Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Brod-Posavina County, an Example of Tourism Excellence in Eastern Croatia

September 28, 2021 - Nothing to envy the regions of Istria or Dalmatia when it comes to tourism statistics in the last summer months, as Brod-Posavina county has also broken its own records with an attractive offer that combines peace, comfort, and nature.

The proof that tourism does not take place only on the Adriatic is Brod-Posavina County, which from the beginning of the year to September 21 reached 82% of overnight stays from the best pre-pandemic 2019. And the great growth trend continues, reports HrTurizam.hr.

Judging by the tourist results, Brod-Posavina County has confirmed its status as a year-round destination. Although it is not over yet, the month of September is better than the record 2019. It is also encouraging that 37,357 overnight stays from the beginning of the year to September 21 increased by 35% compared to the same period in 2020.

"If we look at overnight stays by type of accommodation, the most sought-after facilities in the household are farms, ranches, family farms, holiday homes in rural areas, which recorded an increase of as much as 166% compared to last year. The September record-holders in overnight stays are the Tourist Board of the Municipality of Garčin with growth of six times and the Municipality of Cernik, which realized three times the number of overnight stays compared to the same month last year. These statistics indicate only one thing - guests are looking for indigenous, original, and tourist unspent with a stay in nature, and this is exactly what we offer in our county", said Ruzica Vidakovic, director of the Tourist Board of Brod-Posavina County.

It is a happy fact that 15 new facilities with 124 beds have been opened this year, but also the fact that 60% of the total number of tourists are foreigners and 40% are domestic guests.

Regarding the position and growth index of overnight stays for the first eight months of 2021, if we compare with the record 2019, Brod-Posavina County within the cluster Slavonia, five Slavonian counties, achieved an index of 80.28 compared to the average of Slavonia, which is 69.74.

Ethno-eco village Stara Kapela, Ramarin Ranch, Dida Tunje House, Savus Farm, Matin and Ana's apartment, Kereković Estate, Opođe Rural Household, Paljevina Farm, Villa Melani, Villa Čop, holiday houses “Regoč” and “Atar”… - they are real discoveries for lovers of rural tourism. Here you will feel the beauty of the Slavonian village, in the peace and quiet of nature, get rid of stress and find yourself again.

Brod-Posavina County is networked with trails, so almost every corner can be explored by bike. Slavonski Brod, Nova Gradiška, picturesque villages, forests, the riverbank, choose what you like and go on an adventure. This is an opportunity to visit the artificial lakes Petnja and Ljeskova vode, a special reserve of forest vegetation, and the rest of the Slavonian rainforest Prašnik, erosive canyon Pljuskaru with several waterfalls and caves, ornithological reserves Jelas and Bara Dvorina, pasture Gajnu with wetland flora and fauna, cattle, Posavina horses, and black Slavonian pigs. A green paradise for all those who want a holiday in a different way.

“We thank all the stakeholders involved in creating and creating a recognizable and indigenous brand of our destination as well as tourist facilities. We also thank all stakeholders of the private and public sector for their cooperation and support in the implementation of a number of joint projects, thus creating new opportunities and content", concludes Vidaković.

For more, follow our travel section.

Friday, 4 June 2021

Brod-Posavina Tourist Board Introduces New Visual Identity

June 4, 2021 - At a special event, the Brod-Posavina tourist board officially unveiled its new logo, which seeks not only to renew its visual identity but also to adequately represent the county's values.

Traditional architecture, excellent gastronomy, the Sava River, and the border history of the Brod-Posavina region are the foundation of a new, modern visual identity of the Brod-Posavina Tourist Board, reports hrturizam.hr.

The basic element of the logo is dark blue and reminiscent of the Sava River, it is made in the rotated form of the initial letter of the county, and stylized elements in warm colors represent the windows of the barn, which still adorns almost every yard in this part of Croatia.

TZ-BPZ_ver_RGB-brodsko-posavska-tourist-board.jpeg

"The new logo is decent and modern at the same time, it is applicable in its original form and in a modular way and reflects a new experience of the traditional values of our region. It is based on the Strategic Marketing Plan of Slavonia Tourism from 2019 to 2020 with a branding plan, funded by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and in which our area is described as a meeting of worlds and cultures'', said Ružica Vidaković, director of Brod-Posavina County. 

logo-brodsko-posavska-tourist-board-1.jpg

The basic logo is joined by three more variants with the slogans Guardians of Nature, Guardians of Heritage, and Guardians of Taste.

