Wednesday, 5 May 2021

High-Speed Lastovo - Korčula - Dubrovnik Line to Operate from Mid-May!

May 5, 2021 - Good news today as the high-speed Lastovo - Korčula - Dubrovnik line will operate from May 15, 2021! 

The state high-speed line 9808 Lastovo - Korčula - Dubrovnik (and return) will be established this May, and the first trip will take place on Saturday, May 15, 2021. The line will be maintained by the shipping company TP line d.o.o. by the "Anastasia" ship, announced the Agency for Coastal Shipping.

TP line d.o.o. was selected as the most favorable bidder in the negotiated public procurement procedure without prior publication of a call for tenders, and during the next week a contract will be signed with the shipowner to perform temporary transport on the line 9808 Lastovo - Korčula - Dubrovnik.

After signing the contract, the Agency will publish the sailing schedule with the price list on its official website.

TP line d.o.o. will maintain the line until it is taken over by the shipowner who will be selected in the open public procurement procedure for transport on line 9808 Lastovo - Korčula - Dubrovnik, and which proceedings are currently suspended for appeal.

For more information and travel tips to Dubrovnik, be sure to visit our newly launched Total Croatia portal.

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

 

Tuesday, 13 April 2021

Sensational Discovery: 60 Million Year Old Fish Fossils Found on Korcula!

April 13, 2021 – What a sensational discovery! Fish fossils found on Korcula, in Žrnovo, in the hamlet of Postrana, are said to be about 60 million years old!

As Slobodna Dalmacija reports, fossil teeth of fish from the order Pycnodontiformes were discovered in Borovčeva jama. This 43-meter-deep speleological object in the center of the Postrana hamlet was discovered by chance more than two years ago.

Namely, Borovčeva jama was named after Tonči Borovac, who was looking for a suitable place to plant a linden tree when he suddenly discovered the pit.

At the Postrana Local Committee's initiative, the pit was explored by a team of speleologists led by Milan Vojinović from Korčula, a forestry engineer and president of the local society for the promotion and preservation of natural diversity "Adriatica."

During Borovčeva jama's research, fossil fish teeth were discovered, which were recently extracted to the surface, after numerous consents and permits.

"As the renovation of the Korcula City Museum is nearing completion, we decided to take the fossil and include it in the permanent museum exhibition. Obtaining permits for this venture was not easy. Still, we received approvals from the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Public Institution for Management of Protected Nature Areas of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. We signed a contract with authorized speleologists to perform works to the pride of the Žrnovo and Postrana residents, and for the benefit of future visitors to the Korčula City Museum," said the Deputy Mayor of Korčula Ivan Šale, a native of Žrnovo.

A depth of 35 meters

But it was harder to pull the fossil out of the pit than to do the paperwork. The pit begins with an awkward narrow entrance. The speleologists descended to a depth of 35 meters, set up a clay hoop, and watered the fossil with a protective rubber, followed by sawing and chiseling of the rock so that the sample could be safely transported to the surface.

It is a Pycnodontiformes fossil, which lived in shallow seas during most of the Mesozoic, spanning 175 million years. Their fossil remains were found worldwide, from the Triassic deposits to the ocean when they became extinct.

They are recognizable by their laterally flattened body and well-developed dentition, which consisted of several rows of rounded teeth with thick enamel surfaces. In short, Pycnodont fish are contemporaries of dinosaurs.

Experts say findings in Croatia are sporadic and limited to Upper Cretaceous sediments along the Adriatic coast. The most common species is Coelodus saturnus, found in localities from Pula to Brač. Some of the specimens from this group of extinct fish are kept in the Croatian Museum of Natural History.

The speleology instructor Branko Jalžić, who, together with his colleague Damir Basar removed the fossil from the Postrana pit, confirmed that this finding would be a valuable part of the Korčula museum exhibition.

Valuable proof and important scientific data

"The project was well-received by all participants, as always when we do underground research on Korcula. We completed the task successfully, the fossil was handed over to the Croatian Museum of Natural History, and it will be returned to Korcula after processing. There is no space in the museum to exhibit a more extensive story from that period, and that is why this small segment will be an important part of the future exhibition. Given the small number of fossils of pycnodont fish, each new find, including this one from Korčula, is a valuable proof of their distribution and important scientific data," explained Jalžić.

He thanked the City of Korcula, the company 'Adriatica,' and the Voluntary Fire Brigade of Korčula, which gave them rooms for sleeping and rest. Many thanks go to Tonči Borovac, who gave them a technique they did not have or they did not have to bring from Zagreb to the island.

He also thank the Public Institution for the Management of Protected Nature Areas of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, which financed the project and without whose support they would not be able to stay on Korcula.

Not the first fossil found on Korcula

However, this is not the first time speleologists discovered old fish teeth fossils on Korcula. Branko Jalžić, a member of the Croatian bio-speleology society, was a part of a cave research team back in 2018 that found fossil fish teeth at least 100 million years old. The teeth were also found in the same pit, Borovčeva jama. This fish probably lived in this area in the Cretaceous period and belonged to a group called bony fish.

They then discovered a total of three fossils, and in the 80s, the bones of a fossil rhino were found on the island of Korcula.

