Sunday, 17 October 2021

Celebrate the Patron Saint of Wine with 'Wine & Walk Ludbreg'

October 17, 2021 - November sees the vineyards of Croatia paying tribute to their protector, St. Martin. Visit the largest St. Vincent statue in the world as part of Wine & Walk Ludbreg.

The one town in Croaita which has surprised me more than any other during my 18 years here has been Ludbreg, an hour north of Zagreb in Varazdin County. 

I have made several visits since my first back in 2016, when I penned Ludbreg, the Most Fascinating, Unusual Little Town in Croatia? 

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And that was before I made many more discoveries about this town which appears to be similar to those around it at first glance, but...

I had no idea that Ludbreg was a wine town, for instance, or that it had its own wine road at a time that more celebrated destinations such as Dalmatia did not. 

I also had no idea that for 30 years Ludbreg has been hosting the biggest international festival dedicated to young wines, which takes place in the town each January. 

And i was truly surprised to learn that Ludbreg is home to the largest St. Vincent statue in the world, which overlooks the vineyards of the area. Sv Vinko as he is known locally, is a protector of vineyards.

The Feast of St. Martin falls on November 11, and it is celebrated each year on or around that date in many vineyards all over Croatia. Known as Martinje, the vineyards are blessed and the young wines sampled. It is an important and fun day for locals and visitors alike. 

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In order to mark this year's event, the Ludbreg Tourist Board, together with the town's winemakers, has organised Wine & Walk Ludbreg on November 6, a chance to get to know the town, wineries, food and nature of Ludbreg and the surrounding area. More from the tourist board:

A new eno-gastro recreational event takes you on an adventure through the vineyards and forests of Ludbreg.

"Wine & Walk Ludbreg" is a new eno-gastro recreational event intended for lovers of nature, wine, authentic, local gastronomic products, and walking.

Visitors will walk a new route inspired by the pilgrimage tradition of Ludbreg and the roads of St. Martin. The route, about 12 kilometers long, connects two "saints" - statues of St. Martin and St. Vincent which adorn the two hills that surround the city.

Participants will be guided through a wooded hilly landscape challenging enough to spend an active Saturday, and yet gentle enough for anyone looking for fun, socializing and recreation to go through.

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Along the way, there will be tasting points or rest areas where winemakers will offer their authentic wines, local "snacks" and a breath of local culture and customs.

All participants of "Wine & Walk Ludbreg" will, with a registration fee of 150 kuna, receive a starter pack in which a special practical bag contains: a tasting glass, a route map, a voucher for participation and water, and at the start and, in particular, the finish will be fun and motivating.

Wine & Walk Ludbreg pilot is a release of a new tourist product Ludbreg which is strategically oriented in the direction of excursion, outdoor and gastro tourism. The term is located on the eve of the important wine holiday of St. Martin, and the walking route is inspired by the pilgrimage tradition of the Ludbreg region, which connects it with a number of similar ones across Europe, related to the name of St. Martin. 

You can register here.

Ludbreg Wine & Walk will start on November 6 from 9:30 to 11:00, and completion is scheduled for 17:00.

For the latest news from Ludbreg, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Sunday, 17 October 2021

Bringing History to Life for Kids with Roman Board Games at Iovia, Ludbreg

October 17, 2021 - Tired of watching the kids gaming on their gadgets? Take them back to Childhood as It Once Was and learn how to play Roman board games.

Getting kids interested in anything offline is getting harder and harder these days, but one place willing to try is the recently opened Iovia Archaeoogical Park in Ludbreg. 

Iovia, which was opened by the Minister of Culture in May this year, documents several thousand years of Ludbreg history, with corresponding Croatian and global chronologies, as well as featuring two Roman villas next door. Located just a few mintutes from the church which houses Croatia's only certified miracle, as well as Ludbreg's most famous claim - the Centre of the World - Iovia is a great addition to an action-packed day trip to this most unusual town. You can learn more about the Iovia Archaeological Park here.  

The top floor is home to a thoughtfully-designed seminar room, and one that will prove popular with kids when Iovia soon opens its doors to school eexcurisions. Among the interactive things to learn and try are a selection of Roman board games. There are three in all - Latrunkuli, Teri Lapilli, and Mlin - Merellus. A chance for kids to learn to play some new games offline, as well as to reflect, perhaps, on a childhood some 2,000 years before Instagram and Tik Tok. 

Iovia has made available the rules of the game, and I have added some video guides from YouTube.  

LATRUNKULI

 

Rules of the game:

In the game, two players face each other over a rectangular board marked with a grid of squares. Each player has the same number of chips, with one player differing from the other in color. In some versions of this game, each player also has a "dux", a special token with increased powers. The art of the game is in capturing the opponent's chips. The chips move all over the board and catch each other by surrounding each other; a token of one color caught between two others is removed from the game. The winner is the player who catches all the opposing parts.

TERNI LAPILLI

 

Rules of the game:

In the game, two players face off over a rectangular board marked by a square with nine squares (chip slots) connected by lines (two or four lines that intersect in the center). In addition to various square variants, wheel-like circular surfaces are also known. Each player has three chips, with one player differing from the other in color. The winner is the player who first combines three chips in a row. The game is considered the ancestor of the modern version of tic - tac - toe, and is often identified with one version of the ancient game Mlin or Merellus (Three men 's morris). Many details about this game have remained puzzling to this day. Lately, researchers of ancient games have challenged the application of the circular variant because it is likely that the incised wheels served as bases for other types of games, such as various throwing games.

MLIN - MERELLUS

 

Mlin (Mill) is a game for two players. The plate consists of three concentric squares and several transversals, making 24 points of intersection. Each player has nine chips, usually in black and white. Players take turns placing a chip anywhere on the board, trying to create a series of three of their own chips (mill). Each player tries to prevent his opponent from forming his own order. Whoever forms a row of three may remove one of the opponent's chips (provided it is not part of the whole row). Once all the chips have been placed, each player alternately moves one chip to the adjacent free spot. Then each tries to create rows and remove the opponent's chips once the player has only three chips left on the board, he can move his chip to any available space. The winner is the player who reduces the opponent to two chips.

