Sunday, 19 June 2022

Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić Won the Queen's Club Tournament!

June 19, 2022 - After a big drama, the Croatians and the world's best tennis couple Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić celebrated winning the Queen's Club, beating the British Lloyd Glasspool and Finn Harri Heliovaaru in the final.

It started badly for Pavić and Mektić, as they lost 3: 0 right at the start and the first set went to Glasspool and Heliovaara 6: 3, reports tportal.hr.

But after the Croatian tennis players lost the first set, they won the second set in the 'tie-break' 7: 6 (3), and the decision on the winner fell in the extended period, called 'super tie-break'. Pavić and Mektić did not allow any surprises and in the end, they celebrated 10: 6, thus winning the third title this year after Rome and Geneva.

It was also the 12th joint title for Mektic and Pavic, and their 15th victory in the last 16 matches. This is great preparation for Wimbledon, the third Grand Slam tournament of the season where they will be defending the title. Before Wimbledon, they will play in the ATP tournament in Eastbourne next week, where they have the status of the first holders.

2021 was an absolutely incredible year for Croatian tennis, due mainly to the success of the doubles team Mate Pavić and Nikola Mektić. Not only did these two win Wimbledon before celebrating in the historic all-Croatian doubles final at the Tokyo Olympics, but they finished the year as the best doubles team in the world!

Let us remind you that Nikola Mektić and Mate Pavić won last year's Wimbledon after they defeated Spaniard Marcel Granollers and Argentine Horace Zeballos in the final 6-4, 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-5 after two hours and 43 minutes of play.

In a year full of success, the 32-year-old from Zagreb and the 28-year-old from Split won nine titles, including the Wimbledon trophy and a gold medal at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Naphthalene Oil, Europe's Unique Medical Tourism in Naftalan, Zagreb County

June 19, 2022 - Croatia's emerging medical tourism industry has some rather unique features, including good news for those battling skin diseases - Europe's only naphthalene oil. 

The story begins with a legend of a camel far, far away in a time gone by on the fabled Silk Road. A camel on one of the many caravans travelling on the famous trade route collapsed due to disease and exhaustion. Figuring out that there was not much they could do apart from making the camel comfortable, the merchants of the caravan left the camel in the shade in an oasis next to a large, dark lake, then departed on their way. Unable to stand, the poor camel slipped and fell into the dark lake. 

Months passed. The merchants passed the oasis again, this time in the opposite direction with the returning caravan, and they were astonished to find the camel alive and well, relaxing in the shade of the oasis. Noticing the darker colour of the camel due to the lake, the merchants concluded that the lake must have some magical healing powers, and they scooped up some of the dark liquid and continued on their journey. 

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And that is how naftalan, or naphthalene, came to be discovered. It soon became highly sought-after in eastern medicine as a remedy for skin diseases, and came into regular use in eastern medicine in the 19th century. But it could only be found in the oil-producing country of Azerbaijan, where the city of Naftalan was founded. Marco Polo paid tribute to it on his Silk Road travels 700 years earlier. 

And then, in the 1970s, far, far away in a country called Croatia (ironically the country of Polo's birth), a well of naphthalene oil was found close to the town of Ivanic Grad (which has its own oil-producing heritage), currently the only place in Europe apparently where one can find this dermatological treasure. 

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The unusual discovery is attributed to the remnants of what was once the mighty Pannonian Sea. Naphthalene oil has been formed from biological, organic material by the deposition of the remains of dead microorganisms, more precisely phytoplankton, zooplankton, bacteria, algae and higher terrestrial plants on the bottom of the sea or lake, where they were covered with mineral particles. 

Yet another unique treasure for Croatia!

Such a treasure indeed that in 1989 Special Hospital Naftalan was opened near Ivanic Grad, just 30 kilometres from Zagreb. In the last 30+ years, it has become a haven for patients with various skin complaints, and the team at Naftalan have successfully added a range of products and treatments. 

