Monday, 21 January 2019

Ledenik on Island of Pag Littered with Mixed Waste

An environmental tragedy for the island of Pag as one of the most beautiful, not to mention geologically and paleontologically interesting part of the island landscape, Ledenik, has sadly become part of an unregulated and unwanted landfill for discarded construction material and all kinds of waste. Ledenik is otherwise visited by thousands of tourists during the summer months and is a very popular area, but also a highly significant fossil site.

As Morski writes on the 21st of January, 2019, in addition to this area being of importance when it comes to prehistory, some of the oldest still standing sructures, more specifically examples of drywall construction on the island of Pag are located in Ledenik. Several films have also been filmed there. Unfortunately, this stunning area has fallen victim to people dumping all sorts of waste, as Radio Pag has reported.

Ledenik is extremely interesting in a geological sense. Namely, the island of Pag actually originated from billions of shells and skeletons of various dead and fossilised marine animals and is mostly composed of limestone, and it is precisely at Ledenik where a vast fossil site can be seen.

Geologists say that the basic geological structure of the island of Pag originated about 200 million years ago, while the actual formation of the island of Pag is considered by geologists to have occurred around 30 million years ago, when they believe what is now Ledenik was then initially formed. At that time, the island of Pag was connected with Velebit and didn't have the shape of an island as it has today.

 

The present shape of the island of Pag was created at the end of Pleistocene era, the last ice age, about 12,000 years ago, which isn't that long ago in the grand scheme of things. Then, transgression occurred and the sea level rose by about a hundred meters. The wetland area (part of the then Pag lake) saw the gap between the now island of Pag and Velebit filled by the sea and the Velebit channel was thus created. This marked the final act in the island's birth as we know and love it today.

The utterly bizarre, almost Mars-like landscape of the island of Pag has been regularly contributed by bura winds which have been shaping sedimentary rocks for centuries. This is particularly noticeable on Ledenik, which is, by far, entirely unique.

All in all, Ledenik should be the City of Pag's pride, but it seems that not everyone cares enough about the local environment to make sure it stays as precious and as unique as it is.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for more. If it's just Croatia's attitude to the environment and ecology you're interested in, give Total Eco Croatia a follow.

 

Click here for the original article by Radio Pag

Monday, 21 January 2019

How Many Croatian Islands Are For Sale, How Much Do They Cost?

Ever wanted your own couple of private Croatian islands? If you're Ivica Todorić then you've already been there, done that and got the t-shirt, but for the rest of us mere mortals, the dream remains. Of the 1,244 islands which belong to the Republic of Croatia, a smaller number of them are privately owned. These are mostly uninhabited islands, but for some time now, ten of them have been on sale.

As Morski writes on the 21st of January, 2019, the popular Njuskalo website has posted about the sale of Croatian islands within the boundaries of NP Kornati for an incredible price of 40 million and 900,000 kuna, or about five and a half million euro. The ad states that there are two ruined buildings on the island which could be renewed, while the ownership documentation is all okay.

However, since it is classed agricultural land, as well as part of a popular national park, further construction will hardly be possible, and the buyer will likely hand over their millions for the opportunity to engage in agriculture on the island and simply for their name on the island's ownership papers.

On some ads which are selling entire islands, sellers state that it;s a construction site, while others claim it to be agricultural land. However, rebuilding existing facilities on some Croatian islands could, at least in some cases, be possible, but without special permits and concessions, it's typically impossible to build, while on agricultural land, such as on most small uninhabited islands, it may be possible to construct only a small structure of a very limited dimension, or renovate any existing buildings which happen to already be located there. A prospective buyer would probably have invested tens of millions of kuna into the island with the required infrastructure with very little room to do much else, so it isn't a huge surprise that many of these ads have remained open for years.

