Saturday, 13 November 2021

Largest Church Mosaic in Croatia Unveiled in Karlovac

November 13, 2021 – After many years of preparation and effort, the largest church mosaic in Croatia has been revealed to parishioners at the Church of Saint Joseph (Crkva sv. Josip) in Karlovac

The beautiful mosaic covers an incredible 120 square metres of wall behind the church's altar. Depicted in the mosaic is the birth of Jesus Christ.

The mosaic is the work of renowned Croatian artist Josip Botteri Dini who is based in Split. On 1st January 2021, Mr Josip Botteri Dini and several assistants began stacking coloured glass pieces into one-square-metre templates to construct the work.

20211113_180321.jpgLargest Church Mosaic in Croatia © Marina Buric / Visit Karlovac

Each template contains around 2500 mosaic parts. In total, the mosaic has around half a million pieces of coloured glass. It took Mr. Botteri Dini nine months to finish stacking 168 templates. After completing that long section of the task in Split, he then travelled to Karlovac and continued working there. The installation of the templates onto the wall took two weeks. Subsequently, six weeks of cleaning and aligning of the mosaic followed.

20211113_180428.jpgFrom the rear of St. Josip's Church © Marina Buric / Visit Karlovac

Josip Botteri Dini, the artist behind the largest church mosaic in Croatia

Although he now lives and works in Split, Josip Botteri Dini was actually born in Zagreb in 1943. He studied at the city's Academy of Fine Arts, notably in the class of famous Varaždin painter and graphic artist Miljenko Stančić. Josip graduated in 1968. Since the early 1970s, the work of Josip Botteri Dini has been exhibited over a hundred times throughout Croatia and overseas. In addition to painting, he works with mosaics and stained glass.

20211113_180500.jpgIn detail, Croatia's largest church mosaic, in St. Josip's, Karlovac © Marina Buric / Visit Karlovac

Being the largest Church mosaic in Croatia, it was necessary to construct a 13-metre high scaffold for the work to be set on the church wall. Although Mr. Botteri Dini is now 78 years old, he climbed the scaffold every day to finish his work, helped by his brothers Juraj and Dezi. They are also in their seventies.

235923953_4726506400716876_6957011206049499185_n.jpgNacionalno svetište svetog Josipa (National Shrine of St. Joseph) in Dubovac, Karlovac

Nacionalno svetište svetog Josipa (National Shrine of St. Joseph) in Dubovac, Karlovac

Otherwise known as Nacionalno svetište svetog Josipa (National Shrine of St. Joseph), the modern Church of Saint Joseph lies to the west of Karlovac city centre in Dubovac. In fact, it sits at the foot of the hill on which is placed the 13th-century castle fortress Old Town of Dubovac, from where the settlement gets its name.

Construction of the Church of St. Josip started in 1968 but its external facades were not completed until 1972. In 1975 its bell tower was built although it would take until 1980 for three new bells to be placed within it. In 1987, the church was dedicated as a national shrine for Saint Joseph, marking the 300th anniversary of Saint Joseph being assigned as Protector of the Homeland and the Croatian people. Saint Joseph is also the patron saint of Karlovac.

The largest Church mosaic in Croatia is not the only masterpiece to be found in the Church of St. Josip. Within the building is the permanent exhibition space Galeriji 'Martin Borković'. It contains works of art by 28 eminent Croatian painters and sculptors. You can see them every day after Holy Mass.

Dubovac.jpgThe Old Town of Dubovac © Ivo Biočina

The Old Town of Dubovac is one of the best-preserved buildings of its kind in Croatia. A popular tourist attraction, it hosts events and has one of the city's best restaurants on the ground floor of its atmospheric courtyard. With the addition of the largest Church mosaic in Croatia, visitors now have another excellent reason to stop off in the quiet Karlovac suburb of Dubovac.

You can read more about Karlovac in the Total Croatia guide to the city here. For the latest news about Karlovac, be sure to check Total Croatia News tagged pages here

Sunday, 31 October 2021

Best Croatian Nature and National Parks For Autumn 2021

October 31, 2021 – With treetops turning orange, red, yellow, purple and brown, the Croatian landscape is at its most colourful right now. These are the best Nature and National Parks for Autumn 2021

Krka National Park

Krka_National_Park2.jpg© Krka National Park

Famous for waterfalls that crash down only a few kilometres from the beaches of Šibenik, there are in fact a series of 7 waterfalls in the park. Several are far from the shoreline. You'll find some deep in the hinterland of Šibenik-Knin County because Krka National Park extends over 100 square kilometres. The river valley and its surroundings are crossed by numerous cycling paths and hiking trails. Now is one of the best times to explore them.

