Tuesday, 25 June 2019

Croatia Set to Sizzle as Heatwave Hits this Week

June 25, 2019 - Martha & the Vandellas knew back in 1965 that their hit ‘Heatwave’ would stand the test of time, and it'll especially get airtime this week as temperatures across Europe are projected to hit 40 degrees Celsius. 

The Guardian reported on Monday that temperatures would reach or even exceed 40 degrees from Spain to Switzerland as "hot air was sucked up from the Sahara by the combination of a storm stalling over the Atlantic and high pressure over central Europe" - but thanks to the high humidity, it’d really feel like 47. Yikes.

Fortunately, Croatia isn’t Spain or France, and temperatures here shouldn’t reach 40 this week, though some parts of the country will reach 35, reports 24 Sata.

Here’s the weather report for the week - stay cool, Croatia. 

Enjoy the weather on Tuesday, as temperatures will rise on Wednesday with the peak expected on Thursday. A cold front is already likely on Friday, which should cool it down a bit, but not by much. 



The State Meteorological Institute issued warnings for the upcoming thermal wave in Croatia. On Tuesday, temperatures will rise to a maximum of 33 degrees. But as in the rest of Europe, on Wednesday temperatures will rise again. In Croatia’s interior, temperatures will reach 33 degrees, while on the coast they’ll hit 34 degrees.

The threat of the heatwave will be the greatest on Thursday and Friday in Zagreb, Karlovac, Rijeka, and Split, the DHMZ warns. Namely, on those days, the temperature will reach 35 degrees.



Apart from the high heat, UV radiation is likely to be very high in the days to come, especially on Thursday.



As with all heatwaves, it's important to stay hydrated and avoid being out in the sun at all costs, especially from 11 am to 3 pm. This is especially important for young children and people over the age of 75. Keep your windows shut in the house with the shades down to keep the heat out, and keep a cold shower close. 

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 4 June 2019

Aquatika Museum from Karlovac Joins Global Network of Water Museums

The freshwater aquarium Aquatika museum from Karlovac has now joined the Global Network of Water Museums, thus becoming a part of the family of the world's most famous museums and interpretation centres of this kind, hrturizam.hr writes.

Aquatika has managed to fill an extremely important educational function, as well as succeed in holding remarkable importance for the preservation of the underwater world of Croatian rivers and lakes. Now that importance has been recognised by the leading actors on the global level, which plays the key role in educating the public and raising the awareness on the various questions regarding freshwater worldwide.

Director of the Aquatika museum, Margarita Karuškić Kulaš, said: "Museums, interpretation centres and similar institutions play a key role today in communicating the values of the heritage of water, the better understanding of the water crisis of today and possible solutions to it. We are extremely proud that Aquatika has become a part of this prestigious group, as well as the worldwide initiative on the sustainable use of waters and the protection of life in the water.

The Global Network of Water Museums was founded as an initiative to create synergies within UNESCO's international hydrological program. The network aims to improve the coordination of the communication and educational activities of the museums and similar institutions, focused on the topic of water. In addition to that, the association deals with the questions and challenges caused by climate change, such as the continually worsening pollution of the water, resource depletion, glaciers' melting, the increasing frequency of flooding, and the maintaining of natural habitats.

This membership is yet another acknowledgement of the excellent work being done in Karlovac's Aquatika, so you should consider making a detour and visiting this amazing museum, located by one of four rivers in Karlovac, the amazing Korana River. Read more about the museum here, or on their Facebook page.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

BoxBarrier Prevent Rivers from Flooding Homes in Karlovac

ZAGREB, May 16, 2019 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Wednesday visited Logorište, a flooded suburb of Karlovac, saying that despite the local rivers' record high levels, water had not reached homes because one BoxBarrier by the Korana river and one by the Mrežnica had played a good flood defence role.

Plenković thanked everyone who had worked day and night to control the water at critical points, as well as the Croatian Waters company, firemen, police and local authorities for helping local residents.

He called the BoxBarriers an "effective" albeit temporary solution, saying work was under way to build a permanent flood defence system. He said Karlovac mayor Damir Mandić was talking with a technical European Union delegation today about funding for the 120 million euro project.

Environment Protection Minister Tomislav Ćorić said he was satisfied with the situation on the ground despite the fact that water had broken levies at some locations and was causing damage. He said the completion of a flood defence system would soon follow as nothing had been done over the past 30 years to deal with the overflowing of the Mrežnica and Korana rivers.