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Through years of work, the experts of Special Hospital Naftalan have developed naphthalene therapy, which was proven efficient for treating psoriasis, an unpleasant chronic disease, and the related psoriatic arthritis. Naphthalene has anti-inflammatory and desensitizing properties and affects the metabolism of proteins and electrolytes.

The treatment includes specific, unique procedures - baths in naphthalene tubs, iontophoresis with naphthalene, mastic therapy (a healing mixture of naphthalene, paraffin, and camphor helps to reduce pain and to recover after suffering a brain stroke), ultrasound combined with naphthalene or with phototherapy.

In addition to all the medical therapies, the hospital has developed an impressive range of cosmetic products based on naphthalene oils, creams, and shampoos, created and produced by the Naftalan subsiduary, Ivalan Terme. The aim is to develop the range into a full cosmetic line to satisfy the needs of customers with dry or problematic skin.

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Naftalan is the only hospital in Europe and one of the few in the world to provide treatment for skin and inflammatory rheumatic diseases using a unique natural resource - naphthalene mineral oil. Since opening its doors over 30 years ago, the special hospital has enjoyed considerable success and expansion, treating over 20,000 patients in that time. A high number of those guests come from Scandinavia, Germany, Italy and Russia. 

Naftalan boasts 137 beds, of which 26 are luxury. The general facilities have been expanded, and one can now find a complex with three indoor and one outdoor pool, a new kitchen and restaurant, gym and multifunctional hall. There is a swimming school for children, recreational swimming, hydromassage, water exercises, Pilates and other fitness programs are available to both Naftalan patients and citizens. The pools are open to the public from 07:00 to 21:00. 

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- Health tourism is an important link in the tourism of our county, and Naftalan is certainly a diver in terms of capacity, significant investments and the tradition that the spa has. The key social challenges for the development of health tourism are the growth of costs of the EU health system, prevention and new forms of treatment and personalized medicine, demographic changes through constant aging and the need for a healthier lifestyle. Zagreb County is also recognized as the fastest-growing health tourism destination in the European Union and is considered a high-income industry that then vertically binds and strengthens many other segments important for the accelerated development of the entire region, points out the director of the Zagreb County Tourist Board Ivana Alilovic.

In addition to the dermatology offer, there are also 4 specialists working in the Department for Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, with programmes for inflammatory rheumatic diseases, post-traumatic and post-operative care, and degenerative changes of joints and spine and vertebrogenic pain syndromes.

There are also 27 physiotherapists working on a range of modern physical therapies - combined with electrotherapy, kinetic therapy, massage, hydrotherapy with underwater massage and a pool with running thermal mineral water, accompanied by naphthalene therapy with electronically conducted process of regeneration and sterilisation of naphthalene.

The gyms are equipped with exercise machines, tubs for underwater massage, a space for naphthalene therapy with 24 tubs, a pool with thermal water, machines for thermotherapy (therapy with paraffin, naphthalene and camphor) and criotherapy, a room for massage, a cosmetic salon, a wellness zone with saunas, a whirlpool and a laconium.

An excellent addition to Croatia's medical tourism story, and one which owes its thanks to a camel all those years ago. One wonders how quickly the camel would have recuperated in Ivanic Grad...

You can learn more about the unique Naftalan offer on the official website

To learn more about what is on offer with health tourism in Croatia, check out the Total Croatia Health Tourism in a Page guide

 

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Satirical Cartoons by Polish Author Zaradkiewicz to Be Staged in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 19 June 2022 - An exhibition of works of Polish cartoonist Zygmunt Zaradkiewicz will be staged in the Bogdan Ogrizović library, one of the city libraries in Zagreb, on 27 June.

The exhibition of his satirical cartoons is being organised by the Polish Embassy and the Croatian Cartoonists' Association.

Zaradkiewicz's works and activity include book illustrations, cartoons. prints, posters paintings and stage sets. He has received many awards and recently he was one of the winners at the World Press Cartoon Festival in Portugal.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Karlovac Aquatika Presents Aquarium Washing Robot

ZAGREB, 19 June 2022 - In the future a robot will replace divers in doing the work of cleaning the glass of the Aquatika aquarium in Karlovac after the aquarium's management purchased a robot that it will improve, speed up and simplify cleaning and thus reduce the costs.

