Friday, 5 August 2022

Vučedol Culture Museum Invites You to Out of the Box Virtual Exhibition

August 5, 2022 – The Vučedol Culture Museum in Vukovar remains a truly special place. Its unique location, architecture, and the dedication of those who make things happen there day after day, all keep drawing you back and leave you longing for more. This time, the invitation is out for all who like anything digital, 3D, and in general thinking out of the box. A new interactive exhibition nicknamed Vučedolac izvan okvira (The Vučedol Man Outside His Box) is open until the end of August.

Tportal followed up with the author of the exhibition, Darko Bilandžić, who is also the head of marketing at the Vučedol Culture Museum. He points out that, thanks to their approach to marketing and the possibilities of the digital world, he decided to offer the museum’s visitors a digital insight into the life of the prehistoric people of Vučedol.

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Photo: Vučedol Culture Museum

“The people of Vučedol were advanced as a culture and in many ways ahead of many at that time. We could say that they thought outside the box. I believe that we have passed the time of static museums, which require visitors to walk through them and read the materials next to the exhibits. In addition to improving our website, we decided to go a step further and create an interactive exhibition using augmented reality technology”, says Bilandžić.

He explains that ten tablets are available to visitors, which they can use to scan ten posters to find the corresponding 3D, audio, text, or video content.

“With this type of presentation, we want to get even closer to the younger generation and keep up with the modern ways of presenting museum material, and thus further build our digital archive. I must admit that the feedback of our visitors pleasantly surprised me, as it clearly shows how important it is to continue working in the direction of new technologies”, says Darko Bilandžić.

He adds that even as a child he was interested in advanced technologies and that robots were his favourite toys.

“That passion for new and advanced technologies always stayed with me. Back in 2016, at the Vučedol Culture Museum, we had visitors take a virtual walk through the museum with the help of VR glasses”, he recalls.

He added that the “trigger” for greater involvement in the digital presentation of cultural material was the coronavirus pandemic when many museums were closed.

“It made apparent that a lot of museums were not ready for online work. We saw our chance there and I dove into learning and education, and this exhibition is the first result of that”, he says proudly, adding that without digital technologies in the future it will be difficult to imagine the operation of any museum.

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Photo: Vučedol Culture Museum

This marketing expert believes that augmented reality offers museums unimagined opportunities for development and getting closer to citizens of all ages.

“We especially want to get closer to young people and get them interested in everything that the Vučedol Culture Museum offers, and it offers many things that define today's life and reality”, concludes Darko Bilandžić.

Darko is a marketing expert who has a passion for a reality that is virtual, augmented, or extended. If you would like to know more about that, make sure to check out TCN’s interview with Darko on Culex, a successful VR company that he co-owns.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

New, Fourth Mammoth Tooth Found in Mohovo near Ilok

August 2, 2022 – Maybe you have never heard of Mohovo, and maybe you know that they keep finding mammoth teeth there... There is really no in-between. A new, fourth mammoth tooth was found on Saturday, 30th July. 

As SiB reports, ten years after he found the first mammoth tooth in his village, Goran Popović from Mohovo found another, fourth, mammoth tooth on Saturday.

He informed his friends and the public about the phenomenal discovery by posting on Facebook, stating that he was filled with happiness, emotions, and optimism.

"I had that instinct again, walked through our beautiful village, and then it happened – the fourth mammoth tooth. All of a sudden, a part of the hill collapsed and the tooth just popped out. Now I'm completely convinced that this is no longer a coincidence", he wrote and invited everyone to join in and help, because a lot of support is needed to start the systematic search of the location.

SiB spoke about this discovery with Goran, who, still under a strong impression, said that not a single find was the result of purposeful digging and searching, but that he found each tooth completely by accident.

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Photos by Dolina Mamuta

“Last year, the Minister of Culture, Nina Obuljen Koržinek, visited the site of the discovery, the county and city authorities came, and we received promises from all of them that they would do everything in their power to start archaeological research. I know that the activities in the wider Vukovar area focus on Vučedol, but I believe that the finding of another tooth will motivate the authorities to pay attention to Mohovo as well. It would be an important step in the promotion of our small village and it would certainly make it more attractive not only in terms of archeology but also in terms of culture and tourism”, said Popović.

