Saturday, 15 June 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.


Citizens of the European Union live on average 2.5 years longer than Americans and a full 4.6 years longer than China. Even though the average age of people living in the European Union has lengthened and is longer than two of the largest countries in the world there is also a few invisible boundaries inside Europe.

Spanish live the longest in Europe, presumably thanks to their healthy Mediterranean diet, favourable climate and relatively low levels of stress, with a life expectancy of 85 years. Whilst Bulgarians live the shortest, on average 12 years less than the Spanish, with a live expectancy of 73.

According to information from the European Union statistical bureau, Eurostat, Croatians, as of 2017, had a life expectancy of 78 years. The full list sees the Germans with 81.1 years, British with 81.3 years, Italians with 83.1 years and Austrians with 81.7 years. Croatians neighbours had mixed results, with the developed Slovenia having the longest life expectancy of 81.2 years, whilst Montenegrins with 76.6 years and Serbs with 75.6 years.

The difference between European life expectancy clearly has invisible borders between Western countries and Eastern countries, between developed countries and countries in transition.

Life expectancy by region 2016

A massive number of diaspora voters could well have the final say who represents Croatia in the upcoming European elections. The number of diaspora registered on the electoral roll has increased incredibly from 3,637 in 2014 to 154,358 today, reports Jutarnji List.

On Sunday the 26th of May Croatia will go to the voting booths to select their MEPs for the European Parliament, currently Croatia is entitled to 11 MEPs but this could well increase to 12 after Brexit when EU members will gain extra seats.

And it could well be the diaspora who decides Croatia’s European Union future, as their number has grown by an incredible 4,244 percent since the last time there were European Union elections in 2014.

Jutarnji List points out that the main reason for this huge jump in the diaspora electoral roll is a law that was passed in 2015 which made it possible for voters abroad not to have to physically register, instead all voters are automatically registered just by having an identification card.

In total there are 3.8 million Croatian eligible to vote on Sunday the 26th of May, of which 3.67 actually live in the country and 154,358 are not residents. Not only are these diaspora voters numerous and could well swing a majority, but they also could well decide the future of Croatia in the European Union. The vast majority of these diaspora don’t pay taxes in Croatia and a large majority have never even been to the country and yet their votes could shape the European political scene.

The conceptual solution of the future animal shelter for abandoned dogs and cats was presented by the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Franković, yesterday. The new animal shelter will cover an area of 20,500 square meters and will be able to house 350 dogs and 50 cats. It will be built at the location of Grabovica, near the existing waste disposal site, which is currently undergoing rehabilitation and is gradually being closed down closure.

"The area planned is in accordance with the applicable rules, meets all legal standards and this will be one of the best animal shelters in the world because this kind of concept has so far not been developed to this size. I believe that this animal shelter will ultimately be something that the City of Dubrovnik will be able to boast about to the international public. Working on this project, we have been thinking about the future," said Frankovic, as he presented the project to journalists.

The animal shelter is designed as a cascading building, which is divided into entrances, reception area and staff spaces and animal accommodation facilities. The shelter’s animal housing space consists of a closed area for each animal separately and an open part of a separate fenced area within the shelter. Training facilities and socialization areas for the dogs will also be provided.


In the service building there will be room for veterinarians, trainers and other necessary staff, and there will be room for volunteers who would like to be included in the animal shelter procedure.

And there will also be a “dog hotel” or kennels where people can leave their dogs to be looked after if they go away on a trip.
The construction should begin at the end of this year, and the estimate is that it will take about a year to complete. The Initial estimation of the value of the project is around 14 million Kuna, and it will be partly financed by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Welcome to Dubrovnik, or should we say – welcome to King’s Landing. Since far back in season two Dubrovnik and Game of Thrones have been inseparable. The most symbolic of locations in the whole series, King’s Landing, the seat of the coveted Iron Throne that everyone wants to get their hands on, or sit in rather.

The filming locations come thick and fast in Dubrovnik. In such a tightly packed stone city the producers literally had a field day with their imagination. Pretty much all of them can be seen on foot in one day, you just need to know a little inside information.

So here is our list of the top ten most unmistakable Game of Thrones locations in Dubrovnik.

A beautiful scene in these rainy Dubrovnik days. A dolphin came very close to the Dubrovnik shore today, in fact right into the busy port of Gruz, where it seemingly played around with the boast and small ships.

At around 5.30 pm this afternoon these photos were taken by the members of the eco-centre “Eko Omblici.”