Krka_National_Park.jpg© Krka National Park

If you want to read more about Krka National Park, then look here

Where to stay: The city of Šibenik is truly a year-round destination, with famous fortresses, restaurants, first-class accommodation and brilliant options for active recreation.

Žumberak-Samoborsko gorje Nature Park

Samobor_by_silvijabutkovic.photographer.jpg© Silvija Butković

Covering a vast 342 square kilometres, Žumberak-Samoborsko gorje Nature Park is an epic and varied landscape. Best explored on long hikes, you'll discover rolling hills, mountain meadows, water mills sitting by streams, historic churches and chapels and charming rural communities.

Samoborsko_Zumberak.jpg© Goran Šafarek

Where to stay: If you want the contrast of a big city stay, then Zagreb is just 30 minutes to the east. But, if you prefer perfect seclusion within similar rural splendour, why not try one of these amazing Zagreb County holiday homes.

Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve

Veliki_Pazut.jpg© Goran Šafarek

Although not classed as a national or nature park, this special zoological reserve really comes into its own during autumn. Within this season, the migration of birds has a great effect on the population of places like Veliki Pažut. From further north, residents who will spend all winter here are arriving to settle in. They are joined by temporary visitors who are just stopping off on their way further south. The thinner foliage in the autumn trees also makes it easier to spot deer who roam the forests on all sides of Veliki Pažut.

Goran_ŠafarekD__6321_DxO-1.jpg© Goran Šafarek

If you want to read more about Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve, then look here

Where to stay: Veliki Pažut Special Zoological Reserve is located at the confluence of the rivers Mur and Drava in Legrad, Koprivnica-Križevci County. You could easily visit on a day trip from Zagreb. If you want to stay for the weekend, for an urban stay with lots of cultural options, try the stylish Apartmani Marbis (here) in Koprivnica, here. Or, if you want a secluded rural stay or you're on a weekend of wildlife photography and wish to remain very close to Veliki Pažut reserve, try Guest House Zajec in nearby Kuzminec (here).

251333204_10159958327839108_4607408917831515375_n.jpg© Goran Šafarek

Medvednica Nature Park

Park_prirode_Medvednica.jpg© Medvednica Nature Park

Sitting on the border of Zagreb, to its south and Zagorje, to its north, Medvednica is a protected area of mountains that is largely covered with thick forest. This makes for a wonderful natural habitat for birds and butterflies and others, which you can see while you walk, run or cycle through the park. The higher up the slopes you climb, the more rewarding the views. And, new to autumn 2021, the Medvedgrad Visitors Centre has just opened. It's a great time to go check it out.

zagreb_zagorje_julien_duval.jpg© Julien Duval

Where to stay: Medvednica Nature Park is on the doorstep of the Croatian capital, Zagreb, with some of the best city accommodation options in Southeast Europe.

Kopački rit Nature Park

Kopacki.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Kopački rit Nature Park © Mario Romulić

Truth be told, Kopački rit Nature Park is not at its best in summer. It's not just about the millions of warm weather mosquitoes. The waters of this marshland are at their lowest during summer and the wildlife population retracts. By autumn, rain has helped refill the Danube and Drava rivers, both of which feed Kopački rit.

Kopacki2.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Kopački rit Nature Park © Mario Romulić

The deer have just finished their rut and can be seen freely making their way through the forests. And, the bird population is spreading further throughout the park in response to the rising waters. Without question, boat trips on Kopački rit are best taken when water levels are at their peak.

If you want to read more about Kopački rit Nature Park, then look here

Where to stay: Kopački rit Nature Park is on the doorstep of Slavonian capital Osijek, which has many great accommodation options. Try Guesthouse Maksimilian (here) in the heart of the old city fort, Tvrđa.

Northern Velebit National Park (Sjeverni Velebit National Park)

Nacionalni_park_Sjeverni_Velebit2.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021 © Northern Velebit National Park

The whole Velebit region is a protected Nature Park. And, within it lie two National Parks. As its name suggests, Northern Velebit National Park is the most northerly. The park is exploding in colours rights now as the forests and fields turn from green to brown, purple, yellow, orange and red.

