Tuesday, 14 September 2021

HRT National Broadcaster to Air Series About NDH

ZAGREB, 14 Sept, 2021 - "NDH", a series of the Croatian Radio Television (HRT) about the Ustasha-ruled Independent State of Croatia, will start on Monday, 20 September and its author, historian Hrvoje Klasić, says it should have been aired much sooner, while the HRT rejects claims about deliberately not broadcasting the series.

"I only know that this series should have been finished much sooner. But it hasn't been. And that was not because of us as the crew, and it should have aired sooner. Again, not because of us, but because of the HRT," Klasić told Hina.

On the other hand, the public broadcaster's acting Director-General, Renato Kunić, said that no show had been deliberately not aired during his term as the director of programming and during his colleagues' terms.

He added that the NDH series was put on hold for several reasons. More specifically, an adequate schedule had to be found for the 12 episodes because that is three months of airing, and the programme budget has its rules, Kunić said.

He also said that the series cost about HRK 1.5 million and that the difference between the six episodes initially proposed by Klasić and the 12 realised episodes was about half a million kuna, and he stressed that this was a matter of assessment when to air the programme and not a ban, adding that the series was finished in June 2020.

Both Klasić and the HRT agreed that this was a long-awaited project in which about 30 members of the academic community and historians would talk about the NDH, and it would be illustrated by over two hours of film material on the NDH, purchased from the Yugoslav Film Archive.

Klasić underlined the valuable contribution of HRT's director and co-writer Miljenko Bukovčan and editor Iva Blašković.

Klasić: Series is neither ideological nor tendentious

"I would like to warn the viewers -- there are 12 episodes and this was not done in an ideological or tendentious way," Klasić said, adding that the series was not chronological but organised thematically.

"Everything that is said is enough to understand that moment -- the temporal, socio-political context, to understand what that state was and what kind of life its citizens had," he said.

The goal was not, he pointed out, to create a lexicon in which everything would be listed, but to give a description and an analysis of a time, and top experts from the entire region and Europe helped with that.

Klasić also explained his statement in Jutarnji List daily that "there are no conflicting opinions, but only because right-wing historians did not want to participate".

"When we talk about the NDH, there are no conflicting opinions among historians and scientists who care about their scientific reputation. Not among scientists in Zagreb, Belgrade, Sweden or in Washington," Klasić said.

Some have merely focused more on a particular period. Of course, there may be different opinions on how to approach the number of victims in Jasenovac or after Bleiburg, he added.

"However, when we talk about the character of the Ustasha-ruled state, the NDH, about the character of the Jasenovac camp or about what happened in May 1945, there is in principle no disagreement," Klasić said.

The series was shot on numerous locations, from the Vatican and Sachsenhausen, to Bleiburg and Jasenovac, Janka Puszta (Jankovac), but also Florence, where there is still the villa which Ustasha leader Ante Pavelić, Klasić said, got for his services in the future annexation of parts of the Croatian Adriatic as Mussolini's "man for special assignments".

Special episodes are dedicated to the economy and culture during the NDH, as well as the relationship between the Ustasha regime and the church.

"A large part of the series focuses on the relationship between the Roman Catholic Church and the Ustasha movement. Many say that the Church used the Ustasha, but I believe that it was vice versa and many historians agree on that. Alojzije Stepinac was not a war criminal but he definitely was not an example of antifascist resistance," said Klasić.

As for possible negative reactions to the series, Klasić said he expected them from those who "have been reviving the NDH for the past 30 years."

"It is to be expected because we live in a country where abnormal things have become normal, including the Ustasha salute, where about 20 streets have been named after members of the Ustasha regime and where there are associations that deny Jasenovac," Klasić said.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Croatian World War 1 Memory: Research Project Investigating Memory and Heritage

September 7, 2021 - In a pool filled with social research supported by the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute, Liljana Dobrovšak leads a project to explore the Croatian World War 1 Memory. The heritage and sites of memory of this horrible historical event as well as political and social background interpreting those events will be displayed on an international round table on September the 9th and 10th, 2021.

As the past always keeps inviting us back to learn something new the history books overlook, events such as World War 1 require revisiting.

Enter ''The First World War in the Culture of Memory. Forgotten Heritage'', a scientific project led by Ljiljana Dobrovšak to dig deeper into the collective memory of this dreadful war.