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Fossil fish teeth found in Borovčeva jama on Korčula in 2018 / Adipa.hr

To read more news from Croatia, follow our dedicated page.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Croatian Pioneers and Inventors: Croats Who Changed the World

February 10, 2021 –For a relatively small country, Croatia punches above its weight in terms of global impact. Croatian pioneers, inventors and artists have changed the lives of millions and the world in which they live. Here are just a few of them

For a relatively small country, Croatia punches above its weight in terms of global impact. And, no, this time we're not talking about football or olive oil. Croatian pioneers, inventors and artists have changed the lives of millions and the world in which they live. Now, a new exhibition is about to open in Zagreb which collects Croatian pioneers together in just tribute.

'Croatia to the World' is the title of the exhibition and it looks at not only Croatian pioneers and inventors but also prominent scientists, artists, writers and researchers. The exhibition, which is jointly organised by the Croatian media title Večernji list, opens on February 12 in Zagreb's Meštrović Pavilion, otherwise known as the House of Croatian Artists. 1500 exhibits demonstrate the ingenuity and achievements of Croatian pioneers, with each accompanied by text that tells you about the individuals and the significance of their work.

Ranging from household names to the unjustly overlooked, here are some of the Croatian pioneers from the exhibition who have changed the world.

Croatian pioneers who changed the world

Ruđer Bošković

rudjer-boskovic.jpgRuđer Bošković (1711 – 1787) © Zagreb City Libraries

It's difficult to imagine the mind Dubrovnik-born polymath Ruđer Bošković was blessed with. He was a physicist, astronomer, mathematician, engineer, writer, philosopher, diplomat, poet, theologian and also became a Jesuit priest. Perhaps today remembered best for his visionary predictions in the realms of physics - including the idea of the relativity of space and time and the constant speed of light - and his lasting discoveries in the field of astronomy, the most trivial of which is perhaps the easiest to explain (he discovered the absence of atmosphere on the Moon) in his time, he was famed across Europe for much more besides. The world-famous Ruđer Bošković Institute in Zagreb, Croatia's largest institute of natural sciences and technology, now stands as a permanent testament to him and his achievements.

Josip Belušić

1584015909josip_belusic.jpgJosip Belušić (1847 - 1905) © Public domain

An Istrian-born inventor, Josip Belušić's best-known creation is the speedometer, which instantaneously informs the speed of the vehicle in which you're travelling. His invention was installed in every motorised vehicle manufactured thereafter, including motorbikes, boats and cars.

Faust Vrančić

FaustVRANCIC123.jpgFaust Vrančić (circa 1551 – 1617) © Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography

Born into a well-connected family, it is not possible to attribute Faust Vrančić's breadth of vision solely to a privileged youth and education. His documented imaginings and inventions extended to water, wind and solar energy, mill workings, agricultural machinery, the building of bridges and a forerunner of the parachute which, while later than Leonardo da Vinci's sketchings, is believed to have been the first to have actually been built and tested. A memorial centre on the protected island of Prvić, near his birthplace of Šibenik, is a great place to learn more about him.

Ivan Blaž Lupis Vukić

Luppis-Johannrijek.jpgIvan Blaž Lupis Vukić (1813 – 1875) © Prirodoslovna i grafička škola Rijeka

The great Croatian city of Rijeka had a big part to play in the era of modern Naval warfare, not least for Croatian pioneers developing the torpedo there. Ivan Blaž Lupis Vukić headed a commission to develop the first prototypes of the self-propelled torpedo, perfecting early designs with the help of English engineer Robert Whitehead (from Bolton, near Manchester - the writer of this article went to school with his descendants - Ed).

Antun Lučić

Anthony_F._Lucas1.jpgAntun Lučić (1855 – 1921) © Public domain

Born in Split but raised further up the Adriatic coast in Trieste, after completing his studies in engineering, Antun Lučić must have imagined he might forever apply these skills on the Adriatic ships he subsequently sailed on as a member of the Austro-Hungarian navy. But, his destiny lay elsewhere. Something persuaded him to stay on for longer while he was visiting his uncle near Detroit, Michigan. The Great Lakes which lay just ten kilometres to his north are so vast, perhaps they reminded him of the Adriatic and he felt at home? He scored a job in a local sawmill, but he couldn't suppress his engineer's instinct and set about improving their saw machinery. It was perhaps his success in doing so that persuaded him to return to more engineering-based endeavours. He went to work as a mechanical engineer in the mining industry, in which he stayed for 13 years. He ended up working for a salt mining company. By this time he'd learned the relationship between salt deposits, sulphur, natural gas, and oil deposits so, when he visited the Sour Spring Mound, south of Beaumont, Texas in 1899, instinct told him that something worth drilling for lay beneath this distinct topography. He was right. It took a fair amount of begging and borrowing to attain the funds required to drill to the necessary 347 metres but, on 10 January 1901, mud and water erupted from the drill hole, followed by a stream of crude oil that reached 46 metres into the air. The eruption lasted nine days, flowing between 70,000 and 100,000 barrels per day, before finally being brought under control. The significance of his work cannot be overstated. As well as the many innovations he constructed specifically for this kind of drilling and capping, Lučić is considered to be the founder of modern petroleum reservoir engineering. He helped revolutionize world fuel use, transformed the economy of southeast Texas, made the automobile a viable, widespread transport option and made the city of Houston the centre of an American oil industry, which thereafter surpassed Russia as the world's leading producer. Lučić subsequently served as the lifelong chairman of the American Committee for Oil and Gas.

