Tuesday, 29 November 2022

Advents in Slavonia Bringing Enchanting Atmosphere and Exciting Events

November 29, 2022 - The fairy lights are on, and the smell of mulled wine, sauerkraut, and gingerbread fills the air wherever you go. The famous Advent in Zagreb is already attracting visitors, as are Split, Zadar, Opatija, and many other cities. Make sure you don't miss out on the fun in the east, though! Visit some of the Advents in Slavonia, and we promise you'll want to stay and live in the winter wonderland in the east.

Adventiranje Osijek

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Advent Osijek official website

The long-awaited Adventiranje in Osijek is officially kicking off on the 2nd of December at the beloved Tvrđa location (Osijek historic old town). Events in Tvrđa are always special with the 17th and 18th-centuryth century charm of the old town's streets. Pair that with Christmas decorations and a giant Ferris Wheel, and you've got yourself a perfect little evening of touring the stalls, tasting the sweets, and enjoying the lights and the music. The Advent stalls will be open from 4 pm until 10 pm on working days, while on Fridays and Saturdays, they will remain open until midnight. They will be open from 10 am until 5 pm on Christmas Eve. The Advent programme includes concerts, cooking and wine workshops, seminars, lectures hosted by Osijek's Slavonia and Archaeological museums, and workshops and events for the little ones.

Advent iz Davnina Slavonski Brod

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Slavonski Brod official website

The fairytale Advent, inspired by the most famous author of Slavonski Brod, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, will this year, too, shine its light and open its pages to all for a magical experience. Voted #4 in Croatia for the year 2021, Slavonski Brod has again prepared an ambitious programme consisting of concerts, theatre, culinary events, and gatherings, ensuring that every Advent weekend is full of fun. The programme started on the 26th of November when the first candle was lit and will continue all the way to the 30th of December.

Advent in Vukovar

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Vukovar Tourist Board

An Advent Full of Magic is this year's slogan for Vukovar. It kicked off on Sunday, the 27th of November when the first candle was lit, and the ice rink was opened. It will go on until the 23rd of December, featuring a variety of music concerts, workshops and events, exhibitions, theatre plays, and a Christmas market. The market will be there on the weekend from the 16th until the 18th of December from 5-7 pm, while on the 23rd, it will be open from 9 am to 12 pm. The ice rink will be open every day from 9 am until 9 pm, while on Fridays and Saturdays, it will remain open until 10 pm. The location of most of the events is the backyard of the Eltz Manor (Vukovar Municipal Museum), and some will take place in the city library.

Advent in Vinkovci

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Advent u Vinkovcima Fb Page

The oldest city in Europe also brings an advent full of fun for its residents and visitors alike. Moving from the Korzo promenade, this year's circular ice rink will find itself next to the river Bosut for magnificent views and a truly magical winter atmosphere. It will open on the 9th of December. The Advent Film Tuesdays kick off today, on the 29th of November, at 7 pm at the Joza Ivakić city theatre. The list of films includes The Stolen Princess, Paddington 2, Free Guy, and Arthur Christmas. The entrance is free. Those looking to buy Christmas ornaments or local products or donate to charities can do so every Saturday from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Christmas market in the city centre, where the candles will be lit, followed by concerts. On the 16th of December, the event of the season will take place - the Christmas treasure hunt race. The route is just shy of 2 kilometres and includes challenges, riddles, and tastings of local delicacies. Teams of up to three players can apply. It starts at 6 pm at Franjo Tuđman Square.

Advent in Požega

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Požega Tourist Board

Sparkly and bright is the slogan of Požega's advent this year. Having unofficially started on the 26th of November when the first candle was lit, the official opening will take place on the 3rd of December with a theatre play, the opening of the ice rink, and a music and dance show. The rich programme will continue until the 31st of December, with the New Year's Party being the final event. This season's events will include movie nights, storytime, concerts, workshops, and many charity events. The city will come together to create a winter wonderland, including its museums, theatres, and schools. The Christmas market will have its stalls set up from the 22-24 of December in the morning hours. And we especially like that there will be a Fitness recovery workshop on the 26th of December.

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

 

 

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Cvarakfest Karanac: Slavonia and Baranja in a Nutshell

November 25, 2022 - The largest fair of local products in eastern Croatia is held on the Karanac fairground alongside the traditional Cvarakfest. We are yet to find a more Slavonian event.

