Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Old Painting Confirms Dalmatian Breed is Croatian Dog

May the 26th, 2021 - The beloved Dalmatian breed is popular all over the world, having been the star of famous films and regularly appearing as a fire house dog in the USA. Despite its name pointing directly to its place of origin, many still don't realise that Croatia's Dalmatian coast is the origin of this much loved dog breed. One Croatian vicar from Makarska believes he has substantial proof that the spotty, clownish and friendly Dalmatian truly did originate on these shores.

As Morski/HTV/Dnevnik/Ivica Djuzel writes, in beautiful little Zaostrog in Central Dalmatia, they decided to further brand their rich cultural heritage. In the monastery of St. Mary, where the great folk poet Andrija Kacic Miosic spent part of his creative life, hangs a painting with the motif of the last supper from the 18th century. On the floor lies a dog which closely resembles the Dalmatian breed as we know it today. To most, this is proof that the famous Dalmatian breed is definitely an autochthonous Croatian breed.

Various treasures have been kept in the monastery of St. Mary in Zaostrog for centuries, and the great Fr. Andrija Kacic Miosic also created works there. For a long time, these invaluable pictures were hidden away from the public and prying eyes. Then the media got involved in the saga.

''One night someone rings the bell. I come down, to find two young Japanese people saying they'd like to see a picture. I asked them if they wanted to see the whole convent. They replied that they were only interested in the picture,'' Fr. Branko Brnas, the vicar of the Franciscan monastery, begins when in conversation with HRT.

Inside hangs the aforementioned painting with the motif of the last supper from the 18th century, proof is that the famous Dalmatian breed is an autochthonous Croatian breed. Oddly enough, it took a long time to admit that.

The locals then decided to roll up their sleeves and reveal this priceless piece of cultural treasure to tourists and, in accordance with the possibilities, brand the whole place in black and white to resemble this four-legged, fetch-playing global ambassador of Dalmatia. They are aware of the wild popularity of the Dalmatian breed around the world, and they started this branding back last summer.

''We've now launched a year-round project called ''Dalmatian Dog Image In House Village’'. We're continuing with our ''Black and White'' event during the summer in accordance with the epidemiological situation and we want to open the visitor centre after this season,'' announced Bozena Delas.

Local authorities will apply for financial support from available European Union (EU) funds, and local artists and designers also joined in. The bus stops were painted to look like the Dalmatian breed's unusual coat first. The ''Dalmatinac'' (Croatian for Dalmatian) sign will be designed in cooperation with the Faculty of Graphic Arts in Zagreb. The director of the Gradac Tourist Board, Davor Andrijasevic, believes that the Dalmatian's ties to its place of origin are often wrongly forgotten about.

In the municipalities of Gradac and Zaostrog, where 800 thousand overnight stays are realised, they have their own vision of tourist development. The strange and often monotonous days of the pandemic-dominated era awakened some creativity. Now, the first guests have begun to return, with 20 percent better results are expected this summer than last year.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

Monday, 3 June 2019

VIDEO: Dubrovnik Region in 1930's, Mlini, Cavtat, Gruž

June the 3rd, 2019 - The Dubrovnik region has certainly felt a tourist boom since Game of Thrones turned the City of Dubrovnik into Kings Landing. But even before the film and TV buffs descended on the Pearl of the Adriatic, the recovery Croatia's southernmost city has experienced since the end of the Homeland War which devastated the city is nothing short of impressive.

Now recognised across the world as Croatia's most famous tourist destination, the Pearl of the Adriatic is visited by countless tourists from all corners of the world. Their visitation isn't limited to the UNESCO protected old city only, however.

With quieter, more residential areas surrounding the city becoming more popular for daytrippers and those who want to swim in the sparkling Adriatic sea with less crowds and noise to deal with.

Smaller areas like Plat, Mlini, Srebreno and Kupari are just some of the places located in Župa dubrovačka (Parish of Dubrovnik), a valley situated between the city itself and the green, picturesque Municipality of Konavle, Croatia's southernmost municipality before the border with Montenegro, which is home to Dubrovnik Airport (named after the tiny Konavle village of Čilipi).

Konavle, just like the rest od Dalmatia, boasts a stunning coastline and some incredible beaches. It is also home to the little town of Cavtat, initially founded in the 6th century BC by the Greeks, and then named Epidauros/Epidaurus. The areas surrounding Cavtat were inhabited by the then Illyrians, who referred to Cavtat as Zaptal.

Still, there were no cameras in the 6th century BC, but there were in the 1930's. Take a look at how Gruž (where the gigantic cruise ships dock upon arriving in Dubrovnik), Cavtat and Mlini once looked before the outbreak of the Second World War, and long before the turn of the century.

This stunning footage immortalises the Dubrovnik area by capturing it in its raw authenticity, allowing us a look into the past, long before the extreme south of Dalmatia became a global tourist hot spot.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Dubrovnik and southern Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow or check out Dubrovnik in a Page.