Saint Jerome

1754px-Italian_Emilian_-_St_Jerome_in_Penitence_-_Google_Art_Project.jpgSaint Jerome In Penitence © Dulwich Picture Library. Saint Jerome lived circa 342/347 – 420

Born on the borders of the Roman provinces of Dalmatia and Pannonia, Jerome of Stridon was a priest and writer who is best known for his translation of most of the Bible from Hebrew into Latin. It took him some 20 years to complete and he went to live in the region once known as Judea (today's Israel) in order to fully learn the language. Beyond any religious reference, his work still shapes the laws, customs and culture of the European continent today - much of its construction has its foundations in his Bible translation and commentary.

Nikola Tesla

AnyConv.com__N.Tesla_1.jpgNikola Tesla (1856 – 1943) © Public domain

Arguably the most famous of all Croatian pioneers, Tesla was an inventor and hugely innovative engineer who applied his visionary mind to the fields of early x-rays, wireless power supply, electromagnetic radiation, radio waves and much, much more. However, he is best known for pioneering the alternating current (AC) electricity supply system by which electricity is safely distributed to every home, street and business to this day. Over 130 streets are named after him in Croatia.

Herman Potočnik Noordung

Herman_Potocnik_Noordung.jpgHerman Potočnik (1892 – 1929) © Public domain

Often eclipsed in modern memory by the achievements of the American space programme, the first astronaut in space was actually Russian Yuri Gagarin . He completed one orbit of Earth on 12 April 1961. Yet his achievements perhaps help eclipse that of a Pula-born Croatian pioneer who was concerned with space travel some three decades earlier. Way back in 1928, Herman Potočnik Noordung published his sole book, Das Problem der Befahrung des Weltraums - der Roketen-Motor (The Problem of Space Travel - The Rocket Motor) in which, over 188 pages and 100 handmade illustrations, Potočnik set out a plan for a breakthrough into space and the establishment of a permanent human presence there. He conceived a detailed design for a space station, regarded by Russian and American historians of space flight to be the first architecture in space, described the potential use of orbiting spacecraft for detailed observation of the ground and how the special conditions of space could be useful for scientific experiments.

Andrija Štampar

AndrijaStampar1.jpgAndrija Štampar (1888 – 1958) © Štampar

Nothing short of a genius, Andrija Štampar was a selfless proponent and pioneer of public health. He ignored class, conventions and ruling regimes in order to benefit the health of millions of everyday people, all over the world, and insisted that anyone holding the position of doctor should do the same. He was imprisoned more than once for his efforts but, undeterred, pursued a path of education and reform, helped to form the World Health Organisation and saved millions of lives.

Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić

Ivana_brlic_mazuranic_II.jpgIvana Brlić-Mažuranić (1874 – 1938) © Public domain

Both born and married into families within the upper echelons of Croatian society, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić is regarded as Croatia's greatest writer for children. Though written over a century ago, her books like 'The Brave Adventures of Lapitch' (Čudnovate zgode šegrta Hlapića) and 'Croatian Tales of Long Ago' (Priče iz davnine) still remain popular. In the latter, she invented fantastical fairytales that referenced ancient folklore, earning her comparisons to Hans Christian Andersen. She was nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature no less than four times and was the first female to enter what is today the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

Benedikt Kotruljević

Benedikt_Koturljevic.jpgStatue of Benedikt Kotruljević in Zagreb © Suradnik13. He lived 1416 – 1469

The double-entry bookkeeping system described first by 15th-century merchant, economist, scientist, diplomat and humanist Benedikt Kotruljević remains integral to modern accounting.

Andrija Mohorovičić

AndrijaMihlvc.jpegAndrija Mohorovičić (1857 – 1936) © Davorka Herak and Marijan Herak

No less than the founder of modern seismology, Andrija Mohorovičić was the first person to establish that the geologically alive Earth is covered with large plates whose movement and collision are the cause of earthquakes. He determined the thickness of the Earth's crust and predicted the effects of earthquakes on buildings, as well as working within the areas of meteorology and climatology. He founded the Meteorological Observatory in Zagreb, which remains internationally significant in seismic measurements.

Ivo Andrić

AnyConv.com__1739px-S._Kragujevic_Andric_na_vest_o_N._nagradi_1961.jpgIvo Andrić and his wife in 1961, upon hearing he had been awarded the Nobel Prize of Literature © Stevan Kragujević

In his best works 'Travnička kronika' and 'Na Drini ćuprija', Ivo Andrić (1892 – 1975) offered staggering depictions of the lives of his multi-ethnic countrymen in Bosnia under Ottoman rule. No stranger himself to the volatile changing of regimes in the Balkans, he wrote them while confined to an apartment in Nazi-occupied Belgrade, which today exists a museum in his honour. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961, having been chosen over the likes of J. R. R. Tolkien, John Steinbeck and E. M. Forster. He donated the entire prize money to the purchase of books for libraries in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Julije Klović

Julije_Klovic_2.jpgPortrait of Julije Klović by El Greco © Public domain. He lived 1498 – 1578

The making of a great book was a much more laboured and careful undertaking in the 16th century, their pages adorned not only with text but vivid ornamental decorations, known as illuminations. Julije Klović's were the greatest of them all. He was the foremost illuminator of the Italian High Renaissance, and arguably the last very notable artist to work within this long tradition. His now priceless works exist in some of the world's most prestigious museums, although an impressive number were brought to Zagreb in 2012 for an exhibition at the famous Klovićevi Dvori gallery, which is named after him.

