Sunday, 10 April 2022

Express Train Service to Connect Osijek, Bjelovar and Zagreb as of December

ZAGREB, 10 April 2022 - The Croatian Rail (HŽ) company will introduce an express train between Osijek and Zagreb via Bjelovar as of this December, and will soon introduce low-floor trains on the Zagreb-Bjelovar-Virovitica route.

This is the outcome of a recent meeting between Bjelovar-Bilogora County Prefect Marko Marušić and HŽ Putnički Prijevoz (HŽPP) executives.

In 2021, 120,398 passengers boarded trains at railway stations in this county, a 5% rise from 2020, it was said during the meeting, held in Bjelovar, at which Marušić also requested more favourable train ticket prices for locals.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 3 April 2022

Bjelovar to Host Croatian Catholic Youth Meeting on 17 Sept

ZAGREB, 3 April 2022 - Several thousand young people are expected to gather in Bjelovar, 80 kilometres northeast of Zagreb, on 17 September for the Croatian Catholic Youth Meeting, to be held under the motto "Hearts are burning".

Participants will gather in the seat of the Bjelovar-Križevci County Diocese. The programme of the meeting is being prepared by its Youth Pastoral.

Croatian Catholic Youth Meetings have been held since 1996, the first one being held in Split. Every meeting draws thousands of young people from every Croatian archdiocese and diocese as well as Catholic missions.

The meetings have also been hosted by Rijeka, Osijek, Šibenik, Pula, Varaždin, Zadar, Sisak, Dubrovnik, and Vukovar. Zagreb was to have hosted in 2020 but the meeting was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the earthquake that struck the capital that year.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 1 April 2022

23rd International Bjelovar Spring Fair Opens

ZAGREB, 1 April (2022) - The 23rd International Bjelovar Spring Fair opened in Gudovac on Friday, with more than 400 exhibitors from a dozen countries showcasing their agricultural products and services.

The Spring Fair, which is open until Sunday, also includes the 17th Beekeeping Fair, the Horticulture Equipment Fair and the Construction and Utility Equipment Fair. Gudovac is located near Bjelovar, about 80 kilometres northeast of Zagreb.

The show was opened by Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković, who noted that in the past few years Croatia had been exposed to challenges it could have no influence on, such as natural disasters, the COVID-19 pandemic and now the war in Ukraine. He recalled that the government had invested a huge amount of money in a job retention scheme and adopted a HRK 4.8 billion package of measures to preserve living standards and expand the scope of welfare measures.

Bjelovar Fair director Zlatko Salaj expressed satisfaction with the number of exhibitors although it was about 30 per cent lower than in the record 2019.

Bjelovar-Bilogora County Prefect Marko Marušić spoke of the long tradition of agriculture in the region and the measures being undertaken by the regional government to help farmers, while Bjelovar Mayor Dario Hrebak emphasised the importance of the use of geothermal energy, which is abundant locally, in agriculture.

Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković said that Croatia was the fourth biggest user of EU rural development funds. She said that the autumn sowing had gone well despite all the challenges and that six per cent more land had been sown than the previous year. She also mentioned an emergency measure of HRK 868 million to remedy the damage caused by the coronavirus crisis.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

For more, check out our business section.

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Bjelovar to Explore Hidden Potential with New Project and Norwegian Money

March the 22nd, 2022 - Bjelovar, known more recently as one of the most forward-thinking, anti-corruption, pro-transparency towns in all of Croatia, is set to explore its further hidden potential with a new project and a generous amount of Norwegian cash.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after the Ministry of Regional Development approved the amount of 2 million kuna recently for the preparation of project documentation for a new geothermal well in Veliko Korenovo, even better news arrived for Bjelovar. The continental Croatian town also got the green light for the construction of the well itself.

The project, worth a total of 3.5 million euros, will be co-financed from the same source as the preparation of the documentation - from the "Energy and Climate Change" programme of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds, funded by the Kingdom of Norway, as reported by klikni.hr/click.hr.

''The total value of this project stands at 3.5 million euros, and the maximum amount that could be achieved through this tender is 1.5 million euros. We haven't yet received confirmation that we've been approved in the full amount, but given that very few projects have applied for this tender, and ours is highly rated, we're hoping for the best,'' said Bjelovar Mayor Dario Hrebak.

In other words, there is a possibility that Bjelovar itself will provide almost half of the money for the investment in this tender, and Hrebak added that he isn't afraid for the other half of the required amount. ''I believe that in the near future there will be more tenders for such projects, so I believe that we will find the required amount. This is a great investment, we'll definitely realise it,'' says Hrebak.

