights, and on weekends their number will be even higher.


In the past week in the area of Police Administration of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County there were 12 traffic accidents, one with death case, three persons got heavily injured and three got light injuries. There were five traffic accidents with material damage.

By carrying out traffic control measures, police officers have taken 780 repressive measures against the perpetrators of traffic offenses, out of which 485 measures taken due to speeding, 28 measures due to improper overtaking, 44 measures for improper stop and parking, 59 measures because of non-use of the seat belt, 23 measures against drivers who were driving the vehicle under the influence of alcohol and 32 measures because of using mobile phone while driving.

Croatian Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic and US Ambassador W. Robert Kohorst signed a key co-operation agreement aimed at boosting air safety. The agreement enables the deployment of federal flight attendants on flights between Croatia and the United States. Escorts have a key role to play in preventing terrorism and other security threats in civil aviation. The conclusion of this agreement is also a key step in Croatia's efforts to join the Visa Waiver Program.

The Federal Flight Followers Service is the main law enforcement body, within the Travel Safety Agency, that negotiated this agreement with the Croatian Ministry of the Interior. Air escorts, also known worldwide as flight safety officers, are trained to respond to and deal with any criminal activity or other emergency on an aircraft. In accordance with international law, flight safety officers as security escorts provide the last line of defense in the aircraft in the fight against global terrorism and other international security threats.

This agreement is an important precondition for Croatia's accession to the Visa Waiver Program, which allows eligible citizens to travel to the United States for business or tourist purposes for up to 90 days without a visa.

After signing the Agreement on Sending Flight Followers, Bozinovic reminded that the fulfillment of security conditions for the inclusion of the Republic of Croatia in the Visa Waiver Program was intensified after the signing of the Implementing Agreement to the Agreement on Prevention and Fight against Serious Crime in January 2018 in Washington. During that visit, the first meeting was held at the Terrorist Control Center, with which a Memorandum of Cooperation was concluded, in August 2019 in Dubrovnik. Cooperation with the Attorney General has also been significantly intensified, including through the signing of the Extradition Treaty and the Mutual Legal Assistance Agreement, and a particularly significant step forward has been made in cooperation with US agencies such as the DEA and the FBI.

At the end of the negotiations are several technical acts that will enable the exchange of data on security suspects through the available information systems, the connection of which is being worked on intensively. The exchange of data on air passengers is also of great importance in strengthening bilateral security cooperation. In this field, the Republic of Croatia has made a significant step forward in the last few months in order to ensure the exchange of data with most airlines that transport over 90 percent of passengers to the Republic of Croatia by the end of this year. Bozinovic thanked the US Ambassador Cohort.

At the signing ceremony, in accordance with the epidemiological recommendations, Kohorst praised Minister Bozinovic for his commitment to the successful conclusion of this Agreement and to Croatia, which is a security partner in all areas.

Kohorst added: -With the reintroduction of direct flights from the United States last year for the first time since Croatia's independence and Croatia's growing popularity as a tourist destination among Americans, we expect more passengers between our two countries. This agreement provides an additional level of security to ensure that all persons traveling between the United States and Croatia are safe.

The wooden scaffolding has been completely removed from the Orlando's Column, and monitoring of the damage continues along with a protective fence that will be erected. After approximately one year of additional monitoring, a final decision on the restoration model will be made.

This is the perfect time to learn a bit more about this great statue. Orlando's Column is one of the most famous monuments in Dubrovnik, situated on the amazing location - in front of the Saint Blaise's Church. It was made by Bonino di Jacopo from Milan with the help of the local master Antun Raguseo. The idea to erect the Column was born in 1417, and its construction started two years later. On 13th of May 1519, the Minor Council entrusted the noblemen, senators Lujo Gozze and Zore Palmota, with the task to place Orlando's Column on the main square in front of Saint Blaise's Church.

During the history of Dubrovnik the Orlando's Column had a multi-faceted role and symbolism. The column represents the character of a pale knight. The knight, according to legend, was the nephew of the Spanish King Charles, who died in 778 on his way back to Spain. It was believed that Orlando had supernatural powers and a naval victory over the Saracene pirate Spucento was attributed to Orlando and his special forces.

Another legend about the origins of the column dates from the 15th century. The legend states that the column was installed at the time when Sigismund protected Dubrovnik. Sigismund was a famous Hungarian, Czech and later German king. During his life the king was famous for erecting Orlando columns all across the Brandeburg County.

Orlando’s stone column served the city of Dubrovnik as a flag carrier, symbol of freedom and as a metaphor for trade. His forearm is 51.2 centimeters long and this was for centuries the standard Dubrovnik measurement for fabric. For many centuries Dubrovnik merchants stood in front of the column measuring and cutting fabric. Orlando used to hold his sword in the direction of the Ottoman Empire as a symbol of readiness to fight for the freedom and independence of the Republic of Dubrovnik. Today the column is turned to Sponza Palace with his back to the church of Saint Blaise.

However, the column has been damaged during the years and has gone through numerous reconstructions. It's been under monitoring for some time now, before it goes under restoration. 

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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