Marko Marulić

Marko_Marulic_Zagreb.jpgStatue of Marko Marulić in Zagreb © Suradnik13

Born into an aristocratic Dalmatian family, Marko Marulić (1450 – 1524) is today revered in Croatia as the father of the Croatian renaissance, one of the first writers to describe his language as Croatian and something of a national poet. His achievements do actually extend beyond the national obsession – his Christianity-informed writings on humanist and ethical matters were largely produced in Latin and subsequently translated into many languages. His use of the word 'psychology' is the oldest known in literature.

Ivan Meštrović

600-biografija-753-Kopirajmestro.pngIvan Meštrović (1883 – 1962) © Archive of the Ivan Meštrović Museum

The pre-eminent sculptor of his era, you genuinely need to be in the actual presence of Drnis-born Meštrović's major works to understand them. They do not live solitary existences. Instead, they inhabit the space around them, creating indelible memories of time and place. In doing so, his globally famous works help define the cities of Split, Chicago, Belgrade and Zagreb. Incredible!

Marco Polo

Marco_Polo_Mosaic_from_Palazzo_Tursi.jpgMosaic of Marco Polo displayed in the Palazzo Doria-Tursi, Genoa © Public domain. He lived 1254 – 1324

In the age of television and the internet, it's difficult to imagine parts of the world being completely unknown. But, at the time of Korčula-born Marco Polo's travels and subsequent writings, that's exactly what China and the Far East were to the inhabitants of Europe. His book, 'The Travels of Marco Polo' shockingly revealed these lands and their people to a fascinated European populace. Collated over 24 years of life and exploration in the East, the details of his travels helped join these two continents together and the book became the third most translated in the world, after the Bible and the Qur'an.

Gjuro Armeno Baglivi

1525px-Portret_van_Giorgio_Baglivi_op_34-jarige_leeftijd_Georgius_Baglius_aetat._34_titel_op_object_RP-P-1909-5657.jpgPortrait of Gjuro Armeno Baglivi © Public domain

Gjuro Armeno Baglivi (1668 – 1707) was a scientist and physician who helped drag physicians' knowledge of the workings of the human body (and treatment of illness) away from ridiculous, near-baseless assumptions that had existed from the times of Ancient Greece right up until the 17th century. His correct identification that the inner organs were more crucial to functioning health, rather than the nature of the fluids they produced, lead to an early era of human biological understanding that was the first to be based on a scientific observation comparable to that of today.

David Schwarz

HE9_1061scwarz.jpg David Schwarz (1850 – 1897) © Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography

Raised in Županja, Slavonia, David Schwarz was a woodcutter whose own curiosity and problem-solving instincts lead him towards engineering pursuits. Completely self-taught, he successfully set about redesigning woodcutting machinery and thereafter became interested in mechanics and technology. In a rather bold leap, he turned his interest to airships and designed a radical new ship with a rigid envelope made entirely of a relatively new building material - the lightweight metal aluminum. Realisation of the project nearly bankrupted his woodcutting business and made him a laughing stock, but the project eventually got the funding it needed and, after two unsatisfactory models had been tried, Schwarz's airship was successfully flown in Germany, although not until several months after Schwarz had sadly died. Industrialist Carl Berg, who had both funded the project and supplied the aluminum, went on to provide aluminum parts and expertise from the project in the building of Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin's similarly rigid airships.

Marcel Kiepach

marcel_kiepach_1krz.jpgMarcel Kiepach (1894 - 1915) © krizevci eu

Marcel Kiepach died a soldier on the Russian front in 1915 at the age of just 21. Though all who knew him are surely now also dead, the loss of this young Križevci-born man lingers, because you can't help but think what might have been. Kiepach was a child prodigy. As a boy of just sixteen, he patented a maritime compass that indicates north regardless of the presence of iron or magnetic forces and an improved version in 1911. He patented a dynamo for vehicle lighting that generated power from the mechanical drive of the vehicle itself, which was thereafter used on both cars and bicycles, and he also patented a power switch. Who knows what innovations this youngest of Croatian pioneers would have brought to the world had his life not been cut so short?

Ivan Vučetić

HTE_0823vuketic.jpgIvan Vučetić (1858 – 1925) © Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography

Ivan Vučetić pioneered the use of forensics in law enforcement, specifically fingerprinting. He greatly expanded on previously established ideas in order to make the first positive identification of a criminal in a case, correctly identifying a murderer from a fingerprint left at the scene.

Slavoljub Eduard Penkala

hbl9032penkala.jpgSlavoljub Eduard Penkala (1871 – 1922), one of the Croatian pioneers whose work changed everyday lives © Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography

Naturalised Croat Slavoljub Eduard Penkala was an inventor who, at the time of his death, held 80 patents to his name, including ones for a hot water bottle, a rail-car brake and an anode battery. However, it is for his innovations with pens and pencils for which he is best remembered. He further developed pre-existing ideas for the retractable/mechanical pencil and the first solid-ink fountain pen. One of the Croatian pioneers able to transform his innovations into a successful business, his company TOZ Penkala still operates in Zagreb today – although it's not where we originally get the word 'pen' from, the company and founder's name played a part in this name maintaining its popularised standing.

Franjo Hanaman

Dr._Just_Sándor_és_Hanaman_Ferenc.jpgFranjo Hanaman (seated) and Alexander Just © Public domain

Of all of the Croatian pioneers who changed the world, the biography of Franjo Hanaman (1878 - 1941) is frequently written as the shortest. And yet, you can see his chief innovation inside almost every room you walk into. Franjo Hanaman, from Drenovci, Slavonia, invented the world's first tungsten filament electric light-bulb. The invention was also applied in improving early diodes and triodes. Sometimes it takes just one bright idea to guarantee your place in history...