You can learn more about Iovia Archaeological Park on the official website.  

Learn more about Ludreg in the TC Ludbreg in a Page guide.

Monday, 27 September 2021

Iovia Archaeological Park in Ludbreg: Retracing Roman, Pre-Historic Heritage

September 27, 2021 - The rich heritage of continuous habitation in continental Croatia dating back to the pre-Roman era is documented in the new Iovia Archaeological Park in Ludbreg. 

One of the surprising discoveries in the fascinating world of continental Croatian tourism a few years ago was finding out that the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe was located there. I must confess that when I heard this, I was very surprised - even more so when I had never actually heard of the town. It was just one of the many interesting things you can learn about Vinkovci: 10 Things to Know about Europe's Oldest Town.

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Visitors to the Adriatic coast will be familiar with the rich Roman history, with fabulous examples of its glorious past to be found in UNESCO World Heritage Site, Diocletian's Palace in Split, the Pula Area, and ancient Salona in Solin. Lesser known is the rich Roman history further inland in Croatia. 

An important addition to preserving this heritage opened in June this year, in the form of the Iovia Archaeological Park in Ludbreg. Opened in June this year by the Minister of Culture and located on Ludbreg's main square, which is famous for its claim to be the centre of the world, the Iovia Archaeological Park provides a timeline with artifacts of the history of Ludbreg, Croatia, and the world through a variety of multimedia tools. 

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The timeline, which takes visitors through the important points of Ludbreg's long history, starts back in 20,000 BC, with the discovery of Erica, the most extensive and best-preserved Pleistocene woolly rhinoceros (Coelodonta antiquitatis) in Croatia. Erica was found in Mali Sigecak near Ludbreg in 1982.

Archaeological research in Ludbreg started in earnest some time before Erica's discovery, back in 1966. These continued from 1968 to 1979 and were conducted by the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb. And it appeared that Ludbreg had quite a history.  Far from being a modern town, evidence of continuous living dating back over two millennia was unearthed. 

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While the Roman era is perhaps the best-preserved, evidence of pre-historic sites from the first century BC to 4,000 BC were found in the wider Ludbreg area: Donji Martijanec, Globočec, Jalžabet, Ludbreg, Ludbreg - Katalena, Ludbreški Ivanac, Martijanec, Sigetec Ludbreški, Struga, Sveti Đurđ, Sveti Petar Ludbreški, Veliki Bukovec, and Vrbanovec.

The Roman settlement of Iovia, the forerunner of Ludbreg, was founded probably sometime after the end of the first century AD. In 1931, iron and bronze decorative parts of a Roman chariot dating back to the 2nd century AD were found in a tumulus, almost certainly the work of a Pannonian workshop. 

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(A Roman cat leaves its mark in footprints)

The earliest archaeological finds dated Roman influence to the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD. The first known Roman find was back in 1859, a fragment with an inscription VALERIANVS CENTVRIO LEGIAE HIC IN LOCO IOVIA DICTO. This was followed in 1906 by part of a large bronze statue of a Roman Emperor. Then in 1942, a fragment of an altar with an inscription DEO SILVANO and IOVIA, the only preserved epigraphic confirmation of Iovia from Ludbreg. 

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The biggest exhibit in the main building has been dated to around 420 AD. This is the skeleton of a man (about 55 years old) with neurosurgical intervention (trepanation) on the left side of the skull.  He was buried with one silver buckle ring in a tomb made out of tegulae located in an adjacent Roman building. 

From 2008 to 2011, the Croatian Restoration Institute conducted systematic archaeological research in the center of the town of Ludbreg ("Vrt Somođi"). During these works, the Roman building 1 (total gross area 230 m²) and most of the Roman building 2 (assumed gross area around 1780 m²) were fully explored. The excavated footprints of these buildings now constitute the external part of Iovia Archaeological Park behind the exhibition building. 

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The Iovia bathing house (Roman object 1) typologically belongs to the group of smaller baths (balneae), while according to the organization of space it belongs to the group of undiluted baths. Due to the spatial relationship with the neighbouring Roman facility, it can be defined as private. Such a form of bathing was widespread throughout the Roman Empire. The Iovia bathing house and the thermal springs in Varaždinske Toplice (Aquae Iasae) are the only fully explored facilities for this purpose in the Croatian part of the Roman province of Pannonia.

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North of the baths, most of the Roman building 2 was explored, organized around a rectangular (uncovered) courtyard and defined on the west side by a porch. The building was built at the same time as the swimming pool, and was rebuilt and enlarged over the following centuries.

The two buildings were deemed to have been built during the second half of the 1st century and abandoned by 420 at the latest. They are typologically the most similar to the portico and peristyle type villas. This type was one of the most frequently used floor plan in the Pannonian, ie Danube - Balkan area.

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Iovia Archaeological Park is using different tools to bring to life the Roman and pre-historic past of the Ludbreg. One of the key target markets for Iovia is the younger generation, and many school trips are expected once the COVID-19 situation improves. The top floor is given over to a creative space for workshops, using various tools to bring to life a past era. Among these is the intriguing opportunity to learn how to play a variety of Roman board games. We will take a look at the Roman games on offer in Ludbreg - Latrunkuli, Terni Lapilli, and Mlin (Merellus) in a subsequent article. 

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Tourism in continental Croatia is developing step by step. There is a huge story to be told of its rich heritage, and Iovia Archaeological Park is one more important step in the jigsaw. You can learn more about Iovia from the official website

For the latest news from Ludbreg, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Thousands Descend on Ludbreg to Celebrate Croatia's Only Miracle

September 6, 2021 - Thousands of pilgrims gathered in Ludbreg yesterday for Holy Sunday 2021, the annual celebration of the Eucharistic Miracle of Ludbreg.

The first Sunday in September in Ludbreg was traditionally reserved for the annual celebration in honor of the Precious Blood of Christ, as a reminder of the miracle that took place in Ludbreg 610 years ago.

