Monday, 28 March 2016

Festival of the Guardians of the Tomb of Christ in Imotski

They call them "Žudije", the Guardians of the Tomb of Christ, usually dressed as Roman soldiers during the Holy Week, it is a tradition especially rooted in Dalmatia, where the oldest Žudije come from Metković and were established in 1857.

This year, the sixteenth in a row Festival of Žudije began by the celebration of the Holy Mass in the Church of St. Franje in Imotski, informs Dalmacija News.

Festival´s main motto was "To Love Each Other" and there were 35 parishes from Croatia and from Bosnia and Herzegovina with more than a thousand participants of the whole event.
The famous Croatian photographer Šime Stikoman made another of his "Millennium photos" with all participants of the festival and many locals from Imotski, who posed at the "Gospin Dolac" football stadium in Imotski.

Read the whole article here.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

After 20 Years, Imotski will get a Cinema

(photo: CROPIX, Ante Juroš, Dalmacija News)

Works on the restoration and digitalization of the City Cinema in Imotski are in progress, informs Dalmacija News. The former movie theatre "Freedom" held several screenings per week in the 1980s. After years of inactivity, the cinema should start with one screening per week as soon as all necessary works are done.

Some time ago, the Ministry of Culture presented a project of digitalization and intependent cinemas across the country. The Community College in Imotski recognized this opportunity and responded on time fulfilling all requirements. Financed by the Ministry of Culture and the Community College Imotski, the Imotski cinema will be one of the 28 cinemas across the country to be digitalized.


Read the whole article here.

Monday, 1 February 2016

Topana Fortress Above Imotski: More than Two Centuries Under Turkish Rule..

The interesting series of articles published at the Dalmatinski Portal about ancient fortresses continues - conservator Ivan Alduk writes about the interesting Topana Fortress in Imotski. Read the whole article here.

The Topana Fotress lies high above Imotski. The Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus mentions Imotski county in the mid of the 10th century as one of the eleven Croatian counties and its fortress above the gorge of the Blue Lake as its centre. During the works on the fortress in the 1980s, a stone pillar with early mediaval pattern from the 9/10th century was found - now kept at the Homeland Museum in Imotski.

(photos: Dalmatinski Portal)
The central and the highest part of the fortress was built during the 13th and 14th century, when the nobel families Nelipić and later Kosač were ruling this area. From that time, until the 18th century, the fortress undergoes a number of alterations. Imotski came under the Ottoman rule already in the 15th century and the fortress became the residency of the Kadi - a judge and a civil governor of a wider area. After almost 230 years of the Turkish rule, the fortress becomes a Venetian territory. After several days of bombing and occupation of the settlement under the fortress, the Turks surrendered and withdrew to the Ljubuški and Mostar. As the city was liberated on the feast of Our Lady of Angels (August 2), this day is celebrated as the Day of Imotski and it is one of the largest religious and folk ceremonies in Imotski. After the Turks left in 1717, the famous builder Ivan Macanović from Trogir was sent to Imotski to repair the fortress and  to renew the main entrance and walls. With the Turkish threat being over, the fortress lost its strategic value and was abandoned in 1816. This is when its deterioration starts. It was greatly damaged in the early 20th century by construction of a water tank on the highest plateau.

The fortress has an irregular shape, that follows the shape of the gorge, where it was built and it is 40 meters long. It was built on several levels, and the visible ruins date back to the 14th and 18th century with some earlier layers being archaeologically saved. It is naturally protected from three sides: by a lake from two sides and a dry and deep sinkhole (Jelavic or Our Lady dolac), where the small city stadium is located. The southern part of the fortress was a bit more accessible and a wall reinforced by buttresses was built here as a prolongation of the stone cliff. The fortress was surrounded by stone walls with loopholes, 1,5 meters thick, which were doubled and greatly altered in the late Middle Ages, due to the emergence of new firearms. The upper part of the fortress is divided into two parts: higher part with the entrance from the north-east corner -  residential area, water cisterns and dungeons and the lower part with the main entrance (above which the pastors flat was located) and the church of Our Lady of Angels from the 18th century. The lower part of the fortress is located on the south side and was defended by a wall with a round tower on the left side from the main entrance and partially by wooden palisades.


