Monday, 27 May 2019
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 Mayor of the City of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, with his associates, is currently visiting a sister city, Venice, where he opened the exhibition "The Place of Intermittent Departures" on Thursday.

The exhibition is organized in the framework of the 58th Venice Biennale, where Dubrovnik is appearing for the first time, and was realized in co-operation with the twin cities of Dubrovnik and Venice and the Art Gallery of Dubrovnik. The opening ceremony was attended by the Croatian Minister of Culture, Nina Obuljen Korzin, and numerous domestic and international artists from the world of art.

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Although the two Mediterranean cities have co-operated before in the field of economy, especially tourism, the exhibition is the first concrete project in the field of culture since the conclusion of a friendship charter that opened the door to similar co-operation in the future. Namely, the aforementioned charter of 2012 emphasized the strengthening of cultural exchanges between the two twinned cities.

The exhibition is located in the Tesa 100 area at Arsenal Nord, and it will remain open until the 24th of November.

Hollywood actress Jessica Alba will visit Dubrovnik this summer as part of the NEM congress. Alba (38) will come to Dubrovnik in June this year and will be the star attraction at this popular television congress that brings a whole host of television decision makers from all over the world.

NEM will be held in the five-star Hotel Dubrovnik Palace from the 10th to the 13th of June. And the Hollywood A-liner isn’t the only star coming to Dubrovnik for the congress, Alba will be joined by fellow top actors Gabrielle Union and Alan Cumming.

Alba will take the opportunity to present her latest project, along with Union, Las Finest, a TV series based around the work of the DEA.

 

Dubrovnik is experiencing one of the wettest starts to May ever and it looks set to continue for a few days longer at the very least. With temperatures barely scraping up to the low teens and grey, overcast skies blotting out the sun the first week of May has been more autumnal than summery.

Instead of relaxing on the beach and topping up their tans tourists have been hiding under umbrellas and wrapped warmly in coats. The summer has yet to start in the city and the forecasters are predicting that the wet spell will last for at least another week.

The forecast for this weekend is for gloomy skies and rain with temperatures on Saturday expected to be between 20 and 15 degrees with possible thunderstorms. Whilst Sunday will see temperatures drop to between 18 and 14 degrees with periods of rain.

“This weather is unbelievable, I’ve had enough of the rain and I’m still wearing my winter jackets. I’ve never seen a start to May like this before,” commented a resident of the Old City.

And the wet weather will continue for most of next week with temperatures stuck between 19 and 14 degrees. The start of the week could see lightning and thunder on Monday and Tuesday with rain and showers for the rest of the week.

The sun and blue skies aren’t forecast until the following weekend, the 18th and 19th of May.

Enlargement of the European Union will be one of Croatia's priorities and it will help candidates on their journey toward membership, Croatia's Foreign and European Affairs Minister Marija Pejcinovic-Buric said at ministerial meeting of the Adriatic-Ionian region held in Budva, Montenegro on Wednesday.

A forum of the EU Adriatic-Ionian Strategy was held there on Tuesday and Wednesday. Since 2014, Brussels has endeavoured to establish cooperation between member states and membership candidate countries from Southeast Europe.

Officials from Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, and Greece attended the meeting along with officials from Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, North Macedonia, Albania and San Marino.

"Enlargement will be one of Croatia's priorities next year," Pejcinovic Buric said.

This was the last meeting of ministers from the region before Croatia takes over the chairmanship of the Council of the European Union in January 2020. "We believe that 70 million residents who live in the Adriatic-Ionian region and that it encompasses four member states and others outside of (the EU) represent potential for cooperation," the minister told reporters.

The European Commission initiated this type of cooperation five years ago and it unfolds within common projects in four themed units: blue growth/maritime cooperation; transport and energy connections; environmental protection; and sustainable tourism.

It is an extra special year for the jewel in the crown of the Croatian cultural calendar. This year the iconic Dubrovnik Summer Festival celebrates its 70th anniversary and, of course, has prepared an outstanding program to mark the birthday. From the 10th of July to the 25th of August the Dubrovnik Summer Festival will bring drama, ballet, concerts, exhibitions and much more to a plethora of venues in and around the city. For Dubrovnik, especially the historic Old City, act as perfect locations and backdrops for the cultural cornucopia. 47 days of magic, with a special birthday twist, this summer in Dubrovnik.