Croatian Waters director general Zoran Đurković said tenders worth 300-400 million kuna would be advertised this year for flood protection systems.

Biljana Željeznjak of Croatian Waters' Karlovac office said the water level of all four rivers running through the town was falling but that emergency measures for the Korana remained in force.

More news about flooding can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Flooding in Karlovac Under Control, Kostajnica in Danger

ZAGREB, May 14, 2019 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković on Tuesday commented on the threat of flooding in some parts of the country following heavy rainfall in the last few days.

He said he was in contact with Environment and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić and Interior Minister Davor Božinović, as well as with the head of Karlovac County, Damir Jelić.

"As I understand, based on the information from the ground, the situation in Karlovac seems to be under control. The focus now is on Hrvatska Kostajnica," the PM said.

Plenković announced that Minister Ćorić would visit Hrvatska Kostajnica in the afternoon to inspect the situation. He said that the experience with previous floods, the laws and technical measures that have been adopted and the investments undertaken in that regard already made a difference compared to last year.

An emergency has been declared in Hrvatska Kostajnica, about 90 km southeast of Zagreb where the water level of the Una river has reached 419 centimetres and is expected to reach 500 cm, 37 cm below the maximum recorded in 1955.

The head of the local civil protection service, Milko Prpić, told Hina on Tuesday morning that people and their property were not threatened so far.

Meanwhile, the situation in the flooded areas of neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina has gradually returned to normal. The situation remains difficult in Prijedor and Sanski Most in the northwest of the country where the overflowing of the Sana river is threatening hundreds of residential and business properties.

More news about floods can be found in the Politics section.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Digital Croatia: Best Large ''Digital'' Cities Zagreb and Rijeka

Just how close are we to a real digital Croatia? The answer is unclear and as varied as ever, but some Croatian cities have shown promise with some rather impressive and encouraging results.

As Novac/Gradonacelnik.hr writes on the 23rd of April, 2019, although more and more cities are gradually digitising their business and investing in smart city solutions, and some of the most advanced have almost completely switched to doing solely digital business, generally speaking, Croatian cities are only in the very early stages of the much needed digital transition, just as Croatia is, as a country, at the very bottom in Europe in terms of the digital readiness of general society and the economy.

As the methodology for ranking cities in terms of digital readiness is only at its very beginning even at the European level, stories and analysis of the "smart city" concept development here in Croatia are still very much based on individual experiences, examples and projects.

That is why, in order to gain a real elementary insight into the digitalisation of Croatia's services and the communication of the country's many city administrations with citizens, experts from Apsolon, a consulting company specialising in digital business development, has undertaken the very first major study of the ''digital readiness'' of twenty of the largest cities across Croatia. This study, according to project manager and smart management director at Apsolon, Ivana Novoselec, is the basis for the further development of research tools and methodology that will track the development and progress of Croatia's cities on an annual basis.

In its study, Apsolon divided the cities into three categories - large (Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek), middle (Zadar, Velika Gorica, Slavonski Brod, Pula and Karlovac) and smaller cities (Sisak, Varaždin, Šibenik, Dubrovnik, Bjelovar, Kaštela, Samobor, Vinkovci, Koprivnica, Đakovo, Vukovar.)

The digital readiness index at Apsolon was set based on several criteria - the availability of e-services (the number of administrative services and their digitalisation rate in Croatia), the availability of site service information and the development of unified services for making payments in the city, then came the availability of city data, the level of citizen participation in decision making and communication channels between the city administration and citizens, ie, the availability of data and time in which citizens receive answers to their various questions. At this stage, Apsolon hasn't entered into the internal processes in Croatia's city administrations, but rather focused on what services are offered to the city's citizens and how long such things typically take.

After this type of indexing and ranking, the title of the ''digitisation champion'' among the Croatian cities was awarded to the City of Rijeka, thus confirming its status as the best city in the Smart City category which it won last year. Apsolon pointed out that the City of Rijeka has achieved the greatest advances in the systematic raising of the quality of its services, but also the opening of data and communication channels to citizens.

"Rijeka as the most advanced city in Croatia in terms of digitisation and is characterised in particular by the emphasis on openness and communication with its citizens. Its administration is oriented towards clear communication (a very clear centralised e-services approach with well-organised access to all automated services and available forms), openness and participatory management," said project manager Ivana Novoselac.

In many categories, especially those relating to the functional aspects of digitisation (advanced digital services, e-citizen connectivity, etc.), Rijeka is followed closely by the City of Zagreb.