As SiB writes, like every year, the fattest and tastiest festival in the region awaits on the last Saturday in November. A festival dedicated solely to no less than the truffles of Baranja – cvarci!

The Karanac winter fair is an event that offers the products of almost 80 local producers, mainly from the OPGs of Slavonia and Baranja. Here you can make sure you stock up your pantry shelves for the whole winter. Famous cured meat products from Baranja (kulen, bacon, sausage, ham, cracklings, lard...), wine, brandy, juices, cheeses, pastries, cakes, honey, ground red pepper, wicker baskets, wooden kitchen utensils, souvenirs, antiques, are only some of the things you might find here.

Naturally, no event in Baranja can do without its famous cuisine. At the Vasar (fair), you can taste local cobanac (shepherd's stew), bean stew from a clay pot, kotlovina (grilled meat and vegetable stew), grilled sausages, and carp on forks. Wash it all down with top-quality wine. Before you start, don’t forget your aperitif of homemade rakija!

As part of the Winter Fair, the sensational Cvarakfest is also held in the same place. This unique event is a competition in preparing cvarci (pork cracklings) in the traditional way by “melting” them in a cauldron over an open fire. The winner wins the title of Cvarak Majstor (Cvarak Master). If you don’t feel like you’re up for the competition and would just like a taste, you can buy some fresh hot cvarci directly from the competition cauldrons.

The programme of this year’s Cvarakfest is looking pretty good:

Saturday, November 26, 2022

09:00

  • Cvarak cooking competition
  • Fair of local products: cured meat, cheese, winter meat, cakes, Baranja gingerbread, rakija, wine, antiques, wooden products, woven baskets, jewellery, souvenirs, etc.
  • A rich gastronomic offer: grilled sausages, carp on forks, beans in clay pots, etc.
  • Mulled wine

12:00

Cvarak Majstor Award Ceremony

If you are looking to spend the day in nature, with the added benefits of good food and even better fun, trust us – visit the Cvarakfest and winter fair in Karanac. Knowing how things usually unfold in Slavonia and Baranja, you might even learn how to do it and apply for the competition to become the Cvarak Majstor yourself!

And if you’re unsure about indulging in your cvarci as they are, you can always put them away, turn them into drozda and bake them into delicious pogacice sa cvarcima.

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

Thursday, 17 November 2022

Wine Tourism in Slavonia and Baranja: Interest Surpassing Capacities

November 17, 2022 - Although wine tourism in Croatia has excellent potential among domestic tourists, and it is a niche that generates great added value and links the development of other segments of the economy, this potential is poorly utilised.

As Poslovni writes, there are no wine hotels, museums, entertainment facilities, or wine roads. However, the interest of potential guests is high, according to an extensive survey conducted by the Improve agency with the consulting firm BlueRock (BRC) this September.

An excellent example of Austria

The research will also be used for the new Strategy for developing wine tourism in Slavonia and Baranja, which BlueRock is working on for the association Graševina Croatica, the largest association of winemakers in Slavonia and Baranja, confirmed Emanuel Tutek, a partner in BRC. "Wine tourism is one of the leading tourist products in Croatia, and at the same time, no Slavonian county has got any strategic document for the development of this product, although the wine business is one of the aggregates for the development of value-added tourism. At the same time, wine tourism is an important lever for the development of winemaking itself and agriculture, as shown by the example of Austria, which successfully connected these two segments, but not without large investments. Wine tourism and winemaking then promote the export component,"  said Tutek for Poslovni Dnevnik.

Until now, there was no qualitative data on the potential market, i.e., guests who are users or are interested in wine tourism. Of the total number of foreign guest arrivals in Croatia, it is not known precisely how many are wine tourists, that is, those whose primary motive for coming is wine and wine experiences.

There are only estimates for Istria, the leading tourist region with 21.7 million overnight stays in 2021, of which foreign guests make up 85 percent. Istria also has the most developed wine tourism.

It is estimated that wineries in Istria have around 290,000 visitors per year, among whom 30-35% are local, which means that the share of local visitors in Istrian wine tourism is twice that of their share in total arrivals.

BlueRock commissioned research that pointed to additional potential from the domestic guest segment. The study was conducted using an online survey, and respondents were recruited from the ImproveOnline panel.

The research showed 71 percent of respondents were not wine tourists in the last two years. On the other hand, 74 percent of respondents have an interest in wine tourism.