The prices, sizes and surface areas of each Croatian island on sale are different, but here are a few examples:

Srednja Kluda island is located in the Trogir archipelago between Vinišće and Okrug Gornji. It boasts a total area of 23,324m2 and is covered with low green vegetation. There are two ruined barn-like structures on the island, and the price is 7.875.000 kuna, or 1.050.000 euro.

The island of Mali Kosmač is located in the Šibenik archipelago. It has a surface area of 5.000 m2 and is located near the mainland. Also covered by vegetation, the price is somewhat low. Although the ad states that interested persons must ask about the price, the ad does give away that it starts at 5.200.000 kuna, or about 700.000 euro.

An island located in the Zadar archipelago, near Veli Iž with a surface area of ​​128.800 m2. Although the seller doesn't actually specify the name of the island, they do remark that it is a beautiful shape, has a small bay and there is an old 19th century house there. The original price was as low as 50,000.00 KN or 6,700,000 euro, it is now 44,600,000 kuna, or 6,000,000 euro.

One of the most exclusive offers currently on the market because of its position, whose name is once again not mentioned, is apparently close to Mali Lošinj. According to the ad, its highlights are the advantage of fantastic flora and fauna on and around the island and across the bay. The offer covers approximately 195,000 m2 (19.5 hectares) of private land for sale, as stated in the current land registry book. The rest of the land area of ​​about 200,000 m2 (20 hectares) is owned by the Republic of Croatia and, as the seller argues, may be taken as a long-term concession should it be necessary.

According to the ad, in the past, the inhabitants of the island have been involved in olive growing (about 220 old olive trees are still waiting for someone to come and care properly for them), winemaking, and animal breeding, and the remains of that tradition are visible today, primarily in the form of an old agriculturalbuilding with stone walls characteristic of this area.

According to statements, a positive decision on the construction of three exclusive villas and one pavilion is expected by the end of September.

Since the island has been used for agricultural purposes until quite recently, and as visible remains of agricultural buildings still remain there, the doing up and extension of this Croatian island's existing constructions will probably be approved within the framework of the project, as has been stated in the preliminary opinion on construction there.

The total area of ​​the island is about 395,000 m2 (39.5 hectares), the length of the coast of the island is about 4 kilometres, the highest point of the island is about 11 metres. The price is unknown, meaning that negotiation is likely desired.

Several more ads for Croatian islands for sale can be found on the Croatia estate agency website. In the call for purchase, it explains just "Why a Croatian Island?" should be in your mind.

"We invite you to discover and enjoy the beauties of the Croatian islands, their mild climate, crystal clear and warm sea, beautiful beaches, pristine nature, combined with rich history and cultural heritage, delicious dishes and good wines, and above all warm and friendly people. Find your dream osland ", is written in the invitation to purchase.

The islands offered there are in the Kornati archipelago, near Primošten, an island between the island of Pašman and NP Kornati, and an island in central Dalmatia.

Stay up to date with more on Croatian islands by following our dedicated lifestyle page.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Hvar's Search for Doctor Sees Nobody from Croatia Apply

Croatia's paradoxical society strikes again as a job posting for a doctor on the island of Hvar from a while ago goes unanswered by anyone from Croatia.

Croatia demographic crisis has left and continues to leave its very real and deeply concerning mark on the domestic labour force. Medics are among those heading off abroad in their droves in search of better wages, more job security, and a less politicised society in which to practice their chosen professions. While at the same time, some of the healthcare offered here in Croatia is among the best, with some of the best professionals on standby to do an excellent job.

The old saying about just not being able to get the staff even stretches to the most academic of positions, it seems.

One job posting from the island of Hvar in particular, in search of a doctor, should have turned the heads of many. The offer showed that the position comes with handsome pay, excellent bonuses and an apartment all thrown in, and on the stunning island of Hvar, of all places. It could be a lot worse, right? It appears that not even this much bait is enough to catch most fish, at least not fish from Croatia.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 20th of January, 2019, the advertisement for a doctor in Sućuraj on Hvar has been live for around half a year, in which in addition to good wages and a free apartment, a huge bonus of 50,000 kuna per year is offered, as HRT reports.