The central Eucharistic celebration this year, on Sunday, September 5, was presided over by Msgr. Dr. László Német, Bishop of Zrenjanin and President of the International Bishops' Conference of St. Cyril and Methodius. The concelebration was also attended by the Apostolic Nuncios in the Republic of Croatia, Msgr. Giorgio Lingua and the bishops of the Zagreb metropolis: Msgr. Vlado Košić, Bishop of Sisak, Msgr. Vjekoslav Huzjak, Bishop of Bjelovar-Križevci and hosts Msgr. Bože Radoš, Bishop of Varaždin and Msgr. Josip Mrzljak, retired bishop, along with numerous priests of the Zagreb metropolis.

Thousands of pilgrims arrived in Ludbreg from the early morning hours and participated in the spiritual program, on the eve of the solemn open-air Holy Mass in the Votive Chapel of the Croatian Parliament.

Representatives of the civil authorities also took part in the central Mass: the envoy of the President of the Croatian Parliament, the Vice-President of the Parliament, Academician Željko Reiner; Envoy of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Varaždin County Prefect Anđelko Stričak; the mayor of Ludbreg Dubravko Bilić, members of parliament, prefects, mayors and heads of surrounding counties, cities and municipalities, president and councilors of the Ludbreg city council.

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Before the Mass, the gathered were greeted by the local pastor and guardian of the sanctuary, Msgr. Josip Đurkan, and then academician Reiner, who expressed special honor and satisfaction to be in Ludbreg again, saying that the sanctuary of the Precious Blood of Christ in Ludbreg is a place, not only of prayer and faith, but also the strongest link between the two institutions: the Church and the Croatian Parliament. .

-I send my wishes and prayers from this holy place for the joint commitment of the Croatian Parliament and the Church, but also the entire Croatian society to rebuild not only everything destroyed in the earthquake and pandemic, but also to rebuild the much-needed unity of Croatian citizens. In the deep and sincere faith that we have the strength to overcome all the challenges and objective difficulties we face, our fears, weaknesses and differences, dear God protect us all and protect our only and eternal Croatia - said, among other things, Deputy Speaker Zeljko Reiner.

Words of greeting and welcome on the eve of the Holy Mass were also sent by the Bishop of Varaždin, Božo Radoš, especially Msgr. Német, who came to the shrine of the Precious Blood of Christ in Ludbreg for the first time and gladly accepted to preside over this celebration of Mass. He also greeted other bishops, priests, representatives of civil authorities and numerous pilgrims from many parts of our country and beyond.

- You are here with a pilgrim's prayer in your heart that God's love, which is shed by the Blood of Christ, may warmly touch your way of life, heal the wounded and painful in you and your families. May God receive your thanks and blessings of prayer - said Bishop Radoš.

At the beginning of his homily, the pre-celebrant of the Mass, Msgr. Német reminded of the Eucharistic miracle in Ludbreg that happened 610 years ago, and then the vow of the Croatian Parliament on the construction of a votive chapel in Ludbreg from the 18th century, which was fulfilled only 25 years ago. He then pointed out that the fact that the members of Parliament expressed their deep conviction in the name of the Croatian people that the Blood of Christ can stop even the greatest evils, and that was a plague at the time, is an act of faith, an act of trust in God and his Son in power. The Precious Blood of Christ.

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He also addressed those responsible for our society, for the state, for the good of the entire Croatian people.

- You, dear Members of Parliament, have a huge responsibility for the present of this beautiful country and even more for the future of the young generations that are coming after us. Today there is no plague in these parts, but hara Covid, unemployment, poverty, the departure of young people abroad. A bunch of problems and challenges! - Bishop Német emphasized.

He added that it would be irresponsible to talk only about challenges and problems, and instructed him to look at the pilgrims, those who follow this celebration through the media, and to find an incentive to create the future.

-If those who are responsible for our homeland know how to use this positive capital, this human strength, strengthened by faith in God's action, it will be much easier and safer to create a better, happier and more perfect Croatia.-, said the preacher.

At the end of the homily, he also mentioned the last owner of the Batthyany castle, in whose chapel the Ludbreg miracle took place. It was Ladislav Batthyány-Strattmann, who died 90 years ago in Vienna, and Pope John Paul II in 2003, he declared him blessed. Namely, Ladislav Batthyány-Strattmann was a doctor, and even during his lifetime he was called a doctor of the poor. He was a good father of the family, with his wife he had eleven children. He used his family fortune to build several hospitals in what was then Hungary, where he performed medical services many times free of charge. What's more: he knew how to feed the poor, to host them on his estates.

-I think his character, his way of life suits this place very well. Just as he wanted to eradicate the evil that destroys our lives, so Ludbreg and the worship of the Precious Blood of Christ should work to eradicate evil from our lives. - said Bishop Nemet and concluded his homily: -Let Ludbreg be a place of healing. May all who come here, be they dumb, blind, lame, sick of any disease, people full of unrest, anger, envy, revenge, experience here the healing power of the Precious Blood of Christ. Let it be in Ludbreg as in today's Gospel: Jesus healed the sick! May Jesus heal us here in Ludbreg today.-

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At the end of the Eucharistic celebration, which was magnified by the parish choir of the Parish of the Holy Trinity in Ludbreg, Msgr. Božo Radoš sent words of thanks to everyone and wished that this place would touch them, open everyone's ears and mouths, and bring the grace of pilgrimage further into life.