"Therefore, there is a significant market potential that has not yet been used; that is, there is a lack of supply. It is basic, and its development can address potent consumer segments. Visiting wineries is the most common form of wine tourism in Croatia, as are tours of the wine roads. Wine tourism activities, especially with greater added value, such as wine education and workshops, are popular among younger ages (25-34 years) and those with above-average incomes. At the same time, wine events and attractions are better attended in continental Croatia," the analysis states.

The survey also showed that 56% of wine tourists visited the regions of continental Croatia, which is influenced by the proximity of Zagreb. Tutek sees even greater significance in the hilly wine regions north of Zagreb and Slavonia, their current focus.

For the development of wine tourism, the tourist value chain is also necessary, which means that accessibility should be increased, and all necessary infrastructure should be provided, from accommodation, restaurants, museums, and interpretation centers to the development of destination management companies. Tutek notes that this is not the winemaker's job, although it most often boils down to that, as shown by the example of Plešivica near Zagreb.

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

Wednesday, 9 November 2022

Discover the Croatian Danube: House of Magnificent Milutin Milankovic

November 9, 2022 – As part of our Croatian Danube series, TCN has visited Dalj, and we can say that we have been to what must be the most important house in the village. One that many people had no idea stood there for over 150 years now. Even though NASA named Milutin Milankovic one of the 15 greatest scientists of all time, he might be one of the most underrepresented and underrated in Croatia.

Milutin Milankovic, the astronomer, geophysicist, climatologist, mathematician, inventor, engineer, Doctor of Technology, university professor, and writer, was born in Dalj in 1879, in what was the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He studied in Osijek and acquired his diploma and Ph.D. in Vienna, where he worked as an engineer until 1909. He then became a university professor in Belgrade, where he worked until 1955. He was a member of the Serbian and Croatian Academies of Sciences and Arts. He spent WWI in internment in Budapest. He died in Belgrade in 1958. His remains were, per his wish, taken back to Dalj in 1966, where he was buried in his family tomb, along with his twin sister, brothers, parents, and many of his ancestors.

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His contribution to science was vast and significant. Without pretending that we can understand his scientific work, just the list of his works and publications would impress any reader. His primary focus was on cosmic questions and life on Earth, the sun, ice ages, and how they influenced life on Earth. Some of his most famous work revolves around the Earth's orbital cycles, a theory confirmed by NASA, in which he provided mathematical explanations of the reasons, causes, frequency, and duration of ice ages on Earth, as well as other aspects of the Earth’s climate. Milutin Milankovic is also the author of the most precise calendar to date, with a difference of only 2 seconds between Milutin’s calendar year and the currently in use tropical (solar) year.

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Along with scientific writing, Milankovic was versed in lyrical prose and wrote three volumes of memoirs on his life, his birth house, the village of Dalj, and the Danube, which was an endless source of inspiration. In his memoirs, he left detailed descriptions of his house and backyard, including all the flowers and plants, the pine that stood under his window, and the view of the mighty river. The house was declared a cultural monument in 1979 but had suffered the consequences of the passage of time and the war. Even though Milutin's nationality did spark debates between Croatians and Serbians, just like a certain other scientist, the municipality of Dalj invested in the recounstruction of Milutin Milankovic's birth house, where they created a cultural and scientific educational centre. The centre is equipped with models, presentations, and projections, including Milutin's space room. The backyard is a comfortable, inviting, fresh green space, with a gazebo just beside Milutin's beloved pine, which stands strong and tall. The observatory is the perfect venue for stargazing nights and special events. 

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And even though the people of Dalj know, love, and are happy to visit Milutin's house, the vast majority of Croatian people do not, or do not know, that they can visit it too. Not only can you visit the original house and see this magnificent exhibition firsthand, but you can also schedule an educational visit to learn about Milutin's life and legacy, explore the interactive presentations, and even try to find new stars using the telescope. The best part - the visit is completely free. Come on, where else do you get that? To schedule a visit, send an e-mail or call the contacts here.

 

How good is your knowledge of eastern Croatia? Take the CROMADS test above - how many places do you recognise?

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

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Meet Vukovar 365, Full of Life - Valentina Šimak's Holiday Home

November 3, 2022 – November is always a difficult month in Vukovar. The feelings are a mix of pride and gratitude, sadness and hope. All further aggravated by the sudden interest in what goes on. And while the city often only gets one weekend of attention, people here live, work, and thrive every day. Just another example of that is a young lady called Valentina, who not only decided to take the plunge and start a business with her partner but was brave enough to do that in tourism. Yes, in Vukovar. In the beautiful area of Vučedol.