Nacionalni_park_Sjeverni_Velebit.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021 © Northern Velebit National Park

What's even more spectacular is the contrast between these colours and the unique geological anomalies that are protected within the park - Hajdučki kukovi and Rožanski kukovi. Mystifying and beautiful, these rock formations cover an area of around 22 square kilometres and contain no less than 40 summits that lie over 1600 metres. Between them, you’ll see Skrbina Draga and the Veliki Lubenovac field. Hiking in autumn and spring is hands down the best way to explore the extraordinary Northern Velebit National Park.

If you want to read more about Northern Velebit National Park, then look here

Where to stay: The Kvarner town of Crikvenica is a great place to base yourself for exploring the Nature and National Parks of northwest Croatia. Učka Nature Park, Risnjak National Park, Plitvice Lakes National Park and Northern Velebit National Park are all within 60 to 90 minutes drive of the town. Jadran Hotels and Camps have several year-round hotel options in Crikvenica.

Paklenica National Park

PaklenicabyIvan_Coric_Photography2.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Paklenica National Park © Ivan Čorić Photography

Paklenica National Park is the second National Park within Velebit Nature Park. Like its northerly cousin, Paklenica is a joy to explore on long hikes. But, these mountains have a wholly different landscape. Paklenica is dominated by two distinct and dramatic canyons - Velika Paklenica and Mala Paklenica. Following either, away from the coast and further into the park, will lead you to black pine forest and spectacular karst rock formations. Paklenica is also famous as a climbing location. Recreational and expert climbers from all over the world come here to tackle the rocks between spring and autumn.

PaklenicabyIvan_Coric_Photography.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Paklenica National Park © Ivan Čorić Photography

If you want to read more about Paklenica National Park, then look here

Where to stay: If you're looking for a city stay with many cultural, activity, event and restaurant options, the vibrant university town of Zadar lies on the shore just an hour from Paklenica National Park. But, if you're visiting solely to explore this wonderful National Park and want to stay close by, the much smaller seaside town of Starigrad is where you'll find the main entrance to the park.

Lonjsko polje Nature Park

Lonjsko_polje.jpg© Goran Šafarek

Covering a massive 505 square kilometres, Lonjsko polje is the largest protected wetland in Croatia and the Danube basin. It is also the third-largest Nature Park in Croatia, its floodplain fields and forests are habitats for more than two-thirds of all birds in Croatia.

247218663_4254117711377441_2820130146317535557_n.jpg© Lonjsko polje Nature Park

Like Kopački rit, Lonjsko polje is best enjoyed outside of peak summer and the 'mosquito months'. Bicycle and walking trails along with its flat landscape make this an incredibly accessible park to all. The park s also famous for its accommodation and food offer, the latter featuring river fish and wild meats like boar and deer which are traditionally common in autumn.

If you want to read more about Lonjsko polje Nature Park, then look here

Where to stay: Lonjsko polje is around 90 minutes drive from Zagreb and an easy day trip from the capital. But, if you want a more rural escape, as mentioned, the park is known for its accommodation offer. You can see more of it here.

Biokovo Nature Park

biokovo2.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Biokovo Nature Park © Marc Rowlands

Offering some of the very best views in Dalmatia, Biokovo Nature Park is arguably at its best in autumn. Why? Well, the powerful Bura and Jugo winds are more common at this time of year. Visiting Biokovo the day after they've visited is incredibly rewarding. The winds clear the air and, as a result, the visibility is truly incredible. You can pick out tiny detail in the islands.

biokovo.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021: Biokovo Nature Park © Marc Rowlands

Turning away from the sea and islands, Biokovo has an incredible mountainous landscape of its own that is no less thrilling to the eye. You'll discover it best on long hikes. Autumn and spring are the very best times to hike on Biokovo.

If you want to learn more about Biokovo's hiking routes, then look here. And if you want to read more about Biokovo Nature Park in general, then look here.

Where to stay: Having experienced an explosion over recent years in the number of holiday homes available, the nearby city of Imotski is well equipped to welcome visitors. And, unlike some of the coastal options near Biokovo, the visitor offer in Imotski is not negatively impacted by the change in the seasons. Theirs is a year-round offer. Furthermore, the city's 11 lakes are due to join Biokovo within a new UNESCO Geopark from 2022. If you want to read more about Imotski, then look here.

