Monday, 12 December 2022

Bakar's Kukuljanovo Industrial Zone Most Well-Equipped in Country

December the 12th, 2022 - Bakar's Kukuljanovo industrial zone spans approximately 500 hectares and is by far the largest and best-equipped zone of its kind in all of Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, with the final complete infrastructural arrangement of this part of the Kukuljanovo industrial zone, including the accompanying newly asphalted roads and public lighting, the zone in every part of it is set to become of equal quality and attractive, including for potential new investors.

Bakar's Kukuljanovo industrial zone, spanning the aforementioned area of about 500 hectares, i.e. five million square metres, is the largest and, as they say, the most well-equipped such zone in all of Croatia. The proximity of the Port of Rijeka and the position on the motorway to the south, but even more significantly towards Zagreb and the whole of Central and Eastern Europe, are certainly this impressive zone's trump cards.

In the immediate vicinity of Kukuljanovo lies Rijeka Airport on the island of Krk, and although there has been an enormous amount of interest among entrepreneurs and business owners in working in and around this area for years, there are still around 200 hectares sitting entirely vacant in IZ Bakar, which are constantly being arranged and prepared for new tenants. Currently, more than 200 business entities with around 4,500 employees have positioned themselves on the Kukuljanovo industrial zone. There is also a free customs zone with an area of 100 hectares in this area.

The price of the land, which is being sold as a plateau at a public tender, ranges from 55 to 100 euros per square metre. The zone is constantly expanding. Just last year around 28,400 square metres of space were bought, and for this year the plan to buy another 30,000 square metres worth 5.8 million kuna in total. Revenues throughout 2022 are planned at the level of 17 million kuna, which is only 54% of the realisation from the record year of 2021.

Spatially speaking, the zone is divided into its western part, which is mostly built up, and the eastern, significantly less developed part, which is located in the wider circle of the Zlanjevo lagoon. These two spatial areas of the Kukuljanovo industrial zone are crossed by the local road called 58110, which connects the village of Kukuljanovo with the Municipality of Cavle. The existing roads in the eastern part of the zone (ex R 29/I) haven't yet been completely finished with the final wearing layer of asphalt and a suitable sidewalk.

Therefore, the City of Bakar itself, based on the contract for the maintenance of ungraded roads, carried out the ''revamp'' of the existing bearing layer of the pavement, the rehabilitation of rainwater drainage covers, the reconstruction of all drains, the replacement of all road and park curbs, the installation of the final asphalt layer of the pavement and the rehabilitation of asphalt on the pavements. Tactile panels have been installed along the pavements to make it easier for blind and visually impaired people to find their way around. The total value of the works stood at a massive 4.03 million kuna, and the contractor was Ceste Rijeka (Rijeka Roads). The length of the renovated pavement is 2,600 metres.

Perhaps the most famous ''name'' that opened a business premises on the Kukuljanovo industrial zone this year is Hrvatska posta (Croatian post), which opened a new logistics and distribution centre worth 60 million kuna back during the middle of March, which employs around 300 employee. The largest individual space in the zone is held by the Port of Rijeka with the Skrljevo Terminal, which is a back-end multipurpose logistics centre intended for the handling and storage of containers, general and bulk cargo, and even wood. It spans a total area of 440,000 square metres, of which 55,000 square metres are confined warehouses. The terminal has the status of a free customs zone.

For more, make sure to check out our news section.

Sunday, 11 December 2022

All Saints Day at Zagreb's Mirogoj: History & Soul (CROMADS Video)

December 11, 2022 - Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery is one of the most beautiful and fascinating destinations in the Croatian capital, and there is only one date to see it in all its glory - November 1, All Saints Day, as TCN's CROMADS partners joined Secret Zagreb's Iva Silla on a tour.

The impressions of visiting a tourist attraction or destination can very much depend on the time of year and several other factors. And if there is one day in the calendar year to visit the incredible main cemetery in Zagreb, it is on the busiest day of the year for Mirogoj - November 1, All Saints Day. 