The city of Pula is the most advanced middle-size city in Croatia, which also presents its services and available information to its citizens in a systematic and very detailed way, raising standards in terms of transparency and interaction with citizens, and is certainly a champion among cities with between 50.000 and 100.000 inhabitants.

In relation to the criteria relating to specific functional and technological solutions, Karlovac, Velika Gorica and Zadar follow. For the City of Karlovac the large number of available administrative procedures on its website and responses to citizens' inquiries are generally quick made it stand out from the crowd.

Among the small cities in Croatia, there is no distinctly dominant digital champion, but according to research findings in different aspects of digitisation, Dubrovnik, Samobor, Sisak, Koprivnica and Varaždin appear to be the most successful ones, according to this research. Among the prominent representatives of this category, Dubrovnik is strategically trying to profile as Smart City and has a high quality City Card, e-Visitor platform, is very active on social networks and it continuing to develop innovative application solutions. When it comes to the number of digitally available services, Koprivnica ranks above all.

Samobor, which is particularly active on social networks and is the category winner for social networking, has a very comprehensive and interactive website which separates the site accordingly and has adjusted all of the information for citizens and for visitors, as well as separating foreign visitors from domestic ones.

It should also be noted that Bjelovar is extremely proactive in the field of the digitalisation of its administration, it is working on applicative transparency solutions as well as on internal digitalisation processes. What is particularly commendable is Bjelovar's focus on the digitalisation of its internal processes.

Make sure to follow our dedciated lifestyle page for much more.


Click here for the original article by Novac/Jutarnji/Gradonacelnik.hr

Sunday, 14 April 2019

Rijeka-Karlovac Railway Line Heading for Chinese or EU Hands?

As the Chinese show greater interest in various Croatian strategic projects, the EU and the EC become more and more uneasy at the thought of such a heavy Chinese business presence in Croatia. As the EC changes its attitude towards some Croatian projects to which it reacted negatively in the past, has the Chinese influence rendered this change of heart senseless?

As Novac/Kresimir Zabec writes on the 13th of April, 2019, Croatia wants to finance the construction of the railway line from Karlovac to Rijeka, covering a length of 170 kilometres with EU funds, because that's more favourable to Croatia than doing it through a concession, stated Croatian Minister of Transport Oleg Butković at the construction site of Pelješac bridge recently.

Ironically much like Chinese whispers, it began to circulate in the media that everything had already been agreed with the Chinese, and that China's CRBC which is already building Pelješac bridge would construct the railway line via a concession model. Economy Minister Darko Horvat has thus announced giving the Chinese company a fifty year concession. However, Butković has very clearly stated that there has been absolutely no direct agreement with the Chinese and that everything will go through a tender, as usual.

''If we decide on a concession tender, then Chinese companies can also apply. If the line is built using EU funds, Chinese companies will be able to bid to be the contractors for the project,'' said Butković.

EU funding for the project is much more favourable for Croatia because it doesn't affect the growth of public debt. Should the case result in giving a concession to a Chinese company, they would build and finance it, but with government guarantees amounting to 1.7 billion euros, which is something the state can ill afford. According to current projections, the entire line should be completed by 2030.

Of the 270 kilometre of railway line from Botovo on the Croatian-Hungarian border, to Rijeka on the shores of the Northern Adriatic, the section from Karlovac to Rijeka is currently not covered at all by any form of EU co-financing.

A few years ago, the European Commission told the Croatian Government quite clearly that they would not finance that part of the line from Karlovac to Rijeka because it was too expensive and it just doesn't pay off. After that, the Croatian Government turned to the Chinese who were constantly showing interest in constructing that section. Now that the negotiations between China and Croatia have entered a much deeper and more serious phase, signals from Brussels, more specifically the European Commission, have been arriving which indicate that they are, despite all, still interested in the project.

Although that railway line is not officially part of the trans-European transport network, senior officials of the European Commission's Directorate General for Transport have openly told reporters that the Commission is ready to co-finance this project, and that it is a very important part of the European budget planning in the period commencing in 2021. Quite a turnaround, no?

In addition, this railway line is part of the line from Rijeka to the Hungarian border, which the European Commission has invested around 400 million euros into the modernisation and construction of, and that obviously doesn't quite sit well with the idea of the entrance of the Chinese into this project. According to statements, the ultimate goal of the overall project is to build a new bridge to the island of Krk and to build a new port on the island for container transport, which is an idea that the Chinese are also very interested in.

What stage are the works in?