Plitvice Lakes, most famous of the National Parks For Autumn 2021

Nacionalni_park_Plitvička_jezera_Plitvice_Lakes_National_Park.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021 © Plitvice Lakes National Park

The most famous of all Croatian National Parks is a treat in any season of the year. Plitvice's waters are full and more vibrant than ever at this time of year. And, the surrounding nature draws from an incredibly varied colour palette. Perhaps best of all, you have so much more of the park to yourself when you visit outside the warmest months.

Nacionalni_park_Plitvička_jezera_Plitvice_Lakes_National_Park2.jpgNational Parks For Autumn 2021 © Plitvice Lakes National Park

If you want to read more about Plitvice Lakes National Park, then look here

Where to stay: There are many different kinds of rural accommodation options in the vicinity of Plitvice Lakes National Park. But, if you want to combine your stay with a city break, there's nowhere better than Karlovac. The city on four rivers has its own incredible nature to explore, plus amazing culture, heritage and excellent food options. Actually, the city is famous throughout Croatia for its recipes with autumnal chestnuts. And, it's only an hour by car to Plitvice Lakes. If you want to learn more about Karlovac, then look here.

Both the author and Total Croatia News would like to sincerely thank Ivan Čorić, Silvija Butković, Mario Romulić and Goran Šafarek for the kind permission to use their photography here.

Friday, 29 October 2021

Petrova Gora Stars Trail: Race of Humanitarian Character

October 29, 2021 - Karlovac Tourist Board organizes the Petrova Gora Stars Trail, which will bring together nature lovers and recreationists, and the organizers expect more than 150 competitors, aiming to promote the beauties of the county and to raise funds for a humanitarian cause.

The Regional Tourist Board of Karlovac County invites to the premiere edition of the trail race on Petrova gora. The Petrova Gora Stars Trail will bring together nature lovers and recreationists, and the organizers expect over 150 competitors and certainly as many people in the entourage who will come to support their friends, family members, and acquaintances.

stars-trail-petrova-gora-2.png

You can find more information at https://www.utrka.com/utrke/petrovagoratrail/2021/info/

As HrTurizam.hr reports, the Regional Tourist Board of Karlovac County expects a beautiful day filled with numerous activities for runners and other participants who may not actively participate this time.

Lunch and drinks after the race, a dry-fit long-sleeved sports shirt, protein bars, and rich refreshments during the race, which includes healthy products from local family farms, are provided for all participants with a starter pack. Before and after the race, all those present will be entertained by a musical duo who will take care of the good atmosphere, while for all those who will not run this time, a guided tour of the sights on Petrova Gora is provided.

Free transport will take all those interested to the memorial to the last Croatian king Petar Svačić, as well as to the place where the Central Partisan Hospital was located and to the monument on Petrova gora, where the participants of the race will run.

stars-trail-petrova-gora.jpg

09:00 - 11:30 download of start packages, 12:00 start of the long race, 13:00 start of the short race.

In addition to the rich sports and entertainment content, the race will raise funds for the girl Klara, who has her roots in the vicinity of Karlovac, and due to a serious illness, she needs generous financial resources for treatment outside the Republic of Croatia.

We invite all lovers of sports and nature to combine the pleasant with the useful and take advantage of the beautiful day that awaits us and come to the first Petrova Gora Stars Trail race which will take place at the hunting lodge Muljava on Saturday, October 30, 2021, from 11 am.

The organizer of this event is the sports association Footloose with the support of destination partners of the Regional Tourist Board of Karlovac County and the Tourist Board of Vojnić and Hrvatske šume doo.

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

Thursday, 21 October 2021

First Bee Hotel Set Up in Karlovac

ZAGREB, 21 Oct 2021 - Karlovac's first bee hotel was set up in the arboretum of the Forestry School on Thursday, and the structure imitates the natural habitat of insects that do not have enough space in cities to overwinter and reproduce.

This is a project of the Međimurje association "Pinklec" from Karlovac, financed by the utility company "Zelenilo" according to the designs by the public institution Međimurska Priroda (Međimurje Nature), and it was realized by students and mentors of the Forestry School in their workshop.

The head keeper of Međimurska Priroda, Velimir Bašek, said that insects would definitely fill the numerous holes of the bee hotel, with solitary bees entering the biggest holes of 10 to 12 millimeters.

"When a bee enters its hole, it closes it with mud and overwinters there," Bašek said, adding that by setting up about 20 hotels over several years, they have gained enough experience to build the perfect hotel with holes for accommodating different species and that all hotels are mostly filled.