On this day, a free bus service is available from close to Zagreb Cathedral to shuttle the thousands of locals with their flowers and candles, who go to pay their respects to friends and family members who are buried there. It is an incredibly moving and atmospheric time to visit, and the sheer volume of flowers and candles, lovingly placed on immaculately maintained gravestones. The practice, which is mirrored in cemeteries all over Croatia on November 1, is an important part of the Croatian calendar. 

Mirogoj is not just a cemetery, however, it is one of the most impressive complexes in the city, with quite a story to tell. Dating back to the 19th century, it was originally planned for some 500,000 souls, and today it is the final resting place to many prominent Croats, including the first President, Franjo Tudjman, and the late Mayor of Zagreb, Milan Bandic, as well as many other famous Croats from all walks of life, such as basketball legend Drazen Petrovic. 

The cemetery can be visited all year, but All Saints Day is undoubtedly the best time, especially if you have the right tour guide in tow. There are applications to help you guide you around the quite phenomenal array of history of offer, but nothing quite beats the personal touch.  

This year, the CROMADS team took some digital nomads to meet the incredible Iva Silla from Secret Zagreb for an insider tour of Mirogoj after dark. Take a tour in the video below.

For more information about CROMADS, check out the official website, and to learn more about the innovations of Secret Zagreb, click here.


Sunday, 11 December 2022

Daniele Orsato of Italy Assigned to Croatia - Argentina Semifinal

December 11, 2022 - Several international media report the unofficial news that Daniele Orsato of Italy has been appointed as a referee for Tuesday's semifinal game of the 2022 World Cup between Croatia and Argentina.

Football Italia and Mundo Deportivo both reported the news tonight, supposedly received from different sources. Others, including Croatian media, have also decided to publish the news before any kind of official FIFA confirmation. The VAR referee, according to the same news sources, is supposed to be another Italian, Massimiliano Irrati.

Although it's somewhat unexpected that an Italian referee has been given the responsibility for a match between a European and a South-American nation, his performance in his career and specifically at this World Cup makes him a strong choice. The 47-year-old has already refereed an Argentina match this November, when Argentina beat Mexico 2-0 in their Group C match.

The Croatian football fans know him very well from several previous occasions when he was in charge of their matches. The most recent one happened in 2020, in the European Championships, when Croatia played England at Wembley, and lost 1-0. There were many critiques of his handling of that match, including many Croatian fans who claimed that the only England goal was scored after an obvious foul, which he didn't acknowledge. Before that, we saw him referee Croatia versus Hungary in Split in 2019, and versus Czechia in Pula in 2011 - and Croatia won both of those games.

We wish Daniele Orsato and his colleagues good luck and sharp eyesight in this game, after so many criticisms aimed at the referees at this competition!

Sunday, 11 December 2022

Croatia Fulfills (Almost) All International Integration Goals

December 11, 2022 - It's been just over thirty years, but with Croatia's entry into the Schengen area and adoption of the Euro both happening on January 1st, 2023, it's clear that this country has fulfilled almost all of its realistic international integration goals.

Let's not kid ourselves, G7 is not a realistic goal (and Croatia is already a member of the G20, through the somewhat complicated relationship of the EU with that international organisation). So, the only international organisation remaining where Croatia has applied for membership, but will not be a full member yet as of January 1st, 2023 is the OECD.

In early 2022 the 30th anniversary of Croatian United Nations membership was marked. During the years, almost all other international integrations the Croatians were hoping for happened, one at a time, with the biggest one happening in 2013, with the Croatian accession to the EU. 

Last week's news of the Croatian entry into the Schengen area, paired with the introduction of Euro in Croatia, both happening in weeks, marks the end of the aspirations for Croatia. As for the aforementioned OECD, the application was formally sent in January of 2022, and the official and unofficial sources estimate it will take 3-6 years to meet all of the requirements to join the 38-member Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Croatian Exterior Ministry is in charge of those negotiations, which are not supposed to be easy, and it was reported earlier that Croatia was able to meet 39 out of the 260 legal "requirements".