Rijeka - Zagreb

The railway line from Rijeka tp Zagreb to the Hungarian border is part of the international Mediterranean Corridor connecting southern Europe with Central and Eastern Europe. The modernisation of this line would be of great importance to the Port of Rijeka. The modernisation and the construction of these lines are all in different stages of execution.

Botovo - Koprivnica - Križevci

In 2016, the European Commission approved 240 million euro for Croatia to build this section, but the contractor for the job hasn't yet been selected. A tender is in progress, but it has been stopped once again due to an appeal lodged by an Italian company.

Križevci - Dugo Selo

This is the only section of the track where works are ongoing. The European Union has invested about 180 million euros in this project, but works began a year and a half late because of contractor issues.

Hrvatski Leskovac - Karlovac

The design of this part of the line was co-financed by the EU in the amount of about 6 million euros. It is expected that tenders will be announced to modernise the existing works and build another track. The value of the works is estimated at 315 million euros and is planned to be funded through EU funds.

Karlovac - Oštarije

An entirely new two-track railway would be constructed on this part of the track, and the value of the works would be estimated at about 400 million euros. Project documentation has been produced, which has been paid for by the EU in the amount of 9 million euros.

Oštarije - Škrljevo

This, which is considered to be the most challenging part of the line, hasn't yet been fully defined, and technical documentation is being prepared by the EU, for which it has paid nearly 6 million euros. The value of the works on this section is estimated at as much as one billion euros.

Škrljevo - Rijeka - Jurdani

Project documentation was produced by the EU at a cost of 8.5 million euros. The value of the works is estimated at 270 million euros in total.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and politics pages for more on Chinese-Croatian relations, doing business in Croatia, the investment climate in Croatia, Croatian companies, products and services, government policies and much more.

Click here for the original article by Kresimir Zabec for Novac/Jutarnji

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Salma Hayek and Hollywood Co-stars Reveling in Rovinj (PHOTOS)

April 13, 2019 - As you may already know, “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard,” which is the sequel to the 2017 action comedy “The Hitman's Bodyguard,” began filming in Rovinj at the beginning of the month. The film, which is directed by Patrick Hughes, features Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds, Salma Hayek, and Samuel L. Jackson to name a few. Set to debut in 2020, it is one of the largest film projects Croatia has seen, reported Jutarni List at the beginning of April. 

“The filming in Croatia, which is planned for 49 days, will last until the end of May. In addition to Rovinj, locations in Zagreb, Rijeka and the surrounding area of Karlovac will be used for the film,” said the producer of the film, Igor A. Nola, from MP Film Productions. 

Our locations, Nola adds, play Italy, the Mediterranean, as well as Croatia. More than 220 Croatian film professionals are part of the production, and more than 760 extras will be engaged.

As the Croatian Audiovisual Center (HAVC) points out, the project was reported as an incentives program to encourage investment in the production of audiovisual works, which was carried out by HAVC in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture. 

The famous cast hasn’t been shy about sharing the beauty of Croatia on their Instagram pages. Notably, Hayek has managed to share a photo every day from the Rovinj film set to her 9.7 million followers.

Hayek called Rovinj a “magical location”, and was even seen grocery shopping on Friday. Namely, one of the scenes was filmed at a market located at the entrance to Rovinj’s old town center. 

Some of the local products even caught the actor’s attention. You can see the photos on T.portal

Hayek also shared a new friend she made in Croatia, which you can see below. 

Samuel L. Jackson also couldn’t help but share the beauty of Rovinj with his 5 million Instagram followers. 

“This new location looks promising! Croatia is lovely at first glance,” Jackson wrote.

The crew is excepted to visit Croatia’s capital on May 1. 

"The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard" should hit cinemas in the first half of 2020.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

From Dalmatia to Karlovac and Rijeka, Chinese Eye Up Croatia

As Gordana Grgas/Novac writes on the 8th of April, 2019, if there was a European tender held solely to attract Chinese investment, the champion would certainly be Great Britain, followed by Germany, and then immediately by Italy and France. Croatia might not be anywhere near the top of China's European ''wish list'', but despite that, the Chinese interest just keeps on coming...

The countries which make up Central and Eastern Europe are low on the aforementioned European scale, even though with China, at least since the year 2012, they have enjoyed a special relationship through the China + 16 initiative, which, as a parallel diplomatic format, tends to irritate the larger, more powerful members of the European Union, as well as the European Commission itself. One of lowest on the list is Hungary with its Eurosceptic government led by Viktor Orban, and Croatia is at the very bottom, but the desire is to alter that.