The new equipment worth HRK 35,000 was presented on last Wednesday by Aquatika director Margarita Maruškić Kulaš, who explained that paying divers was expensive, dangerous and slow, which is why she expressed satisfaction with the purchase of a robot she believes will also arouse interest among visitors.

A call will be published soon on social networks for proposals to name the robot-washer.

Until now, aquarist Marin Jarnjak has been diving with oxygen tanks and cleaning the inside of the glass, which was an additional attraction at Aquatika.

Now he will rarely have to and most of the time the pool will be cleaned by remotely controlling the robotic cleaner.

"Most futurologists predict that in 20 years we will live in smart cities and smart apartments, which will be managed by artificial intelligence and will adapt the living space to the wishes and habits of the household and routine work will be done by robots, and people will do more sophisticated and creative work. Aquatika is following that path,” concluded Maruškić Kulaš.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Zagreb Hosts International Contest in Mental Arithmetic and Mental Math

ZAGREB, 19 June 2022 -  An international mental arithmetic and mental math Olympiad, which took place in Zagreb on Sunday, brought together about 500 children from Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Austria, Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The event for children aged between 4 and 17 was organised by the "Malac Genijalac Hrvatska" association.

Mental arithmetic concerns arithmetical calculations using only the human brain, with no help from any supplies (such as pencil and paper) or devices such as a calculator.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Croatia's Coronavirus Update: 373 New Cases, Three Deaths

ZAGREB, 19 June 2022 - In the last 24 hours there have been 373 cases of the infection with coronavirus and three more COVID patients have died, raising the death toll to 16,030, the national COVID-19 crisis management team reported on Saturday.

There are currently 2,270 active cases, including 160 hospitalized patients, of whom seven are on ventilators.

Since the first registered case of infection with this novel virus in Croatia on 25 February 2020, 1,141,919 infections have been diagnosed.

A total of 70.81% of the adult population have so far been vaccinated.

For everything you need to know about coronavirus specific to Croatia, bookmark our dedicated section and select your preferred language if it isn't English.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

23 Linear Particle Accelerators to Be Procured By Croatia in the Next Two Years

ZAGREB, 19 June 2022 - Croatia is expected to get the first batch of a total of 23 linear particle accelerators for cancer treatment in 2023 under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP), and the rest of the procured machines is due to arrive in the country in 2024, the health ministry has said.

The 23 linear accelerators will be dispatched to these hospitals: the KBC hospitals in Zagreb, Sestre milosrdnice Zagreb, the KBC hospitals in Split, Rijeka, and Osijek, and the KB Dubrava in Zagreb and Zadar's general hospital.

A sum of €97 million will be invested in the networking of radiotherapy equipment into a national network to ensure a comprehensive database of radiotherapy resources for patient treatment.

The public procurement process should kick off this year.

The provision of 23 linear particle accelerators will enable Croatia to reach the EU average of five accelerators per million inhabitants.

This target is also highlighted in the country's strategic framework for cancer treatment, which was adopted to streamline the treatment of oncology patients in Croatia.

 Some of the new accelerators will replace the old machines.

An estimated 25,000 citizens in Croatia are annually diagnosed with malignant diseases, and about 13,500 cancer patients die annually.

The most prevalent cancers in male adults are prostate, lung, colon, and rectal tumors and women are most frequently diagnosed with breast, lung, colon, and ovarian tumors.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

€1.16m for 136 Projects of Ethnic Croatians in 12 European Countries

ZAGREB, 19 June 2022 -The Central State Office for Croats Abroad has set aside 8.7 million kuna (€1.16 million) for 136 projects and programmes which will be carried out by associations of Croat communities in 12 European countries.

The grants for ethnic Croat projects range from HRK 7,000 to HRK 320,000.