One of the Croatian Twitter members posted a helpful chart, showing Croatia's position within the international integration in Europe, pointing out how Croatia is currently in the "inner circle" of all of the European countries, distancing itself even further from Bulgaria and Romania.

Some sceptics have, of course, taken the opportunity to point out that now, with (almost) all of the Croatian external goals taken care of, maybe the government could dedicate itself to solving some of the internal goals in the near future.

Sunday, 11 December 2022

Advent in Zagreb 2022: Global Promotion, Global Media Hit

December 11, 2022 - December in Zagreb is busy like never before, as are the international column inches writing about this year's Advent in Zagreb 2022. 

Of all the Croatian tourism events that I have followed over the last decade writing for TCN and Google News, none has impressed me as much as the story of Advent in Zagreb. From extremely humble beginnings on Ban Jelacic Square with just a few stalls, it was rebranded as Advent in Zagreb in 2010. Just six years later, in 2016, Advent in Zagreb was named the Best Christmas Market in Europe, a title it went on to defend in 2017 and 2018. You can read the story of the rise of Advent in this feature story on TCN - From Zero to European Champion: a History of Advent in Zagreb.

As Croatia talks about 12-month tourism, here was an example of how to take an event from nothing and make it one of the major events of the year, with almost every town in Croatia following suit with their own Advent offerings. I remember when I first came to live in Croatia back in 2002 in Jelsa on Hvar. The Christmas tree would go up on the main square on December 15, and that was that. Now there is a programme of events and gathering places throughout December in most bigger communities all over the country.  


Five years ago, Zagreb Tourist Board won a FIJET award at the Croatian Association of Journalists for their promotion of Advent in Zagreb, and they gave an excellent presentation of the work behind the scenes promoting this new international event ,which I covered in detail in Advent in Zagreb: The Campaign Behind Europe's Best Christmas Market. The numbers quoted presented back then of the growth in tourism were certainly impressive, even more so when you look at the bigger picture from 2010 - 2019, below.  

  • In December 2010, the number of arrivals and overnight stays increased to 34,824 arrivals and 59,023 overnights, a 6 percent growth in arrivals and 5 percent growth in overnight stays compared to December 2009;
  • In December 2019, 134,078 people visited Zagreb, staying 251,645 nights. Compared to December 2018, the statistics indicate a 9 percent growth in arrivals and a 9 percent growth in overnight stays.

What impressed me at that presentation back in 2017 was how visible Advent in Zagreb was on international markets, with its campaign both online and offline - the trams of Milan, below. 


Then came the pandemic, and the world closed down for much of 2020, with big events still not back in 2021. But Advent in Zagreb continued to maintain a presence, albeit it largely in hybrid form for two years, until this year. 

And, reading the international media, one could be forgiven for thinking that the pandemic had never happened, as Zagreb continued exactly where it left off in 2019 - with a raft of international promotion and media column inches. 


Welcoming images of a lively Zagreb in December appeared once more in some of the major publications around the world.  The Guardian, for example, chose a welcoming image of Zrinjevac as its headline image of Santa shops here: 10 of Europe’s coolest Christmas markets. That recognition of Zagreb's prominence on the Advent stage in Europe has so far been echoed in additional articles in CNN, The Mirror, The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Independent, and Conde Nast Traveller.

Martina Bienenfeld, CEO of the Zagreb Tourist Board, gave a little more detail on the international efforts and success of the promotion of Advent in Zagreb in a recent statement last month:

"Just as in the article itself it is written - Zagreb's Advent has recently strengthened itself among the best in Europe, so we are especially happy with announcements like this because additionally position our city on the European map of Christmas markets. Also, I would point out that and the news about Advent Zagreb, in its monthly newsletter, was also reported by UNWTO, which includes 160 member states and more than 500 associated members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations and local tourist authorities. And we can see by checking the platform itself that the capacity occupancy in Zagreb for the first weekend of Advent is already more than 82., Therefore, I expect that Advent in Zagreb, after two pandemic years, will again show that it is one of the most important events for Zagreb and Croatian tourism.