Thus, the strongest tourist trump cards are united, which are based on the historical fact that the inhabitants of this part of Croatia were border guards. In this context, the word guards are in itself warm and evoke positive emotions.

"Modern visual identity confirms how important strategic documents are and gives the best answer as to why they are made. This is an excellent example of the implementation of the Strategic Marketing Plan of Slavonia Tourism in practice", concluded Sandra Herman, State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

The Lollipop communication team of Elizabeta Penić and Alma Radoš, who are signing the conceptual design and creative communication and branding of the new visual identity, was joined by graphic designer Vedrana Knez as the author of the visual identity.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 7 May 2021

River Cruises in Brod-Posavina County: A New Tourist Product in Action

May 7, 2021 - River cruises in Brod-Posavina County are slated to be the next tourist hit in Slavonia. 

Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, of the five Slavonian counties, Brod-Posavina recorded the highest growth rate of tourist arrivals, averaging 14.8 percent per year. When travel starts again, this trend should continue, and river cruising, an increasingly popular holiday, could also contribute to the growth of tourist traffic, reports HRTurizam.

To create basic preconditions for the development of nautical tourism, the Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board and the Slavonski Brod Port Authority last summer presented the Study of Sustainable Development of River Cruises in the county.

In addition to all procedures and legislation related to the construction of port infrastructure as well as prerequisites for cruise development, the Study linked the tourist attraction base of Brod-Posavina County with the locations of future ports, following examples of good practice from the environment, the structure of visitors to river cruises and motives.

"Our county lies along the entire length of the Sava River and it is time to use this natural tourist potential in the best way. After that first step, the project was implemented, so now the Port Authority is about to obtain a construction and location permit for the construction of an international passenger port worth more than 17 million kuna, and the Ministry of the Sea, Transport, and Infrastructure is working intensively on solving the critical section of the waterway - Novi Grad, which will create a precondition for the development of river cruising on the Sava," said the prefect of Brod-Posavina County Danijel Marušić.

Due to problems with navigability, the tourist potential of the Sava has been untapped for years. For comparison, on the Danube and Drava, one-day excursion tourism and navigation by excursion boats are developing, and in 2019, more than 600 river cruisers docked in passenger ports on these rivers.

The modern passenger port in Slavonski Brod should be ready by the end of 2022. It is part of a large project co-financed by EU funds, which will include the renovation of an old ship with a restaurant, meeting room, educational hall for students, and a souvenir shop. The ship, as one of the biggest attractions of Brod-Posavina County, will be anchored in the new port.

The Sava River, but also the traditional heritage as well as the valuable inhabitants of this part of Croatia known in history as border guards, inspired the new visual identity of the Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board.

Ružica Vidaković, director of the county tourist board, points out that she is extremely pleased with the largest project in the county, which will finally valorize the Sava River for tourism.

"Today, our county is known as a destination for cultural, active, and rural tourism, but also as a paradise for gourmets with indigenous flavors based on healthy local foods. Modern tourists ask for it the most. The trend is green, unspent, and honest for tourism, and these are our strongest assets. Brod-Posavina County is mostly a rural area, less than two hours away from Zagreb, and yet it is far from the crowds and asphalt, a corner of green paradise where you can experience silence. Rarely do they have that," says Vidaković.

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Danijel Soldo / Ružica Vidaković, TZBPZ director

Although the rapid growth of tourist arrivals came to a halt ahead of the lockdown in March last year, she deeply believes the positive trend will continue once all this passes. She says that in crisis situations, flexibility and adaptability are the most important, so all campaigns, special presentations, and study trips for the past two years are focused exclusively on domestic guests, the only ones who can travel or come on day trips at this time of limited movement.