The Karlovac Arboretum, which spans 16 hectares, also has a pharmaceutical garden, which as of today contains habitat for wild pollinators.

"This hotel will allow insects to stay here and contribute to the pollination of everything that blooms because insects are the ones that enable plants to reproduce in nature," said the director of the Forestry School, Daniel Peris.

Karlovac's first bee hotel today received the support of the Institute for Nature Protection.

The institute said that events such as this one raised awareness of the importance of pollinators for the stability of ecosystems.

According to Cro Buzz Kilma project manager Ana Ješovnik, about 90% of plant species and 75% of agricultural crops depend on animal pollination and in the Croatian climate the most important pollinators are insects, primarily wild bees.

There are 725 different species of wild bees in Croatia.

For more made in Croatia news, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 18 October 2021

Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium in Karlovac Celebrates Five Year Anniversary

October 18, 2021 - Located on the banks of the Korana river in Karlovac, the Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium seeks to educate about the rich flora and fauna of the river, as well as the environment preservation. This weekend they will celebrate five years of existence with a varied program of fun and educational activities.

As Turitičke Priče reports, the Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium, located on the banks of the river Korana in Karlovac, dedicates five years of its existence to the importance of preserving the environment. The central part of the celebration will last from October 22 to 24. Walking through the River of the Future, visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the history of Aquatika and the topics of sustainable development through various programs. Educational programs will try to draw attention to the environment and the preservation of freshwater ecosystems, and various lectures, plays, animations, holograms, quiz and programs for children and the whole family have been selected.

In anticipation of the birthday celebration, Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium Karlovac will offer visitors a pre-program "Aquatika in the city" at several locations throughout the city of Karlovac. The Katzler Pavilion has turned its exhibition space into a large aquarium. The themes of the exhibition include the Karlovac rivers and their fish stock, and they will be on view until 31 October. The Karlovac City Museum will be able to visit the ichthyological collection as part of the "Aquatics in the Museum" program.

aquatika-freshwater-aquarium-3.jpg

Aquatika in the City Library Ivan Goran Kovačić will mark the presentation shelves with books about fish and workshops for children, and the play for children "On the trail" will play for free in the theater as part of the Aquatika program in the City Theater Zorin dom on October 24.

On October 22, entry to Aquatika is free

The main part of the program will last from October 22 to 24 at Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium Karlovac. It will consist of a program on the aquarium square and a program on the River of the Future (promenades along the Korana). Visitors will be able to see the aquarium at promotional prices, see several plays, attend various educational lectures and workshops, participate in educational and quiz walks along the Korana, listen to stories, animations, and programs for children and experience the holograms of Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium Karlovac.

aquatika-freshwater-aquarium-4.jpg

Zoran Vakula's lecture "5 to 12" should definitely be singled out, which will introduce visitors to climate change. Aquatika invites all citizens to get acquainted with the river world, and the first 500 visitors on October 22 are expecting a special gift.

It is important to emphasize that on October 22, entry to the Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium will be free, and on October 23 and 24, tickets will be available at 50% lower prices.

Aquatika has hosted more than 320,000 visitors in five years

Public institution Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium Karlovac was established five years ago as a result of a project co-financed by the European Union. Already in the first year of its existence, it has largely fulfilled the goals set in the project itself. So far, the aquarium has been visited by more than 320,000 visitors, mostly families with children, school groups, groups of retirees, hobbyists, nature lovers, and students and scientists.

aquatika-freshwater-aquarium-2.jpg

The aquarium is an ecological, educational, tourist, and scientific attraction. It exudes originality considering that it is about almost all Croatian freshwater fish species, in a city on four rivers in the heart of Croatia. Through his work, in addition to the function of the aquarium, he has the task to present the traditional culture, geological past, and way of life along the rivers and collaborates on various projects with the scientific sector.

For more information about the event and other upcoming activities, as well as learning more about Aquatika Freshwater Aquarium in Karlovac, be sure to check their official Facebook page.

A beautiful city of beer, four rivers, promenades, parks and 10, 000 trees. For more about Karlovac, be sure to check Total Croatia's complete guide, Karlovac in a Page, here. Now in your language!

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

Monday, 13 September 2021

Memorial Plaque Placed in Karlovac at Site of Former Synagogue

ZAGREB, 13 Sept 2021 - The city of Karlovac on Sunday held a ceremony of placing a memorial plaque at the site of the former synagogue which was built 150 years ago in that Croatian city and demolished in 1960.