The programme brings together the best Croatian artists and top performances by international artists, it disintegrates the mythology of the European cultural heritage, the myths of Dubrovnik and the myths of the Festival, at the same time questioning the past and the future of site-specific performance practices and nurturing the relationship between tradition and modernity. Its own production remains the backbone of its theatre programme, thus confirming the national, cultural and historical identity built by the Dubrovnik Summer Festival during its long existence, with the model of the Festival Drama Ensemble as its specific feature - Artistic Director Dora Ruždjak Podolski pointed out in her introduction.

Highlights of the 70th anniversary programme include -

  • Hamlet, directed by Paolo Magelli by the Festival Drama Ensemble on the mythical Lovrjenac Fort from 27 to 31 July.
  • The premiere of Geranium, directed by Marina Pejnović, based on Ivo Vojnović's short story of the same name and Antun Šoljan's short story Island from the collection Prayer in the Promenade, will take place in August.
  • The Little Prince at the Rector's Palace Atrium, based on the most famous work of the celebrated French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which will be composed and conducted by Ivan Josip Skender, and directed by Hrvoje Korbar.
  • Ballet lovers will be presented with The Four Seasons, ballet in two acts choreographed by Ilya Zhivoi to the score of Max Richter based on Vivaldi and performed by one of the world's best ballets, the Russian Mariinsky Theatre.
  • A Love Supreme, a piece for four dancers based on the music of John Coltrane by Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker and Salva Sanchis, performed by Rosas.
  • Bass-baritone Krešimir Stražanac accompanied by pianist Danijel Detoni, will perform at the Bunić-Kaboga Summer Villa on 12 July.
  • The Zagreb Soloists will perform at the Rector's Palace Atrium on 14 July with pianist Martina Filjak.
  • The Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra conducted by Franz Anton Krager will also hold a concert at the Rector's Palace with distinguished soloist, trumpeter Håkan Hardenberger.
  • The famous pianist Yuja Wang and clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer will perform together at the Rector's Palace on 6 August.
  • Avishai Cohen Trio, a unique jazz group known for their unforgettable concerts, led by the famous bassist, vocalist and composer Avishai Cohen, will prepare a jazz treat on the Revelin Fort Terrace.
  • The spectacular closing ceremony of the Festival will take place on 25 August with the concert of the Symphony Orchestra of the Croatian Radio and Television under the baton of Italian conductor Enrico Dindo, alongside another Italian, a virtuoso percussionist Simone Rubino.

Check out the Dubrovnik Summer Festival website for more info and to purchase tickets online

Almost a third of Croatian citizens believe that they are living under high levels of stress, according to a new survey Gallup. Although the Mediterranean laidback lifestyle may look care free and simple, it is clearly more stressful than it appears.

The research shows that the age group between 18 and 49 years-old is the most vulnerable to anxiety and in total 31 percent of the people questioned said they suffered from high levels of stress.

Whilst Croatia’s 31 percent might seem high it is still well below many other European countries, Greece recorded the highest levels in the Gallup survey with a whopping 59 percent of the population feeling under pressure. And the US is clearly a stressful place to live and work with 55 percent saying they suffered.

According to the latest survey by the popular website “Njuškalo”, conducted on a sample of 156,000 properties, the prices of apartments and homes over the past year rose by more than eight and a half percent. And the capital, Zagreb, is seeing a boom in the real estate business with prices soaring recently. The average price of an apartment in April in Zagreb has for the first time ever broke the 2,000 Euros per metre squared ceiling.

The increase in property prices throughout Croatia marked the 40 month in a row that prices have risen, or in other words since the beginning of 2016. In fact, apartment prices in Zagreb have risen by 11 percent since the beginning of this year.

Zagreb isn’t the only Croatian city to see house prices increase, Split, Dubrovnik and most of the cities along the Dalmatian coastline have seen price rises, Dubrovnik has the highest real estate prices in the country.

And it isn’t only real estate market in the capital that has seen a jump in prices the rental market has also experienced prices increase. The average rental price in the capital for an apartment is now 473 Euros.

Dubrovnik Airport is having a very busy start to 2019 with every month of the year seeing an increase in passenger numbers. April saw the Dubrovnik Airport register a massive 39 percent increase in passenger numbers compared to the same month from last year, and it handled just over 210,000 passengers.

From the beginning of the year until the end of April 328,771 passengers have travelled through the airport, a whopping increase of almost 34 percent over the same period from 2018. This increase represents an increase of just over 83,000 passengers when compared with 2018.

In January the Dubrovnik Airport handled 26,323 passengers, up 18.1 percent on last year, in February 33,765 passengers, an increase of 40.3 percent and in March 57,880 passengers, an increase of 21.4 percent.

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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