This highest grant has been awarded to the project of public transport of ethnic Croat students in Janjevo and revitalization of the local Croat community in that part of Kosovo. Furthermore, the soup kitchen in Letnica, Kosovo, has received HRK 180,000 in aid.

The Democratic Alliance of the Croats in Romania has been awarded HRK 299,000 for its project of the preservation of the identity of local Croats in that eastern European country.

The state camp of the Croatian language and culture "Collegium Croaticum", managed by the Croatian local self-governing authorities (HDS) in Hungary, has been given HRK 275,000.

Apart from the Croat minorities in Kosovo, Romania, and Hungary, also ethnic Croats in Austria, Bulgaria, Montenegro, the Czech Republic, Italy, North Macedonia, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Serbia have been granted the funds following the public call for applications.

 The decisions on the grants are available on the Office's website.

(€1 = HRK 7.52)

For more news about the Croatian diaspora, visit our dedicated section.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Vrana Lake Nature Park: Perfect for Both Peace and Action

June 19, 2022 - Ever paid a visit to the gorgeous and truly unique Vrana lake nature park?

It’s that time again, when the ancient streets of coastal Croatia are full of traffic. It's the same thing for the roads, especially the Adriatic Highway, probably one of the most scenic routes you could ever drive along. No matter which part of Croatia’s coastline you're heading to, incredible views are guaranteed. Between Zadar and Šibenik, a real natural phenomenon can be sighted – the Adriatic Sea and the freshwater Vrana lake separated by less than one kilometre of mainland.

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Besides of being one of Croatia‘s largest natural lakes, it has been pronounced a nature park as well. Stretching from Pakoštane to Pirovac, blessing the two Croatian counties of Zadar and Šibenik-Knin at once, Vrana lake nature park covers about 57 square kilometres in total. A ridge, the Prosika canal, lets salt water flow down into the freshwater lake, making it possible for both salt water and freshwater fish to live there – a fact that attracts both sport and recreational fishing enthusiasts.

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There are plenty more opportunities on offer at the gorgeous Vrana lake nature park aside from fishing, such as swimming or kayaking for example. One can also choose horseback riding or even try out swimming with the horses. Besides the abundant water activities, Vrana lake nature park also boasts 40 kilometres of impressive cycling and hiking trails with stunning views on offer. Several display boards providing educational information dotted around Vrana lake can be found as well.

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What makes Vrana Lake nature park even more special, is its declaration as an Ornithological Reserve and its listing as one of the “Important Bird Areas in Europe” with more than 256 bird species being registered as living there. Off-season, particularly during the winter, over 100,000 aquatic birds seek out Vrana lake as their seasonal home. Birds aside, numerous other fascinating animal species can be found there as well.

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From the “Kamenjak” viewpoint, Vrana lake nature park’s highest peak, one can catch sight of the rugged coastline, the Kornati archipelago, the Mediterranean swamp as well as the rural area of Ravni Kotari all at once – an amazing picture that one can hardly ever forget. During the year, some traditional festivities take place at the top, right in front of the Chapel of All Saints. Moreover, the main path up the hill is known as the Way of the Cross with its 14 stations regularly walked by locals and tourists.

 

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A traditional Dalmatian tavern makes it possible to enjoy local delicacies while admiring the picturesque surroundings up there, and in the mornings one can see the beautiful shades of blue of both the lake and the sea, and soak up the amazing sunsets in the evenings. At this place, one thing is sure – unforgettable memories are guaranteed.

 

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For more on Croatia's nature parks, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Sunday, 19 June 2022

Zadar Digital Nomad Week Diary: Fourth Day Recap

June 19, 2022 - Although the Zadar Digital Nomad Week program kicked off on June 10, a press conference three days later marked the start of various panels, workshops, keynotes and master classes around the city of Zadar. A look at what the fourth day of Zadar Digital Nomad Week left us.