“We offer them new places, a new kind of adventure, a holiday without the crowds, a break in interaction with nature, a warm local story. I can experience all this on more than twenty family estates, ranches, and farms that are ten kilometers away from each other," concludes Vidaković.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 22 January 2021

22 January: Vincekovo - St Vincent's Day in Croatia

January 22, 2021 – January 22 is Vincekovo - St Vincent's Day in Croatia. Marked significantly in continental winemaking regions, its folk traditions pre-date Christianity and are celebrated with food, wine, music and merriment

Nearing the end of January, it's not uncommon to see snow on the fields of Croatia. The ground can be hard, brittle, frozen. There's little to be done in them right now. And yet, on 22 January in Croatia, winemakers traditionally head to their vineyards. They do this not to undertake a day's work – for today is a day of rest. Instead, they go there to mark the tradition of Vincekovo - St Vincent's Day in Croatia.

Croatia_Baranja_Belje_Vineyard_0184_1.jpgSt. Vincent's Day in Baranja © Romulić & Stojčić

Vinceška, Vincekovo, Vinkovo, Vincelovo, Vinceće - St. Vincent's Day

As a name, Vincent has many variants, Vinko being one popular in Croatia. Similarly, Vincekovo is also known by several different names. For example, St. Vincents Day in Baranja is called Vinceška, in Erdut it's Vincekovo, in Ilok it's Vinkovo, but you can also hear it called Vincelovo and even Vinceće.

Vincekovo_GVT-2019-14a_1.jpgVincekovo marked with wine and meat in traditional folk costume in Varaždinske Toplice © Grad Varaždinske Toplice

Vincekovo is mostly marked in the northern continental area of the country and throughout the entire far east of Croatia - eastern Slavonia, Baranja and the Croatian part of Syrmia, around Ilok. In these places, it is a day inextricably linked with the production of wine. That people seem to associate St Vincent as 'the wine guy' seems reasonable – Vinko and vino (the Croatian word for wine) are almost the same, right? Well, not quite.

The related name Viktor (also used in Croatia) actually gives us the best example of the meaning of the name. Vincent comes from the Latin word 'vincere' (to conquer or to be victorious). But, although it looks similar in Latin, the word for wine is much, much older. And it may have an entirely different root.

Ilok2020.jpgVinkovo in Ilok 2020 © Youtube screenshot

Why we say 'wine'

Nobody is really sure where the word 'wine' comes from. The ancient Greek word 'oinos' certainly pre-dates the Latin but its true origins have been lost in time. This provides an entertaining mystery for today. Fascinatingly, we find a common origin word for wine in several completely different language groups.

You can trace the historic use of the word 'wine' through a vast territory. In ancient times, the name was used in the area of what is today southern Russia and nearby in the Caucasus. Although they belong to a different non-Indo European language group, peoples in what is modern-day Georgia used the same word. In the western Semitic languages of the Levant (Arabic: wain, Hebrew: yayin) it is the same. In Mediterranean languages like Latin and Greek, it is also virtually the same word. Travelling back up to the territory of modern-day Russia, this time through regions where ancient Slavic and Germanic languages were spoken, the word is still the same. It seems that ever since people learned how to cultivate and ferment grapes, they have somehow all referred to the end product using the same word.

Who knows? Perhaps there is a shared origin for the words? As any winemaker will tell you, to make good wine, you do need to conquer the vines. DNA testing proves that the vines from which we grow grapes originally come from varieties that grew historically in the wild in an area that is today Russia and central Europe. Yet, the earliest traces of wine production are found in more southerly regions, where the climate is warmer. This journey itself is a conquering act of cultivation. In early Indo-European languages, the root 'wei' means to turn or to bend. Could the word wine be referring to human manipulation of the wild vines?

The earliest evidence of grapevine cultivation and wine production comes from the South Caucasus, present-day Georgia and dates back at least 8000 years.

1275px-Barry_capitaine._F._25._Grand_vase_pour_la_conservation_du_vin_en_Kacheti_Géorgie._Mission_scientifique_de_Mr_Ernest_Chantre._1881.jpgA Georgian man in traditional dress stands alongside a qvevri, a clay pot used for making Georgian wine in 1881. Once filled, the clay amphora are buried beneath the ground, which helps regulate the temperature of the fermenting wine. Evidence of winemaking in the region is the oldest in the world - it goes back 8000 years  © Public domain

Saint Vincent aka Vincent of Saragossa (Vinko iz Zaragoze)