Could you tell us about yourself and your project?

I'm Valentina, I'm 28 years old, and I grew up in Vukovar and lived here all my life. I studied public administration, and I graduated in 2020. I worked various jobs until I found one in the profession; now I work as a school secretary. I often go to holiday homes with my friends to take a break from work and the hustle and bustle of the city or to escape from everyday life. The cottage, located 3 kilometers from the town of Vukovar, in the forest of Vučedol, has become our oasis of peace and a corner where all worries disappear. I thought it would be good for other people who visit our city to have their own oasis of peace, so I decided to open a vacation house called "Vučedolska Golubica" (The Vučedol Dove). Just as the dove symbolises peace, our home also exudes peace due to its location in beautiful nature.

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What inspired you to start something of your own?

Thinking about my hometown, my fellow citizens, visitors, and tourists who come from different parts of the world, I realised that our holiday home is all they need to spend quality time resting and relaxing. From there, they can take a short walk to the Vučedol Culture Museum, the beautiful Danube, and the island that can be seen from the shore, the wonderful wine road. People who enjoy walking and cycling will love the proximity and accessibility of all the sights and amenities.

What were the main challenges of starting such a business?

Every beginning is complex, and so was ours. I was always thinking about how to start a business, how to advertise, how to do marketing, and how to show people all the great things they could experience here... Really, there were a lot of challenges because I didn't know where to start. After we took the first step, though, all my worries disappeared. The visitors who came rated us very well and gave us the strength and motivation to be even better and more persistent in our goal. We strive to be better every day.

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How does your location in the east of Croatia affect the development of your business?

Vukovar is located in the very east of the Republic of Croatia, in our beautiful Slavonia. Our city has a lot of historical stories and events that every individual should learn about to experience Vukovar as we, the people of Vukovar, share it. For us, the city of Vukovar, a hero city, is our strength.

Our location is challenging since we are not at the coast. Visitors do believe that it is much better to go to the sea, but I can convince them with photo evidence that we also have our sea, our beautiful Danube. In summer, free boat transportation to the island (Vukovar's Ada) is organised. And it boasts a diverse world of content for all ages and desires. 

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Are you happy with your progress so far?

I am satisfied with what we have done so far, even though we are at the very beginning. The house has two floors, a kitchen, two bathrooms, and a bedroom with panoramic windows upstairs, while downstairs, there is a large living room and dining room. We are planning to build a children's playground on the property, as well as a swimming pool. We currently have a jacuzzi, an area for barbecuing, and a fire pit for outdoor cooking.

What is the situation with this type of tourism in Vukovar?

Most of our visitors come to Vukovar from Croatia. The reason is that few foreigners know our city's history and what it has to offer. I recommend everyone who hasn't been to visit us and see all the cultural sights of our city and take a break from everyday life in beautiful nature. Indeed,we are surrounded by fantastic nature and have wonderful things to offer.

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Are you connected with other similar businesses in Vukovar?

In the city, there are many renters, but we are unfortunately not connected. I want to connect with others to reach a place where everyone would present their suggestions and criticism so that together we can keep up with the times and take off into new business ventures.

What is it like to live in Vukovar, and what is unique about the area of Vučedol?

I would describe life in Vukovar as a priceless gift. Most of us from Vukovar know what the city experienced in its past and how it rose and became a wonderful, peaceful, small town over time. Next to Vukovar, which exudes uniqueness because of everything it has experienced, you can find Vučedol. This area is a peaceful natural oasis where our holiday home has found its place, adorned with untouched nature and the beautiful wild coast of the Danube, which is incredibly charming for fishermen. Of course, cyclists won't be disappointed either because a cycling route through Vučedol goes all the way to Ilok, following one of the most beautiful cycling routes in Europe.

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Why should people visit your holiday home?

After all, it can be concluded that our vacation home exudes uniqueness and peace, and gives you a touch of home. It's a place where you feel like it's your home. Why? Because it provides peace, security, and a sense of freedom. Visit us, come to us, and see how you can get immense quality, warmth, and acceptance for a small price. We will be at your disposal throughout your stay, ready for any questions and always helpful.

How can they reach you?

Book your stay on Whatsapp or Viber at +385989532320 and follow us on Facebook at Kuća za odmor Vučedolska golubica.