Lavoslav Ružička and Vladimir Prelog

Lavoslav_Ružićka_1939.jpgLavoslav Ružička (1887 – 1976), one of the Croatian pioneers who won a Nobel Prize  © Nobel Foundation

Vukovar-born, Osijek-educated Lavoslav Ružička was a chemist whose work had wide-reaching implications over several sectors of society. In his early career, his innovations were of benefit to the perfume industry. But, thanks to his lifelong devotion to education, he was drawn into another field. He became interested in steroids and sex hormones and secured his place as a giant in the world of pharmaceuticals with the first synthesis of testosterone. His laboratory thereafter became the world centre of organic chemistry and he was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1939. His greatest achievements in chemistry actually lay ten years further ahead, though these are nowhere near as easy to explain. He retired in 1957, turning his laboratory over to the younger Croat who for so many years he had mentored - Vladimir Prelog. So much more than a footnote within the story of Lavoslav Ružička, Vladimir Prelog's contributions to the world are also not easy to understand, nor explain as a layman, but he too received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. He did so in 1975 for his research into the stereochemistry of organic molecules and reactions.

Vladimir_Prelog_ETH-Bib_Portr_00214.jpgVladimir Prelog  (1906 – 1998) © ETH Zurich

Total Croatia News would like to remind this is only a sample of the Croatian pioneers included in the exhibition. While the number of men included in the exhibition of Croatian pioneers does greatly exceed the number of women, more women are actually included in the exhibition than are represented in this short overview – notably from the fields of opera, ballet, art and photography

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Korcula Tourist Boards Join to Promote Island as Unique Destination

December the 16th, 2020 - The Korcula Tourist Boards have decided to come together with the aim of promoting this beautiful Dalmatian island known for its ties to Marco Polo as a ''unique destination''.

As Morski wrires, the Korcula Tourist Boards have submitted a request to the Ministry of Tourism and Sport for the creation of an amicable association. This was preceded by several coordinated meetings of the directors of the island's numerous tourist boards to reach an agreement on not only this matter but on the list of all of the projects and the decisions made by all Tourist Councils of the Korcula Tourist Boards.

The Tourist Board of Korcula Town and the tourist boards of the municipalities of Vela Luka, Blato, Smokvica and Lumbarda have recognised the importance of cooperation in order to brand the island of Korcula as a unique destination. Every year, projects such as the image brochure of the island of Korcula, a joint mobile application (app), a joint promotional video of the island of Korcula and various up and coming events traditional to the island have been agreed upon.

In order to increase the competition of the island of Korcula as a unique destination, it is necessary to strengthen and develop what tourists can come and do, see, eat and experience on the island according to the principle of destination management.

The legislative framework that regulates the operations of tourist boards encourages the association of tourist boards in a way that enables them to use funds from the Fund for Associated Tourist Boards. The mutual association of the Korcula Tourist Boards is a continuation of their previous successful cooperation, and their goal is to accelerate the implementation of projects that haven't been able to be realised in the past due to insufficient financial resources.

The consent to the request for an amicable association of the Korcula Tourist Boards is being considered by the Commission on the Association of Tourist Boards and a final decision on the matter expected by the end of 2020.

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Sunday, 29 November 2020

Korčula Crowdfunds Recovery Expenses for Matko Maroević with Online Auction

November 29, 2020 - 2020 has been a rough year for almost everyone, but some have had it even worse. Matko Maroević, a well-known face in Korčula, is certainly one of them.

Matko is a father of three, a husband, a friend to all in Korčula, the kind spirit of the town, welcome everywhere, always has a smile and is ready to talk, sing and have a glass of wine. Seven months ago, just as things started to get ugly everywhere, Matko had a massive stroke. He fought for his life for months, and now he's fighting again, to get out of the wheelchair he's been in since the stroke. Daria Maroević, Matko's sister, recently shared on her social media that the family needs help to get the funds needed for Matko to go to Glavić clinic in Dubrovnik, where he could continue his recovery process. They also need to raise funds to pay for an apartment where Matko and his wife would be for the three months, which is how long the therapy would take.

Many people have already responded to her request, and the members of the Korčulanske Pjatance association also decided to help. We've written about Korčulanske Pjatance on Total Croatia News before, as well as about Matko and his tapas restaurant in the Korčula Old Town. The association decided to start a crowdfunding initiative "Matko, Korčula Loves You" (Matko, Korčula te voli), which includes many restaurateurs, artists and winemakers. 

Ivana Pačić Unković from the association explains to Dora Lozica for Dubrovački list that everyone from the association knows Matko and they needed to get involved in the fundraising. The first idea was to organize a fundraising dinner, but the current epidemiological situation prevented that. That's how they came up with the online auction of the artwork by the artists of Korčula, and after the auction, an online sale of gift-baskets with wines, olive oil and sweet and savoury delicacies made by the members of the association will take place (250 kunas per package). 

The online auction will take place on the Korčulanske Pjatance Facebook page, starting on December 1st and finishing on December 7th, at 8 pm. All the proceeds from the auction will go towards Matko's recovery fund, and you will be able to buy art by many artists from Korčula. So far, Stipe Nobilo, Nina Šestanović, Hrvoje Kapelina, Kristina Kolarić Biliš, Abel Brčić, Nina Kalogjera, Miljenko Marukić, Marko Sitar, Vinko Lipanović, Marijeta Markovina, Aldo Mikelić, Nikolina Dužević, Damir Pačić, Antonijo Blašković, and Uroš Čalić, and more are expected to participate. 