The project's realisation could end up going faster than anyone could have expected, especially in Croatian terms.

''The conceptual project is already being completed, and I believe that we could have a building permit by the end of this year. This means that the construction of the well itself could be completed by the end of next year, and we've already been contacted by some potential investors,'' announced Hrebak, who isn't bothering to try to hide his overall satisfaction with the realisation of this extremely important project for Bjelovar.

''It's important, especially in light of current global events when energy self-sufficiency is one of the key issues. The new well will be the foundation for the heating plant and the heating pipeline through which future spas should be heated, the business zone in Veliko Korenovo, the Bjelovar Fair and other facilities in that part of the city,'' said Hrebak, adding that estimates are being made on the savings this investment will bring over time.

''We already know that this is going to result in really huge savings. By comparison, the 10-megawatt geothermal power plant at Ciglena produces 130 million kuna worth of electricity a year. We're going to have a power of 4 megawatts in Veliko Korenovo, so we can also expect millions in energy savings,'' said Hrebak.

Bjelovar started a serious examination of the well in Veliko Korenovo a little over one year ago in cooperation with experts from the Hrvoje Pozar Energy Institute and the Geotechnical Institute. Initial tests have already indicated the enormous potential of the well and that the water temperature at this place is much higher than that which will be used for the nearby spas. To speak more specifically, a water temperature of 70 degrees was measured at that location.

''We have information that in other parts of the city there are underground springs where the water temperature is between 70 and 100 degrees celsius. Bjelovar has a great geothermal potential that we definitely plan to utilise,'' concluded Dario Hrebak.

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

Friday, 18 February 2022

Bjelovar Veterinary Station Takes Over Dog Shelter in Severin Village

February 18, 2022 - Thanks to a four-year contract initiated by the City of Bjelovar, the dog shelter in Severin village is now run by the Bjelovar Veterinary Station. 

Based on a public procurement conducted by the City of Bjelovar, the Bjelovar Veterinary Station will care for the stray dogs in the Bjelovar area. The animal shelter is located in the village of Severin and currently cares for 109 dogs. In addition to dogs from the Bjelovar area, the shelter also takes care of dogs from nine municipalities. The four-year care contract is worth two million kuna, and about 240,000 kuna has been used so far, reports Vecernji List.

"I would say this is a real dog hotel. The property is really beautiful, very well decorated, and has all the important elements. Bjelovar Veterinary Station is a very serious company with 45 employees who do a great job. About 120 dogs pass through the shelter annually. We are glad that they have been adopted quite successfully, which is the main goal of this whole story. I want to thank the "Šapa" Society for the Protection of Animals and Mrs. Marija Horvat, with whom the City of Bjelovar had excellent cooperation. However, the current space is more adequate, there is a lot more space for dogs, and they have everything they need, from veterinary care, food, space for running, sleeping, and the like," said Igor Brajdić, Deputy Mayor of Bjelovar.

The problem of abandoned dogs is one of the burning issues both in Bjelovar and in the surrounding area. According to Brajdić, the only way is to educate and inform citizens in cooperation with the Bjelovar Veterinary Station. The city's municipal warden is regularly on the ground, he claims, and has a very extensive job, including caring for abandoned animals. He called on interested citizens to consider adopting abandoned dogs. The head of the animal shelter in Severin revealed details regarding the shelter's operation, capacity, and operation.

"Our facility had to comply with the Ordinance on the care of abandoned animals. For this reason, we have invested considerable financial resources in arranging the shelter. The inspection confirmed one of the best shelters in Croatia, perhaps the highest quality. There are a total of 32 of them in the country. Our shelter can accommodate up to 180 dogs, and the most important thing is that we have adopted about 120 of them in a year. The shelter employs four people, one doctor, two technicians, and another employee. During the morning, the shelter is cleaned, dogs are washed and fed, followed by treatment and therapy. For the time being, we are performing surgical procedures in the outpatient clinic in Bjelovar, but we also have one room here, and we can do some smaller procedures. We also arranged a food warehouse and a large bathroom for washing and caring for dogs," says veterinarian Ante Ćorić.

The municipal warden is obliged to inform the shelter about any stray dogs, after which someone from the shelter goes out on the field and checks if the dog is chipped. In any case, the animal is taken to the shelter, and if it has a chip, the owner is notified, who bears all the costs incurred.