"Let me remind you, in the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb, we started with international offline and online promotion via Google, social networks, native articles as well as of mobile advertising in Europe, the USA and Canada, in a total of 21 markets. This year, we are especially promoting Advent on the well-known tourist portal Expedia on the US market, as well as on the Smithsonian portal as part of the multi-month destination campaigns. We also achieved our traditional promotional cooperation with Croatia Airlines, Turkish Airlines and Croatian Railways with whom we secured special prices tickets for visiting Zagreb Advent."

The atmosphere around Zagreb at the moment is fantastic, with Advent and Croatia's incedible World Cup run proving to be a winning combination. You can learn more about Advent in Zagreb 2022 and its programme on the official website

Sunday, 11 December 2022

Croatian Connection for the German Reichsbürger Movement

December 11, 2022 - After the German authorities announced their arrests of a group of right-wing extremists plotting to overthrow the German government, the so-called Reichsbürger, the Croatian media is reporting about the group's supposed links to some Croatian citizens.

Marin Dešković reports for Jutarnji list about the previous gun-smuggling links between the extremist Reichsbürger movement in Germany and the gun-smuggling from Croatia. One of the self-professed members of the group, Alexander Reichel, was supposedly living in Croatia, where he married a local woman from Zadar. He was in charge of managing an operation which included smuggling the guns from Croatia to Germany, where it was used in assassination attempts of various public figures who the right-wing extremists considered to be their enemies.

In early 2018 Croatian authorities got the information about the smuggling, which was originally just buying guns leftover from the wars in this region. It was then that the Croatian police and their German counterparts started a covert operation, including the taping of their phone calls, and other surveillance measures, which resulted in a total of 16 people being arrested in Croatia in connection with that operation. Most of them were tried and convicted in Croatia, but A. Reichel was requested by Germany to be extradited, where he was tried in 2020. Martin M. was one of the Croatian citizens who gave statements to the interrogators about his links with Reichel, detailing how he often purchased guns in Croatia and took them to Germany, where he gave them to Reichel. He understood that those guns would be distributed among the German right-wing extremists, gathered around the AfD party. Reichel was convicted earlier this year and is supposed to serve a prison sentence of four years and three months. Martin M.'s cooperation got him a sentence of only two years and nine months in prison. 

One other interesting and no so widely reported detail of the spectacular arrests of the Reichsbürger members came from the article in the Guardian. In the article, Philip Oltermann claims that before getting arrested in Perugia in Italy, Maximilian Eder, one of the members of the group, spent some time in Croatia: "Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel printed an interview with Eder’s neighbour in his home town of Eppenschlag, Bavaria, who said the pensioner had called her from Croatia a few days earlier. “It could be that the police will come around next week”, the ex-soldier is reported to have said."


Sunday, 11 December 2022

Exploring Croatian Recipes: Christmas Baking - Orascici (Little Walnuts)

December 11, 2022 - Christmas baking in Croatia starts as soon as December rolls around. The goal is for the Christmas dessert table to be as bright and colourful as possible, full of cookies and cakes and everything in between. Boxes of various little treats are gifted to family, freinds, nieghbours, brought to office parties, schools and kindergartens. Sweet treats are a key component of Croatian Christmas traditions. They bring a lot of joy to both the visitors and the hosts, and the process of baking them is the perfect tool for families to come together and enjoy moments of bonding. Today we explore one of the oldest Croatian recipes to find itself on Santa's list - orascici.

Orah means walnut in Croatian. While walnuts are the main ingredient used to make them, the diminutive orascic (little walnut) refers to the shape of these treats. The cookies are baked in a special type of metal mold which has the shape and the texture of a walnut half. The halves are then filled and glued together to form a whole nut. It is slightly ironic that they are called little though, since most of them turn out bigger than actual walnuts. They are incredibly fun both to make and look at, and no matter how many there are, always the first kind to vanish from the plates.