Vicente_de_Zaragoza_by_Tomás_Giner_14621466_1.jpgVicente de Zaragoza by Tomás Giner

Although several saints share the name Vincent, the Saint Vincent we celebrate on 22 January is Vincent of Saragossa. Born to a well-off family in Saragossa (Zaragoza), north-eastern Spain, Vincent devoted his life to the church and became deacon in the Church of Saragossa. He was tortured under the persecution of Christians demanded by Roman Emperor Diocletian. Vincent was asked to renounce his faith - which he refused to do. Subsequently, he was martyred around the year 304. We mark St Vincent's Day in Croatia and the western Christian world on 22 January as this is presumed to be the actual day of his death. Vincent of Saragossa is not only the patron saint of winemakers but also of vinegar makers. This may come as a comfort to some less able wine producers.

Basilica_del_Pilar-sunset.jpgCathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of the Pillar and the Puente de Piedra bridge on the Ebro River in Saragossa, the birthplace of St Vincent © Paulo Brandao

Quite why the midwinter period of 22 January should be significant to winemakers poses some questions. “I have no idea!” one Dalmatian winemaker told TCN when asked to explain the significance of the day to his craft. “But, you know those Slavonians are all crazy, right?” And, on the surface, his unknowing is quite understandable. There is little happening in the frozen fields right now. But, it is possible that this celebration pre-dates not only St Vincent but also Christianity itself.

History of 22 January as Saint Vincent's Day (Vincekovo)

Vincekovo-slika-Likovna-Republika.jpgA Croatian painting tellingly shows how traditions of St Vincent's Day in Croatia have little changed over the years © Tourist Board Jestrebarsko

Everyone's favourite ancient God at the party, Dionysus had a wide portfolio of fun stuff to look after. He was the Greek God of wine, the grape harvest, fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, festivity and theatre. He was traditionally celebrated in the period from the 11th to the 13th of anthesterion - which in today's calendar corresponds to the period between late January - around now - and the start of February. On the wild feast of Dionysus (who is sometimes called Bacchus or Liber, as in liberty, freedom), barrels of new wine were broken open. The celebration marked the impending arrival of the new season – spring. And, this too is how people mark St Vincent's Day in Croatia.

1775px-Cornelis_de_Vos_-_El_triunfo_de_Baco.jpgThe Triumph of Bacchus, a 17th-century painting by Cornelis de Vos © Public domain

Several saints' days in Croatia and Europe correspond to significant points in the agricultural calendar. This tellingly reveals their pre-Christian roots. Another of those corresponding to winemaking is Martinje – St Martin's Day in Croatia (which you can read about here). However, Martinje is traditionally a more proletarian festivity – it comes at the end of the harvest when there is no more hard work for all the manual labourers to do. Vincekovo is a day more traditionally associated with their boss - the vineyard owner. It is also traditionally a more testosterone-filled affair – a sausage party, perhaps. Well, you could say that, and in more ways than one.

Vinceška-Vina-Belje-2019-21-960x640meats.jpgKulen and other sausages, hung traditionally beside the vines on St Vincent's Day - the company that made these, Belje, is one of the best and most famous in Croatia. They trace their history in the Baranja region back to the year 1697. In Baranja, you'll most likely hear this day called Vinceška © Belje

Music, food, theatre and wine - traditions of Vincekovo, Saint Vincent's Day in Croatia

Around this time of year, vines within the vineyard will be cut back. There are a limited amount of nutrients that can pass down a vine. This cutting back ensures the nutrients are concentrated and helps guarantee a limited but good crop. Whether this cutting back has actually taken place in days prior, on Vincekovo vineyard owners are charged with visiting their vines. Whatever the weather, they will march into the fields and ceremoniously cut back a vine. Usually, it's one with at least three new buds on. Traditionally, this vine is then brought into the home and placed in a watered jar. The progress of the buds supposedly predicts the next season's crops. Many other folk traditions associated with Vincekovo also serve the same purpose of 'predicting the crops'. Melting snow, rain and sunshine on Vincekovo are also regarded as predictors of a fine harvest. Although, some believe that water dripping from the eaves on Vincekovo could mean the year will be wet.