''The aim of the research is to initiate a scholarly debate on the ''cultural memory'' of WW1 in Croatia based on newly acquired knowledge in order to determine its causes and why it contributed to the contemporary social phenomenon of ''forgetfulness'' related to WW1 in Croatia.

The objective of this research is to examine WW1's ''cultural memory'' in Croatia back during the time of the Kingdom of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs/Yugoslavia (and in relation to the wider region and the rest of Europe) through the systematic investigation of ''memory politics'' (legal framework), ''sites of memory'' marking practices and ''commemorative practices’' ''during the war and in the interwar period,'' explains the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute on its website.

This piece of research had two goals. The first is concerned with investigating and recording what the research calls ''sites of memory'', and to fully determine circumstances of their creation, establishment or even, in some cases, the disappearance of those places. This was done by analysing and studying actions and/or attitudes of the Croatian institutions, military and civilian associations next to the central Belgrade institutions, military and civilian organisations towards ''sites of memory'' related to the WW1 in Croatia.

The second goal concerns situating these ''sites of memory'' in a wider socio-political context. This way, researchers can investigate how, at the time, the Yugoslav legal framework of memory politics is developed towards its formation through commemorative practices on its territory, as well as, attitudes of the Yugoslav state and central institutions in Belgrade towards Croatian citizens as members of the Austro-Hungarian Army who died fighting for the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.

''The overall result of this predominantly historical research project which is multidisciplinary in character is not only expanded knowledge about neglected and insufficiently researched Croatian cultural and historical heritage but more importantly; the acquired knowledge which enables the scientific and cultural integration of the Croatian WW1 memory, more precisely cultural memory, and its valorised historical heritage into the wider socio-historical European context,'' concludes the Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute.

The project started in 2020 and will last until 2023. However, even now, the research has moved far enough to hold an international scientific round table regarding the matter.
The round table lasting from September 9-10 will see lectures from scientists from Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and Croatia.

The event will be held at Ivo Pilar Social Research Institute's multimedia hall in Zagreb, at Marko Marulić Square 19. However, due to the current epidemiological measures, the number of seats at the hall is limited. But never fear, as you can follow the discussions and lectures live via a Zoom meeting (Meeting ID: 892 6457 0158 Passcode: 316547).

Read about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC guide.

For more about history in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Croatian School Museum: 120th Anniversary Clouded by Earthquake Damage

 September 4, 2021 - The Croatian School Museum, despite marking 120 years of existence, isn't really in a celebratory mood as it remains closed to the public and awaiting earthquake reconstruction.

With this weekend being the final one for the summer break before the 2021/22 school year begins in Croatia, families in Zagreb could've ideally used the weekend to introduce the kids to the importance of education by taking them to the Croatian School Museum. However, with the building still undergoing reconstruction after 2020's earthquakes, it would be wise to wait a bit longer before going to see the collection of items and historical evidence that tell the story about the development of education in Croatia.

What is interesting to note, however, is that with 2021 marking 150 years since the first Croatian teacher congress that shaped the course of the education system in the country, it is also the year that marks 120 years of the Croatian School Museum.

The museum first opened its doors on August 19, 1901, marking the 30th anniversary of the Croatian Education and Literary Assembly (the oldest association of Croatian teachers, which is still active today). The museum is located at Trg Republike Hrvatske 4 (Republic of Croatian Square), near Zagreb's Croatian National Theatre (HNK).

''The basis of the museum material was made up of objects from the teaching exhibition that was held in Zagreb back in 1871 and 1892, and materials were also donated by various teachers, schools, publishers, and education material manufacturers,'' explains the museum's website.

The new and current permanent exhibition was refreshed back in the year 2000 and many visitors have become interested in visiting the museum since then. With occasional exhibitions, we deal with topics from the history of school and education, and we represent the materials from the museum's collection,'' the site adds. Hrvatski_Školski_Muzej_iap.jpg

© Hrvatski Školski Muzej

The museum has gone through two world wars, one regional war and four different political systems. Štefka Batinić, the museum's headmaster, wrote for the Croatian School Museum blog site about the history of the museum and teaching in Croatia using historical sources from these periods. She noted that during that past, which, in Croatia, much like today, saw society divided owing to various ideological conflicts, teachers were also not spared discussions and different views on how society might move forward.

Still, one can assume that despite reading up on these conflicts which were of paramount significance, teachers were still united in putting their students first despite disagreeing with each other on what the best way to provide them with the most quality education and future was.

