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 new Hotel Belvedere, which will be constructed on the site of the former hotel that was destroyed in the Homeland War in 1991, will have only fifty rooms and will be ranked in the category higher than a five-star hotel. On Friday the Dubrovnik City Council accepted the detailed urban plan for the area of the city where the hotel is located and therefore effectively gave the green light for the continuation of the project.
The Hotel Belvedere was recently built by Russian billionaire Viktor Velkseberg for 12 and a half million Euros and the decision by the city council opens the path for the luxury hotel. The new hotel will have 150 rooms less than the former hotel and will be built to ultra luxury standards.
The architectural studio 3 LHD, and the Dubrovnik architect Marko Dabrovic, won the contest o design the new hotel in a tender that attracted over 30 architects from around the world. When completed the new Belvedere, which is located directly opposite the historic city core, will be almost invisible from the Old City of Dubrovnik. All of the rooms will have a sea view, a 360 degree restaurant will offer outstanding views and a boat service will whisk guests across the Adriatic to the city.
It was a busy week for the team at The Dubrovnik Times celebrating our tenth anniversary and now business is getting back to normal. But just as a reminder of the celebrations in the Klarisa Restaurant we would like to show you the video that we produced to mark the event, and to have some fun.
This video was made by our staff and features the music Train - Hey, Soul Sister.
Enjoy and thanks for all the messages of goodwill
Works by the artist Francis Bacon, one of the foremost artists of modern and contemporary European painting, will be presented for the first time to the Croatian public in an exhibition in Dubrovnik this December. A large exhibition of pastel, pencil and collages will be shown at the Art Gallery Dubrovnik on Thursday the 22nd of December and will run through January and February 2017.
Francis Bacon was an Irish-born British figurative painter known for his bold, grotesque, emotionally charged and raw imagery. His painterly abstracted figures are typically isolated in glass or steel geometrical cages, set against flat, nondescript backgrounds. Bacon took up painting in his early 20s but worked sporadically and uncertainly until his mid-30s. He drifted as a highly complex bon vivant, homosexual, gambler and interior decorator and designer of furniture, rugs and bathroom tiles. He later admitted that his artistic career was delayed because he spent too long looking for subject matter that could sustain his interest.
Visitors to this upcoming exhibition in Dubrovnik will be able to see around a hundred pieces by this world famous artist.
According to a special supplement of the September edition of the most famous French camping magazine ''Le monde du plein Air'', four Croatian camps are among the twenty best European camps.
At the end of this year representatives of the Lanterna camping in Porec as part of the Valamar group, the Poljana Kvarner campsite in Mali Losinj, the Simuni campsite on the island of Pag and the Zaton Holiday Camping Resort in Nin will be awarded a special diploma of high quality assigned for 2016.
Jerko Sladoljev from Camping Croatia said, “This is the first year that Croatia has 4 awarded campsites and shares the first place with Italy. ‘’Le monde du plein Air’’ is the number one campsite magazine in France which celebrates the 40th anniversary this year. The special edition ‘’The Best European Campsites’’ will be handed out at campsite fairs all over France”.
The top 20 European campsites list is topped by Croatia and Italy (four camps), followed by Spain and Austria (three camps), Germany (two camps) and Portugal, Sweden, the Netherlands and Luxembourg with one campsite.
Doesn’t time fly when you are having fun, well put another way doesn’t time fly full stop! By the time you have read this column we will have already celebrated the tenth anniversary of The Dubrovnik Times. Where did those ten years go? It seems like only yesterday that the idea to make such a project started and here we are celebrating a decade of issues.
I was trying to do some maths, never my strong subject, to write a short article for a national newspaper. We have printed over 1.5 million over the ten years, hundreds of thousands of articles, thousands of emails, and countless journeys around the county. And is certainly has been a journey. Someone much cleverer than me once said that “Life is a journey, not a destination,” how true.
And it is exactly the journey that has been so amazing. The people I have been fortunate enough to meet along the way, to interview, write about or just chat over a coffee with. What is the definition of wealth, it certainly isn’t monetary, no its memories. And I have been lucky to make some memories to last a lifetime. Of all the things that I have achieved in Croatia I would probably have to say that getting The Dubrovnik Times up and running is the one that I am most proud of. I am, or so I am told, a local patriot. So given the fact that this newspaper is the longest running and oldest English language newspaper in the Republic of Croatia, and the fact that it was started in Dubrovnik, makes me even prouder. Whatever happens in the future, and let’s face it the newspaper business is about as stable as a newborn deer on an ice rink, nobody will ever be able to take away the fact that I helped start the first newspaper.