"In case the dog is not chipped, we get in touch with the veterinary inspection, which can help us a lot. The municipal warden is very important, and we have excellent cooperation with them. Some local governments often do not understand that they are a specific service for citizens and have to take care of stray dogs, i.e., the problems that arise from that. At the Severin dog shelter, all dogs have been neutered. After the arrival of a new dog, it stays in the shelter for some time before castration," explains Ćorić and adds that the adoption process is straightforward; all that is needed is goodwill, as well as love for dogs.

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

Friday, 14 January 2022

Direct Railway Line Between Bjelovar and Split Will Start this Summer

January 14, 2022 - The Bjelovar-Bilogora County has managed to reach an agreement with HŽPP, and Bjelovar will be connected to the Adriatic by a direct railway line for the first time from July 1st, this year.

The seasonal tourist train will run once a day on the route Osijek-Virovitica-Bjelovar-Zagreb-Split, reports HrTurizam.

It will depart from Osijek at 8 pm, in Bjelovar at 11.35 pm, and at its final destination in Split it should arrive at 8.42 am. Return from Split is planned every day at 22.06 hours, the train would arrive in Bjelovar at 8.11 hours, and in Osijek at 11.36 hours. The line will run until August 27.

"The direct railway line that will connect Bjelovar to the Adriatic for the first time is the result of our efforts and talks we started last autumn. We are extremely pleased with the agreement reached with HŽPP and consider it important progress in connecting Bjelovar with other parts of Croatia," said the prefect Marko Marušić, who talked with the representatives of HŽPP about the better connection of Bjelovar with Zagreb and the possibility of introducing a student train from Bjelovar to Zagreb.

Namely, children and students of primary and secondary schools will be able to travel for free, in accordance with the Conclusion of the Government of the Republic of Croatia on the introduction of a pilot project of free public rail transport, which is in force until the end of this year.

Recall, this pilot project includes unlimited daily train journeys from the place of residence to the place of schooling and occasional trips, such as day trips, trips to the doctor, on vacations and other trips in the 2nd class of regular trains.

If you want to learn more about train travel in Croatia, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide HERE. Now available in your language!

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

Wednesday, 6 October 2021

SeneCura Continues Croatian Market Expansion with Bjelovar Business Move

October the 6th, 2021 - The Austrian company SeneCura is continuing its Croatian market expansion by making business moves in continental Croatia, more precisely in Bjelovar.

As Novac/Jozo Vrdoljak writes, the international group SeneCura, specialising in care for the elderly and infirm, is continuing with its Croatian market expansion with the acquisition of the Vita Nova care home located in Bjelovar. SeneCura, based in Vienna, has been operating in Austria, the Czech Republic and neighbouring Slovenia for more than twenty years, and has been operating in Croatia since 2020. After taking over the Severovic care home in Novaki Bistranski, this year saw further acquisitions.

The latest acquisition is, as stated, the Vita Nova care home in Bjelovar, which has been operating since 2012. Vita Nova has 180 beds in 118 rooms, and the users of this care home are cared for by a professional team consisting of a head nurse, a social worker, an occupational therapist and a physiotherapist, and in addition to providing care, Vita Nova offers its users laundry services and the use of a hair salon. The property also has a restaurant and a park with a lake for residents to enjoy some fresh air.

The SeneCura Group announced that, as always, the high quality of business and customer care at Vita Nova was crucial in making the decision to purchase and integrate the home into the SeneCura Group. The CEO of the SeneCura Group, Anton Kellner, pointed out that the continuation of their Croatian market expansion is in line with the desire to offer the highest quality of care across Croatia according to the standards of excellence of the SeneCura Group.

"We know from experience that each new home we integrate into our Group is special and for that reason each one requires an individual approach to that integration. As before, we'll first get better acquainted with internal work processes, and then adjust the business to SeneCura standards as well as prescribed national norms,'' said Jasna Krijan, Regional Director of SeneCura Homes for the Elderly in Carinthia, Austria and Chief Operating Officer in Croatia.

The SeneCura Group notes that all homes within the SeneCura Group are characterised by the highest standards in the quality of customer care. They're complemented by a variety of programmes, such as scientific pain management, palliative care, occupational therapy, remobilisation, and physiotherapy. They explain that the various activities offered to customers are the most important part of SeneCure's offer, so that the Central Quality Management Department sets and harmonises standards for all markets in which this group is present, so that each institution is an example of best practice in nursing, social care, as well as across wide range of many other services according to customer needs.

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

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Kaštelor-Labinci, Motovun, and Veliko Trojstvo in the Race for UNWTO Awards

September 21, 2021 - Three Croatian municipalities and villages, two in Istria and one in Bjelovar, are among the candidates for the novel initiative of the World Tourism Organization to promote rural tourism, and this is why Kaštelor-Labinci, Motovun, and Veliko Trojstvo will compete in the UNWTO Awards.