Addressing the ceremony, Israeli Ambassador to Croatia Ilan Mor said that the contribution of Jews to Karlovac, Croatia, Europe, and the world must not be forgotten.

Croatian rabbi Luciano Moše Prelević said a Jewish prayer which, he explained, he always prays when commemorating  "the disappearance of the Jewish community" in a certain area.

Ambassador Mor thanked the president of the association "Jews in Karlovac", Tena Bunčić, for founding the association which, with the help of Karlovac County and the City of Karlovac, reconstructs the life of the Jewish community in Karlovac.

In this way, the great contribution of Jews in Karlovac and other cities in Croatia to the development of cultural and economic prosperity is saved from falling into oblivion, he said.

The ambassador wished all Jews a happy Jewish New Year.

The head of the Zagreb Jewish Community, and the coordinator of the Jewish communities in Croatia, Ognjen Kraus, wished that "something be done for a better future, apart from talking about graves", and he spoke about the suffering of Karlovac Jews in Ustasha camps in 1941 and later.

Karlovac Mayor Damir Mandić said that Karlovac is an open city that nurtures the coexistence, and County Prefect Martina Furdek Hajdin said it was important that history, as the teacher of life, be objective and impartial, "that the fate of Jews acts as a reprimand, and that we should be grateful for the indelible mark of Jews in the economic and cultural development of this area".

The culture ministry's official, Davor Trupković, said that they were trying to contribute to a better presentation of historical data and multiculturalism and multireligiousness, that the Jewish cemetery in Karlovac was an important reminder, and that numerous cultural goods spoke about the Jewish community in Karlovac as an integral part of the city.

Tena Bunčić, the initiator of this event, is the great-granddaughter of the conductor of the first Croatian choral group "Zora" (Dawn), David Meisl. Bunčić said that while researching the life of her great-grandfather she had discovered how much the Jewish community had contributed to Karlovac. That contribution, she added, is the fruit of their love to this city. That is why she founded the association "Jews in Karlovac", through which the memories of that community are renewed.

Kraus told Hina that there were now about 10% of ethnic Jews in Croatia compared to their number before World War II.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Štrudlafest 2021: Croatian Strudel Festival Returns

September 2, 2021 - Štrudlafest 2021 lifts the bar of the already known Croatian strudel festival in Jaškovo village near Karlovac. More sport, more workshops, and obviously, more strudel.

With the pandemic dying down just enough for events to be allowed to be held (while still respecting the current epidemiological measures) Štrudlafest in Jaškovo village near Karlovac is back! With the motto: ''It can't get sweeter than this,'' the event spanning September 3-5 is promising a delicious and unique combo of gastronomy, sport, culture, art, and lots of entertainment for all ages.

''Štrudlafest is a true paradise for strudel lovers because apart from the delicious tastes of homemade strudel you can purchase from dozens of stands of hard-working domestic manufacturers - strudel is everywhere around you. You'll have the chance to enjoy a picnic in the shade next to the water source, but also enjoy creative workshops where you can decorate your own strudle plate,'' said the organisation when speaking about this Croatian strudel festival.

Due to the current epidemiological measures in place, many events require prior reservations, but with so many events finally taking place once again, there's no reason to be sad if you miss a few of them.

For instance, there is Art Apetit, a painting workshop, and for those who want to dive deep into the secrets of making the perfect strudel, official ambassadors of this much loved product will be able to consult with you to ensure total satisfaction.

Teta_Marica_ambasadorica_štrudle_iz_Jaškova.jpg

Marica, a strudle Ambassador © Štrudlafest promo

For the youngest among us, the series of sport, gastronomy, or creative workshop activities will be topped off by a visit from the most famous Croatian fairy tale author, Ivana Brlić Mažuranić.

With a lot of talking done about strudel and sport, the traditional cycling tour ''Štrudla by Bike'' will also take place, and in addition to pedaling your way to the breath-taking scenery of continental Croatia, you can also take a scenic trip along the Dobra river with the first-ever ''Štrudla by Boat''.

The organisers point out that in addition to Jaškovo, strudels can be sampled across Karlovac County with special discounts, and various museums in the region also have special gifts for their visitors to honour this popular treat.

Learn more about Karlovac on our TC page.