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

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

Strong Tourist Season in Baranja, More in Store for the Winter

November 2, 2022 - As early as in mid-September, the number of overnight stays in Baranja was equal to the total number of overnight stays achieved in 2019, which means that the record has already been exceeded.

Glas Slavonije reported on the positive trend which this eastern Croatian region has been enjoying. "Judging by the inquiries and planned events, we are expecting a great tourist year", said Matej Perkušić, director of the Baranja Tourist Board, stressing that it is obvious that, above all, domestic guests have acquired a new habit, "to travel and spend nights within Croatia, including Baranja."

He reminds that there is no season or postseason on the "continent", which is confirmed by the numerous visitors to several events in Slavonia-Baranja during the past months. Željka Bagarić-Dumančić from the Baranja Tourist Board claims that guests will have a reason to come to Baranja (but also a bit more).

"Let's start with the events included in the celebration of the Day of Beli Manastir, Martinje. Among the whole series of different and interesting month-long events organised by the City, Beli Manastir associations and institutions, I single out the preparation of traditional Baranja fish dishes, which will be held on November 5 in the Hungarian House of MKU Pelmonostor. On the very Day of Beli Manastir, a concert by the tambura group Fijaker is planned, and the day after a fair of local products with a rich gastronomic offer", said Bagarić-Dumančić.

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Steve Tsentserensky

Many guests will also be attracted by the traditional Karanac Winter Fair and Čvarak Fest on November 26 at the Karanac Field, organised by the Association of Keepers of Old Crafts (Udruga čuvara starih zanata), with the help of Baranjska Kuća and Baranja Tourist Board. This year too, visitors will be welcomed by numerous stands, a rich gastronomic offer and interesting content. This year's novelty is the winter Wine & Walk. So far, only the summer one has been held, and due to numerous inquiries from the participants, the local tourist board, in cooperation with the Baranja Winegrowers Association, decided to organise one during the colder part of the year as well. It will be held on December 10.

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Steve Tsentserensky

"We expect between 200 and 300 participants. On the nine-kilometer-long trail through Suza and Zmajevac, the famous wine meccas of Baranja, participants will be welcomed at numerous locations by Baranja winemakers and restaurants with top-quality wines and snacks. We will provide the walkers with a map, a wine glass and a winter hat, and the participants will need to make sure they wear comfortable clothes and shoes and a good mood", explains Bagarić-Dumančić, adding that the wineries Pinkert, Kovač, Kolar, Horvat, Gerštmajer, Svijetli dvori, Zlatno brdo, Kalazić, Josić, Szabo and Kusić will be waiting for the walkers. The energy will be taken care of (also) by the Kovač Čarda restaurant, the Oaza Mira vacation house, the "Tako je to nekad bilo" (As It Once Was) association, the Borarium Vinarium, and the Kusić cellars. The registration fee is HRK 300. The afterparty is in Katolički Surduk. Finally, let us not forget the Baranja Advent (Christmas markets) in Kneževi Vinogradi and Beli Manastir.

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

Friday, 21 October 2022

Osijek Centre for Missing and Exploited Children Receives Prestigious International Award

October 21, 2022 - The Osijek Centre for Missing and Exploited Children is the winner of the prestigious international award of the "Care About the Children" Foundation of Queen Silvia of Sweden. It thus became the first organisation from Croatia to receive this award, the Centre reported.

As Index writes, and as announced by the Osijek Centre, among more than 130 nominated organisations in Europe that deal with the protection of children from abuse and exploitation, the Expert Court of the Foundation has chosen ten to award the prestigious award to associations whose protection of children's rights is imperative.

The Queen Silvia Foundation in Sweden "Care About the Children" aims to meet the most basic needs of children, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The Osijek Centre points out that the award was presented on October 18, on the European Anti-Trafficking Day, at the Swedish Royal Palace, to prominent organisations for the fight against child trafficking and sexual abuse of children via the Internet.

The award was received from Queen Silvia by the head of the Osijek Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, Tomislav Ramljak, who commended the fact that such a highly positioned institution recognised the work of the Osijek institution, and the award of 10,000 euros, he added, will be an additional incentive for further investments in preventive programs.

Ramljak pointed out that educational institutions, the police, specialised associations, companies, and state bodies must work together to make the Internet a safer place.

"We must do everything in our power so that children feel safe to report any form of violence on the Internet if they experience it. This requires the joint work of the entire society," said Ramljak.