The mayor of Ludbreg, Dubravko Bilić, once again sent words of welcome to the pilgrims the day before:

- And while last year we could think that it was a year of testing for our humanity and humanity, a year of testing our personal responsibility towards the community in which we live and of which we are a part, a year of testing for the community we talk about so much and mostly in vain, today we can to say that we as a global community have failed. And while rich countries are talking about a third vaccination, poor countries in Africa, South America or Asia have not even received the first dose of the vaccine. While we desperately need as many vaccines as possible, we bid with the prices of that drug at $ 10 or $ 20 or $ 30, and people in some countries work all month to feed their families for about $ ten. While some are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in hypocritical anti-vaccination media campaigns, creating mistrust in science and spreading a culture of lies, millions of people in poor countries are dying from the effects of the Covid 19 infection and could be cured with that money. We have failed as inhabitants of this planet in our hearts, we have allowed selfishness to guide us in our decisions instead of using this challenge to fix everything we all know is not good. In fact, as soon as we saw that money could buy health, it showed how selfish we can be, how much our own satisfaction and self-centeredness can blur our concern for others and our common good. We have become a global community of inaction, excuses and powerlessness in the fight for justice and fairness, in the fight for every human life. We have become more selfish than ever and we are always ready to justify this selfishness only with our own good. We have become cowards in a non-heroic century in which everything can be obtained immediately on credit without waiting and suffering. We are on our way to annul two centuries of solidarity and respect for those closest to us, but also the farthest from us, to annul the agreements we have long and painstakingly built as a community in which we all feel safe, in which we do not leave each other because they are too slow. we do not give up on each other because we do not have time for them - said Mayor Bilic.

For a Croatian version of this article, click here.

To learn more about Ludbreg and the Eucharistic Miracle of Ludbreg, check out the Total Croatia Ludbreg in a Page guide, as well as the miracle video below.

 

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Bishop Tells MPs That Future of Croatia Is Their Responsibility

ZAGREB, 5 Sept, 2021 - A traditional annual pilgrimage organised under the auspice of the Croatian parliament to the Catholic shrine in the town of Ludbreg was held on Sunday, with the Bishop of Zrenjanin, Laszlo Nemet, leading the service that was attended by a few thousand believers.

During the sermon, the bishop said in his message to parliamentary deputies who attended the mass and this votive pilgrimage, that both the present and the future of the country was their responsibility.

In reference to 1739 when plague had spread in the region, which prompted the then Croatian parliament to keep its vow to protect the nation from plague and therefore had a chapel built in Ludbreg and the present-day COVID-19 pandemic, the bishop said that there were also many challenges today such as COVID-19  disease, unemployment, the departure of young people from Croatia. And also there are many positive things, the bishop said, underscoring the positive vibrations among the faithful.

Several thousand pilgrims today flocked the northern town of Ludbreg that houses a unique Eucharistic shrine in Croatia, founded by a papal bull in 1513.

In attendance at today's rites was Deputy Parliament Speaker Željko Reiner, who among other things, called for vaccination of citizens against coronavirus "as the sole rational, efficient and civilisational achievement in the fight against contagious diseases."

He recalled that Pope Francis had also urged people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Friday, 27 August 2021

Croatia's Only Miracle Town Prepares to Celebrate Its Special Day

 August 27, 2021 - The miracle town of Ludbreg will be celebrating Croatia's only miracle certified by the Vatican - a look at the rich religious programme for Holy Sunday 2021.

Croatia is a very Catholic country, and yet I am constantly surprised at how few locals, even the religious ones, can name the only miracle in the country which has been certified by the Vatican.  As more than a million pilgrims head to the unrecognised Medjugorje in nearby Herzegovina each year, interest in Croatia's actual miracle goes largely unnoticed, apart the first weekend of September. 

Having lived in Jelsa on Hvar for many years, I have seen the importance of religious  tradition first-hand with the annual Za Krizen (Behind the Cross) procession, now a part of UNESCO intangible heritage. Other reglious celebrations of patron saints, such as St Blaise in Dubrovnik, St Domnius in Split, or the 100,000 pilgrims who head to seen on the Feast of the Assumption get wide coverage and are well-known  in Croatia. 

And yet, the only actual miracle seems to be little known outside of its region. I have lost count of the number of religious locals I have asked to name the only certifid miracle in Croatia, and they express surprise when I tell them that it is to be found in the town they know better as the Centre of the World.

But the Eucharistic Miracle of Ludbreg was authenticated by Papal Bull by Pope Leo X back  in 1513, after the local priest expressed doubts about transubstantiation. His doubt turned to horror, as the wine turned  to blood. That holy blood is displayed  in a glass case in a chalice in the main church in Ludbreg, having beeen paraded through the streets of Rome after its authentication all those years ago.  You can learn more about the story in the video below. 

Despite its relatively unknown status as Croatia's only certified miracle, some 100,000 people visit Ludbreg each September to celebrate the Holy Blood of Christ. There are an array of activities - many religious, many not - and this curious little town bursts into life for the few days leading up to the  Holy Sunday finale. 

The main holy mass takes place on Sunday, September 5, in the park in front of a rather unusual church with a more unusual history. Built in 1994 after the fulfilment of a Croatian government promise to construct a church in Ludbreg is God would stop the plague in 1738, the church is only used once a year for this mass. 

It is highly unlikely that there will be 100,000 pilgrims this year, due to the epidemiological measures, but there is a very full programme for those wishing to attend, both religious and other. The full programmes are below in English, but please check the Ludbreg Tourist Board Facebook page for the latest advice regarding the measures. 

Holy Sunday 2021 follows on from what has been a good year for the miracle town. Earlier this year, the Archaeological Park Iovia opened on the main square, a major new attraction for the town. This has been followed by a very lively tourism programme under the heading Active Ludbreg Summer

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THE PROGRAMME OF THE CELEBRATION OF THE HOLY BLOOD OF CHRIST 2021.