Tonka Lujanac, a well-known local artist has created and donated the visual identity for the association's fundraising activities. You can follow the details on their Facebook page, and if you want to participate, you can send your donations to Matko's sister, Daria Maroević. Her bank account number is IBAN HR4124070003207204308 (OTP Bank). A family in need thanks you for your support! 

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Dubrovnik-Neretva County Submits 272 Projects for Recovery and Resilience Facility

ZAGREB, November 21, 2020 - Dubrovnik-Neretva County has submitted 272 projects totalling HRK 6 billion for the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility, ruling HDZ MP Branko Bacic said in Korcula on the southern island of the same name on Saturday.

He said the projects were aimed at improving living conditions in southern Croatia and recalled that HRK 760 million was secured earlier for eight ports in the county.

Accompanied by local officials, Bacic toured the port infrastructure in Korcula where HRK 39.5 million worth of construction and reconstruction works are under way.

County head Nikola Dobroslavic said Croatia's southern-most county was the most successful in the country in terms of EU fund absorption.

His deputy Josko Cebalo said they were preparing documentation for two projects worth HRK 60 million for fishing ports in Dubrovnik and Vela Luka.

Korcula Mayor Andrija Fabris said port infrastructure was key for islanders as it provided better connectivity with the mainland.

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

PHOTOS: Martinje! Saint Martin's Day Celebrated Across Croatia

November 11, 2020 – Saint Martin's Day is today celebrated across Croatia, a time to be thankful for the successful harvest that will tide you through winter. We take a look at Saint Martin, his close connection to Croatia and the distinct traditions here that mark his day

Saint Martin or Martin of Tours is one of the most recognised of all Christian saints. He is the patron saint of beggars, wool-weavers and tailors, soldiers, geese and the country of France. He is also the patron saint of innkeepers and winemakers. He is celebrated all over the Christian world on September 11, the day of his burial (Saint Martin died on 8th November, 397, and was buried three days later).

wine-259876_1920.jpegAcross Europe, the long-held celebration of Saint Martin's Day is closely associated with the autumn harvest - in Croatia, particularly the wine harvest in continental regions

The feast of Saint Martin began to be celebrated in France, where he died, before spreading all across Europe and the Christian world. In the northern hemisphere, Saint Martin's Day coincides with a key time of year. It is the end of harvest time, the beginning of natural winter. It is the time for food to be conserved for the forthcoming colder months, the time for animals to be slaughtered and vegetables to be preserved. It is also the traditional time that the year's first new beer and wine first become ready to drink. Depending on the local crops and climate of the country, Saint Martin's Day can be associated with different foods and drinks, but with similarities occur, throughout Europe in particular. In the great winemaking country of Croatia, Saint Martin's Day is often most closely linked to that particular agricultural endeavour.

Louis Anselme Longa, La Charité de Saint-Martin Huile sur toile. Eglise de Saint-Martin d'Oney.jpgSaint Martin depicted in Louis Anselme Longa's, La Charité de Saint-Martin Huile sur toile

Saint Martin feels at home in Croatia. And well he might. Martin of Tours was born less than 90 kilometres from today's Croatian border, in Pannonia, present-day Hungary. His father was a tribune in the Roman army and, being the son of such, Martin was required to follow in his footsteps. At the age of 18, he was stationed in Amiens, present-day France, probably as an elite cavalry bodyguard of the Emperor, who accompanied him on his travels around the Empire. So important did Martin become to the spread of early Christianity in the region, that many details about his life were recorded by a biographer, Sulpicius Severus, who lived within Martin's lifetime and who met him.

Martinje-visit daruvar.jpgA previous celebration of Saint Martin's Day in Daruvar © TZ Daruvar

While Martin was still a soldier, it is said he experienced a vision. One day, as he was approaching the city of Amiens, he met a beggar. Martin instinctively cut his military cloak in two, so he could share his clothing with the poor man. That night, Martin dreamed Jesus was wearing the half-cloak he had given away.

Martin's cloak became a famous relic preserved in the Marmoutier Abbey near Tours. During the Middle Ages, it was carried by the king into battle and used as a holy relic upon which oaths were sworn. When it was not in use, so important was the cloak that it was assigned its own military priest who would watch over it. He was called a cappellanu, his title taken from the Italian word capella, meaning cloak. This is the origin of the word chaplain that we use today to describe a priest assigned to the military, and for the word chapel, meaning small church, which comes from the building assigned to house Martin's cloak.