Pavlomir_Novi_Vinodol_Primorsko-Goranska.jpgVincekovo celebrated in Pavlomir, Novi Vinodol, Primorsko-Goranska County © Youtube screenshot

Again following Dionysian traditions, Slavonian people are famously gregarious. They rarely make the trip to the vineyard alone. Neighbours, family, friends and even musicians might make the journey with them and join in the blessing of the vines. In Croatia today, you can still see some people undertaking this ceremony in traditional folk costume.

Vinkovo_in_Ilok_2019.jpgVinkovo in Ilok 2019. Brrrrrr! © Youtube screenshot

The vine that has been pruned is ritually sprinkled with old wine. Song and drinking accompany the ceremony. Both old and new wine may make an appearance. No Slavonia or Baranja party is complete without kulen, their king of sausages. And, on Vincekovo, it is traditional to hang kulen and/or švargla (another monstrous portion of preserved pig product) from a post. Supposedly, this theatre is done in order to encourage the next season's crop to be as fertile and bountiful as these sizeable sausages.

1626px-Sacrificio_a_Baco_Massimo_Stanzione.jpgSacrifice to Bacchus by Massimo Stanzione c. 1634 © Public domain. Some of the folk traditions observed on St Vincent's Day in Croatia probably pre-date Christianity

Hearty snacks usually accompany the celebration in the fields. After the ceremonious part is taken care of, people now think to return indoors. Although, not necessarily to your own home. Because now is the traditional time to march around the locale to visit the wine cellars of your neighbouring growers. If you're a winemaker of a Dionysian bent, you'll probably take along some food with you like kulen, a roasted pig or even the tamburica musicians who came to the fields with you. Croatians rarely arrive at a party with empty hands. If such treats are not taken to the event, probably they'll already be waiting in your neighbour's cellar. Although, you might have to pace yourself. If you live in an area of traditional winemaking, there could be quite a lot of neighbouring wine cellars to visit. Subsequently, celebrations on Vincekovo - St Vincent's Day in Croatia - can extend well into the night.

fishp.jpegFiš paprikaš is a spicy river fish stew, richly red from paprika. It is popular in Slavonia, Baranja and Syrmia. Along with the wild meats stew čobanac and whole šaran (carp), butterflied and cooked outside over an open flame, it is a warming and popular dish to eat in eastern Croatia on St Vincent's Day © Romulić & Stojčić

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

45 People With Fake PCR Tests Detained At Croatian Border In One Weekend

January 19, 2021 – 45 people tried to enter Croatia with fake PCR tests this weekend alone. They were caught by Croatian police, detained at the border and reported to the State's Attorney office. If found guilty, each faces a maximum penalty of three years in prison

Some 45 people tried to enter Croatia through the borders of one county with fake PCR tests this past weekend.

Travel from Bosnia and Herzegovina into Croatia currently requires the production of a negative PCR test or a doctor's certificate proving you have successfully passed through a COVID-19 infection in recent months.

Since the ban on entering Croatia from Bosnia and Herzegovina without a negative PCR test was introduced, fake PCR tests are increasingly being forged. Border police and customs officers at crossings in Brod-Posavina County have met many people trying to cross the border with fake PCR tests. But, this weekend a new record number of forged tests were found on the county's border crossings.

According to a statement from the Brod-Posavina Police Department, as many as 45 attempts to enter the country with fake PCR tests were discovered on Saturday and Sunday.

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"At the Stara Gradiška border crossing, police officers determined that 43 persons, mostly citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina, presented fake PCR tests issued in BiH at the border control. At the Slavonski Brod border crossing, two people were registered who gave forged tests," the Brod-Posavina police reported.

Police officers file criminal charges against all those suspected of committing the criminal offence of forgery of a document with the Municipal State Attorney's Office in Slavonski Brod. If found guilty, such persons face up to three years in prison.

The overall number of people detained on Croatia's border with fake PCR tests this weekend could actually be higher - the figures of 45 persons detained with fake PCR tests were released by the police of just one county in Croatia - Brod-Posavina County. A further eight Croatian counties exist along the border with Bosnia and Herzegovina. Each has border crossings between the two countries.