The relevant ministry and the Ilok City Museum were immediately informed about the discovery, as well as the City of Ilok, and the Vukovar-Srijem County. He emphasized that this place with only two hundred inhabitants obviously hides great secrets that experts need to investigate. It all started in the fall of 2012 when, while digging a septic tank in an orchard, he found the first fossil remains of a woolly mammoth, and a discovery was made four years later in another location. Goran states that short research, in addition to the woolly mammoth and the woolly rhinoceros, led to the discovery of fossil remains of a hyena, a wild horse, and a bison. Four years after the second discovery, there was a third one, when the fossil remains of a mammoth were found again near the village pond. Realizing the potential hidden in their village, several young residents of Mohovo founded the association Dolina Mamuta (Mammoth Valley). They organised workshops, installed a straw sculpture of a woolly mammoth, a woolly rhinoceros, and a hyena in the village centre, and launched the events "Advent in Mohovo" and "Mammothfest", the second edition of which is planned for this October.

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Photo by Dolina Mamuta

“The creation of a sculpture made of solid material is nearing completion, for which we were provided funds through donations after the straw sculpture was destroyed in a fire.

For the second "Mammothfest", we plan to organize an exhibition about the findings so far and additionally motivate the authorities for systematic research” he stated.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Best Tourism Villages: Baranja Village Zmajevac is Croatian Candidate

July the 13th, 2022 - The Baranja village Zmajevac is the Croatian candidate for the Best Tourism Villages, which will shine a spotlight on Croatia's enormous rural tourism potential away from the glitz and glam of the Adriatic coastline.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Baranja village Zmajevac is a Croatian candidate for the aforementioned Best Tourism Villages, a designation under the auspices of the UN World Tourism Organisation that is awarded to a village that is an outstanding example of a rural tourist destination, writes Dnevnik.hr

Zmajevac is a village deep in the heart of the Eastern Croatian region of Baranja which is very well known for its sourdough, is surrounded by vineyards and wine roads, and which boasts a rich offer of local specialties.

Caslav Kostov, head of a tasting room there, spoke about some of the most popular products the Bsranja village Zmajevac can boast of: "Tourists most often choose local fish specialties. Of course, there's also duck meat, not to mention loin, Slavonian black pig cheeks, black pig neck... As for the desserts, the most common are local pastries with jam and poppy seed noodles," he said.

Almost every single house in the village has a wine cellar, but the Gerstmajer family is the forerunner in Zmajevac, as well as in the whole of Baranja. Ivan is the fourth generation in his family to be doing this: "We currently own thirteen hectares of vineyards. Our primary activity is the production of grapes and wine, and we also offer some homemade food that my father and I prepare ourselves," said Ivan Gerstmajer, a winegrower and winemaker.

In addition to the rich gastronomic offer and the famous ''wine marathon'' to be enjoyed in this Eastern Croatian destination, the local nature offers visitors to the Baranja village Zmajevac a true oasis of peace.

"I also gave the rooms I let out local names from this area,'' said restaurateur Blazenka Nadj. "My guests are mostly from the City of Zagreb, but we also have a lot of foreign guests, as well as a lot of hunters, fishermen and companies that come for team building," she said.

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

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Đakovo Hosting Ghetto Games as Part of EUs Sports Initiative

April 21, 2022 - Đakovo is one of the hosting cities of the Ghetto Games Euroleague, a unique street football tournament. It was established as part of the "Medicines for Europe's Ghettos" initiative, with the main idea being the use of street sports as "medicine" for underdeveloped areas in Eruope.

It is supported by the European Union's Erasmus+ program in cooperation with some of the largest street sports organisations in Eruope, including Ghetto Games from Latvia, DGI  from Denmark, Fryshusetfrom Sweden, Malta BMX  from Malta and the Estonian Street Sports Federation. 

As Glas Slavonije writes, the Croatian portion of the tournament will take place at Strossmayer Square in Đakovo, starting on Friday, 22 April at 5 pm. The competition itself takes place in a cage (which is approximately 18 meters long and 10 meters wide), and three such cages will be ready for the competition. Two age groups are participating in the competition, one including ages 16+ and the other focusing on those younger than 16. There will also be a special category for girls/women. As for the entertainment aspect, a competition with the best eight freestylers from this part of Europe is planned. Online qualifications have taken place for this part of the tournament. Additionally, there will be a "1 v 1" competition in a specialized cage, smaller than the others.