Saturday, August 28th, 2021 – Youth Pilgrimage

18:00 Holy Mass

19:30 Spiritual music festival „Duga“

Sunday, August 29th, 2021 – The pilgrimage of the sick persons and persons with disabilities, hospice workers, medical staff and the staff from the Ludbreg Red Cross

7:00 Holy Mass in the parish church

8:00 Holy Mass in the parish church

10:00 The pilgrims' procession from the parish church to the votive chapel, the devotion of the Stations of the Cross and Holy Mass

19:00 Sang recitations and litanies for the Holy Blood, evening Holy Mass

 

Monday, August 30th, 2021

7:30 Holy Mass

19:00 Holy Mass

 

Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

7:30 Holy Mass

19:00 Holy Mass

 

Wednesday, September 1st, 2021

7:30 Holy Mass

19:00 Holy Mass

 

HOLY THURSDAY, September 2nd, 2021 – The pilgrimage of the altar boys and the catechists

19:30 Holy Mass in the votive chapel (mons. Bože Radoš, the Bishop of Varaždin)

Sung celebrations and litanies of the Holy Blood, evening

21:00 The Holy Hour of Gethsemane

 

HOLY FRIDAY, September 3rd, 2021 – The votive pilgrimage of the neighbouring parishes and the pilgrimage for the military and the police

7:00 Holy Mass – Martijanec parish

8:00 Holy Mass - Sveti Đurđ parish

9:00 Holy Mass - Veliki Bukovec parish

10:00 The procession from the church to the votive chapel, the devotion of the Stations of the Cross, Holy Mass (mons. Jure Bogdan, military chaplain), joined by the pilgrims from Rasinja and Vinica

19:00 Sung recitations and litanies to the Holy Blood, evening Holy Mass (lead by the venerable Matej Glavica, this year's chaplain and spiritual leader)

21:00 The youth wake

HOLY SATURDAY, September 4th, 2021 – The pilgrimage of the parishes from Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary

6:00 Holy Mass

7:00 Holy Mass

9:00 Holy Mass in the votive chapel, in Slovenian and Hungarian languages

10:45 The procession by the pilgrims, from the parish church to the votive chapel

11:00 Holy Mass in the votive chapel (lead by mons. Vjekoslav Huzjak, Bishop of Bjelovar-Križevci, co-celebrated by mons. Božo Radoš and mons. Josip Mrzljak) – the celebration will be supported by the choir lead by sister Kristina Cenkovčan

THE CONFESSIONS WILL TAKE PLACE FROM THE MORNING, IN THE ATRIUM OF THE CHURCH, AND DURING THE HOLY MASS IN THE OUTDOORS AREA OF THE VOTIVE CHAPEL.

The Afternoon programme:

13:00 – 15:00 The Eucharistic Adoration to the Holy Altar Sacrament in the Votive chapel for the spiritual healing of our families

15:00 The devotion of the stations of the Holy Cross and the blessing of the pilgrims

19:30 Sung recitations and litanies to the Holy Blood, evening Holy Mass

20:00 Holy Mass (lead by the Missionaries of the Blood of Jesus)

HOLY SUNDAY, September 5th, 2021

6:00 Holy Mass

7:00 Holy Mass

8:00 Receiving the pilgrims

9:00 The spiritual programme in the votive chapel (lead by venerable Matej Glavica)

9:45 The pilgrims' procession from the parish church to the votive chapel

10:00 Holy Mass in the votive chapel (lead by mons. dr. László Német, Bishop of Zrenjanin, joined by the other bishops and priests in the pilgrimage)

The afternoon programme:

13:00 – 15:00 The Adoration of the Holy Sacrament of the Altar in the votive chapel, for the spiritual professions in Croatia

15:00 The piety of the Stations of the Cross and the blessing of the pilgrims along the main path of the pilgrimage

17:00 The Rosary of God's Mercy in the parish church

19:00 Sung recitations and litanies to the Holy Blood, evening prayer

19:40 The Holy Mass of gratitude in the votive chapel

We ask the priests to please bring their surplice and tippet in red.

All the information is available in the parish office, phone: 042 811 116, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

LET'S CELEBRATE THE HOLY BLOOD!

Mons. Josip Đurkan

Parish priest

Days of Ludbreg Holy Sunday 2021

The Organisers:

The town of Ludbreg

Ludbreg Parish

The town of Ludbreg Tourist Board

The Center for the Culture and Information

Radio Ludbreg d.o.o. and Lukom d.o.o.

Days of Ludbreg Holy Sunday 2021

Patronized by the Croatian Parliament

CELEBRATION PROGRAMME:

August, 27th (Friday)

20:30* - A Concert by the mixed choir „Podravina“ (Batthyany Castle)

August, 30th (Monday)

20:00* – A Concert Through the Generations (Batthyany Castle)

August 31st (Tuesday)

18:00 – A presentation of the Podravina Anthology (Batthyany Castle)

September 1st (Wednesday)

17:00 – The opening of the exhibition by Eva Vučković „Crvena nit“ (A Read Line) (Bakina Hiža)

19:00 – A presentation of the Croatian writer Ante Marinčić (Batthyany Castle)

September 2nd (Thursday)

11:00 – The opening of the House of Sun in Sigec Ludbreški

14:00 – The opening of the offices of the Varaždinski Cvijet co-operation

16:00 – The presentation of the Honey Cuisine of Ludbreg (Vintners' Association „Trstek“ Cellar)

17:00 – The opening of the Ludbreg Fair (Ludbreški sejem), supported by the Ducati komponenti d.o.o. Ludbreg (Sv. Trojstva Square)

21:00 – The Concert by Jura Stublić & Film Group (in front of the NK Podravina stadium) 

September 3rd, 2020 (Friday)

8:00 – Ludbreg Fair (Sv. Trojstva Square)

17:00 – The Source of Inspiration – the literary competition of the spiritual creation, held by Radio Ludbreg (Center for the Culture and Information)

18:00 – The opening of the exhibition of the sacred motives by Marija Kovačić (Batthyany Castle)

19:00* - The concert by the Town of Ludbreg Wind Orchestra (Batthyany Castle)

21:00 – Maja Šuput concert (in front of the NK Podravina stadium)

September 4th (Saturday)

8:00 – Ludbreg Fair (Sv. Trojstva Square)

9:00 – 11:00 Oldtimer car exhibition (Zanatski Square)

21:00 – Željko Bebek concert (in front of the NK Podravina stadium)

September 5th (Sunday)

8:00 – Ludbreg Fair (Sv. Trojstva Square)

SPORTS PROGRAMME:

August 28th, (Saturday)

9:00 – The Memorial Tennis Tournament „Marijan Kovačić“ (Tennis Centre Ludbreg)

15:00 – Trap shooting competition, organized by the Hunters' Association „Srnjak“ (Ludbreg Hunters' Lodge)

August 29th (Sunday)