Sunday, 20 December 2020

PHOTOS: Epic Croatia Weather Photography Stuns The World

December 20, 2020 – The 13 winners of the incredibly popular World Meteorological Organization annual competition have just been announced, and two fine pieces of Croatia weather photography are among them. These spectacular images of Croatia weather photography show all 9 Croatian photographs which reached the final in 2020 and all 10 Croatian finalists who similarly stunned the global audience in 2019

Croatia weather photography: the two newly announced winners from the 2020 competition
LošinjSandroPuncet.jpgPhotographer: Sandro Puncet Photo taken: Losinj island

Zrinka Balabanic Beach Sv.Duh -Pag island.jpgPhotographer: Zrinka Balabanic Photo taken: Pag island

Thanks to its popularity as a tourist destination, lots of people are now used to seeing beautiful photos of Croatia. Although, the images they usually see are of idyllic beaches, cloudless skies, stunning nature and turquoise blue seas. But, as anyone who knows the country will tell you - and as these photos show - Croatia isn't always like that.

Croatia weather photography: the two newly announced runners-up from the 2020 competition
Šime Barešić Drage, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Šime Barešić Photo taken: Drage, Pakostane

Mislav Bilic (Croatia)Dubrovnik - Lapad Peninsula.jpgPhotographer: Mislav Bilic Photo taken: Lapad Peninsula, Dubrovnik

Out of season, Croatia can experience vastly different weather conditions to those advertised in travel brochures and blogs. And, whenever there's a spectacular weather occurrence, usually there's a photographer out there, braving the elements, trying to capture it.

Over recent years, some of the best Croatia weather photography has featured in the annual competition organised by the World Meteorological Organization. 2020 has been no different.

The other five Croatian finalists from the 2020 competition
Šime Barešić Drage, Croatia222.jpgPhotographer: Šime Barešić Photo taken: Drage, Pakostane

Sandro Puncet Isolated cloudisland Lošinj, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Sandro Puncet Photo taken: Losinj island

Zoran Stanko Geisler Alm, Dolomites, Italy.jpgPhotographer: Zoran Stanko Photo taken: Geisler Alm, Dolomites, Italy

Maja Kraljik Umag, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Maja Kraljik Photo taken: Umag, Istria

Igor PopovicRijeka, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Igor Popovic Photo taken: Rijeka

The winners of this year's competition have just been announced and the two fantastic examples of Croatia weather photography within the top 13 will take their place in the 2021 World Meteorological Organization calendar.

The 10 Croatian finalists from the 2019 competition
Danica Sičič Srobreč, Croatia2019-min.jpgPhotographer: Danica Sičič Photo taken: Srobreč, Dalmatia

Romeo IbriševićPlitvička Jezera2019.jpgPhotographer: Romeo Ibrišević Photo taken: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Božan Štambuk Bundek Zagreb, Croatia2019.jpgPhotographer: Božan Štambuk Photo taken: Bundek park, Zagreb

Miroslava Novak (Pribislavec, Međimurje) 2019.jpgPhotographer: Miroslava Novak Photo taken: Pribislavec, Međimurje

As well as the two winners, two further examples of Croatia weather photography came in the runner-up category, of which there were 12 in total.

Francesca Delbianco  Zagreb, Croatia2019.jpgPhotographer: Francesca Delbianco Photo taken: Zagreb

Ivica Brlić Sava river Davor, Croatia.jpgPhotographer: Ivica Brlić Photo taken: Sava river, Davor, near Slavonski Brod

Nataša ŠafarKarlovac, Rečica2019.jpgPhotographer: Nataša Šafar Photo taken: Rečica, near Karlovac

Romeo IbriševićPlitvička Jezera201922222.jpgPhotographer: Romeo Ibrišević Photo taken: Plitvice Lakes National Park

Over 1000 photographs from all over the world were entered in the 2020 competition. The submissions were narrowed down to a final selection of 70 contenders. As TCN reported back at the start of October, no less than 9 examples of Croatia weather photography made it into the final 70, taken by 7 Croatian photographers.

Danijel PalčićPagIsland2019.jpgPhotographer: Danijel Palčić Photo taken: Pag island

Aleksandar Gospic Ražanac, Croatia2019.jpgPhotographer: Aleksandar Gospic Photo taken: Ražanac

Croatia regularly punches well above its weight in the annual competition, as we can see from these 10 examples of incredible Croatia weather photography that were among the finalists in 2019.