The tournament is held in nine other EU cities (Amsterdam, Budapest, Prague, Copenhagen, Berlin, Warsaw, Rome…), which means that Đakovo has now taken a spot on this prestige list as one of the great ones. The arrival of numerous sports participants, clubs, players and influencers from Slavonia is expected. The competition will be live streamed worldwide, and the event will be broadcast on many channels on social networks.

The partners include the EU, Ghetto Games, the City of Đakovo, the Tourist Board of the City of Đakovo, as well as Rafael Spajić, the man who brought Ghetto Games to Đakovo in the first place, after having played street football for over 17 years.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Sunday, 17 April 2022

Eastern Croatia Attracts Increasing Number of Domestic Tourists

April 17, 2022 – Good news coming from eastern Croatia, with trends showing an increased interest of domestic tourists in the golden fields, fiery stews, and the sweetest wines of Slavonia.

As hrv.hr writes, last year's trend of increasing the number of overnight stays in eastern Croatia continues this year as well.

According to the Vukovar-Srijem County Tourist Board (TZ VSŽ) for the first three months of this year, the number of overnight stays in this part of Croatia increased by more than 40 percent compared to the same period last year.

Most of the guests are domestic tourists who have had a positive impact on the county's tourist results with their arrivals and overnight stays, and it is evident that their interest in the eastern part of Croatia is finally stable and growing.

According to the director of the Vukovar-Srijem County Tourist Board, Rujana Bušić Srpak, the results of the first quarter, but also the whole of last year, show that tourism can be maintained even in crises such as a pandemic.

“It is important to emphasize that the survival of tourism in the continental part of Croatia should be credited to domestic guests. They are in our focus, and they are the ones who can maintain the tourist movement even in crises, revive the tourist potential, and stimulate the domestic economy. The majority of our guests come from Croatia, and almost half of them are from Zagreb and the Zagreb County”, says Rujana Bušić Srpak, adding that in the wave of current price increases, the county still has affordable prices and provides excellent value for money.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Friday, 18 March 2022

Festivities in Eastern Slavonia: Things To Do in Spring

18 March 2022 - Spring is on the horizon! Ceremonies and events are slowly but surely moving outdoors and since TCN already covered “Five Places You Must Visit During Spring in Croatia”, this is a look into what festivities in Eastern Slavonia are happening during the new season. 

Firstly, we need to start with the biggest city of Eastern Slavonia - Osijek. As usual, the greenest city in Croatia has various events that can fulfill any person's preferences: from music, film, theater, and traditional events to sports and other activities that include all of citizens and guests. Since there is no shortage of events this spring season, we had to single out a few that will happen soon. It doesn't hurt to mention again that Osijek is going to host the 29th Porin Music Awards on the 25th of March. For more details, check the article here.

 

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Antiques Fair, (Photo:Okusi sreće by Pavica/Facebook)

 

Antiques Fair - 2nd of April 

The citizens of Osijek love their culture and heritage so it’s not surprising that the Antiques Fair is one the most popular events in the city. From old gramophone records to lost books and masterpieces from local unknown artists, this festivity is for everyone. Excitement as you pass by a sea of stalls that potentially contain a lost “treasure”? It is guaranteed only at the Osijek Antique Fair that is usually held on the first Saturday every month in the Old Town of the city - Tvrđa. However, the next Antique Fair will be held in King Držislav Park near the famous urban statue The Shell (Školjka) on the 2nd of April. The Park is located just across from Tvrđa, so it is not hard to find it. You can check for more here.

 

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Osijek Ferivi Half Marathon (Photo Osječki Ferivi Polumaraton/Facebook)

18th Osijek Ferivi Half marathon - 9th of April 2022 

This event, as the name suggests, will take place in Osijek, with four different races included: a half marathon (21.1 km), relay (3 x 7 km), citizens’ race (5 km), and a race for the youngest - children. These events will be accompanied by a music festival, instrumental, dance, and singing groups with a goal to entertain the visitors and competitors. Since its foundation, Osijek Ferivi Half Marathon has had an increase in the number of participants every single year and it’s becoming one of the biggest sporting events in Osijek and its surroundings. If you’re interested, the application is still open for everyone - it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or casual, everyone is welcome!