It is also interesting to note from Batinić's writing how teachers in charge of teaching new generations of pupils were perceived during the times of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, when events and reforms which were the cornerstone of the current Croatian education system started to unfold.

''Croatian teachers (class teachers, working with the youngest among us) were denied the epithet of Croatian intelligence (in the education community, the term was reserved for the academically educated high-school and university professors), but their tendencies and goals were directed towards the finest practice examples of the teachers' community in Austrian and German lands,'' wrote Batinić.

Batinić's blog also cynically wrote in the caption underneath the photo of a damaged chimney on the museum that ''hopefully, it won't collapse before reconstruction begins.''

''We don't feel like celebrating. We'll celebrate when the reconstruction begins. Some important people from the city visited us recently. We're thankful for that,'' concluded Batinić in her blog post.

With faculties and higher educational institutions seeing progress in the reconstruction process following 2020's earthquakes, other educational institutions and, as we can see, museums, still await their turn for reconstruction as the bitter taste in their mouths grows. It isn't surprising, given that in the eyes of many, this government prioritises neither reconstruction nor education in general.

Read about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC guide.

For more about history in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

First Croatian Teacher Congress: 1871 as the Start of Modern Education

August 31, 2021 - The first Croatian Teacher Congress that took place in Zagreb in August of 1871 and is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2021. TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac brought more details from the historical event that paved the way to the modern Croatian education system.

Scheduled to start on September the 6th, the new school year for Croatian pupils is edging closer and closer. The pandemic is still lurking around dark corners as healthcare workers fear the new wave due to the inadequate vaccination rate among Croatian teachers. In addition, schools in Zagreb and Banovina/Banija region are still dealing with various earthquake reconstructions and many complain that the process going forward is way too slow.

Challenging times, no doubt, but education is one of the fields that has always gone through challenges through history. Looking back through history, 2021 is marking the 150th anniversary of the biggest conference of Croatian teachers known.

From August 23-25, the first Croatian Teacher Congress was held in the City of Zagreb, gathering over a thousand teachers from modern-day Croatian territory and the wider region (with Croatia at the time being part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy). That same year also saw the establishment of the Croatian Education and Literary Assembly (Hrvatski pedagoško-književni zbor), the oldest association of Croatian teachers, which is still very much active today.

''It was the beginning of a new era for Croatian teachers. It was an important event for the teacher's community that greatly influenced on the perception of teachers and their ideas as important elements in building the modern Croatian education system. The first Croatian Teacher Congress took place in the then theatre hall (which is the Croatian Natural History Museum today) during the summer break when teachers, as the following years also show, were very active in undertaking professional activities that could've been organised while the schools were closed,'' wrote Štefka Batinić for the Croatian School Museum's blog.

The leading organiser of the first Croatian Teacher Congress was a teacher by the name of Ivan Filipović, and many teaching-related objects and material proof, as well as memories of that big event, can be seen at the Croatian School Museum in Zagreb on permanent display.

With 80 topics suggested for the discussion, only 12 were selected for the first Croatian Teacher Congress. This indicated both how many challenges were there to address in Croatian education at the time, and how needed it was to continue with such professional events.

Indeed, as Batinić continues, the need for frequency of these types of meetings was recognised by the profession but sadly, and rather unsurprisingly, obstructed by politics.

''A general Croatian Teacher Congress was supposed to be held every three to four years. Another two were held, in Petrinja in 1874 and in Osijek in 1878. None of those, however, broke the attendance record of the first one. The fourth congress was supposed to be held in Dalmatia in 1881, which would also mark the 10th anniversary of the first congress, but with the government at the time forbode the further holding of such congresses,'' explained Batinić.

Despite further congresses being in decline, 1874 saw important reforms made by one of the most respected Croatian bans (leaders and representatives of Croatian territories in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy), Ivan Mažuranić. As the Histedu website writes, Mažuranić brought Croatian education to the jurisdiction of the state, taking it away from church, he introduced PE (physical education) as an obligatory part of education, and he also made school more available to the general population, working also on ensuring better conditions in the school buildings (which in some saw pupils inhale dangerous gases from furnaces used to heat the buildings).

In that regard, 1871 is one of the most crucial years for Croatian education, with the first professional congress and foreshadowing changes Mažuranić introduced three years later. It was a year which, for any teacher that cares about their pupils, should serve as a goal to strive to and a basis on which we might find the same courage and strength to answer the modern issues which plague education in Croatia.

Read about Croatian politics and history since 1990 on our TC guide.