9:00 – Trap shooting competition, organized by the Hunters' Association „Srnjak“

11:00 – Beach volleyball competition (Ludbreg Sports Hall)

September 4th (Saturday)

17:00 – Championship football game, NK Podravina – NK Mladost Ždralovi (town stadium Ludbreg)

RELIGIOUS PROGRAMME:

August 28th (Saturday) – Youth Pilgrimage

18:00 Holy Mass

19:30 Spiritual music festival „Duga“ 

August 29th (Sunday) – The pilgrimage of the sick persons and persons with disabilities, hospice workers, medical staff and the staff from the Ludbreg Red Cross

7:00 Holy Mass in the parish church

8:00 Holy Mass in the parish church

10:00 The pilgrims' procession from the parish church to the votive chapel, the devotion of the Stations of the Cross and Holy Mass

19:00 Sung recitations and litanies for the Holy Blood, evening Holy Mass

August 30th (Monday)

7:30 Holy Mass

19:00 Holy Mass

August 31st (Tuesday)

7:30 Holy Mass

19:00 Holy Mass 

September 1st (Wednesday)

7:30 Holy Mass

19:00 Holy Mass

September 2nd (Holy Thursday) – The pilgrimage of the altar boys and the catechists

19:30 Holy Mass in the votive chapel (mons. Bože Radoš, the Bishop of Varaždin)

Sang celebrations and litanies of the Holy Blood, evening

21:00 The Holy Hour of Gethsemane 

September 3rd (Holy Friday) – The votive pilgrimage of the neighbouring parishes and the pilgrimage for the military and the police

7:00 Holy Mass – Martijanec parish

8:00 Holy Mass - Sveti Đurđ parish

9:00 Holy Mass - Veliki Bukovec parish

10:00 The procession from the church to the votive chapel, the devotion of the Stations of the Cross, Holy Mass (mons. Jure Bogdan, military chaplain), joined by the pilgrims from Rasinja and Vinica

19:00 Sang recitations and litanies to the Holy Blood, evening Holy Mass (lead by the venerable Matej Glavica, this year's chaplain and spiritual leader)

21:00 The youth wake 

September 4th (Holy Saturday) – The pilgrimage of the parishes from Croatia, Slovenia and Hungary

6:00 Holy Mass

7:00 Holy Mass

9:00 Holy Mass in the votive chapel, in Slovenian and Hungarian languages

10:45 The procession by the pilgrims, from the parish church to the votive chapel

11:00 Holy Mass in the votive chapel (lead by mons. Vjekoslav Huzjak, Bishop of Bjelovar-Križevci, co-celebrated by mons. Božo Radoš and mons. Josip Mrzljak) – the celebration will be supported by the choir lead by sister Kristina Cenkovčan

THE CONFESSIONS WILL TAKE PLACE FROM THE MORNING, IN THE ATRIUM OF THE CHURCH, AND DURING THE HOLY MASS IN THE OUTDOORS AREA OF THE VOTIVE CHAPEL.

The Afternoon programme:

13:00 – 15:00 The Eucharistic Adoration to the Holy Altar Sacrament in the Votive chapel for the spiritual healing of our families

15:00 The devotion of the stations of the Holy Cross and the blessing of the pilgrims

19:30 Sang recitations and litanies to the Holy Blood, evening Holy Mass

20:00 Holy Mass (lead by the Missionaries of the Blood of Jesus)

September 5th (Holy Sunday)

6:00 Holy Mass

7:00 Holy Mass

8:00 Receiving of the pilgrims

9:00 The spiritual programme in the votive chapel (lead by venerable Matej Glavica)

9:45 The pilgrims' procession from the parish church to the votive chapel

10:00 Holy Mass in the votive chapel (lead by mons. dr. László Német, Bishop of Zrenjanin, joined by the other bishops and priests in the pilgrimage)

The afternoon programme:

13:00 – 15:00 The Adoration of the Holy Sacrament of the Altar in the votive chapel, for the spiritual professions in Croatia

15:00 The piety of the Stations of the Cross and the blessing of the pilgrims along the main path of the pilgrimage

17:00 The Rosary of God's Mercy in the parish church

19:00 Sang recitations and litanies to the Holy Blood, evening prayer

19:40 The Holy Mass of gratitude in the votive chapel

For the latest guidelines due to epidemiological measures, check the Ludbreg Tourist Board  Facebook page

To learn more about Ludbreg and its unique religious heritage,  check out the Total Croatia Ludbreg in a Page guide.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Concerts, Choirs, Kayaking and Craft Beer: Summer in Ludbreg

August 11, 2021 – Sports, recreation, workshops, concerts and festivals have filled the 2021 event calendar of Summer in Ludbreg. And, there's still more to come...

Taking place over several days at the beginning of September, Ludbreg Days of Holy Sunday is usually the busiest time of year for the small city in Varaždin County. As many as 100, 000 pilgrims pass through Ludbreg streets during the event. In terms of numbers, nothing else comes close.

However, over recent weeks, the city's parks, squares and streets have been full of people and activity. Following a much quieter 2020 than anyone wanted, in 2021 summer in Ludbreg has sprung back to life. Music, events, sports and recreation have all returned to create the fullest social calendar Ludbreg has seen. And, it's not over yet.

Here we look back on just some of the highlights of Summer in Ludbreg. And we preview what's still to come.

2021 Summer in Ludbreg

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Concerts, Choirs and Music Outdoors

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Music has brought residents and visitors together this August in the outdoor area of Batthyany Castle, Ludbreg (pictured above). Highlights have included a visit by Daniel Caccia and Organ Trio who played jazz and Mirko Švenda Žiga, who performed a specific 'Kaykavian Cabaret'. All concerts begin at 8:30pm and entrance is free.

Still to come:

Friday 13th August - a return visit from Zagreb Brass Quintet

Friday 20th August - Oridano Gypsy Jazz Band

Friday 27th August - MPZ Podravina

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Kayaking, Tennis Courts and Yoga for Karma – Sports and Recreation

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Active Summer in Ludbreg has seen rollerblading in the city centre and free tennis lessons for children between 6 and 12 years at Tenis Klub Podravina Ludbreg. Perhaps the most visually impressive section of the program has taken place in the beautiful recreation area Otok Mladost, which lies immediately next to Ludbreg centre.