And when I say helped it’s because the secret to any success is teamwork. No man is an island. None of this would have been possible without some really great people who have been dedicated, professional and hardworking. This celebration of ten years is in fact a celebration of teamwork. When a group of people are all pulling in the same direction for a common goal life is easy. All you need is a couple of bad apples and the whole fruit bowl rots, whether by luck or by judgement I have avoided bad apples.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing, far from it; we have had numerous bumps along the journey that have thrown us off course. But life would be extremely boring if it was easy! It’s the fights that make us stronger; like the song goes what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. To be fair it isn’t particularly hard to promote Dubrovnik. I would have had a much, much harder job if I was living in Chernobyl. You can pretty much throw a camera in the air and get a great photo, and here are so many interesting characters that the words just fall onto the pages by themselves. It also helps if you love the job you do, and that’s where I am lucky again.
And then there is the readership. An international readership that never ceases to amaze me, that once again highlights the pull of Dubrovnik. We regularly receive messages from all the continents and I still get a thrill reading them, the genuine love for this city always pulls at my heart strings. The meaning of the word Libertas shines through in almost every mail. Sure we get plenty of critical mail as well, I would be worried if we didn’t, but the vast majority is positive, that’s just the effect that Dubrovnik has on people. I remember one just the other day when we were discussing the cruise ship industry, which is often a bone of contention, and it read - It is difficult to fall out of love with Dubrovnik you just can't, I have been when the cruise ship passengers disembarked, I just go to old town at different times but that doesn't stop me loving the old town! And this is the emotion that this amazing city generates.
So thank you all once again, although this may sound like a farewell speech it isn’t, we will be here for many years to come, well as long as we are wanted. Cheers to The Dubrovnik Times!
A two-day traditional 10th Croatian Festival of jams and marmalades opened this morning in the heart of the Old City of Dubrovnik in front of the St. Blaise Church. The festival is being organised by the Dubrovnik Association Desa in cooperation with the Croatian Chamber of Commerce.
Indigenous gastronomic products are represented with 28 exhibitors from all over the region at this festival which will be open again tomorrow from 9.00am to 5.00pm.
The festival aims to promote small producers and the richness and diversity of cultural heritage from different regions with not only differing products, but also national costumes.
Until a few years ago Croatia was perceived only as part of the global information technology (IT) market, but now it is a well known fact that country has also had an IT production. According to data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics there are around 12,600 employees in the IT industry in Croatia or one percent of the total number of employed people in the country.
Croatia's software export has doubled in the last five years. Only in 2015 this export jumped in figures to 501 million Kunas. If this growth trend continues, the country's software export will rise to half a billion Euros in 2017, whilst for 2020 is expected to exceed one billion Euros. Furthermore, the world's IT giants have started to enter into the Croatian market such as the Indian company Infosys which opened its branch office in Karlovac and IBM which announced the opening of the Client Innovation Centre in Zagreb and the future employment of 500 people in 2017. So far these companies are not planning to open software production or IT research and development in the IT sector in Croatia but direct their investments towards sales support and potential users.
''A significant increase in consumption on the domestic IT market in 2015 is mostly the result of increased sales of smartphones and a growth in value of the server market primarily due to the arrival of the supercomputer Bura in Rijeka and to a lesser extent thanks to the growth in the delivery of IT services and software applications'', said Ana Papez, the regional director of the research consultancy IDC for the region of Southeast Europe.
She also added that an increase in value of rendered services, expansion of the capacity in the segment of data centres, digitalisation of business, the growing use of mobile applications and "big data" analytics as well as broader use of advanced technology such as the Internet of Things (IoT) would represent a point of further maturation of the Croatian IT market in the future.
The seventh annual Dubrovnik Foreign Circle (DFC) second hand sale started today in the Lazareti complex just outside of the eastern entrance to the Old City of Dubrovnik. A wide array of clothes, for women, men and children, are on offer in the sale as well as household goods.
The second hand sale, which is being organised in partnership with the Lazareti Art Workshop, always has a humanitarian character and this year the beneficiary will be for “Dva Skalina” an association for children with special needs. The DFC plans to raise funds to assist in purchasing an outdoor wheelchair swing.
Get yourselves along to the second hand sale this weekend in Lazareti until 6.00pm and tomorrow from 11.00am to 5.00pm.