This week, there is an official visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqianga to Croatia, and the eighth summit of sixteen countries of Central and Eastern Europe with China down in Dalmatia's southernmost city of Dubrovnik, and it might be the easiest thing to look at it all as part of a political show that could act as bait for investment. Whether or not this investment will really happen and what shape that might take, whether it will be done mainly through private projects, for example in tourism, or through major state projects in the rail and port sector, is not yet clear at all.

Croatia will sign nine general memoranda with China in the areas of trade, investment, agriculture, transport, science, technology and innovation, education, sport and tourism, and the most convenient customs administration protocol that will enable the export of Croatian dairy products, which are greatly loved in China. Croatia also intends to join the Asian development investment and infrastructure bank headquartered in Beijing, how much that will cost Croatia however, is not yet known.

How large European countries cooperate with China was demonstrated just ten days ago by the Italians and the French. For the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Rome signed 20 agreements (and joined One Band, a one way system that connects China with the rest of Asia, Europe and Africa, and expands its trade and influence). In Paris, 15 such agreements were signed, where either contracted or announced transactions amounting to billions of euros were dealt with, covering a wide range of areas - from exports of Sicilian red oranges and French frozen chicken to the opening of Italian ports for Chinese investors, sales of 300 Airbus aircraft, energy projects, shipbuilding, etc.

After the construction of Croatia's much anticipated Pelješac bridge, which is funded primarily by European Union money, Croatia hopes for more Chinese investments in national transport projects. This regards the port of Rijeka and the entire Rijeka traffic route, including the line from Rijeka to Karlovac, as well as projects such as airports.

According to data which takes the whole of Europe into account, during the period from 2000 to 2018, almost 47 billion euros of direct investment from China was invested in Britain, Germany saw 22 billion euros, Italy saw 15.3 billion euros, and France saw 14.3 billion euros. Hungary saw a significantly smaller figure of 2.4 billion euros from the Chinese, Poland saw even less with 1.4 billion euros, Romania saw 900 million euros, and Croatia saw just 300 million euros. A stark contrast to the United Kingdom, which is by far one of Europe's most powerful nations.

In the region, the intensity is getting stronger, and in neighbouring Serbia, Chinese loans have come in handy when building transport infrastructure and energy projects and, but that medal, like any other, has two sides, and the takeover of companies hasn't always been met with welcome arms by the Serbs.

The aforementioned data report shows that the culmination of Chinese investment in the EU was reached back in 2016, largely through the take over of companies, and over the last two years, it has fallen, which is attributed to more stringent rules implemented by some EU member states, as well as increased capital controls conducted by Beijing.

For Zagreb, it was a bit uncomfortable to get closer to Communist China in the above mentioned period, as the common policy of overseeing and limiting the Chinese penetration of the ''Old Continent'', especially in strategic and technologically sensitive areas, was being undermined. That chapter however, appears to be well and truly over in Croatia's eyes.

While large investments and projects are anxiously anticipated here in Croatia (and the Chinese interest in Rijeka and the Rijeka-Karlovac line is at least nine years old), data on trade relations show that there is a deficit. State Secretary Nataša Mikuš Žigman notes that there has been a noticeable increase in the volume of trade between Croatia and China, but imports are growing more than exports are. Last year, exports of goods amounted to 133.4 million euros, an increase of 19 percent when compared to 2017, while imports amounted to 803 million euros, an increase of 15.6 percent.

Croatian companies might be able to export more to China in the future, and the business forum being held in Dubrovnik is an excellent chance to showcase some innovative Croatian export ideas, but for now, the main export products continue to be raw or semi-finished products such as stone, leather, untreated wood and polymers, while when it comes to imports, we can see the reign of traditional Chinese consumer goods, white electronics and telecommunications equipment, as well as a constantly increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting Croatia, too.

As the Chinese continue to ramp up their business in Croatia, from Pelješac bridge to Rijeka's port, more announcements continue to appear, and just recently we reported on the Chinese plan to open up a car factory tucked away among the citrus trees of southern Dalmatia's fertile Neretva valley, more precisely in the Nova sela business zone near Kula Norinska in Dubrovnik-Neretva County. While many remain concerned about Chinese influence in Croatia, many others are much more occupied and lured by the promise of an economic boost and employment opportunities.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for more information on China-Croatia relations and much more.