As yet, not one person from the Republic of Croatia has applied for the position, and the only interested person is a doctor from Macedonia.

The policlinic in Sućuraj on the island of Hvar currently lies empty. There are no patients because there are no doctors, just one nurse. Sadly, this isn't her first time having to work without a doctor in her 37 years of service.

Stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's just Hvar you're interest in, give Total Hvar a follow.

 

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

China and Croatia Grow Closer as Chinese Focus on Rijeka and Coast

The relationship between China and Croatia is continuing to grow ever closer, and bringing the Chinese to the Croatian coast is potentially just an introductory step in their much wider engagement on the development of Rijeka's traffic connections, both operationally and financially.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 14th of January, 2019, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, will travel to China later this month, where he will discuss, among other things, the opportunity for them to take the concession for a new Rijeka container terminal on the coast with Chinese shipowners and port operators, according a report from Novi list.

Butković will meet with the Chinese traffic minister, representatives of CRBC, who will build Pelješac Bridge, and will also meet with representatives of the naval giant COSCO, as well as several large Chinese shipping and port companies, the potential leasers of the container terminal on that part of the Croatian coast, for which the concession would have to be announced by the middle of this year.

As China and Croatia's bond grows deeper still, the Chinese companies will start with the concession on that particular part of the Croatian coast, the development of a logistics centre and a back terminal in the entrepreneurial Miklavlje zone will probably be offered.

If an interest in making such a move is shown, then the competent Croatian ministry and the Croatian Government will begin seriously contemplating their involvement in far larger infrastructure projects on Rijeka's traffic connections, primarily the construction of a railway line from Rijeka all the way to the Hungarian border, and when looking at much longer-term plans, the possible construction of a large container terminal on the island of Krk, along with a new road-rail bridge.

Make sure to stay up to date with everything you need to know on the growing relationship between China and Croatia and much, much more by following our dedicated business page.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Lastovo Development Project Goes Ahead Thanks to French SMILO Program

Good news for the southern Dalmatian island of Lastovo as no less than a French organisation is set to help the islanders with their management of their resources and further their sustainable development.

As Morski writes on the 12th of January, 2019, SMILO (The small islands organisation) is a French association that has launched an international program to help islands less than 150 km2 in size who want to improve their management of resources, according to Vjeran Filippi, President of local action group LAG 5, which belongs to the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and consists of five parts: Korčula, Mljet and Lastovo, the Pelješac peninsula and Dubrovnik primorje.

LAG 5 includes twelve local self-government units: Blato, Dubrovnik primorje, Janjina, Korčula, Lastovo, Lumbarda, Mljet, Orebić, Smokvica, Ston, Trpanj and Vela Luka. Island councils have also been formed for the sole purpose of implementing the program on Lastovo and other islands.

In cooperation with the nature park of the archipelago of Lastovo, and as part of the aforementioned LAG 5 work plan for Lastovo, the island council was formed, and a basic analysis of the needs for sustainable development of the island of Lastovo, as well as strategic project proposals in the field of economic development was elaborated for the implementation of the SMILO Program, added Vjeran Filippi. The project included the local county and the board for the islands as operational support in proper communication with various national bodies.

Katarina Slejko, LAG 5's manager, added that for the island of Lastovo, the SMILO program will facilitate the realisation of projects that local stakeholders regard as crucial phases of the transition to sustainable economic development based on eco tourism, with the promotion of olive oil production and a local market, as well as a supporting project for storing the product.

The islands which choose to establish their cooperation with France's SMILO association can count on a set of experts to help launch their respective sustainable development projects, as well as receive a special label (the SMILO label) that will enable them to communicate with other islands involved in the program and increase their chances of getting their hands on numerous development funds, said Maja Rešić.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for more information. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow.