 

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Craft Beer Festival in Osijek (Photo: Osijek CRAFT BEER Festival/Facebook)

Craft Beer Festival - sometime in May (to be determined) 

How can Spring pass in Osijek without an event for beer lovers? In the last decades, Osijek has become a center for beer connoisseurs, not only in Eastern Slavonia but for beer enthusiasts all over Croatia. This fact is not surprising at all if we take into account that Osijek is also a center of multiple small breweries that produce various types of beers which have become iconic for this part of Croatia. Craft Beer Festival has been held last year during June but this year it’s probably coming back to its original date in May. We still don’t know the exact date. Nevertheless, the event will come back to the famous so-called “beer street” - Sun Street (Sunčana Ulica). For updates check their Facebook page.

If you’re interested in breweries in Osijek, check an article from our intern Toni.

After Osijek, we go further East and present cities of Vinkovci and Vukovar. Two historical Slavonian cities have a lot to offer with the support of surrounding small towns and their own events that enrich the lives of locals in Vukovar - Srijem County.

 

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Flower Festival in Vukovar (Photo: Miroslav Slafhauzer/Turistička zajednica grada Vukovara)

Flower Festival - end of the April 

Flower Festivals are a common event in Slavonia (we already had one in Osijek during Women’s Day). At the end of April every year, a Flower Festival is held in the center of Vukovar which brings together local and regional plant growers, florists, arrangers, related craftsmen, and lovers of flowers and ornamental plants. The Fair has sort of an exhibition and sales character which gives a completely different, colorful, and warmer look to the center of Vukovar. This event is also an overture for marking City Day.

 

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Svi zaJedno Hrvatsko Naj Festival in 2019 (Photo: svizajedno.eu/Galerija)

Svi zaJedno hrvatsko naj - cultural and tourist event - part of Vukovar City Day, 3rd of May 

This festival is fairly new - it was firstly held in 2018, as a part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is the first Croatian festival to present protected Croatian intangible cultural heritage on the national and UNESCO list with the most attractive tourist events, attractions, and destinations from all over Croatia. During the event, visitors have a chance of exploring various manifestations held all over Croatia by tasting autochthonous Croatian dishes and enjoying the offer of the best Croatian wines. Of course, what would be a Slavonian event without traditional music and dance groups? For more details, you can check their website.

 

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"Motorijada" in 2021 (Moto Klub Županja/Facebook)

Motorijada by Moto Club Županja - 10th of April 

Motorijada (Moto Race) is an event that is organized by Moto Clubs all over Croatia. Motorcycle enthusiasts organize these events to promote, among other things, motorsports and use this opportunity to meet with their fellow motorcycle buddies. This April, Moto Club Županja is organizing the 16th Opening of Moto Season of Vukovar - Srijem County with the aim of drawing the attention of other road users to the presence and safety of motorcyclists in the traffic. They will start their tour in the village Rajevo Selo and go through multiple towns in Vukovar - Srijem County with the ending in the host city - Županja. Everyone is invited and if you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or just love looking at the motors, this is a great event to visit. For more information, check their Facebook page.

 

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Logo of the Festival (photo: Festival Glumca/Facebook)

Actor’s Festival - all cities of Vukovar - Srijem County, 13 - 22 May 

The festival was founded in 1994 by the Croatian Society of Dramatic Artists and Vukovar - Srijem County and it is the only festival in Croatia dedicated to the actor and their artistic work. Today, this event has grown into a festival that brings chamber and large ensemble performances to the audience. If you’re interested in the festival full of character, good acting, acting personality, talent, and originality, visit Vukovar - Srijem County from 13th to 22nd May this year. Every city will have its appropriate events surrounding this festival. For more, check their official website.

 

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 Petrovačko Zvono event few years ago (photo: savezrusina.hr)

Petrovačko Zvono - sometime in June, 49th edition 

Rusyns are a national minority in Croatia with most of the residents residing in the village of Petrovci, which is located near Vukovar. Tradition, heritage, and constant maintenance of their culture for more than 40 years made this event one the most important in Vukovar - Srijem County. Rusyns from all over Croatia and other countries, visit Petrovci to connect to their fellow Rusyn people. They have a strong connection to Ukraine and their people, so if you’re nearby, visit this event, learn about the traditions of the people who’ve chosen Croatia as their home, and enjoy Petrovačko Zvono and its celebration of their heritage. For more details, you can visit their website here.