Click here for the original article by Gordana Grgas for Novac/Jutarnji

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Aquatika in Karlovac and NP Una in Bihać to Cooperate on Tourism, Promotion

The public institution Aquatika in Karlovac and Una National Park in Bihać, Bosnia and Herzegovina signed an agreement to cooperate on tourism, promotion, scientific work and monitoring, among other projects, reports HRTurizam on February 2, 2019. 

This cooperation is significant as it finally presents a positive example of synergy and the importance of connecting two tourist destinations from two neighboring states, Croatia and Bosnia.

“We believe that we will succeed in increasing the number of visits and exchanging visitors through various joint activities. We will invite our visitors to the National Park, and they will present Aquatika to their visitors,” said the Director of Aquatika, Margarita Maruškić Kulaš, before adding: "Within this Agreement, we will arrange joint promotion and cooperation on the various project activities of both institutions. In this cooperation, the most important three points are joint projects in the field of promotion, science and research, and especially the fish species that inhabit Una, and promotion on the development of tourism in both regions. I believe that together we will realize more and more visits ", emphasized Marusic Kulaš.

The Una river runs in Croatia and is a natural border between BiH and Croatia. The Una National Park desires to develop a unique continental riviera that would stretch across the entire river, regardless of the state border.

"We can say that this natural sequence has connected our regions since ancient times, especially Bihać and Bosanska Krajina with Banja and Kordun, namely Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Una River which is our common resource, our common river, and largely the border river. However, we believe that rivers connect and must connect people and this is our contribution to show that we are ready to cooperate but also to connect in different areas, especially when it comes to nature conservation and, of course, creating an environment for sustainable development,” Mulić said.

But this not the first time Aquatika has shown their willingness to cooperate with others. Last year, they collaborated with three public institutions in Karlovac County in the area of tourism: the Barać Caves, Ivana's House of Fairy Tales in Ogulin, and Plitvice Lakes National Park. 

Synergy is crucial for tourism and tourist destinations - and if there is no synergy and cooperation, there is no quality tourist product. What is most important in this story is that the motive for travel is not accommodation, but quality, varied and authentic content.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 11 January 2019

Karlovac Area Castles Seeking EU Money for Reconstruction

“The Bosiljevo castle is the cornerstone of the development and life in our municipality. For years, thanks to the funds of the Ministry of Culture, which each year provides between 100,000 to 300,000 kuna, and our own money, we have been able to invest in the castle and repair it. But for the castle to be fully restored and put into use, we would need to invest around 15 million euro. We will certainly ask for money from EU funds,” said Josip Kasun, the municipal mayor of Bosiljevo, at the signing ceremony for contracts which gave his municipality, as well as Cetingrad, Josipdol and Rakovica, permanent ownership of the castles located there. These are just some of the Karlovac area castles, reports Lokalni.hr on January 11, 2019.

Tomislav Boban, the state secretary at the Ministry of State Property, said that the initiative of the Karlovac County to “unite” about a dozen castles and forts, including these four, as well as the so-called “Karlovac Star”, through a tourist project called the "Touch of Civilizations" was a valuable and unique idea. By acquiring ownership over the castles, the municipalities can now independently run projects and seek financial partnerships.

“We plan to develop tourism on this basis, and the Touch of Civilizations project is worth up to 80 million euro. It is an adventure that will last for years and bring tourists to our municipalities. Here I see a major role for the Karla agency, which can go to Brussels to directly ask for grants, why not?” said county Prefect Damir Jelić.

Franjo Franjković said that the municipality of Rakovica already had complete project documentation and the building permit for the renovation of the Drežnik old town. The municipality will now be able to apply for EU funds alone or together with others to receive funds for the entire Drežnik, which is becoming more and more interesting to tourists.

The Josipdol municipality has been investing in the Modruš old town since 2006, thanks to the funds of the Ministry of Culture and its own. Major works started three years ago, and Modruš is now a construction site. “Modruš is a beautiful old town visible from the A1 motorway, so we already have tourists from Asia who come to us on their way to the Plitvice Lakes national park. From the viewing point you can see this whole region, all the way to the Sljeme mountain near Zagreb,” said Mayor Zlatko Mihaljević.

Marina Kalić, the mayor of Cetingrad, plans to renovate the Cetin old town in time to mark the 500th anniversary of the congregation of the Croatian nobility in eight years. That is considered to be the first sitting of the Croatian parliament. The mayor has started preparing all the necessary documentation for applying to EU funds for further reconstruction.

More news on castles in Croatia can be found in our Travel section.

Translated from Lokalni.hr (reported by Snježana Bičak).

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