 

Click here for the original article by Niko Peric for Korcula online

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Cash for Croatian Islands as Donje Čelo on Koločep Receives Funds

Excellent news at the very dawn of the brand new year for Donje Čelo on the island of Koločep (Kalamota) as a huge cash injection for port infrastructure is on its way. Getting enough cash for Croatian islands is something in the forefront of the minds of many, and this move will work to ensure higher quality for all.

Koločep is one of a group of islands close to the mainland known as the Elaphite (Elafiti) islands, made up of Koločep, Lopud and Šipan, which lie just north of the City of Dubrovnik. The islands attract many visitors on the numerous excursions which leave from the popular Pearl of the Adriatic on a daily basis during the warm summer months.

As Morski writes on the 11th of January, 2019, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure has decided on allowing the financing of a massive 24 million kuna's worth of renovation and reconstruction works for Donje Čelo's port on the southern Dalmatian island of Koločep, in a move conducted by the County Port Authority of Dubrovnik. 

This is otherwise one of the eight local and regional port projects that Dubrovnik-Neretva County is preparing for owing to very welcome funding from non-refundable European Union funds, meaning that while standards are still not matching those on the mainland cash for Croatian islands is no longer just a pipe dream.

More cash for Croatian islands will be channelled through further projects currently planned for the Perna port in Orebić, Polačište on the island of Korčula, Trpanj harbour in the Trpanj Municipality, Prigradica in the Blato Municipality, a ferry-passenger terminal in Vela Luka and Luka Ubli on the island of Lastovo. The total value of the aforementioned projects stands at about sixty million euros, as has been reported from Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle page. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, don't forget to give Total Dubrovnik a follow.

 

Sunday, 6 January 2019

Zlarin Finally Gets Ferry Line to Mainland on Sundays and Holidays

Good news for the residents of the island of Zlarin, located near the historic city of Šibenik in Dalmatia as a longtime desire of the island's locals is finally fulfilled.

As Morski writes on the 6th of January, 2019, Zlarin's permanent inhabitants have at least one less problem with the turning of the brand new year. As they state from Zlarin's local committee, after one hundred years of pleading with the powers that be, Zlarin's residents have finally had their wish granted, in the form of an additional ferry service which will operate on Sundays and during holidays.

"After one hundred years of pleading for this, we've now got an additional [ferry] line on Sundays and holidays which goes from Vodice at 15:00 to Prvić and Zlarin at 15:35, and then goes to Šibenik. Thank you very much to the cities of Šibenik and Vodice for their help, and to our colleagues from the local committees in Prvić for their very pleasant cooperation with us. And a huge thanks to our member of the local board, Katarina Gregov, on this sacrificial work, because had she not put her foot down as much as she did, we'd certainly not be hearing anything about this ferry line,'' they state from Zlarin's local committee via Facebook.

An additional 55,000 kuna was set aside for Zlarin's additional ferry line from the urban budget of the City of Vodice for 2019. On Sundays, the ferry line will run until the June 16th and then again from August the 26th through to the very end of the year. Unfortunately for many locals from Vodice, as well as visitors to that destination, the Sunday ferry line will not be in operation during the summer from June the 17th to August the 25th, according to a report from local portal Info Vodice.

The good news which came after this announcement was perhaps best summed up by local woman from Zlarin who simply wrote: ''Now I can come and go''.

Make sure to stay up to date with much more by following our dedicated travel and lifestyle pages.

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Silba's Third ''Christmas Magic'' Event Opens Festive Doors

The rather far flung northern Dalmatian island Silba might not strike you as a particularly sought-after destination for the festive season, but you might be surprised...

As Kora Dilic/Morski writes on the 29th of December, 2018, this year, the already traditional and entirely unique island advent event has kicked off on the beautiful island of Silba. This year it will be held from the 29th of December, 2018 to the 2nd of January 2019.