The Osijek Centre for Missing and Exploited Children reminds us that their long-term work resulted in the launch of the National Centre for a Safer Internet and the telephone number 116 000 - the international hotline for missing children in the Republic of Croatia.

Lectures in schools, education for experts, campaigns to raise awareness, and numerous preventive activities are recognised as of great value in the fight to protect children from abuse and exploitation on the Internet; the Osijek Centre points out.

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

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Meet the Croatian Indiana Jones - Prof. Dr. Sc. Aleksandar Durman

October 20, 2022 – So there are places in Croatia where people have continuously lived for 8000 years. And there was a civilisation on the bank of the Danube 5000 years ago that knew the stars, seasons, and how much a standard door frame would measure today. Oh, and they drank beer. The fact that we know that and so much more we owe Professor Aleksandar Durman, the living legend of Croatian archaeology. We had the honour to meet the man himself and sit down with him for an hour of conversation, which included practical demonstrations of why the moon wasn’t a practical tool for the Vučedol people, a few trips down memory lane, and a discussion on the future of tourism in the Croatian east.

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The man in action, Vučedol Culture Museum

Let us properly introduce the lively professor. He was born in 1949 in Zagreb, where he lived a happy childhood and studied archaeology and history. Asked about his interest in these areas, professor Durman says that archaeology came as a sort of plan B after he realised that he wasn’t that interested in physics which he initially planned to study. Archaeology seemed exciting and interesting, he adds, but since job prospects were scarce in the field, he decided to study history along with it. During his studies, though, he ensured that he was employed in archaeology and never looked back. When he was a student in the seventies, almost all the research was concentrated on the Croatian coast and the remnants of the Roman era that kept popping up there. Fair enough, he comments, but there was and is much more to discover in other parts of Croatia, primarily the east.

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Steve Tsentserensky

And he went on to do just that. In his consolidated CV, there is a page just about his research projects in Vukovar and Vinkovci, where he started working in 1977 and kept coming back until his recent retirement. He received multiple awards for his contribution, including the Vinkovci Gold Plaque (2011), the Lifetime Achievement Award of the Croatian Archaeological Society (2013), and the title of an Honorary Citizen of Vukovar (2020).

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City of Vukovar

If you've heard anything about the Vučedol culture and the museum, it was probably about the famous bird. This ceramic dish was discovered there in 1938 and became a symbol of Vučedol and Vukovar. We mean, of course, the Vučedol dove that was later reclassified as the Vučedol partridge. Professor Durman changed its “name,” providing an excellent explanation. Without revealing it, we’ll say that it has to do with social hierarchy, the nature of the job, and what partridges do when they sense danger. You can see the original in The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, but the Vučedol museum in Vukovar will provide all the context and insight to help you understand why an ancient civilisation, the contemporaries of Egypt and Mesopotamia decided to settle just there. At the risk of repeating ourselves, if you head east, make sure to visit this stunning location.

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Back to our main character. An article about the professor wouldn't be complete unless we mentioned, possibly, his most significant discovery. That would be the Orion calendar which he discovered on the 21st of March in 1978. Fate, he says, having found it on the first day of spring. The little ceramic dish in question, according to professor Durman's interpretation, is one of the most significant witnesses of just how advanced the Vučedol civilisation was. The carved pattern on the dish apparently represents the night sky, with the four horizontal fields most likely dividing it into the four seasons.

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The Orion calendar, Steve Tsentserensky

The incrustations inside the fields represent the constellations visible in the area in 2600 BC. The most important one, you might have guessed, was the Orion. It was the dominant winter constellation, and it was reliable – when the three stars of Orion's belt would fall below the horizon, the Vučedol people knew spring was there. And since they largely relied on their crops for sustenance, the first day of spring also signified the start of a new year and new life. The stars played a significant role in the daily lives of the Vučedolians as well as their spirituality. The Orion dish was found in a locality near Vinkovci and has become the symbol of that city.

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Orion calendar mozaic in Vinkovci city centre, Steve Tsentserensky

Speaking of, it is Vinkovci that takes another special place in our article and the books of Croatian archaeological research. You might have heard something about it being the oldest city in Europe, but that, we dare say, is an understatement. Professor Durman found evidence supporting the thesis that the area of Vinkovci has continuously been inhabited for over 8000 years. Fun fact, not one but two Roman emperors were born in Vinkovci – Valentinian and Valens, whose name is now synonymous with some excellent craft beer.