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With sunlight filtering through the trees, residents and friends have taken to exercise mats for pilates and yoga. For the greater exertion of zumba and full body workout, they take to the grass.

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Active Summer in Ludbreg began at the beginning of July and runs right the way through to the end of August.

Craft Beer Festival and Bonsai workshop

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Over 30 Croatian craft beers were available at the Ludbreg Craft Beer Festival

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One of the best things about choosing Bonsai trees as a hobby is that it never gets old. You're always learning, making a deeper connection with nature. You can work on as many trees – and as many different kinds of trees – as you like. Your relationship with your tree is never complete – your tree just keeps on growing. Ludbreg residents learned all this and more at the recent Bonsai workshop.

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Images courtesy Ludbreg Tourist Board, Active Summer in Ludbreg and MPZ Podravina

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Yoga in the Centre of the World, as Active Ludbreg Summer Begins

July 6, 2021 - Many tourists may be heading to the coast this summer, but there is plenty happening in continental Croatia, including Active Ludbreg Summer, which kicked off on Saturday. 

What kind of unique experiences can you have in Croatia? Yoga in the centre of the world, perhaps?

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Tourism in continental Croatia has a very different look and feel to lazy days on the beach, and the more I look around the towns and villages of continental Croatia, the more I admire their different approaches. 

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One such town is Ludbreg, a destination I have been writing about for some time now, in partnership with the Ludbreg Tourist Board. A town which is famous for its claim to be the centre of the world and home to the only certified miracle in Croatia has been working hard at improving its tourism over in the last couple of years. The opening of Archaeological Park Iovia earlier this year was a major milestone for the town's tourism, and the park is also proving popular - learn more about the opening day here.

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In addition to the museum, the town has upgraded its access along the river and is putting more emphasis on the use of a beautiful location - Otok Mladosti (Island of Youth) - a short walk from the centre. Otok Mladosti is a natural haven just outside the town, which is used for a number of events and concerts, as well as being a popular local fishing spot. 

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The town is also promoting active and healthy tourism, with cycling increasingly important as an activity, and it was the 34th Ludbreg Biciklijada which was one of the highpoints of the town's active summer programme, as Active Ludbreg Summer 2021 kicked off on Saturday.

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While the cyclists took to the roads, there were a range of other activities for people to enjoy, with plenty of family fun. 

A new beach bar with DJ was opened on Otok Mladosti, one more addition to the Ludbreg tourism offer. 

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One of the most popular parts of the Saturday programme was the family competition, starting at 14:00, with challenges including tug of war, jumping in bags, frisbee, and an egg and spoon race. 

Attention then turned to the river, with the chance to try out kayaking and canoeing. 

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And the evening session turned to zumba and fitness. 

You can get a sense of the fun of the day in this video above. 

Active Ludbreg summer continues - you can find the events for the rest of the week below, as well as following the latest on the dedicated Facebook page

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For a more comprehensive look at this rather unusual town, check out the TC Ludbreg in a Page guide

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Discover Active Ludbreg: Canoeing, Kayaking, Cycling, Hiking, Walking

May 12, 2021 – From canoeing and kayaking on the Bednja to cycling and hiking through the forests and foothills of the Kalnik Mountains, Active Ludbreg is the best way to see the countryside in this particular part of Varaždin County.

The pretty town of Ludbreg is used to hosting visitors. Site of the only Vatican-recognised miracle in the Balkans, in regular years Ludbreg usually welcomes more than a million followers of faith. However, many come just for the day.

Pilgrimage is certainly one good way to see a specific side to Ludbreg. But, there are several different facets to this charming little town. And, there are good reasons to stay for a couple of days or so. Not least, Ludbreg's active options - canoeing, kayaking, cycling, hiking, walking.

RE09f7f61c87fd55e0794b26bfd64c367a_XL.jpgLudbreg's Youth Island (Otok Mladosti) - the perfect place for walking and recreation - is fully accessible to all, including wheelchair users © Ludbreg Town

Active Ludbreg is a great way you can better experience what the town has to offer. You'll see so much more of the countryside that surrounds. When you take on Active Ludbreg, each day can be different. Active Ludbreg options are the perfect reason for you to stick around for more than just a day.

Active Ludbreg: Cycling


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A diverse scenery of forests, fields, hills, flat plains and river valleys will fill your eyes as you cycle around Ludbreg. Furthermore, there are several Active Ludbreg cycle routes to suit your mood, group or ability. With the family, you can leisurely tour all the sights of the town on the traffic-free City Route. Heading out of town and into the countryside, the Trekking Route gives a fuller picture of Ludbreg greenery. It won't make much of a demand on you.

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Stepping up a gear, the Gravel Route is aimed at recreational riders who like to keep fit and get off-road. Perfect for mountain bikes, the rises on the route will open up some great scenery as well as challenging your legs. Lastly, the Road Route offers a physical challenge for serious cycling enthusiasts. Good for speed cyclists and racers, the higher gradients here demand at times you fully exert yourself on the asphalt.

RE166904625_3800992213330458_9221334015058037297_n.jpgCyclists taking on the routes of Ludbreg during 2021 Welcome Spring event @ Terca Art / Grad Ludbreg / TZ Ludbreg.

Additionally, Ludbreg is located on several recognised international cycling routes. the cross-border Happy Bike route will take you across the Hungarian border, as does the Mura-Drava route. Ludbreg is also very close to the Croatian section of the EuroVelo 13 route. This epic 9,950 km cycling tour retraces the old 'Iron Curtain', from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea. Why not stop off in Ludbreg if you're taking on part of this challenge?

If you want to learn more about the cycling routes of Active Ludbreg, then look here.

Active Ludbreg: Hiking and Walking


REludbreg-kalnik-2.jpgWinter 2021 trip into the nearby Kalnik mountains by Mountaineering Association Ludbreg @ Planinarsko društvo Ludbreg.