All images courtesy World Meteorological Organisation

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Slavonia Students Spot 300 Spelling Mistakes In Names of Public Places

November 21, 2020 - How difficult is it to learn Croatian? Slavonia students from one high school learned it's really not so easy for people to correctly use their own language

How difficult is it to learn Croatian? Well, it's pretty difficult. Croatians know this best of all and will be reasonably impressed if you make any advances in trying to speak their language. A professor of linguistics from Zagreb University once told this writer that to be able to regard yourself as wholly proficient in the Croatian language, you would have to study it to no less than university level. Naturally, not every speaker of Croatian has done so.

Slavonia students from a high school in Slavonski Brod were recently tasked with looking for mistakes in the use of Croatian language in public places. So complex is the Croatian language, spelling and grammar mistakes are commonplace. The teacher assigning the task, Vesna Nosić from Matija Mesić high school, was no doubt confident her students would uncover some mistakes. However, the grand total of 300 spelling and grammar mistakes the Slavonia students found is possibly more than was bargained for. Particularly as those found were all assigned to public places.

26962181_1551793224935146_5167430988168811831_o.jpgMatija Mesić high school in Slavonski Brod, where Slavonia students made their findings © Matija Mesić high school

The misspelling or incorrect translation of food items on a restaurant or tavern menu is a regular cause of amusement in Croatia. But, the mistitling of public places - streets, squares, companies, monuments, traffic signs and even schools – is perhaps more surprising. These are places you walk past every day.

The Slavonia students were given the high bar of the official standards of Croatian language set by the Institute of Croatian Language and Linguistics. Their teacher, Vesna Nosić, has published their findings in the popular science journal Hrvatski jezik (Croatian language), which is published by the institute. Croatian language is something of a national obsession in Croatia, its acceptance as the official language very closely linked to the country's struggle for autonomy. For most of its history, the lands of modern-day Croatia were controlled by empires for whom Croatian was not their language. The use of foreign tongues has been imposed on the population of Croatia for centuries.

The most common mistakes made in the Croatian language are related to the incorrect use of the sounds ć and č, đ and dž. The letters here come from Gaj's Latin alphabet, devised by Croatian linguist Ljudevit Gaj in 1835. It is the Latin script used across the region in which to write the similar languages of Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian, and Montenegrin (in Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro, the Cyrillic alphabet is used as well as Gaj's Latin alphabet).

Albatalad.png
The contemporary version of Gaj's Latin alphabet (it originally contained Dj, which was replaced by đ. This alphabet ihe easiest part of learning Croatian - within 15 minutes, almost anyone can correctly pronounce all Croatian words by using this. In comparison to the Latin alphabet used by English speakers, the letters q,w,x,y are omitted. Instead, we get the additional č, ć, dž, đ, lj, nj, š and ž. Looks difficult? It isn't. Almost all of these sounds exist within the English language. Except for lj which, to English speakers, is torturously missing some kind of vowel © Albatalad

Mistakes between the ć and č or đ and dž sounds are understandable if you can pronounce Gaj's Latin alphabet. And anyone can. The easiest part of learning Croatian is Gaj's Latin alphabet – all of the sounds exist within the English language, all of the letters are always pronounced in exactly the same way (unlike English). The difference in sound between ć and č or đ and dž in spoken Croatian is difficult to perceive if you are not a native speaker (often, even if you are!)

Some of the mistakes found by the Slavonia students are perhaps more forgivable – the standard of Croatian their comparisons was made against is rigid. Thus, pekarna (bakery) instead of pekarnica, or dućan (shop) instead of trgovina were classed as mistakes, but are actually in everyday use on streets across Croatia.