Sunday, 31 January 2016

Imotski Svitnjak is One Year Old - Happy Birthday!!

It takes courage to start making a difference. So many of us are just complaining about other people, about government, about the way life is. Complaining without actually doing something to change it. We feel powerless and have too much stress juggling our lives and no time for anything else.

Well, guys behind Imotski Svitnjak wanted to change the way Imotski was presented in media and decided to start this very interesting website informing about all the beautiful and positive things, that are happening in Imotski region. With 27 authors contributing, and some 600.000 visits of the website, it sure is a success.

The website is one year old now. Congratulations!! We along with many others enjoy reading your articles and wish for many more to come.

If you have not already, visit the Imotski Svitnjak webiste and follow them on Facebook.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Carnival 2016 in Imotski

Carnival in Dalmatia is a very colourful and fun time. Many people joining the festivities, costuming themselves, often creating really interesting and unique group costumes. It is a time of the year, when people tend to be very relaxed, looking for the fun side of the story and not taking themselves too seriously. Imotski has a 150 year long carnival tradition and this is what they have prepared this year:


January 30, 2016 (Saturday) - 20.00: An Evening with Granie Mila (The Little Auditorium of the Pučko Otvoreno Učilište)

February 2, 2016 (Friday) - 20.30: Big Costume Party (The Little Auditorium of the Pučko Otvoreno Učilište)

February 7, 2016 (Sunday) - 14.30: Bako´s Parade (Bazana)

February 9, 2016 (Tuesday) - 20.00: An Evening of Humour and Fun (Cinema)


Have fun in Imotski everyone!!

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Baptising the Turks in the 18th Century

Some rather interesting history facts publish at the Imotski Svitnjak from the book "Odjeci" by Vjeko Vrčić, prepared by Vedran Vrčić. Follow Imotski Svitnjak here for more info from the Imotski region.

When the Turks lost their stronghold - the Imotski fortress, they withdrew towards Ljubuški and Duvno. The ones, who remained in their homes were baptised. In a letter from the Venetian authorities to Father Stjepan Vrljić is stated, that he baptised 37 Turks.

Some of them must have been baptised immediately in 1717. Those names, we do not know. But Father Šimun Gudelj made an entry to the baptism registry of Our Lady of Angels, that Father Stjepan Vrljić baptised 11 men and 12 women on February 2, 1720 and February 14, 1720. He emphasizes, that he found the names written on plain paper and in order not to lose them, he transcribed them into the registry.

This baptism was done by Father Stjepan with a permit from General Mocenigo and the Makarska bishop Bianković. Here is the list:

Rečep - received the name Marko, godfather Bariša Vukosavljević
Kurt - received the name Jere, godfather Mate Šućur
Bećir - received the name Stipe, godfather Josip Dorić
Osman - received the name Grgo, godfather Jure Mršić
Smaio - received the name Mijo, godfather Andrija Bilić
Salko - received the name Dujo, godfather Marko Udovičić
Jercoz - received the name Andrija, godfather Ivan Pisim
Omer - received the name Mate, godfather Jakov Grančić
Abdia - received the name Augustin, godfather Mate Šioić
Oman - received the name Stipe, godfather Bilopavlović
Smaio - received the name Nikola, godfather Serdar Ćosić
Sabira - received the name Katarina, godmother Iva Oluić
Sagira - received the name Kata, godmother the wife of Arambaša Jure Abaza
Sakira - received the name Petra, godmother Iva Baić
Fatima - received the name Cecilija, godmother Manda Jažić
Aisa - received the name Ruža, godmother Kata Grančić
Ismia - received the name Iva, godmother Iva Oluić
Muiba - received the name Luca, godmother Ana Šoić
Aisa - received the name Domenika, godmother Jela Udovičić
Fatima - received the name Margareta, godmother Iva Divić
Alerema - received the name Iva, godmother Marija Brdarić
Emina - received the name Marta, godmother Flora Jažić
Kizba - received the name Manda, godmother Jakovica Veić

By the surnames of the godfathers and godmothers, it is clear, which villages were the baptised Turks from. They were some from Imotski, Proložac, Vinjan, Lovreć and Studenac. When we exclude the surnames known long before as Christian, we could suspect, that the godfathers and godmothers were actually those Turks baptised in 1717. It is proved by some last names and this way the number 37 would be filled.