This is the third year in a row that the picturesque island in the Zadar archipelago has put on a show for locals and visitors alike following preparations for advent oriented entertainment concerts, as well as a multitude of interesting content that relies on Silba's cultural heritage and quirky specifics of this small but dear Dalmatian island.

Silba is not just an island of music and the arts, it is also very much an island with a huge religious and spiritual heritage, with a rich tradition here. Owing to that, this little, usually overlooked island boasts seven churches.

''As of this year, we've organised the event all together, islanders and volunteers have come from the surrounding islands, and also from Zadar County. We have prepared content that only Silba can offer and we expect the arrival of our people from the diaspora and tourists from Germany, Austria, Switzerland and other European countries,'' said Kristian Lopac who, together with the volunteers, had his hands well and truly full of work on the island when preparing for the formal opening ceremony which took place on Saturday, December the 29th.

On Sunday, December the 30th, Silba will play host to Zoran Jelenković's live concert, and on Monday, December the 31st, a spectacular island New Year's Eve will take place, with a helping hand with traditional music performed by klapa Leut.

Make sure to stay up to date with everything going on up and down the country, from continental Croatia to the coast, and from the coast to the furthest flung Croatian islands by following our dedicated lifestyle page.

 

Click here for the original article by Kora Dilic for Morski.hr

Monday, 10 December 2018

Advent on Pag: Former Salt Warehouse Transforms into Ice Rink

Pag, as a popular summer island destination, might not strike you as a place to go in winter at all. Despite that, the Advent on Pag festivities have transformed the island from summer getaway to winter wonderland. 

As Morski writes on the 10th of December, 2018, the very first artificial ice rink ever to be built on the island has been constructed, and to add to the authenticity of Pag and its history, it has been placed in one of the island's former salt warehouses.

''This is the central part of Advent on Pag, a gift for the children and for young people, as well as for those who like to skate. Our advent is certainly among the best in the county, and further beyond that,'' stated Pag's mayor Ante Fabijanić at the opening of the island's brand new ice skating rink.

As mentioned Advent on Pag's ice skating rink has been placed in one of the island's former salt warehouses, according to a report from eZadar. Adveng cottages have also been set up alongside the ice skating rink with a variety of things on offer, including festive food, sweets and desserts, and drinks, with the whole area richly decorated and adorned with the spirit of the festive season. Ice skating will be available to all in the former warehouse as part of the Advent on Pag celebrations until the 13th of January, 2019, every day from 16:00 to 22:00.

Within the scope of this year's Advent on Pag, there will be various programs, including the Santa's grotto, numerous concerts, a puppet theatre for kids, kindergarten and school performances, lectures and workshops, and a special Christmas reception with Pag's citizens which will take place under the organisation of the Town of Pag's administration this year, in cooperation with several Pag-based companies.

Make sure to follow our travel and lifestyle pages for much more on advent celebrations up and down the country, and much more.

 

Click here for the original article by eZadar

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Ugljan's Saint Michael – a Fortress That Withstands the Test of Time

Heritage often tells us interesting stories, not only from the past, but also from the present.

Along with their role in historical events, heritage sites have an effect on the local populace and their day-to-day lives. Future articles will attempt to revive an interest in heritage and bring it closer to readers. To start it all off, let’s talk about Ugljan's Saint Michael.

If you happen find yourself on the Zadar waterfront (famous for its Sea Organ) during a clear day, your eyes might catch a glimpse of some hills off in the distance, on the island of Ugljan. Upon one of these hills, you’ll find the fortress of St. Michael. After a short ferry trip from the Zadar, you’ll spend some two hours hiking along the road, asphalted for most of the way. Following the path across the valley, surrounded by olives and dry stone walls, you will eventually arrive at the fortress.

Step by step, we’re getting closer to the fortress.

Views such as these of the Zadar archipelago, hinterland and the mountain Velebit are a reward in and of themselves after the hiking trip. Make sure to go on clear day to actually catch these views yourself.