This particular species isn’t uncommon in Dubrovnik waters, but this close to shore, especially in a very busy harbour is rare. Although this isn’t the first time that a dolphin has been spotted in this harbour, just last year another one, or possibly the same one, was also spotted slashing around.


It ended where it all began – in Dubrovnik. The grand finale of the globally popular series Game of Thrones came to an end this morning in Dubrovnik with an extra special screening of the final episode of season eight. And the opening was truly spectacular with a performance by the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra.

dubrovnik orchestra plays game of thrones theme tune

Millions upon millions of fans of Game of Thrones worldwide have heard the theme tune umpteen times before, but very, very few have heard it played live in King’s Landing by a symphony orchestra. A truly great beginning to the ending of Game of Thrones in Dubrovnik.

dso plays got 2019

Check out the video

Game of Thrones came to a fitting grand finale this morning in Dubrovnik with an exclusive big screen projection of the final episode in the Revelin Fortress. Dubrovnik, which plays King’s Landing in the globally popular series, has been used as a location, some would argue the main location, since the second season of Game of Thrones, and with the eighth and final season hitting the small screens in Croatia tonight the Dubrovnik public had a chance to see the outcome a full 12 hours before the rest of the region.



Even though the final episode was screened last night in the US and social media, and indeed the media, is chocked full of spoilers this was a chance for a select few to experience the surprising conclusion in true Game of Thrones fashion.

hear the roar dubrovnik 2019

The Dubrovnik premier brought together many fans, media representatives and citizens of Dubrovnik who enjoyed, clapped and laughed out loud as the plot unravelled on a big screen in the Revelin Fortress, a fitting end to the Game of Thrones and Dubrovnik partnership.

game of thrones banner on dubrovnik walls


"The positive influence of the world's most popular series on the global promotion of our country is unquestionable. In addition to many visitors to the Croatian locations where the series was filmed, they are also happy with a large number of themed brochures, tourist tours and guides that specialize in creating content related to the series. I would like to thank the excellent cooperation with HBO and the City of Dubrovnik,” commented the Director of the Croatian National Tourist Board, Kristjan Stanicic.

got premeir dubrovnik 2019 2

And the national tourist board had organised a special prize for international fans and bloggers on the series which saw 28 lucky winners to see for themselves the Game of Thrones finale in Dubrovnik. “As this is a project of great international character, we have invited a large number of foreign journalists and bloggers who shared their impressions of their stay at King's Landing with a million people around the world, " added Stanicic.

The special projection in the Revelin Fortress was organized in cooperation with the Croatian Tourist Board, the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and the City of Dubrovnik.

"Thanks to HBO for great cooperation, thank you for choosing Dubrovnik for this planetary popular series. Thanks to “King's Landing” and this outstanding promotion, many people have fallen in love with this city and have come to personally discover the locations of the Game of Thrones shooting. You are always welcome because Dubrovnik is always open to new friends,” commented the mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic.

got final dubrovnik revelin 2019

Based on the popular fantasy series, George R. R. Martin's book, The Game of the Throne, is an epic tale of betrayal and nobility placed in Westeros, where summer and winter can last for years, and only the desire for power is eternal. In the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, whoever controls the Iron Throne, possesses incredible power, and the series focuses on the rise and fall of a few families that wanted this power at all costs. This is a story of duplicity and betrayal, nobility and honour, conquest and triumph. In the throne game you either win or die.

dso plays got them tune revelin

As the most watched series in HBO's history and the world-wide television phenomenon, "The Throne Game" has won numerous awards, including 47 Emmy Awards. And HBO revealed that there will be a special documentary film, entitled “The Throne Game: The Last Guard" on May 27 at 8pm on HBO as well as via HBO GO.

Croatia will soon adopt the Euro as the official currency and become part of the border-less Schengen Area in the next term of the European Commission, stated German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Zagreb on Saturday.

"Croatia's accession to the euro area and the Schengen zone is certain in the next term of the European Commission. There is still some work to be done, however, Croatia is on the right track, and Germany wants to be its partner in those efforts," commented Merkel.

Croatian Prime Minister, Andrej Plenkovic, added that it was important to Croatia that the Schengen zone should be what it used to be, which required a broader agreement inside the European Union as to restore the free movement of people.

Croatia takes over the rotating presidency of the EU in the first half of 2020 and will be succeeded by Germany in the second half of the year.

Merkel said that the 370,000 Croatian nationals living in Germany and the 2.5 million German tourists visiting Croatia annually constitute a bridge between the two countries. She said that Germany wanted to ensure that EU membership helped Croatia achieve further growth and prosperity, so that people would have good working conditions and living standards, and that this should be taken into account in the new financial perspective.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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