Saint Martin and the Beggar by Anthony van Dyck.jpgAnother depiction of Martin splitting his cloak for the beggar - Saint Martin and the Beggar by Anthony van Dyck

Opinions about the length of time Martin spent in the army vary, as he is said to have renounced violence in keeping with the Christian faith he had already adopted before he joined. However long he spent in service, it is to a life of religious devotion he entered upon his departure from the ranks. He travelled back home and is said to have converted his mother in Pannonia to Christianity. He returned to present-day France with his mentor, Hilary of Poitiers, where he helped establish a building that would become the oldest known monastery in Europe, Ligugé Abbey. From there, he toured the region preaching Christianity, spreading his religion and, perhaps unwittingly, also his name.

graddugoselo.jpgIn this picture, the local clergy bless the full harvest in Dugo Selo on Saint Martin's Day © Grad Dugo Selo

Being a renowned Holy man, Martin was asked to attend a sick man in the city of Tours. The request was a ruse. Christians within the city wanted to have Martin as their bishop and had lured him there. Reticent to take up the position, Martin is said to have run away and hidden among a barn full of geese to avoid his persuaders. This is where the association of Martin and geese comes from. In many countries, the cooking of a goose is traditional on Saint Martin's Day, including Croatia. Not everyone has always been able to afford such a grand bird - poorer families have traditionally served duck, turkey or, more recently, chicken on Saint Martin's Day. The traditional accompaniment in Croatia is layers of pasta known as mlinci.

mlinci.pngMlinci, sheets of thin pasta, traditionally served as an accompaniment to a roasted bird in Croatia, especially on Saint Martin's Day

As bishop of Tours, Martin had a much greater responsibility and area to minister over. In these early days for Christianity, it was all too common for force and the military to become involved in the conversion of non-believers. But, Martin had renounced violence. He used an alternate method - the power of persuasion. Martin is said to have been such a formidable opponent in discussion that royalty would refuse to grant him an audience for fear he would inevitably leave with the terms he sought. He often campaigned for the forgiveness and freedom of prisoners, even those whose religious views he opposed.

kutjevo2.jpgSome of Croatia's best white wines come from Kutjevo in Slavonia - it's no surprise to see them go big for Saint Martin's Day © Kutjevo doo

From the late 4th century to the late Middle Ages, a 40-day period of fasting starting the day after Saint Martin's Day was observed over much of Christian Europe. This long period eventually relaxed and receded, becoming known as Advent – the time of spiritual preparation for Christmas. However, the great feast just before the fasting remained - Saint Martin's Day.

visitmedimuje.jpgA typical scene from St Martin's Day in Medimurje © Visit Medimurje

In Croatia, Saint Martin is the patron saint of Beli Manastir in Baranja, Virje in Koprivnica–Križevci County and Čepinski Martinci in Slavonia. Each has a church named after Saint Martin. These are far from the only places where Saint Martin's Day is significant in Croatia. In Istria, as work in vineyards would come to an end, winemakers would often come together to taste the fruits of their labour together. Saint Martin's is celebrated across several days there, from village to village, and tradition holds that the new wine most liked on Saint Martin’s Day will be the best wine next year.

3bc7aa7f337d2b6d218588b9fca9e94f_L.jpgCelebrating Saint Martin's Day is a long-held tradition in Croatia, as this old photo from Požega City Museum attests

Northern and eastern continental Croatia have an extremely strong reputation for producing great white wine. It is their harvest which most closely coincides with Saint Martin's Day, so it's little surprise to see it marked so significantly in these regions. In particular, Sveti Martin na Muri in Međimurje, Požega and Kutjevo in Slavonia, Daruvar in Bjelovar-Bilogora County, Velika Gorica, Sveti Ivan Zelina and Dugo Selo in Zagreb County are big fans of Martinje. But, anywhere that grows white wine is likely to mark the day.

purica_4-maja-danica-pecanic.jpgTurkey and mlinci is a dish commonly served on Saint Martin's Day in Croatia. Both the turkey and mlinci of the Zagorje region are protected by the EU for their distinct place of origin © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board

Within these regions, in particular, the folk custom of 'Baptising' the wine, to purify it, is a part of proceedings. In many places, this is even done by a real priest. The ceremony frequently takes place on town squares and is enthusiastically attended by locals. After the lighthearted formalities, the celebrations are usually extended with food, music and, of course, wine.

grad daruvar.jpgAnother scene from a previous Saint Martin's in Daruvar © Grad Daruvar

Outside of continental regions, the island of Korčula is one of the few - if not the only - place in Dalmatia where Saint Martin's Day is seriously celebrated. The party there starts the night before, with children making a procession with lanterns. This is a commonplace way to celebrate Saint Martin's Day in The Netherlands, some parts of Germany and Belgium. Indeed, so significant is the day in western Flanders, Belgium, that children receive their annual gifts on Saint Martin's Day instead of December 25th. They don't go that far on Korčula, but they do make special foods for the occasion and celebrate Saint Martin's Day, like many places in Croatia, with joyous song and dance.

47_KUTJEVO3.jpg© Kutjevo doo

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© Kutjevo doo

Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Croatia Filming Locations Are Best Again As Succession Bags 7 Emmys

September 23, 2020 – Following incredible success with Game Of Thrones, Mamma Mia and others, Croatia filming locations prove to be the best again as HBO's Succession wins 7 Emmys

Historic Dubrovnik was always pretty enough to attract people from far and wide. But, following its appearance in TV show Game Of Thrones, interest in visiting the walled city went through the roof. Tourists were not the only ones who wanted to come.

HBO drama Succession is just the latest hit to take advantage of the spectacular scenery while filming in Croatia. The show has just bagged no less than seven prestigious Emmy awards for the season partially filmed in Croatia. In the drama series category, it picked up Emmys for Best Leading Male Role, Best Guest Role, Best Casting, Best Directing, Best Screenplay and Best Picture Editing.

10_02_succession_s02-sept20-hbo.jpgCast members filmed aboard a yacht with beautiful Croatia and its Adriatic waters as the backdrop © HBO

The shooting took place over 12 days in July 2019, primarily on a yacht on which the show's central characters, the Roy family, were taking a holiday. The Croatia filming locations used were the waters around Cavtat, Korcula, Mljet and Sipan. The series ventured into more urban areas of Croatia and, for those scenes, filming locations in Zagreb and Rijeka were sourced. The German-built Solandge was the yacht used in the filming and costs as much as $1.1million (£850,000) to rent for one week.