After an appropriate weekend to strengthen ties between the participants and with the host city of Zadar, it was time to formalize the start of a week with a program rich in workshops, keynotes, master classes, and panels. We met on the morning of Monday, June 13 at the Hotel Bastion Cafe, in the old town of Zadar. Tanja Polegubić from Saltwater Nomads, Jan de Jong from Digital Nomads Association Croatia, and Franjo Pehar from Zadar University led the press conference.

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Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich/Total Croatia News

Jan de Jong used the occasion to make a balance of the great progress and success of the digital nomad visa more than a year after its introduction in the country, which started with an open letter from Jan to the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenković. Jan revealed that statistically speaking, at any given moment we have some 6,000+ digital nomads in the country, making this already a 100 million EUR industry annually for Croatia. He expressed his joy that a city with very good infrastructure is following in the footsteps of Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Split in attracting these digital nomads.

For her part, Tanja Polegubić said that the reasons behind the Zadar Digital Nomad Week are personal, which can be evidenced in perhaps one of the most ambitious and diverse programs that have been carried out as part of the promotion of Croatia as a destination for digital nomads. Tanja also highlighted Zadar as a city that, in addition to its modernity and infrastructure, can boast of being surrounded by a lot of nature due to its proximity to national parks.

Finally, Franjo Pehar thanked the organizers for bringing this event to Zadar, considering it the most central city in Croatia due to its proximity to the capital, the northwest and the south of the country, and expressed his wish that more events take place in the city to promote it as a destination for digital nomads.

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Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich/Total Croatia News

After the press conference, we found ourselves at the next venue, just across the street. The Garden Lounge was the location chosen for the first panel of the Zagreb Digital Nomad Week, with a lineup that included Romana Konjevod from the Digital Nomad Association Croatia, Franjo Pehar from the University of Zadar, Jan de Jong from the Digital Nomad Association Croatia, Tanja Polegubić from Saltwater Nomads, Albert Anthony, and Josip Zurak from Authland Croatia. The panel was moderated by Marlee McCormick, one of the 10 winners of last year's Dubrovnik Digital Nomad in Residence, and panelists shared their experiences and insights on local businesses and nomads.

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Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich/Total Croatia News

There is no big event in Croatia without a space to taste good wine, and that is why we went to the Fiolić winery, where in addition to trying some of its internationally renowned wines and some delicious appetizers, the attendees would be part of a masterclass offered by Marlee McCormick and her husband Jeff Burke on how to podcast like a pro. The Texans used their extensive knowledge from their radio and podcast backgrounds to deliver a great class that covered everything from conceiving an idea to creating a podcast, to the tools needed to produce it.

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Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich/Total Croatia News

The master class could not have been better accompanied, as Ana Fiolić from the Fiolić winery allowed the attendees to try an excellent red wine, white wine, rose and even a delicious homemade rakija.

The last venue of the date would be Code Hub Zadar, a coworking space located on the campus of the University of Zadar, where different workshops would take place. KPMG delivered an in-person speed networking tax session from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., and digital nomads were able to learn more about the tax system in Croatia, and specifically for remote workers like them. An online masterclass by Maya Middlemiss followed, in which virtual attendees were able to learn a little-known side of the podcast world, on how to create one that fits the business world.

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Photo: Jose Alfonso Cussianovich/Total Croatia News

Finally, the day closed at Code Hub Zadar with a LinkedIn masterclass with Mandy Fransz, one of the LinkedIn 2022 top voices, who with her co-host Emanuel Stojanov, delved into the dos and don'ts in that platform. Mandy emphasized that LinkedIn is no longer a platform solely for job searching or posting job offers, but beyond. Now, LinkedIn allows its users to connect with thousands of other users with whom they can find diverse opportunities for collaboration or even as an educational platform. Mandy, at the end of her presentation, gave attendees the opportunity to analyze their profiles to see how they can improve their ranking on the platform.

It was definitely a day that had it all: panels, networking, wines, podcast masterclasses and LinkedIn... and there was still a long way to go to get closer to the end of Zadar Digital Nomad Week.

For the latest news and features about digital nomads in Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section

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