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Steve Tsentserensky

To put all of this in context, let us quote the professor himself when asked how we should present his findings and demonstrate the importance of these areas to both those who live here and those who visit. “The Vučedol culture was the highest level of Indo-Europeans at the very beginning. They had a calendar; they knew metallurgy, and even the measurements for door frames that we still use today came from there. They had a pictorial writing system before the hieroglyphics. Just consider that all we know about Greek mythology had its roots in the Vučedol culture”. Now tell us that is not fascinating.

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City of Vukovar

Finally, let us thank professor Durman for a unique, educational evening and his contribution to archaeology in Croatia, but especially in the east of the country. He has worked tirelessly to find, study and explain so much of what we know about the area today, and he has also travelled the world promoting it and emphasizing its importance. Among other things, he was a screenwriter for the Vučedol Secrets film, with its third part coming out soon. Naturally, we also asked him about the future of tourism in Slavonia, and we were happy to hear that he shared our view – the area is still a hidden gem, but its time will come. Archaeology and archaeological tourism will play a key role.

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

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Events to Check Out if You're Spending the Weekend in Eastern Croatia

October 11, 2022 - Has autumn convinced you to visit the east of Croatia? Not that we blame you if you've decided to spend these warm days on the coast. If you are among the ones who have decided to witness the colours, sights and smells of autumn in the eastern parts of Croatia, though, you might be looking for something to do other than let the beauty of the area make you fall head over heels for it. We're bringing an overview of events for a fun, joyful, maybe educational weekend in eastern Croatia.

Friday, October 14, Slavonski Brod: BrodTech Cafe

If you find yourself in or near Slavonski Brod, the Association of ICT businesses of the city, Connect-IT is organising the first edition of BrodTech Cafe, an evening gathering with topics about technology, marketing and entrepreneurship on Friday, October 14 starting at 7 pm. Their guest will be Marijan Palić, author of the hit book Atomic Marketing, which was the best-selling marketing book in Croatia in 2019. Marijan is a top expert in digital marketing and head of marketing at Notch Agency (ex Agency04). Marijan will present the best examples from practice in marketing, sports marketing, SEO and will be happy to open a discussion on those topics. All you need is some good will, and the entrance is free. The first lecture is organised through the Marketing Lab project in cooperation with the Connect IT Association. Find the event here.

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Brod-Posavina County and Udruga Lima

Friday, October 14, Vukovar: Goran Vinčić "Dežurni Krivac"

If you're looking for a chill evening and some laughs in Vukovar, try stand up comedy in Hrvatski Dom. Starting at 8 pm, Goran Vinčić is bringing his "Dežurni Krivac" (Culprit on Duty) show. As stated in the event, Goran Vinčić Vinča is practical proof that it is not wise to connect the Tasmanian Devil to three-phase electricity. The most energetic comedian of the Balkan stand-up scene, a master of crowdwork and improvisation, a massive Slavonian who sings, acts, talks, recites, animates... above all, he is the culprit of laughter! In his play "Dežurni Krivac" he will talk about everything - love, marriage, grandmothers, Slavonians, sex, narodnjaci and Eros Ramazzotti.

Entry: HRK 50
? Tickets can be purchased at the box office of Hrvatski Dom Vukovar - weekdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 hours before the start of the show.
INFO and RESERVATIONS:
☎️ 032/450-679

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Hrvatski Dom Vukovar

Friday, October 14 - Saturday, October 15, Vukovar: Days of Astronomy

The Astronomy Association Vukovar has partnered up with the City, as well as the Night Sky School of Astronomy, to organise a weekend of learning and fun for all ages. On both days, mornings and early afternoons are reserved for lectures and workshops on how to observe the sky and observing the sun with a telescope, while the afternoon and evening lecutures and workshops will focus on what is currently going on in space, the importance of astronomy for the Vučedol culture, and the visitors will get a chance to observe the planets Jupiter and Saturn on both evenings. The special guests include the astronomer Ante Radonić and the archaeologist professor Aleksandar Durman. The lectures and workshops will take place at the Vukovar Municipal Museum.