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

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Karlovac Beer Days Kicks Off Its 34th Edition: 5 Days of Music and Stage Spectacles

August 28, 2021 - The largest beer festival in Croatia, the Karlovac Beer Days, lasts until August 31, and 12 famous local musicians and bands will take turns on the stage for five days. In addition to a five-day music and stage spectacle, Beer Days also offer a rich program of additional activities.

A spectacular laser show, a virtuoso performance by the dance group Atomic Dance Factory and institutions of the domestic music scene, Massimo and Zabranjeno pušenje, marked the first day of the 34th edition of the Karlovac Beer Days, reports Turističke Priče. The exciting opening of this year's Beer Days hinted that another unforgettable festival awaits the people of Karlovac and their visitors.

karlovac-beer-days-5.png

Dani piva Karlovac (Facebook)

With the opening of Karlovac Beer Days, the city has become a dynamic stage where the main roles are played by beer lovers, the best local musicians, and an excellent tourist and gastronomic offer. The exciting first day of one of the most anticipated domestic beer festivals was rounded off by a kind of rock music institution: No Smoking.

By performing in front of the Karlovac audience, this energetic band proved why it has been pushing the musical boundaries in the region for more than 40 years, and Z ++, Nipplepeople, Vojko V, Tight Grips, Silente, Goran Bare & Majke, Natali Dizdar, TBF, Detour, and Željko Bebek will dance with the audience from the stage during the festival. In addition to performances by well-known local performers, visitors can expect additional activities that begin in the morning.

karlovac-beer-days-3.jpg

Dani piva Karlovac (Facebook)

At the Karlovac Beer Days, it is necessary to show the EU digital COVID certificate only in the immediate vicinity of the stage. Visitors who will follow the program outside the enclosure where they are not required to have an EU digital certificate, but should comply with the prescribed epidemiological measures. For visitors who do not own it, the city of Karlovac organized a quick antigen test at a price of 100 kuna.

For everything you need to know about Karlovac, visit Total Croatia's complete guide HERE.

For more on lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Remaining Mine-Infested Areas to be Cleared of Mines By Mid-2026

ZAGREB, 25 May, 2021 - Interior Minister Davor Božinović said on Tuesday that until the spring of 2026 the remaining 250 square kilometres of land believed to be infested with landmines left over from the 1991-1995 Homeland War would be cleared of those explosive devices.

Božinović commented on the plan for a mine-free Croatia at a ceremony in the town of Josipdol, where he presented a HRK 241 million project, Karlovac KARST, for the removal of mines from forests in the areas of Karlovac and Josipdol.

The implementation of the project will create prospects for job creation in the region, he added.

Karlovac County Prefect Martina Furdek Hajdin said that HRK 188 million had been absorbed from the European Union for the Karlovac KARST project.

In the next few years, 17.1 square metres of forest land in Tounj, Josipdol, Plaški, Saborsko and Rakovica will be cleared of landmines, she added.

The county prefect added that Karlovac County had already tapped HRK 29 million from the EU funds to remove landmines from 3.8 square-metre-large farmland.

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

Sunday, 23 May 2021

Discovering the Hidden Gems of Karlovac

May 23, 2021 - TCN contributor Ana Bacic looks at the hidden gems of Karlovac. 

On the way to the coast, one must pass Karlovac, which is located just 49 km (31 miles) southeast of Zagreb.

The old historic city built in 1579 was surrounded by a large, fortified wall in the shape of a six-pointed star. The fortification of the city was founded by Habsburg’s archduke Karl II. Thus, its name: Karlo-vac. Its massive walls served as a military outpost during the war against the Ottoman Empire. Over the centuries, the city streets and buildings spilled over the fortress, and the city became the center of trade routes and guilds, mostly in the 18th and 19th centuries. At the beginning of the 20th century, the peak of its prosperity was when Karlovac was the third-largest city in what was formerly Croatian territory. The only two larger cities at the time were Zagreb and Osijek  (the City of Rijeka belonged to Italy).

Since Karlovac was built during the Renaissance, its design fits in well with Thomas More’s social philosophy of a Utopian society. The Utopian concept requires geometrical harmony in the design of public spaces. If the living space is protected from harm and offered esthetic beauty and comfort, the inhabitants will be healthy, successful, and content. Think of it as being the Renaissance’s idea of Feng Shui. The rivers Kupa, Korana, Mrežnica, and Dobra meander through lush green spaces in this pedestrian-friendly city. The four rivers offer an additional flair to the town known for its parks and alleys. For anyone arriving from the hustle and bustle, Karlovac will be a healing experience of meeting nature right at the heart of the city.  