For more about history in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 27 August 2021

Women and Technology Program: Gender Inclusive Museum on the Go

Aug 27, 2021 -The Women and Technology Program aims to raise awareness of women's contribution to science and technology through a virtual exhibition for the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum.

Established in 1995, the Centre for Women’s Studies in Zagreb is the first non-institutional educational center in Croatia.

Founded by a group of feminists, theorists, scholars, peace activists, and artists, the goal is to provide an interdisciplinary program and expert knowledge on women’s issues, becoming a meeting point for academic discourse, artistic practice, activist engagement, and more.

One example of this non-institutional research and education is the project „Women and technology – Towards the Gender Inclusive Museum“which encourages young people (under 25) to engage in the promotion of the gender-inclusive approach at the museum. Cultural and artistic content, as well as active participation on webinars, have a goal of allowing young people to co-create virtual museum displays with respect to a gender-inclusive approach.

The Nikola Tesla Technical Museum (TMNT) is the partner of the program, as the participants are creating a virtual display for this particular Zagreb museum. The project, as the museum informs, will last until March 2022.

„The project is focused on reinterpreting displays that will acknowledge women's contribution to science and technology and open new perspectives and curator practices. It is important to enroll young people in the process to raise awareness of the need, as well as the possibility of changing the dominating narrative. To do this, they need basic knowledge and skills on museology, design, and art," says the Centre for Women’s Studies in Zagreb website.

The website adds that the question of gender inclusiveness has become more and more relevant in museum practices. Last year's edition of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) magazine, which deals with research, conservation, continuation, and communication to society of the world’s natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible, made „Gender and Museums“ the main topic. With ICOM's panel of experts prescribing professional and ethical standards for museum activities on an international level, the topic is an agenda for any museum that wants to uphold its reputation to address.

The virtual display will be connected to the current, physical one of the TMNT's, with QR codes being the connecting point. Webinars and workshops, apart from teaching skills to make the virtual display, will also provide historical education on the women contributing to science and technology.

Marking International Women's Day 2021, TCN earlier this year published an article on Croatia's most influential women. In addition, as women's rights in Croatia, as well as in the world, still face challenges (which includes the USA), American-Croatian psychology professor specialized in women issues, Mala Matacin, gave an interview to TCN referring to the issues women face in Croatia and the US.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about Croatian history, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 26 August 2021

Croatian Broadcast Exhibition: Zagreb Technical Museum Hosting Event Until October 12

August 26, 2021 - The Croatian Broadcast Exhibition hosted by Zagreb's Nikola Tesla Technical Museum (TMNT) offers visitors a chance to learn more about the rich history of radio and television in Croatia which led to the diverse multimedia world of today.

Named after the famous scientist Nikola Tesla, the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum (TMNT) continues to showcase the history of invention and technology. Since June, all the way  up to October 12, the Museum has been and will continue to host an exhibition called ''Transmitter and connections – 95 years of broadcast in Croatia'', authored by TMNT's curator Goran Rajič. Marking 95 years of radio and 65 years of television in the country, the display is supported by Transmitters and Connections d.o.o.

''There is no doubt that broadcast, embodied in two iconic phenomena – radio and television, marked the 20th century and made way for today's dominance of multimedia, evident in the overall networking and convergion of communication technologies,'' reads the TMNT website.

They added that radio and television made significant contributions to society, from building democracy and pluralism to being symbols of mass consumer and pop culture.

''With a selection of representative objects from the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum and objects used in Transmitters and Connections d.o.o., we're paying tribute to the significant anniversary of broadcasting on Croatian soil, as well as the almost century-long effort of Croatian work and intellectual efforts in its quality,'' explained the TMNT website.

This selection includes various radio and television transmitters, televisions and radios used in Croatia, also accompanied by photos of the most significant locations across the country where transmitters are situated. In addition, the exhibition presents visitors with data that provides less known facts on the size and branching of the transmitters, as well as on the challenges of maintaining the broadcast network.

TMNT also reminds its readers that the first radio transmission in Croatia was achieved on May 15, 1926, by the hard work of the Radio Club Zagreb, and was produced by the German Telefunken company from Berlin. The same date, but this time in 1956, saw the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the radio on modern Croatian territory. Antennas placed on Sljeme, Medvednica's mountain top, saw the very first television broadcast. The most recent technological advancement in the Croatian broadcasting world was seen in 2017 when 16 radio stations started broadcasting on a digital signal.

