Sunday, 27 March 2022

Affordable, Useful, Stunning Daily Croatian Internal Flights, And It is Not Croatia Airlines

March 27, 2022 - Looking to travel around Croatia quickly, at an affordable price, and with spectacular views? Meet the Croatian internal flights they don't tell you about. 

The Croatian motorways are excellent. Expensive, but excellent. 

And with so many projects on the TCN plate at the moment, from Dubrovnik to Osijek, travelling between destinations can be not only expensive, but time-consuming. 

Earlier this month, I had a long trip starting in Zagreb, which took in Split, Dubrovnik, Tivat, Tirana, Dubrovnik, Osijek, and back to Zagreb. As my car was in the garage, and with fuel prices rising due to the Ukraine conflict, I decided to use public transport for the journey, which was fine in theory, but how was I going to get from Dubrovnik to Osijek? Even if I had my car, Google told me that I had a tortuous 8-hour drive through the poor roads and eager traffic police of Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

"Why don't you fly?" a friend asked. "No, not with Croatia Airlines, but check out the amazing service of Trade Air."

Trade Air. A Croatian airline based in Osijek, but which does much of its business outside of Croatia. I was aware from blogging over the years that they had some curious routes all over Croatia, but I had never considered them before. I decided to take a look. 

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The routes, part of a Public Service Obligation (PSO) tender, seemed to have been prepared especially for me. Apart from the handy connections (the Dubrovnik to Osijek flight was a little circuitous, but it was less than 3.5 hours door to door), I had never come across anyone who had actually flown these routes before, apart from one aviation geek friend who told me that the Zagreb to Osijek route is legendary among the aviation community as being fairly pointless, with little take up - an expensive subsidy. 

Wait, there is a flight from Zagreb to Osijek, which is only 2.5 hours away by car, 3 hours by bus? Not only a flight, but a flight twice a day three times a week. And with a ticket price of just 30 euro one way, rather a cheap deal indeed. As I had one overnight stay in Osijek, I booked the 06:30 flight the next day - I would be in central Zagreb for 08:00 and ready for a new business day. 

But first, I had to get to Osijek from Dubrovnik. As part of its PSO mandate, Trade Air covers different routes through the working week, connecting Dubrovnik, Split, Pula, Rijeka, Osijek and Zagreb with its 19-seater plane. As luck would have it, on my day of travel, the Dubrovnik flight to Osijek was making quick stops at Split and Rijeka Airports (on the island of Krk). When I compared the price of the ticket (450 kuna) to the cost of fuel, tolls, time, and frustration had I gone by road, it looked a bargain indeed. And that was without the views.

So how was it?

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I was curious to see how many people would be on the flight. 10 passengers from Dubrovnik to Split, plus flight attendant - more than half-full in mid-March.  

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In many ways, the flight took me back to the era of the Croatian seaplanes of 2014-6 - a small plane hugging the idyllic Croatian coastline, flying low, and affording the very best bird's eye views out there. Having enjoyed Mljet (see lead photo), passing over Croatia's most iconic beach at Zlatni Rat in Bol on the island of Brac, while waving to my mother-in-law in Jelsa across the water on Hvar. 

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We left Dubrovnik on time at 13:20, and after 30 gorgeous sun-kissed minutes of island gazing, a gentle approach to Split Airport in the March sun. 

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A stop for 30 minutes to refuel and pick up extra passengers - 14 on the short flight north to Rijeka. 

And, rather than looking at more perfect islands, I took my seat on the other side of the plane for this leg, and was rewarded with the fabulous combination of sun, sea, snow.  

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As well as plenty of time to reflect on the vast emptiness of this beautiful country. So much of it completely untouched.  

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And if you do have island viewing FOMO on the right side of the plane, simply look left.  

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One of the joys of the flight is flying low over the islands, so that you can pick out individual idyllic spots, such as this one with one small house having the bay to itself on Vela Luka on the island of Krk.  Croatia has more than a thousand islands, each unique in its own way, and there are few better ways to get an overview than this flight. 

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Some island hopping, as we landed at Rijeka Airport. Time check 15:15. 

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A 30-minute stopover on Krk, enough time to check out some of the interesting planes which have taken up permanent residence close to the runway. Anyone know the story of this baby? Please contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Rijeka plane.

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Airborne again, this time heading east, with 9 passengers for the final leg to Osijek. Slavonia, my Slavonia. Once the breadbasket of the region. Could it be again? SO much land, so much potential. 

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Having started at the newly developed Dubrovnik Airport terminal, followed by a stop in fashionablee Split. arrival at Osijek Airport was a reminder of where eastern Croatia lies in the government's list of priorities.  So much potential out east, so much magic, but so little interest or meaningful investment from Zagreb. 

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Arrival time 16:55, a few minutes early. One of the few flights of the day, and the airport was largely deserted. But as for the passenger experience and price, more than 10 out of 10, thanks to Trade Air and the Croatian taxpayer. The PSO service is an excellent initiative and vital link for communities (even more so with Jadrolinija connecting islands by ferry), with one major exception, as I was about to find out the following morning.  