With the aim of improving the role of rural tourism, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has launched a pilot initiative "Best Tourism Villages", reports HrTurizam.hr. As part of the activities, UNWTO member states, until 15 September, had the opportunity to apply for up to three candidates: villages or municipalities. They will present their places as drivers of sustainable change in the social, economic, and environmental aspects. The Municipality of Kaštelir-Labinci, the Municipality of Motovun from Istria, and the Municipality of Veliko Trojstvo from Bjelovar-Bilogora County were elected as Croatian representatives.

The initiative includes three pillars and two awards. Villages that are an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination and that are committed to sustainability in all its forms - economic, social, and environmental - will be awarded the label "Best Tourist Villages of the UNWTO". Villages that do not fully meet the criteria for the label will be provided with an upgrade program to support the UNWTO and their partners in working in problem areas. Finally, a network will be created that will provide space for the exchange of experiences and good practices, learning and creating new opportunities for development. It will include representatives of villages awarded the “Best Tourist Village” label by the UNWTO, villages participating in the Upgrade Program as well as experts, public and private sector partners engaged in the promotion of rural development tourism.

The aim of the UNWTO Awards is to strengthen the role of tourism as a positive force for transformation, rural development, and community well-being. It seeks to increase the sector's contribution to reducing regional inequalities and combating the depopulation of rural areas. It also seeks to enhance the role of tourism in valuing and protecting rural villages, along with landscapes, knowledge systems, biological and cultural diversity, local values, ​​and activities, including gastronomy.

To find the most complete information on all the destinations in Croatia that you can visit, take a look at the Total Croatia guides HERE. Now in your language!

For more, check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 30 August 2021

Int'l Bjelovar Autumn Fair Expects about 300 Exhibitors

ZAGREB, 30 Aug 2021 - The Bjelovar Autumn Fair, which will be held from 3 to 5 September at the Gudovac fair compounds, will include 300 exhibitors.

Local authorities and the fair's executives told a press conference on Monday that the state exhibition of cattle will be held with the support of the Ministry of Agriculture.

 The fair will be opened by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.

The exhibition will be held outdoors considering epidemiological recommendations.

Entry to the fair will require a COVID certificate of vaccination or negative test, and testing will be available at the fairgrounds. The fair's director Zlatko Salaj estimates that this year's autumn fair would reach about 60% of the level of the record 2019 year.

Bjelovar-Bilogora County Prefect Marko Marušić described the Autumn Fair as a Croatian brand.

For more on travel, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 2 May 2021

Labour Day Motorcycle Vigil in Bjelovar

May 2, 2021 - Early yesterday morning, the Labour day motorcycle vigil Bjelovar was held.

Bjelovar Info reports, traditionally, about 500 motorcyclists accompanied by the police drove through the city streets for one hour. It is a continuation of the tradition from the 1930s, when workers protested against the capitalists of that time by driving without an exhaust.

On May 1, 100 years ago, they removed the mufflers on motorcycles and drove to the Kamenitovac mountain lodge and returned to the City before 7 am to arrive on time at work, wanting to point out all social injustices in this way.

"Last year we organized the Moto Vigil as a normal participation in traffic. We rode in several groups and that was all. For epidemiological reasons, this time we did not have any official gathering, nor did the motorcyclists hang out before and after the vigil, but only the formation of a column in the parking lot before 5.00 in the morning. Accompanied by the police, we drove through the pre-determined streets, after which we dispersed. All participants adhered to epidemiological measures so that they did not move away from their motorcycles and did not take off their protective helmets. Also, unnecessary stopping was not allowed. Given that the Bjelovar vigil is of great importance for citizens and motorcyclists, we decided to organize it at least in a slightly more modest edition and in accordance with all epidemiological regulations", said Alen Krce, president of the Moto Club Bjelovar.

As in previous years, the organizer of the traditional Bjelovar Moto vigil was "Moto Club Bjelovar". Today, there are only few people who do not know that the vigil became a recognizable manifestation of the city of Bjelovar, which is held from year to year at dawn on Labor Day. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic last year, it was not organized in the way that the people of Bjelovar and the participants themselves are used to.

"In 1930, the Moto Club Bjelovar was founded, and then took over the organization of this moto vigil, which had been there for several years before. Throughout history, there may have been some interruptions due to various conditions, but a few years ago this became an event beyond the borders of the city of Bjelovar, and, beyond the county when we had an international visitor", said Alen Krce, president of Moto Club Bjelovar.

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