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Astronomsko Društvo Vukovar

Friday , October 14 - Sunday, October 16, Osijek: 25th Osijek Autumn Fair

For a quarter of a century, an extremely interesting and rich fair event has been taking place - the Osijek Autumn Fair, with a programme filled with exhibitions, lectures and workshops. The exhibition and sales programme includes goods and services from the fields of agriculture, food, crafts, construction and housing, with a special emphasis on domestic, autochthonous products of the region.
In addition to that, Honey Breakfast will take place on Friday, for the purpose of promoting the production and consumption of honey from Croatian apiaries, in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture, HAPIH, the Bee Association, the Cultural Centre and the Hospitality and Tourism School, followed by a lecture on beekeeping organised by the Bee Association - the oldest beekeeping association - with 145 years of existence in this part of Europe. Workshops with the board game "Land of Risk", will explain and familiarise students with the basic concepts of risks and how each individual can participate in reducing risks and preserving nature and the environment, organised by the MUP. The entrance to the Fair is free, and the full programme can be found here.

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Osječki Sajam

Saturday, October 15, Pakrac: 13th Edition of Slavonski Banovac Fair

A medieval festival, an archery tournament, a knight's fight and a fireshow will take you back in time at the Slavonski Banovac Fair.
Along with the gastronomic offer from the "Kod Veprove Glave" tavern, there will be a traditional bean stew cooking competition - Grahfest, and after the announcement of the winner, good music will follow, courtesy of the band Pravila Igre. This day od medieval and modern entertainment, spiced up with traditional food and good fun starts at 10 am on Saturday, in the Matica Hrvatska street and at the Pakrac market. Full programme to be found here.

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Požega-Slavonia County Tourist Board

Sunday, October 16 - Monday, October 17, Đakovo: 260th anniversary of the birth of Johann Petrus Jakob Haibel 

If you are looking for something a little different and would like to spend evenings listening to classical music, give Đakovo a chance and attend the event marking 260 years since the birth of Johann Petrus Jakob Haibel, a famed tenor and composer. Concerts will be held on both evenings in the Monastery Church of the Sisters of Mercy of the Holy Cross in Đakovo, while lectures and a film screening "Jakob Haibel - Mozart's Brother-in-Law in Đakovo" will take place in Đakovo's secondary schools and associations. The event has been organised the Kreativna Kulturna Mreža, an NGO for interdisciplinary projects in culture, arts and science. Find the full programme here.

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MIT Dizajn studio Osijek

Hopefully you can find something that is to your taste and enjoy a weekend of fun, education, relaxation, or all three.

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

Friday, 7 October 2022

Second Edition of Mammothfest Kicks Off in Mammoth Valley of Mohovo

October 7, 2022 - The story of Mohovo slowly but surely becoming known as the mammoth valley of Croatia continues in a festive spirit. It has been ten years since the first discovery of a mammoth tooth. A group of local creative souls and enthusiasts decided that the area with such a long and rich history deserves recognition. Welcome to the second edition of Mammothfest!

As the portal Turističke Priče writes, the Dolina Mamuta (Mammoth Valley) Association, with the support of the community, is organising the second Mammothfest. The festival program is rich, and the star is a life-size mammoth! Over two days - October 7 and 8 - a series of events has been organised for the residents of Mohovo and all other visitors. There are currently a little more than 150 residents in Mohovo, and the organiser's wish is to popularise their village through this unique event and do something so that young people would stay there.

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A series of workshops focused on ecology will be organised for children specifically, where they will have the opportunity to see how "čerpić" or mud bricks were made, of which houses were once built. An exhibition is on the agenda for Saturday, where some of the fossils found so far will be exhibited, including mammoth teeth, accompanied by textual descriptions that will explain the finds, as well as the animals that lived in these areas in some ancient age.

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The programme begins on Friday, October 7, at 4 p.m. with various workshops for children, and the first day of the festival will end with a concert by Dalibor Greks.

The programme of the second day of the festival begins at 12:30 p.m. with the opening of the fossil exhibition organised on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the discovery of the first mammoth tooth in Mohovo. At 2:00 p.m., the program titled "Fairytale Storyteller" begins, in which Sandra Vukoja will tell fairy tales to the youngest. At 3:00 p.m., workshops for children continue, as well as a surprise performance. At 5:00 p.m., the Painting of Historical Motifs workshop begins, and at 7:30 p.m., the Mammothfest kettle, i.e., a dinner of shepherd's stew for all visitors, is announced. The programme ends with a concert by Ivan Štivić and the Begeš Tambura ensemble at 8:30 p.m.

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On the eve of the 2nd MAMMOTHFEST, a life-size mammoth has been placed in the centre of the village, which will undoubtedly be a lovely photo point. Come to Mohovo, learn about mammoths, taste some stew, and enjoy good music in beautiful surroundings!

Photos: Dolina Mamuta Association

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

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