Other mistakes found relate to grammar, spelling and the misuse of upper case or lower case lettering. For instance, Ulica Pavleka Miškina should be written Ulica Pavleka Miškine (the word ending changes to denote it is the street of Pavlek Miškina), Crkva Gospe od brze pomoći, should be crkva Gospe od Brze Pomoći; Muzej Brodskog Posavlja should be Muzej brodskoga Posavlja and Šetalište Braće Radić should be Šetalište braće Radića (denoting it is the promenade of the Radić brothers).
muzej.jpgNot sure which words should be in upper case or lower case in Croatian? Write everything in upper case - problem solved!  © Slavonski Brod Tourist Board

Sitting to one side and watching how others do something, judging them, then informing them they are doing it incorrectly is not the most pleasant way to occupy your time. However, for the purposes of this study, this not-uncommon activity in Croatia is exactly what was asked of the Slavonia students. However, as noted in today's coverage of this story in Index, there is a great saying in Croatian that serves as a response to any unwanted judgments coming from those on the sides - “clean up the trash in front of your own doorstep before you discuss that which lies in front of your neighbour's”. And, that's exactly what the Slavonia students did – and found out that the name of their own school was spelled wrong.

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Great Time to Visit Brod-Posavina County

It is adored by bikers, discovered by craft beer fans, an attractive destination for rural tourism, a well-known Slavonian gastro-destination with many traditional and urban events – it is Brod-Posavina County.

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“You can enjoy our county from January to December,” said the director of the Brod-Posavina Tourist Board, Ružica Vidaković, at the presentation of its tourist offer at the Bornstein wine shop in Zagreb. She listed numerous events that this county is proud of, including the Mega Bikers meet on 10, 11 and 12 May. There is also one of the oldest folklore events in Croatia – Brodsko Kolo, held for 55 years in a row. This year, Slavonski Brod will host the CMC music festival is August. At the Fishermen’s Evening in Davor, as much as five tons of freshwater fish is gutted and prepared in just a few days.

She added that all the most attractive venues in the county are located just ten kilometres apart, from the newly-opened family farms to those with a long tradition in rural tourism, such as the eco-ethno village of Stara Kapela, which attracts visitors from all over the world. In addition to the unique and rustic attractions, the urban ones are no less interesting.

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The largest town in the county, Slavonski Brod, is known for one of the most beautiful love stories – the one about Malena and Klepetan. There is also the main square that is actually the longest corso in the whole of Slavonia, while the bank of the Sava river is the favourite promenade. The fortress is one of the most beautiful in Europe, while the famous Croatian writers Ivana Brlić Mažuranić and Dragutin Tadijanović also lived in Slavonski Brod.

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Although the Brod-Posavina vineyards produce top-quality wines, the county has recently been known for its great craft beers. The pioneers of the Croatian craft scene, the Bošnjak family from Sičice, entered the ranks of the most prominent breweries with the lager beer prepared according to a Czech recipe. “Our lager comes in a light and dark variant, and we also produce the beer brandy, Beershine, and the corn brand, Moonshine. We are especially proud of our MB72 craft gin, that was created thanks to the brandies. To get one litre of MB72, we need 10 to 15 litres of high-quality beer, rich in good hops aromas. Our gin includes seven types of herbs and two distillations, and it has been named after the initials of our main producer and master-beermaker Mario Bošnjak,” said Marijana Bošnjak at the Bornstein. In addition to the tasting hall in Sičice, the Bošnjak family owns the Bošnjak Beer & Gin Bar in Nova Gradiška, which is the only other official town in the county. Among other events, it is known for the Nova Gradiška Musical Summer, an event that attracts 20,000 visitors every August.

One of the most famous Croatian food bloggers, Ena Kokanović, also comes from Brod-Posavina County. Together with the Brod-Posavina County Tourist Board, she is working on the Tastes of Gračansko Posavlje project, a designation given to about fifteen restaurants with a traditional offer. Although it might seem that Ena is very demanding when the food is concerned, she says that her favourite dish is roasted lamb with potatoes. In her kitchen, she prepares everything she wants to eat at any given moment. Slavonian empanadas, a different kind of “štrukli”, “masnica” with walnuts, vegan ice cream – these are just some of the recipes she shares on her blog.

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Whether you are a fan of asphalt and adrenaline or want a peaceful family vacation, if you love tradition and authentic products, if you are a gourmet or a beer fan – it is right time to discover the Brod-Posavina County this spring. You will not make a mistake, for it is a destination that is a great selection at any time of the year.

All photos by Borna Subota/EXE produkcija

More news about Brod-Posavina County can be found in the Travel section.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Indian Companies Interested in Investing in Brod - Posavina County

Indian Ambassador visits Slavosnki Brod

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