19690220-7610097-Finale_The_second_season_of_Succession_came_to_a_close_on_Sunday-a-69_1571931109237.jpgThe Roy family aboard the yacht Solandge in Croatian waters © HBO

Now in its third season, Succession centres on the dysfunctional Roy family, owners of a global media and hospitality empire. It stars British actor Brian Cox as the ailing family patriarch with Kieran Culkin heading up the otherwise all-American cast. A total of 613 people worked on the shooting of Succession in Croatia, of which 595 were Croatian (161 film workers, three trainees and 431 extras).

20139614-7610097-image-a-72_1571931767347.jpgSolandge is currently one of the most luxurious yachts in the world © Moran Yachts

In recent years, major movies such as Star Wars, Robin Hood and one installment in the long-running James Bond series have joined the likes of Game Of Thrones and Mamma Mia in enjoying Croatia filming locations. However, filming in Croatia goes back much further than that. During the 1970s and early 1980s, no less than three Oscar-winning movies used Croatia filming locations - Fiddler on the Roof (1971), The Tin Drum (1979) and Sophie’s Choice (1982).

You can read more about filming in Croatia and Croatian filming locations by reading our dedicated section here

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Monday, 7 September 2020

PHOTOS: It's True! Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia on Holiday

Total Croatia News broke the story last Friday. And now it's finally been confirmed - it's true, Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia

News travels fast in Croatia. Nowhere does it travel quicker than on the ever-reliable News pages of Total Croatia News. Unless, of course, you count Croatian gossip.

TCN journalist extraordinaire Iva Tatić was relaxing on the island of Korčula, playing with her dog, when last week she heard an eyebrow-raising piece of gossip through the open window. “Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia!”

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Iva Tatić's dog, one of the first to hear about Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia

Ever the professional, Iva leaned out of the balcony to ask a neighbour to confirm the rumour. “That's what they're saying” replied the neighbour, above a small street filled with laughter. The cause of the chuckles? Not only are Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia, but they've also asked for the entire islet of Vrnik to be evacuated so they can enjoy a private visit. “Hmm, difficult request,” thought Iva. Vrnik is an inhabited island. People live there throughout the year. There are probably around 100 people there right now.

Much to the disappointment of her dog, Iva's journalistic instincts took over. She sat down at the computer and set about trying to corroborate the rumour so that she could break the news. At her time of writing, she was unable to do so. There was simply nothing in any other media confirming Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia.

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How Iva Tatić broke the story about Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia last Friday. Her's was the first story to announce the pop star's arrival. It has since been confirmed that the celebrity couple are indeed aboard the pictured yacht, Lana. Iva Tatić took this photo of the yacht from the shores of the island of Korčula, where she likes to spend much of her summer

But, sometimes a journalist's instinct is all they need. Iva confirmed that the yacht Lana had been seen in the surroundings of the Korčula archipelago. She went to the shoreline and it was there! From a distance, she managed to grab a photo. At 107 meters in length and capable of accommodating 12 guests and 31 crew, this is no ordinary yacht. Some special visitors were definitely holidaying here.

Knowing that Beyonce and Jay Z had been here nine years ago, on Hvar, and two years prior to that had been in Dubrovnik, Iva went with gut instincts and published the story, being careful to mention it was uncorroborated. Her article was the first to break the news of a visit that is now 100% confirmed. It's true, Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia.

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Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia, pictured on Instagram

The yacht Lana was spotted further up the coast on Saturday, around the Kornati archipelago. Then, in the afternoon of the same day, tourists visiting the island of Žut were finally able to corroborate Iva's story. They managed to grab pictures of Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia. They were dining in an otherwise deserted restaurant, Fešta on the island. The visit coincides with Beyonce's 39th birthday.

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Iva's story was confirmed by Croatian portal Zadarski.hr one day after Iva published when they were able to show photos of the couple dining on the island of Žut

This being visit number three for Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia, we wouldn't count out a return visit next year for her 40th. The couple clearly love coming to Croatia. If they do come, be sure to look out for Total Croatia News again breaking the story. Since the writing of her article, Iva Tatić and her dog have been taking their cuddling sessions much closer to Iva's open window.

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Iva Tatić's dog "Beyonce and Jay Z in Croatia? I don't care! Where did my cuddles go?"

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Wednesday, 2 September 2020

Hot Scoop: Is Beyonce in Korcula?

September 2, 2020 - Sometimes you overhear the best scoop in the streets. For instance, is Beyonce in Korcula?

The news is almost completely uncorroborated, but it comes from a source we have reason to trust, and it's not the first time Korcula has seen major celebrities in 2020 (need we remind you of Magic Johnson or Owen Wilson?) The story goes that Beyonce and her entourage are on a yacht in the Korcula archipelago and that they've requested the entire islet of Vrnik to be emptied for their visit. 

While many celebrities have chosen to come to Croatia for their holidays this year, which is quite different from any other year, we've seen no other reports of Beyonce returning to Croatia this year. The story of one of her previous visits is well-documented, with her daughter Blue Ivy supposedly getting her name after a bit of Croatian coastline. The grapevine has, at this moment, not produced any news regarding Jay-Z's location. 

 

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