- 300 g flours

- 125 g butter

- 100 g lard

- 100 g ground walnuts

- 150 g icing sugar


- 100 g butter

- 200 g icing sugar

- 200 g ground walnuts

- 50 ml milk


1 Soften the butter and combine all the ingredients into a soft dough.

Grease the molds and dust them with flour to create a barrier, otherwise the cookies might stick.

Fill out the metal molds, leaving an indent in the middle (follow the shape).

Bake the cookies at 180 °C until golden (they will rise once they start baking - when they fall back down they're ready to go).

Unmold the cookies while they're still hot.

2 Soften the butter and combine the ingredients for the filling, using warm milk to bind them.

Fill out both halves and stick together to create walnuts. 

* This is the traditional recipe, using traditional techniques and ingredients. The metal molds can be found at most Croatian markets, baking and vintage shops, as well as online. If you cannot find them, you can cut out any shape and use the same filling to create sandwich cookies of the same taste. Butter can be used instead of lard.

Pro-tip: orascici are best made up to 10 days in advance and stored in tin boxes.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 10 December 2022

Emigration from Slavonia? The View from Osijek University (VIDEO Interview)

December 10, 2022 - The perception of eastern Croatia is a region of emigration and economic decay. TCN visits the University of Osijek to catch the mood with students. 

One of the things I like to do when I have time is to talk to the young people of Croatia to see how they see their country and their future, particularly in eastern Croatia, which is a magical land which is so misrepresented in Zagreb and treated almost like a handicapped cousin, one whose existence is acknowledged but kept firmly out of the public eye. 

From the moment I first visited Slavonia back in 2014, I sensed that there was something wrong with this narrative. Yes, the emigration was significant, but so too was the desire to stay and build a better future, as well as infinite pride and hospitality. Slavonians really are a breed apart, in a good way.  Lack of investment, lack of interest, and a public perception of war and hopelessness has come to characterise how people in the rest of Croatia see the region. 

And yet, having travelled extensively in the region, my experience has been exactly the opposite. My tour of eastern Croatia in November, 2021, remains the best trip I have done in my 20 years in Croatia - read about it in Time to Tell the Truth about Slavonia Full of Life.

When I came back to Zagreb with wild tales of the east, what became immediately clear was the level of ignorance about eastern Croatia. As I explain in the video tour video above, I asked thee simple questions to 70 people in Zagreb about eastern Croatia - just one got all three correct, with 69 out of 70 unable to do so. Do you think you can answer the three relatively simple questions? Check them out in the video above after the video tour of the region. 

But not only had I found a magical and relatively undiscovered tourism region, but the people I was meeting were all saying the same thing. The pace of emigration was halting, even reversing, and the number of opportunities I was coming across were growing by the day. 

A year ago, I was surprised to meet a British businessman in my hotel, the excellent Maskimilien, in Tvrdja in Osijek. He explained that he had a Swiss drone company and was working with Orqa, the Osijek-based FPV drone company, which is leading the world in this emerging technology. A year later, I met him again. Orqa had since acquired his company, and he had bought a house and moved to Osijek to work within Orqa to put develop Orqa and its drone technology. It may be hard to believe for some, but Osijek is now home to the leading drone technology company in the world, and there are some VERY interesting visitors to Slavonia these days, given the events in Ukraine. 

And Orqa is not alone - the IT sector in particular, is very vibrant. But I was more interested on this trip to get the views of the younger generation, and I am very grateful to Marija Lozancic for organising a seminar for me at the University of Osijek Faculty of Education on the subject How Travelling the World and Experiencing Cultures Helps Build a Media Career in Croatia.

The last time I spoke at a university, in Zagreb, just 9 students turned up. In Osijek, there were almost 50. Curious about their future plans, I asked how many planned to emigate on graduation - just 2. And how many were definitely staying? An impressive 25. Yes, the emigration had been terrible, but times are a changing. I asked for some volunteers to do a video interview after the seminar, and I am very grateful to the three young ladies in the video below, who were happy to share their views on life in Slavonia and their plans for the future, which include developing their new English-language blog, 

And wherever I went on my 3-day trip to the east this week, I was met with the traditional warmth and hospitality, but also a lot more positivity and feeling that things are changing regarding emigration. Turnout for our book promotion of Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners was bigger in both Osijek and Vukovar than it was in Zagreb, Split or Zadar.  