Tuesday, 19 January 2016

School Uniformes Introduced in Zmijavci Elementary School

(photos: Ante Juroš / Dalmacija News)
An initiative for introduction of school uniforms in Croatian schools was formed last year and has been actively opening discussions about this issue through social networks and Croatian media. After the first school in Šibenik this fall, another elementary school will be introducing school uniforms for all its students.

According to Dalmacija News, the Elementary school in Zmijavci in the Imotski region will be using school uniforms - official t-shirts with the municipal coat of arms.

Headmaster of the Zmijavci elementary school Ante Kujudžić aims to raise the standard in overall clothing culture of the students and have the school uniforms contribute to equality, economic savings in the household budget and increasing the sense of belonging. Another reason for introducing school uniforms was the effort to liberate children of their wishes and desires towards their parents in terms of buying clothes, which according to Kujundžić made the parents a sort of unaware "hostages" of what the social trends imposed on their children.

Although the initiative For the Introduction of School Uniforms (Za Uvođenje Školskih Uniformi) hopes for a national obligatory introduction of school uniforms, this has not yet happen and so, in Zmijavci, this project could only be realized because it was approved by the Parents Council, the School Board and the Students Council as well as every single parent of the elementary school in Zmijavci.

And while many people are seeing school uniforms as the one thing that could save the Croatian education, raise its standard and protect children from being bullied and socially manipulated by advertisement, others question the effects of the uniforms to the democracy principles, the right for personal expression and freedom of those little people, we call children.

To me, it is actually absurd, that our society has gone so far as to manage to have the parents be hostages of the kids desires. How did we manage to find ourselves in this situation?

Why do we teach children, that we need to be the same? Why do we feel, that our kids should fit in by having everything the other kids have? Why do we teach our children to be hurt by not having everything they want? Why don‘t we teach our kids to be unique and different? Why not embracing the fact, that every single human being is unique and beautiful?

Maybe, it is because of the school. Maybe the whole concept is wrong. In the words of Peter Gray - School is a prison. With school uniforms or without them.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Where to Look for Snow in Dalmatia - Biokovo Mountain

(photos: Zvonimir Barišin / CROPIX)

When I was living in a city, I remember most people not being too happy about snow during the winter months. It was nice, romantic and white, all of that.. sure. But it needed to be cleaned from the streets and side walks, otherwise it was paralyzing the city traffic and causing overall problems. So, what I remember was, that not many (except for kids) where wishing for snow.

It is very different in Dalmatia. With snow being so rare in this area, people would love to see everything white, even just for a few hours.

As for now, the winter has not yet gave us the pleasure of being paralyzed by snow in Dalmatia, but at least there is the Biokovo mountain. According to Dalmacija News, there is up to 50 cm of snow at the mountain and the temperature dropped to -13°C this weekend.

Enjoy these amazing photos made by Zvonimir Barišin, especially those white wave tops made by bura, brrrrr..


Thursday, 14 January 2016

Imotski as it Once Was in Pictures

It is always great to see old photos of a place we know and love. To compare the current look to the old one. To see how many new houses were build. To see, there are still some of the old houses standing and they are equally beautiful as all those years ago. The wonderful Imotski Svitnjak shared several photos from the 60s and 70s from the archive of Vedran Vrčić. Follow Imotski Svitnjak to get the best info and pictures of Imotski and enjoy the old Imotski as it once was.

Thursday, 14 January 2016

A Hajduk Scarf Keeps the Tin Ujevic Statue Warm in Imotski

I am not a football fan. As a foreigner and a woman in Dalmatia my lack of enthusiasm for Hajduk Split is respected. It might not be the case, if I was a local. Nevertheless, even though I am not a football fan and not following news too much, I still know, Hajduk Split is currently encouraging people all over Dalmatia to become members of the club. The goal for this year is 15.000 members and 50.000 should be reached by the end of this decade.

And so, it is not surprising to see the statue of Tin Ujevic in Imotski covered in a scarf of Hajduk Split as Dalmacija News reported yesterday January 13, 2016. It might be to keep Tin Ujevic warm, but for many in Imotski and Dalmatia, he just looks much better like this!!

(photo: Milan Šabić / CROPIX)

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