This is it for now. There are a lot more events that need mentioning, however, this article won’t be enough. TCN will bring you stories from some of these events and part two of places to visit in Eastern Slavonia is already on the way. Stay tuned!

Make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Zagreb's Shameful Ignorance of Eastern Croatia Revealed (Part 1)

February 3 - The level of ignorance among Croatians about what lies in the east of their country is staggering. And they are really missing out, for eastern Croatia is amazing. 

I really don't know where to start. 

Perhaps at 06:35 on November 16 last year. For it was then that I picked up American digital nomad videographer and emerging media star, Steve Tsenterensky, for a 6-day tour of eastern Croatia that I promised would blow his mind. 

It blew his mind. 

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(Osijek, Full of Life - Osijek Tourist Board)

Prior to the trip, I asked Steve what he knew about Croatia east of Zagreb (he has been here for just over a year on this visit). Very little, he confessed openly - the war, Vukovar. That's it. Six days later he knew a hell of a lot more, and you can read an in-depth account of what was easily the most sensational trip in my 18 years in Croatia. In Slavonia. In November. Time to Tell the Truth about Slavonia Full of Life.

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I posted a LOT on Facebook during our trip, and I was struck by the number of locals admiring the destinations and asking where I was. But I was truly unprepared for what happened when I got back to Zagreb. Local friend after local friend told me that they had never been to Slavonia - even though it is motorway all the way, and despite the fact that its most eastern point - Ilok - is closer to Zagreb than Split. 

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I never complain on social media - there is no point, as nobody cares, with so many of their own problems to deal with, but I posted on Facebook that I was genuinely shocked (not that I was bothered personally) how many of my Zagreb friends had never been to Slavonia. They were really missing out as the east is FANTASTIC. 

And so it started in a predictable way. You are a rich foreigner (ha, if only) and we poor Croats only earn 4,000 kuna a month, so cannot afford to go. I rephrased my sentence. I was genuinely shocked (not that I am bothered) how many of my Zagreb friends who are among the 200,000 who go skiing abroad each and so have money, have never been to Slavonia. 

Silence. 

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But then... 

A very educated Dubrovnik friend of mine was in town and he had also never been to Slavonia. I decided to ask him three questions.

1. What is the biggest town in Baranja? Hmmm - is it Vukovar?

2. Can you name three famous buildings in eastern Croatia, NOT including the Vukovar Water Tower? Hmmm - nope.

3. Can you name three Slavonian dishes not including kulen? Hmmm - nope. 

I have asked those first two questions (biggest town in Baranja, 3 famous buildings) to 30 friends in Zagreb over the last few weeks. Only one person could answer both questions correctly. 

And the sad thing is that Osijek is the most vibrant city in all Croatia, certainly at this time of year. It has fantastic energy, much different to the media portrayal of emigration and decline. 

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And so when the Croatia Airlines magazine article had Osijek on the Danube (it is on the Drava), and the Kingdom placed Djakovo Cathedral in Osijek (does this mean that Djakovo is actually on the Danube now?), it might not be total incompetence as it seems, but perhaps total ignorance, with an incompetence chaser. 

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But then again... any national tourism board who can promote a full 18-hole golf course in central Zagreb is a bit special. Yes really - read more in Tourism Quiz of the Summer: How Many Golf Courses Will Croatia Have Next Week?

I came up with an idea to film a tourism questionnaire on Ban Jelacic to highlight the problem (I will still do this), offering a free rakija from a Slavonian colleague in traditional dress to anyone who takes part. 

And then yesterday... This. 

Index.hr, super quick as usual, beat me to it. An Index journalist took to the streets of Zagreb and showed locals photos from Pula, Virovitica, Osijek, Karlovac, Rijeka, Rovinj, Varaždin, Đakovo, Dubrovnik and Split.

The continent and the coast. You don't need to understand Croatia to see the results. 

I will still do my survey, as it is part of a bigger project to Make Osijek Great Again (#MOGA).  