(Presentation of Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners at Knjizara Nova in Osijek on December 6, 2022)

Eastern Croatia is a fantastic place which has been kept down for too long. If you have never been, I encourage you to visit. And if you think that it is a place purely of emigration and economic decline, you are in for a major surprise. 


(Presentation of Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners at Vukovar City Library on December 7, 2022)


What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.



Saturday, 10 December 2022

Looking for a Job in Croatia? This Week's Top 10 from (December 10, 2022)

December 10, 2022 - Looking for a job in Croatia? A new weekly feature on TCN, in partnership with leading job site agency,, who present a selection of weekly job listings.

How hard is it to find a job in Croatia, and what is on offer?

We spoke to Ines Bokan, director of leading jobs site, who kindly took the time for this excellent interview overview.  

Ines has kindly agreed to work with us on a new weekly feature on TCN - a weekly selection of 10 job listings, as chosen by  Details and links to the job opportunities below in the latest edition of this feature.

WWF Adria - Association for the protection of nature and preservation of biological diversity is hiring a person in the position of WWF Adria PSP Resource Mobilization Manager (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. Send complete applications via link by December 17th

Dubor d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of Office Administrator / Sales assistant (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. Send complete applications via link by December 17th

Gi Group Staffing Solutions is hiring a Junior Architect (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. Send complete applications via link by December 12th

RB IMPRA GmbH is hiring a Technical draftsman (m/f). Place of work Oberhausen - Rheinhausen, Germany. Send complete applications via link by December 13th

CS-Eurotrade d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of Sales Representative (m/f). Place of work Croatia & Slovenia. Send complete applications via link by December 14th

BHS Corrugated machines d.o.o. is hiring a person at the position of Multinational apprenticeship - Electronics technicians for automation technology (m/w/d). Place of work Varaždin. Send complete applications via link by December 31th.

Future HR is hiring a person for the position of Sales and Marketing Manager (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. Send complete applications via link by December 29th.

Lindner Montage + Service GmbH is hiring a person in the position of Structural Engineer / Construction Designer (m/f). Place of work Arnstorf / Leipzig (Germany) or around Zagreb (Croatia). Send complete applications via link by December 24th.

dotSource is hiring a Java Developer (f/m/x). Place of work Rijeka. Send complete applications via link by December 25th.

Strabag BRVZ d.o.o. is hiring a Client Application Engineer – Windows Desktop, SCCM, Packaging (m/f/d) for work in Zagreb. In this position, you can expect diverse and responsible tasks in a challenging environment. Apply here by Dec 12th!


For more career options and job listings, visit


These weekly job listings will appear in the weekly TCN newsletter - you can subscribe here.


What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

Saturday, 10 December 2022

Kate Beckinsale Celebrates Croatia's World Cup Victory in Zagreb

December 10, 2022 - Kate Beckinsale is still in Zagreb, filming her latest movie Canary Black, and just like everyone else in Zagreb, she watched the Croatia - Brasil game on Friday afternoon.

And of course, the atmosphere of the fans celebrating yet another one of Croatian national team's crazy victories infected her as well, as she has shown on her Instagram profile. She was watching the game in a bar in the city centre, dressed in a national team jersey with Modrić's number and last name, with a friend and surrounded by fans, and shared some of the atmosphere from the bar and the streets of Zagreb.

She also sent a message to all the Croatian fans on one of her Instagram stories: "I'm English and obviously support England but we're shooting in Croatia with amazing Croatian crew so we support each other and it's fucking lovely. Congratulations Croatia, your Kate Beckinsalović" (adding the "ić", very frequently found in Croatian last names, to her own).

We are sure the "amazing crew", as she calls them, will be there to support the English national team tonight with Kate, in their game against France.


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