Forming a partial natural border between Varaždin County and Koprivnica-Križevci County, the northern edge of the Kalnik Mountains gently stretches down to Ludbreg in the form of wood and forest-covered hills. This beautiful and fresh landscape is perfect for walkers, hikers and runners.

RE20150510_132509.jpgThe good people of Mountaineering Association Ludbreg in the forest-covered foothills of the Kalnik Mountains near Ludbreg @ Planinarsko društvo Ludbreg.

Active Ludbreg's Crazy Hill Green Trail is an untaxing 10-kilometre route through the fresh and peaceful wooded hills south of the town. You can take this on as a run or simply just a pleasant two-hour walk. At 16 kilometres in length, the Crazy Hill Blue Trail passes through a similar topography. Again, it is not demanding and so can also be walked. The payoff of taking on the trail's final rise is a beautiful view of the woods stretching all the way into the Kalnik mountains. Want to make a day of it or give yourself a serious challenge? Ludbreg's Crazy Hill Red Trail throws down the gauntlet in the form of a 34-kilometre route for the physically fit.

RE20200315_134701.jpgWinter 2021 trip into the nearby Kalnik mountains by Mountaineering Association Ludbreg @ Planinarsko društvo Ludbreg.

Of course, not all of the footfall through Ludbreg needs to be physically exerting. You can take most routes at whatever pace you like, including the 23-kilometre Kalnik Hiking Trail. And, for a more recreational time in the fresh air, a trip around Ludbreg's Youth Island (Otok Mladosti) is immediately accessible, including wheelchair users.

If you want to learn more about the hiking and walking routes of Active Ludbreg, then look here.

Active Ludbreg: Kayaking and canoeing


REIMG_20200924_131447-01.jpegCanoe and kayak on the Bednja in Ludbreg @ Nikolina Breber

The latest offer of Active Ludbreg is kayaking and canoeing on the Bednja river. Starting its journey way to the west, near the Slovenian border, in truth, the Bednja has already run 100 kilometres by the time it reaches Ludbreg. In spring and autumn particularly (but, sometimes also in summer), the water level is high enough for you to take a canoe or kayak down the river's final run towards the Drava river. Here, you get to see wild nature up close. On the river banks, low bushes overhang the water's edge. Behind them, an avenue of shading trees along the river's length.

REIMG_20200924_120804-01.jpegCanoe and kayak on the Bednja in Ludbreg @ Nikolina Breber

Thursday, 13 May 2021

Archaeological Park Iovia - Ludbreg Officially Opens!

May 11, 2021 - The archaeological park Iovia - Ludbreg was ceremoniously opened in Ludbreg on Monday as one of the city's largest and most important projects.

First, the news of the opening of the new archeological park Iovia - Ludbreg on Monday:

Podravski reports that the museum was opened by the Minister of Culture and Media, Ph.D. Nina Obuljen Koržinek with the mayor of Ludbreg Dubravko Bilić and the director of the restoration institute and honorary Ludbreg citizen, doctor of science Tajana Pleše.

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"It is not every day that archeological sites are opened, arranged, researched, and presented in this way, organized according to all international standards, and look how archeological parks should be developed and managed. This locality and other projects funded by the European Union have an important tourist component. When the pandemic situation calms down, this will certainly be one reason for visitors to come to Ludbreg. It is a real pleasure to witness an event like this at this time, and I believe that today's opening is an encouraging announcement of returning to life as we knew it before the pandemic," said Minister Obuljen Koržinek at the opening and thanked everyone who participated in the project.

 

The mayor of Ludbreg, Dubravko Bilić, said that Ludbreg is a city that is recognized for using European funds. The archeological park project is one of the most important city projects.

"This project was for us the first large registered project that turned Ludbreg into a city of European projects. I remember how much effort and time was put in by everyone who worked on the application to finally submit the application on the last day and thus knock on Europe’s door. Fortunately, the project was approved and received 14.3 million kuna in grants, while the rest came from the Ministry of Regional Development and the City of Ludbreg. In the end, the value will be close to 19 million kuna. The importance of the project is, on the other hand, invaluable because it activates all our potentials in tourism and the economy and presents Ludbreg as a rich place where visitors have something to see," said Mayor Bilić in part of his address and thanked everyone who helped implement the project.

The director of the restoration institute and honorary citizen of Ludbreg, doctor of science Tajana Pleše, also addressed the audience, emphasizing in an emotional speech that such parks are extremely rare and that it is a great honor to be a part of it.

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As the presentations continued, I took a step back to take some pictures, and I was struck by just how much of interest there is in this unusual town. I have been mildly fascinated with Ludbreg since my first visit back in 2016 when I wrote Ludbreg, the Most Fascinating, Unusual Little Town in Croatia? And every visit brings something new, in this case the opening of Archeological Park Iovia. 

Here, in just a few square metres, in a quiet destination not known for tourism, we can see the Centre of the World, the church which houses the only certified miracle in Croatia, a monument to local javelin heroine, Sara Kolak, who won Olympic Gold in Rio in 2016, and the newly opened museum and park. 

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As most destinations are tightening their belts, Ludbreg's chiefs are investing to improve both the town and the tourism offer. It was great to catch up with the King of Straw, as he put the finishing touches to his straw model of Ludbreg's oldest lady, Erika the rhino. 

Marc Rowlands' feature story yesterday on the rise of active tourism in and around Ludbreg shows that tourism is very much alive in this part of continental Croatia.

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I really liked the layout of the three-storey museum in front of the park. The top floor will be great for workshops.

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And a new conference facility in the basement. 

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As for the exhibition itself, it was perfectly presented, even if some of the exhibits made me feel empathy after all my recent stress and travel. 

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Three clear timelines, side by side - Croatia, the world, and Ludbreg. While the exhibition on the wall is in Croatia, it is available in several languages via multimedia. 

A great addition to an already interesting town, which you can get to know in more detail with our One Minute Ludbreg series, in association with the Ludbreg Tourist Board, starting with the story of that miracle.

To learn more about Ludbreg, visit the dedicated TCN section.

For more, follow Made in Croatia.

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