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A project which received strong support from Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac, at our first meeting last month. 

Zagreb is a natural source of tourism for Slavonia, and this is certainly not charity. In my opinion, a big difference between tourism in Slavonia and tourism in Dalmatia is that nobody who visits Slavonia comes back disappointed. 

And there is so much to see and do. This video below is for another project, but it felt apt to add it here. For those who know the east well, do you recognise all the places? And for those who don't know Slavonia at all, go and have your mind blown, as Steve did - this is his video. 

 

And if you are interested in the #MOGA project and have something to contribute, come to the TCN MOGA networking drinks at Pivnica Runda in Osijek on Monday at 19:00

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Want to know more about Osijek? Check out the Total Croatia Osijek in a Page guide

 

Wednesday, 26 January 2022

OLT Osijek to Transform: Museums, Sport Incubator, Olympic Swimming Pool

January the 26th, 2022 - Eastern Croatia is often (very wrongly) overlooked, and the City of Osijek is one town that is making a stand in several ways when it comes to turning its image around. The old OLT Osijek is set to undergo a transformation, with a unique sport incubator, museums and even an Olympic swimming pool thrown in.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, the praiseworthy revitalisation project of the OLT Osijek area, one of the largest projects being implemented in Osijek-Baranja County and in the City of Osijek, is still waiting for its visible construction phase to begin. It will most likely two more years before a large area in the very heart of Osijek is turned into a large construction site.

Therefore, the focus is on key activities that will enable this in connection with the development of the Urban Development Plan, which will be a prerequisite for defining the content in this area, which is the responsibility of the City of Osijek.

As part of the project entitled "The preparatory documentation for the strategic project for the revitalisation of the brownfield OLT Osijek area" in the amount of 2,777,500 kuna, and co-financed by the European Union (EU), conservation documentation also needs to be prepared.

The urban plan

This is the basis for the preparation of the urban-conservation base, which should be incorporated into the necessary spatial planning documentation. Conservation documentation, in addition to the catalog of all buildings, also includes various studies of research works and recordings of the existing condition for the buildings - these are the foundry with a lathe, an office, an administrative building, a tool shop and a water tower.

According to a request from Osijek-Baranja County, after the Urban Development Plan is drawn up and made, the project documentation will need to be prepared, and according to county prefect Ivan Anusic, they want to revive the OLT Osijek space which is located almost right in the city centre.

"In the immediate vicinity of the University Campus, OLT Osijek will receive additional support in terms of the scientific work needing to be done because our plan is to create a Science Research Centre, then a sports incubator where experts will work with children from an early age to guide them to the sport that suits them best, both according to their individual physical predispositions and according to their personal affinities.

There will also be support for the families of young athletes, as we've repeatedly witnessed that the top athletes we can truly be proud of in this county are the product of our own efforts and work, as well as family sacrifice. Our goal is to institutionalise this type of support,'' Anusic pointed out.

According to him, the construction of an Olympic swimming pool, which the City of Osijek currently lacks, is planned along with a number of halls, while the sport incubator will be the first of its kind in the wider area, so the new purpose of OLT Osijek will be of great importance for all of Eastern Croatia.

"It's also known that Osijek has a long tradition on the cultural scene, but in recent years there has been a lack of space for the development of alternative types of art. The plan also includes museums, an amphitheatre and various other content that will be generated in the time ahead as something which is necessary to improve the economic, scientific, social and cultural development of the city and the wider county,'' said County Prefect Anusic.

One of the basic preconditions for the realisation of all of this is the gift contract concluded last week between the state and this county for very valuable property that previously became the property of the state through their purchase in the bankruptcy of Osijek's failed metal company.

This is an area which boasts an ​​abandoned and unused industrial complex, spanning a total area of ​​59,046 m2, and the plan is to be implemented over several phases of design and construction. The first stage of project implementation refers to the economic content, which consists of several components, while the second stage of the project is related to incentive housing for 1,600 inhabitants, or 380 apartments in total.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

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.

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Thursday, 12 August 2021

Feravino Winery Has Plan to Change People's Perception of Slavonia

August the 12th, 2021 - Slavonia has unfortunately always been overlooked. With tourism still very much focused on the coast, even Zagreb continues to live in the Adriatic sea's shadow. Eastern Croatia can barely get a look in and Slavonian wine is often referred to as cheap. Could that all finally change with the Feravino winery's Slavonia-oriented projects? Maybe.