Learn more about Croatian inventions & discoveries: from Tesla to Rimac on our TC page.

For more about Croatian history, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

PM Andrej Plenković: "For the Homeland Ready" Salute is Already Now Illicit

ZAGREB, 24 Aug, 2021 - Prime Minister and Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) leader Andrej Plenković said on Tuesday that the Ustasha salute "For the Homeland Ready" was already now illicit and that police filed reports with courts when such things happened, while it was up to the courts to decide on the matter.

"The salute is already now illicit. This is something that no one questions," Plenković told reporters in Zagreb after a meeting of the HDZ leadership.

He went on to say that on Monday, when  Black Ribbon Day, the Europe-wide Day of Remembrance for the victims of all totalitarian and authoritarian regimes was observed, some protagonists from left parties had tried to politicise that issue.

In this context he recalled a recent "semi-incident" in Knin when that salute was shouted and said that the police had reported the case to the court which should now have a say.

Asked by the press whether the penal code should outlaw that salute, Plenković said that initially, this had been suggested by a Croatian Jewish leader, Ognjen Kraus, while representatives of other ethnic minorities in the parliamentary majority did not insist on that to such extent.

"We will discuss the issue, however, such things are already treated as illicit," Plenković told reporters.

He condemned hate speech on social networks aimed at a reporter of the commercial RTL broadcaster, Danka Derifaj, and announced that draft amendments to the Electronic Media Act would soon receive a second reading. He admitted that hate speech on social networks could be successfully halted only when a global solution was found for that problem.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 20 August 2021

Iron Age Danube Route Recognised by European Council

August 20, 2021 - The Iron Age Danube Route is a new addition to the Croatian offer, relevant not just for tourism but for science, research, and education, and recognised by the European Council.

The Iron Age Danube Route addresses one of the most fragile, though imposing and attractive prehistoric archaeological phenomena, the Iron Age landscapes. Characterised by monumental structures, such as burial mound cemeteries, flat cemeteries, fortified hilltop settlements, and oppida, as well as elements indicating the complex organisation of space, Iron Age landscapes belong to the period between the 9th and the end of the 1st century BC, according to the official website of the Iron Age Danube Route Association (IADR).

This association was founded back in July 2020 with the goal of enhancing international scientific cooperation regarding the period of the Iron Age, as this is a period marked by an extraordinary corpus of movable and intangible heritage. The focus on the Danube region is, among other things, owing to this heritage being housed in numerous museums across the Danube region, including the most important regional and national institutions.

''Compiling the existing sources of knowledge and creating a strong interdisciplinary and international network of expert institutions from Austria, Croatia, Hungary and Slovenia in the fields of archaeology, cultural heritage protection, tourism, as well as local stakeholders, the Iron Age Danube Route Association was founded in July 2020 with the aim of the further development and management of the IADR,''

The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb is one of the founding partners of the association, and other institutions from Croatia include the Centre for Prehistoric Research, Kaptol County, Papuk Nature Park, and Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Zagreb. Other partners include museums and faculties from Hungary, Austria, and Slovenia, all bringing their top experts in the field to the table for the association to work.

And that work paid off. As reported by the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb's website, the European Council granted the culture route certificate to the Iron Age Danube Route which stretches through Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Germany, and Slovenia.

''This is the first culture route of The European Council with its headquarters in Croatia“, said the Museum's website adding that the route is managed by the Association.

''The Iron Age Danube Route matched the criteria by the five priority fields of action by the European Council. These include cooperation in research and development, the progression of European heritage and history, educational exchanges, youth culture, engagement within the frame of the current cultural and artistic practices and sustainable cultural tourism development,'' explained the website.

The certificate is important as it enhances the overall visibility of the sight, allowing the public to become better informed about the area, and enriching the overall Croatian cultural and tourist offer, creating new opportunities both for business and for scientific and educational purposes.

Did you know Vukovar is located along the Danube river? Learn more in our TC guide.

For more about Croatian history, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Croatia Condemns Decision to Name Pool After Morinj Detention Camp Guard

ZAGREB, 19 Aug, 2021 - The Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry on Wednesday condemned the decision of the Kotor City Assembly to name a public indoor swimming pool "Zoran Džimi Gopčević", after a guard from the notorious 1991 Morinj detention camp who was also one of Montenegro's best water polo players of all time.

"It is utterly unacceptable to have a public facility named after a guard of the notorious 1991 Morinj prison camp. Such a decision is not in the spirit of good neighbourly relations we are building with Montenegro and will most definitely have consequences for our future relations," the ministry said in a press release.

