Sunday, 11 July 2021

Iron Age Danube Route Presented

ZAGREB, 11 July 2021, 2021 - The Iron Age Danube Route was formally presented in the archaeological park Necropolis under the Tumuli in the northern town of Goričan earlier this week as the first Council of Europe certified cultural route originating in Croatia.

The Iron Age Danube Route has the great potential to contribute to the diversification of the tourism industry in continental Croatia, the presentation was told.

Sandra Herman, State Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Sport, said that this cultural route runs through 14 continental counties.

"Sixteen percent of tourists who come to visit continental Croatia are motivated by culture, compared to thirteen percent in coastal destinations," she said.

The Council of Europe launched the Cultural Routes programme in 1987, certifying 45 routes since then, including 14 routes that pass through Croatia, said Tatjana Horvatić, head of the Department for Movable, Ethnographic and Intangible Cultural Heritage at the Ministry of Culture and Media.

"The routes develop destinations that are not known well enough but are certainly attractive," she added.

The Iron Age Danube Route currently includes 22 members from six countries - Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Germany and Slovenia.

Rudi Grula, Director of the Međimurje County Tourism Board, said that the archaeological park the Necropolis under the Tumuli is the result of the years-long Interreg project Slovenia-Croatia. The park features a regional information centre and theme workshops on the Iron Age.

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Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Cultural Identity of Vukovar: New Book Presented in Vukovar

June 9, 2021 - The fascinating question of the Cultural Identity of Vukovar is researched in a new book edited by Dr. Mateo Žanić and Petar Elez. However, as the editors stressed in the introduction, further research is needed to encompass all social groups in Vukovar and their contribution to the heritage of Vukovar.

After being published back in April this year, the book „Cultural Identity of Vukovar – Contribution to Investigating Heritage and Successors“, was presented this Wednesday in Vukovar. As Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute writes on its website the book was published in cooperation with the Vukovar State Archive, so it was only suitable that the first book presentation was held in Vukovar at the videoconference hall of College Of Applied Sciences „Lavoslav Ružička“ (named after a famous Croatian chemist whose work is awarded a Nobel Prize). In addition, the event marked International Archive Day.

The book was edited by Dr. Mateo Žanić and Petar Elez, and the presentation, alongside editors, saw scientific experts Dr. Dražen Živić, Mirela Hutinec, and Dr. Domagoj Tomas talks about the book.

„Fast events triggered by globalization process and information revolution which paradoxically lead to today's societies being fiercely occupied with the meaning of past, and preserving its valuable traces. In that context, there is a spreading interest for heritage that holds an important component to understand the relationship between the past and present“, says the editorial introduction of the book.

The editors went on to explain how „the city proved to be futile to interpret the meaning of heritage and its contribution to cultural identity,“ and the editors wanted to present various aspects of Vukovar's cultural heritage.

Apart from editors Žanić (who wrote a chapter „Layers of memories and material heritage in modern-day Vukovar) and Elez (author of the chapter „State archive in Vukovar and development of archive service in Vukovar-Srijem County“), the book features eight more authors. Ivan Rogić (Whose Heritage? Who is the successor?), Dražen Živić (on Vukovar's feudalists), Vlasta Novinc („Danube, food, Corso“), Dragana Drašković (on the cultural life of Borovo Selo), and more by Dragan Damjanović, Toni Roca, Ivana Bendra and Ivan Hubalek.

With these broad presentations of culture and heritage in Vukovar, editors hope this book will encourage further research as they are aware this is certainly not the final word on these interesting questions and issues.

„As editors, we are aware that the book does not deal with topics that concern different social groups that left their trace in Vukovar end enrich the history of the city. We hope that future editions that will deal with this topic expand the reach of issues and help us to realize better what do we inherit from the past and why is that important“, concludes the introduction of the book.

So far, the book is available only in Croatian, and research that will, as editors say, deal with other social groups in Vukovar is yet to come. Keeping in mind the terrible aftermaths of the war in Vukovar in the 90s and inter-ethnic tensions, further findings on joint cultural contribution to Vukovar may indeed be the enlightenment needed for peaceful cohabitation and development of Vukovar as a perspective city in Croatia.

Speaking of heritage, learn more about UNESCO recognized heritage in Croatia on our TC page.

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Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Mura, Drava, Danube Rivers Submitted to UNESCO as World's First Five Country Biosphere Reserve

October 2, 2019 - Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia have joined forces to make the Mura, Drava, and Danube rivers the world’s first five-country biosphere reserve.

HRTurizam reports that the joint nomination of Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia, sent to UNESCO on September 30, is the final step to proclaiming the Mura-Drava-Danube the world’s first five-country biosphere reserve. UNESCO certification is expected in June 2020.

The Mura, Drava, and Danube rivers, which flow through five countries, form a 700 km long green belt and connect over 930,000 hectares of unique area with significant natural and cultural heritage, creating the so-called European Amazon.

“This cross-border nomination is a strong indicator of strengthening regional cooperation and unifying countries with the unique objective of protecting nature. Working on a joint nomination is a great example of interstate cooperation on such an important issue,” said Petra Remeta, Director of WWF Adria's Nature Conservation Program.

The core and impact area of the biosphere reserve extends to 280,000 hectares and includes 13 protected areas and is surrounded by 650,000 hectares of the transition area. Rare flooded forests, sand and gravel shoals, river islands and backwaters form a unique river and cultural landscape. Also, Europe's Amazon is home to Europe's largest population of white-tailed eagles, as well as other endangered species such as small terns, black storks, otters, beavers, and sturgeons. It is also an important area for more than 250,000 migratory birds.

Not only is it home to numerous plant and animal species, but nearly 900,000 people depend on the Mura, Drava, and the Danube. Floodplains protect the settlements from flooding and secure drinking water supply, while exceptional river landscapes increase the potential for sustainable tourism.

"The designation of a biosphere reserve is an important departure from harmful projects such as the construction of new hydropower plants or the extraction of sediment. Sustainable coexistence of humans and nature is the direction we must go if we are to mitigate the inevitable consequences of climate change, which we are already feeling,” said Ivana Korn Varga of WWF Adria.

The Five-Country Biosphere Reserve project is valued at 14 million euros, is co-financed by the European Union, and contributes to the protection of nature and the development of the whole area. Thus, as part of the coop MDD initiative, the cooperation of protected areas in all five countries was established with a view to cross-border management, while the focus of the European Amazon Bike Trail project develops a sustainable cycling tourism model. On the other hand, concrete river revitalization measures are being implemented through different projects to create new habitats and recreational zones along the rivers.

The joint nomination is the result of the work of the Ministries and Public Institutions for Nature Conservation of Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia, the UNESCO Human and Biosphere Commissions, as well as the efforts of WWF, EuroNatur and many other nature protection organizations in all five countries.

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