Then again, the buzzing from the radio antenna right behind you, in the fort, is almost enough to spoil these idyllic scenes...

The antenna has been here for 27 years. At long last, the local government has decided to move it to a neighboring hill. If everything goes according to plan, the antenna should be removed by the end of next year. The fortress of St. Michael dates back to 6th century A.D., when it most likely served the role of an observation post. During this same period, Byzantine Emperor Justinian the Great had been making attempts to revive the western half of the once mighty Roman Empire.

With its strategic position at an altitude of 265 meters above sea level, it’s possible that the fort was used by the Byzantine Empire to monitor and control the surrounding sea routes.

The exact year or timeframe in which the fortress was built is still unknown. There are, however, traces and evidence of the Order of Saint Benedict being situated on this hill in the 11th century. The first records and mentions of the fortress date back to 1345, when it was besieged and conquered by the Venetians. In the following years, Venice had plans to destroy the fortress – they did not want the fortress to fall back under Zadar’s control should they ever need to retreat from it.

Layout and drone photo (Luka Bogdanić)

However, with the Treaty of Zadar in 1358, which was arranged between Venice and Louis I. of Hungary, the Venetians surrendered and retreated from their all of their Dalmatian territories. The fortress of St. Michael was now once again in the hands of Zadar.

The constant looming threat from Venice made Zadar officials invest a lot of funds, manpower, and effort in repairs and additional construction for defense and soldiers. There is a lot of textual evidence about the exact construction work and some of it is attested on site.

History is anything but boring and predictable in these parts, though. All the repairs and construction ended up being in vain because of Ladislaus of Naples. He decided to sell Dalmatia to Venice in 1409. Without any actual fighting to speak of, the fortress had once again fallen under Venice’s influence. Not to mention in much better shape than it had been in 60-70 years prior.

In the following years, it was used as a scouting post without proper maintenance. How it looked like is very well depicted on the painting below, made by pilgrim Conrad Grunenberg (1486).

The Fortress of St. Michael is in the foreground, while behind it you can see medieval Zadar.

Later on, during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Kingdom of Yugoslavia, the fortress maintained its status as a scouting post. It wasn't repaired or properly maintained.

Later yet, the fortress played another role in history – in World War Two. In 1944, the fortress was still being used as an observation post. On August 29th and September 10th, Saint Michael was bombarded by the South African Air Force (16th Squadron). Planes started their flight from Biferno in Italy. As they flew over Saint Michael, high resolution cameras documented the damage they had made. Thanks to Tinus la Roux – a South African enthusiast collecting documents and memories of WW2 veterans – we now have records of these very moments of the fortress being bombarded.

The church in the middle was destroyed, and one of the main towers was severely damaged.

Notice the church, still intact at this point, in the middle of the fortress.

For more photos and documents of the bombardment, click here.

Nowadays, the fortress is still in bad shape. There is no trace of the church, the towers and the walls weep for reconstruction, and recent construction work doesn't paint any brighter of a picture.

Drone photo by Luka Bogdanić

There are plans and visions for the fort’s future, according to the Tourism Municipal Board of Preko. Some picture the fortress of Saint Michael becoming interpretative center called “The Castle of Island Stories (Dvorac otočnih priča)” – telling the stories of all nearby islands with an actual overlook holds a lot of potential. Some additional objects, like an open-air amphitheater, a souvenir shop, and others, would also be a part of this center.

For now, this is still nothing more than a nascent idea. Archaeological excavations and conservation work will take place before anything else. We never know what the ground is hiding, after all, so we might find out something new about this place.

In the meantime, it will remain a favourite place for a quick escape from the bustling city.

Drone photo by Luka Bogdanić

If you’d like to see more photos, or behind the scenes/research moments of Croatia's wealth of heritage, feel free to follow us on our Instagram account, Culture Donkey.

Make sure to follow our lifestyle page for more information on Croatian history, heritage, and significant monuments, fortresses, and much more.

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