The ministry expressed hope the new Montenegrin authorities would "realise that such decisions are not the right path for Montenegro's European prospects."

Zoran Gopčevič was one of Montenegro's best water polo players. As a member of Yugoslavia's water polo team he won a silver medal at the 1980 Summer Olympics. However, in the 1990s he was the commander of the Morinj prison guard. 

The Morinj camp was a detention facility near Kotor, Montenegro where Croatian prisoners of war and civilians were kept by Montenegrin authorities in the Yugoslav People's Army during the Croatian War of Independence.

The public indoor pool in Kotor has so far carried the name of Nikša Bućin, antifascist fighter killed in 1994 in a battle against Chetniks.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 13 August 2021

Grgur Bučić: The Croatian Scientist Who Measured Hvar's Sunshine Hours

August 13, 2021 - You came to Hvar expecting sunny days and you weren't conned. Meet and thank Croatian scientist Grgur Bučić who started the weather station on Hvar, one of the first in Croatia, which measured how sunny Hvar really is. 

There's nothing worse than when a traveller on a short holiday on the Croatian coast ends up stuck in their hotel room because of bad weather. Unless you want to risk bad weather sabotaging your Adriatic swimming experience, and maybe if you're lucky to get rescued by indoor pools, you should definitely play it safe and go to Hvar. Known for years as the sunniest Croatian island, there couldn't be a safer place to count on a rain-free holiday.

During my time in Hvar town, the forecast showed rain and uncertain weather on the coast, but even the couple of clouds that formed over Hvar quickly dispersed and probably headed over to the mainland, to Split or elsewhere.

In addition to swimming in the Adriatic, Hvar has plenty of heritage and things to see, like the Spanish Fortress (Tvrđava Španjola), lots of churches (such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral), its historical theatre (the oldest municipal theatre in all of Europe, by the way), an archaeological collection in the former Dominican St. Mark’s Church, and the Natural History Cabinet in the Hanibal Lucić Summer Residence – to name a few. In fact, Hvar boasts more UNESCO heritage than any other island in the world.

One of the other interesting sites is also the Former Church and Monastery of St. Veneranda. As Hvar heritage writes, the church was built in 1561 for the needs of Greek Orthodox sailors who were in the service of Venice. Today, the site serves as an outdoor cinema.

weath_house_cr_nl.jpg

The former church tower, the former weather station © Nina Lelas

Right next to it, back in 1858, famous Croatian nature scientist Grgur Bučić established a weather station, one of the first in the entire country. Being part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy at the time, the station was part of the Austrian network of meteorological stations. Thanks to the measures taken under Bučić's expertise, the sunny days of Hvar are not a market scheme to attract tourists in need of clear sunny weather, but an actually very well-advertised scientific fact. In addition, for his experiments with sponge development, Bučić received global recognition, and seven species of sponges, crabs, and fish were named after him. He published articles regarding meteorology and oceanography and also studied insects and marine life. He also pioneered numerous archaeological digs across Croatia, including on Hvar.

Back in 2018, as TCN wrote, the station marked 160 years of existence. Organised by the Hvar Town Library and State Meteorological and Hydrological Service, this celebratory event revealed some interesting historical moments from and about the station. These include polar lights, storms, falling meteors, earthquakes, vineyards destroyed by hail, sunken ships, and epidemics. In 1884, based on data from Bučić himself, climatologist Julius von Hann (often looked upon as the father of modern meteorology) published his work ''Klima von Lesina'' (The climate of Hvar town), the first-ever such book on a Croatian town or area.

Grgur_Bučić.jpg

Grgur Bučić © MuzejHvar.com

Today, the Bučić tower is locked, and the path to the church now serves as an outdoor cinema, without that many interesting things to be seen. Could the tower be renovated and showcase the instruments this pioneer station used in the past? Perhaps, and it would certainly be a cool addition to the already extensive offer Hvar has for its visitors.

on_the_map_weath_stat.jpg

Veneranda, location of the station, screenshot / Google maps

While waiting to see what the future may bring, it's worth taking a look at this station, not far from the waterfront and the nearby beaches. Express some gratitude and dedicate a refreshing swim to Bučić himself, a brilliant man whose findings gave us scientific, statistical reassurance that Hvar is the sunniest place in all of Croatia.

Learn more about Hvar on our TC page.

For more about Croatian history, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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