As Jozo Vrdoljak/Novac writes, back at the beginning of last year, in cooperation with the consulting company BlueRock Consulting, a strategy was developed for the development and long-term sustainability of Feravino, and consequently Fericanci in Slavonia as a destination.

The new vision of growth and development defined by the strategy undertaken by Feravino has the main goal of transformation into a modern boutique winery. In addition to the vision, the need for serious rebranding and new positioning was recognised because, given the complex market and the demands of today's consumer, Feravino faced significant challenges that need to be overcome. As such, Enosophia was created, a new brand that represents a new direction of the development of Feravino based on the long tradition of those vineyards, as well as investment, innovation, boutique production and a focus on quality.

A significant step forward

''The whole story began when we realised that we have to adapt and change in order to be able to alter our own perception on the one hand and the perception of Slavonia and Slavonian winemakers on the other. We saw the problem of the negative perception faced by Slavonian winemakers and the perception of Slavonia as a region where cheap wines are produced.

We decided to take these problems seriously, realising that we needed a strategic approach and a complete solution to tackle this issue. The result is a new development strategy, the development of which we worked on with expertsm'' said Ivan Maricic. With partners from the Bruketa & Zinic & Gray agency, the process of rebranding the Feravino winery has begun. A new brand architecture has been created with a new visual identity, and all the products it will launch in the coming years will also have a new air about them.

''Surrounding ourselves with the best in the industry, we've created a new brand that will be able to carry everything we've done so far and realise all our plans and ambitions. This is how Enosophia, our wisdom of wine, was created,'' explained Ivan Maricic.

The Feravino winery's brand new strategy implies a significant step forward in terms of wine production in the premium category, which ultimately aims to increase the share of sales in the higher price segment, especially the HoReCa channel. The strengthening of their portfolio with high-quality wines has also been confirmed by the first two brands of Enosophia, Grasevina TRS no. 5 and rose Matarouge. These are wines with which the Feravino winery wants to interest a younger audience. This is to be achieved by an innovative interactive label, the first of its kind in the Croatian wine industry. Intensive work is also being done on the development of more new products.

One of the most important projects for the adopted strategy is the development of continental tourism and Fericanci in Osijek-Baranja County as a destination. It is part of the holistic approach of the new winery, which, in addition to the excellence of the product itself, implies care for people, sustainable development and the proper positioning of Slavonia.

''Our idea isn't only to be among the best wineries in Croatia, but also a winery that will make Fericanci a desirable tourist destination and attract young people to return or come to live in Slavonia,'' emphasised Ivan Maricic.

Heritage hotel

The plan is to build a wine hotel with a capacity of 60 to 80 rooms, which will be built on the site of the old cellar.

''We'll set up a restaurant with all of the associated facilities in the vineyards, as well as some additional accommodation. Recently, we've had some horses and a stable built next to the location of the future wine hotel, which will further complete the future tourist offer,'' explained Maricic, adding that the value of these projects stands at over 20 million euros.

''We're also actively working on the construction of a heritage hotel, which will be realised with the restoration of the Mihalovic mansion. The project is worth six million euros and the hotel should be completed in the second half of 2022. It will be one of the more luxurious hotels in Croatia with fewer accommodation units, but with rich accompanying facilities,'' stated Maricic.

Along with tourism projects, the reconstruction and upgrade of the Feravino winery itself is planned, including the construction of a tasting room and showroom, with additional storage capacities. It is also a large investment, worth about five million euros in total.

''Over recent years, we've worked hard on raising new plantations and converting our vineyards. The conversion, which is the replacement of old vineyards with new ones, was done with the help of funds from the Wine Envelope, ie with cash from European Union (EU) funds. Last year, investments were completed in two new cellars, for fermentation and wine aging. One has a capacity of 570,000 litres of stainless steel containers, and the other 147,000 litres of large wooden barrels.

In total, more than five million euros have been invested in these projects in the Feravino winery in the last three years alone. We'd also like to emphasise our investment in new equipment for the production of sparkling wines,'' Maricic concluded.

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