The city has historically always been a meeting point of people and trade routes. One can easily reach Karlovac today by train, bus, or car. Old historic roads such as Karolina, Josephina, Louisiana that go through town also lead straight to the Adriatic sea.  The oldest standing building in Karlovac dates back to the 17th century and is now an active museum. The Karlovac museum has various exhibits that explain the city’s Renaissance, Baroque, Napoleonic characteristics, and more. Unfortunately, the city's original architecture has not been preserved due to the destructive fires it has endured in the past. Between constant floods and fires, the new city emerged with wider alleyways between wooden buildings and more green spaces. 

Interestingly, Karlovac is one of the first cities in Croatia with electricity generated through the hydroelectric dam (1908) on the river of Kupa by the town of Ozalj. The dam was used to power the local factories in Karlovac. Surprisingly, Nikola Tesla attended Karlovac Grammar School, which he completed in 3 years, and he became world-famous for his electrical discoveries. In his autobiographical accounts, Tesla reminisces about the stimulating influences of his professor of physics at Karlovac Grammar School, who exerted a lasting influence on him. Visitors can visit Tesla HotSpot in front of the school he attended, at the site of Nikola Tesla Experience Centre. The Centre is now under construction, opening to commence in September. The tourist story about Tesla and his years spent in Karlovac is still evolving; however, the fact that Karlovac Grammar School diploma remains the only diploma Tesla earned. Tesla’s enthusiasts can find inspiration at the same place where his scientific interests were sparked for the first time.  

Tesla_mural.jpeg

Vilim Stojkovic

The tradition of inventions and famous locals in Karlovac did not stop with Nikola Tesla leaving town. Marko Markovic, a civil engineer, and local patriot, designed the unique watch that is a replica of the 6-pointed star of the city fortress. 

10fc01a2-a008-4f2a-9bd0-53f6ac4d059d.jpeg

Marko Markovic 

Besides historical sites and nature, there is the new city’s attraction Aquatica aquarium, the freshwater aquarium, where visitors can dive into the fish world and get to know the Karlovac rivers from a new perspective. 

One of the oldest Beer Festivals in Croatia, “Dani Piva,” takes place in Karlovac every year in the late summer. It is an annual festivity centered around beer tasting, drinking, and gastronomy that attracts many visitors. Usually, one can choose from a range of different beers, domestic or foreign, as there are many international beer companies represented. Coupled with live entertainment Beer Festival is a highlight of summer in Karlovac.  

Hosteese.jpeg

Vilim Stojkovic

Finally, one of the old attractions that cannot be missed is the 13th-century Dubovac Castle, where tourists can enjoy the views of the city and a little break in the restaurant within the castle’s walls.  

Dubovac_castle.jpeg

Vilim Stojkovic

I also suggest a visit to the War Museum on the outskirts of town, the very site of terrible bombings and shelling in Homeland war in the 90s.   

MILITARY_MUSeum.jpeg

Vilim Stojkovic

If you’re passing by in summer, locals recommend an unusual experience – swimming in all the four rivers in just one day, but in two locations only – at the confluence of the Dobra and Kupa and the confluence of the Mrežnica and Korana. The rivers meet and intersect in the city. Memorable experience! On occasion, the city is still flooded because 4 rivers have a mind of their own. 

KUpa_river.jpeg

Vilim Stojkovic

Koran_river.jpeg

Vilim Stojkovic

The city has charming cafes and restaurants. Besides authentic cuisine that features plenty of fresh fish on the menu, food enthusiasts may discover new, interesting flavours.  Those who decide to hang out in Karlovac can easily spend 2-3 days in museums, rivers, attractions, etc. Many have used Karlovac only as a pit stop on the way back to their destination.  Boutique Hotel Korana Srakovčić and Hotel Carlstad, where you can spend a night before catching a flight at the Zagreb Airport, are less than an hour away. 

Karlovac_old_streets.jpeg

Vilim Stojkovic

Old_city_core.jpeg

Vilim Stojkovic

Until today Karlovac is a pristine, well laid out town with varied building styles, colours, and textures.  The green vistas of town are occasionally subdued by fog. During the average 78 foggy days per year, one can witness Karlovac disappearing altogether in fog when visibility is only a couple of feet far.  Nevertheless, Karlovac invites visitors to spend a day, weekend, or active vacation in town and its beautiful countryside. 

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Page 1 of 9

Search