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The Zagreb to Osijek flight. With the Slavonian capital starved of connectivity anywhere (one international route to Munich starting in May), and with the allocated funds which could be used to support other, more useful routes (Osijek to Dubrovnik perhaps, allowing for locals to explore their own country, visit relatives, and do business), the final leg of my 10-day trip made no sense whatsoever. 

Just four people on the flight. How many are normally on it, I asked the Osijek ground crew? They smiled. Sometimes 2, something 3, almost never more than 5. Twice a day, 3 times a week. Yes it is a pointless route, they smiled, shrugging their shoulders. For 7 years now, apparently. And at what cost?

A little Googling got me to this paragraph, highlighting how insane the route is in an otherwise laudable PSO initiative:

The value of the new PSO contracts has not been disclosed. Under the previous deal, Croatia Airlines received 11.4 million euros in annual compensation for the domestic services. The largest amount, 4.2 million euros per year, went towards maintaining flights between Split and Zagreb, where the airline was remunerated some 22 euros per passenger carried, although the largest compensation per traveller was on the Zagreb – Pula - Zadar service, totalling 177 euros. The value of Trade Air's PSO contracts amounted to 2.5 million euros per year. The largest share of the subsidies went towards the upkeep of the Osijek - Zagreb service (1.3 million euros per year), where the airline was compensated approximately 599 euros per passenger.

I checked with some airline sources, who told me that these numbers were not accurate for the latest PSO contracts (as the website said, the amounts for the latest PSO contact were not disclosed). But the numbers were an indicator of the situation. An unnecessary waste of money on an unnecessary route, with so many more useful and deserving routes either underutlised or not existing. 

As I arrived at Osijek Aiport at 05:45 for the flight with just 4 passengers, the cafe was open, as was the souvenir shop. How many flights are there from Osijek today, I asked. Just two, inlcuding this one. The cafe went unvisited, the souvenir shop ignored. Total ticket sales mustered just 120 euro. 

I am sure somebody, somewhere knows why we have this flight for over 7 years now. And maybe one day, someone in authority will question its use and see how to better spend the money to serve Osijek.

But in the meantime, kudos to Trade Air for operating such an efficient and punctual service. It is one I shall be using again. If you want to check out the Trade Air daily timetable and ticket prices, visit the official website

To learn more about Osijek, check out the Total Croatia Osijek in a Page.

Sunday, 27 March 2022

NK Osijek's New Pampas Stadium Completion Pushed Back until End of 2022

March 27, 2022 -  The new deadline for constructing Pampas stadium, which NK Osijek will use, has been moved to December 31, 2022.

The stadium was initially supposed to be completed in June 2020, but it has already been moved twice at the investors' request and was finally supposed to be completed in June 2022. As it became clear that due to problems in the construction, the stadium would not be completed this summer, the City of Osijek once again decided to meet the investor on a new deadline, reports Nacional.hr.

“NK Osijek asked the city to extend the deadline for constructing the Pampas stadium and camp until December 31 this year. The price of the entire project is 60 million euros," Sportske Novosti reported on the position of the city leaders.

The construction of the stadium was initially led by Eurokamen, but in March this year, their contract was terminated on the grounds that "due to the dynamics of the contractor's work, the entire project and the completion of the stadium was endangered." At the same time, Strabag d.o.o. was chosen as the main contractor to complete the stadium, assisted by Pharos 95. Kft.

"NK Osijek Football School unilaterally terminated the contract with Eurokamen d.o.o. to execute the first phase of works on the construction of the sports and recreational building of the Football School and NK Osijek. The investor regrets that the company Eurokamen d.o.o. will not complete the works. Still, such a move was necessary because the dynamics of the contractor's work would jeopardize the entire project and the stadium's completion," said the club.

The stadium, which will have a capacity of about 12,000 seats, together with the auxiliary fields, was initially supposed to cost 35 million euros, but due to construction difficulties and rising prices for construction materials, it will be necessary to allocate significantly more funds, mainly from the Hungarian government.

The stadium project has four phases and began in September 2019.

You can see the construction site from a few weeks ago below:

 

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

Thursday, 24 March 2022

First Week of 2022 Croatia Summer Flight Schedule Offering 100 Lines to 6 Croatian Airports

March 24, 2022 -  The 2022 Croatia summer flight schedule kicks off on Sunday with 100 lines to six Croatian airports! 

After a long winter, the summer flight schedule comes into force on Sunday, bringing Croatian airports back to life after months-long hibernation. After several months of slow traffic, the summer flight schedule comes into force with several new and renewed lines on several seasonal international routes to Croatian airports. Croatian Aviation brings the list of routes running in the first week of the summer flight schedule, from March 27 to April 3 to Pula, Rijeka, Zadar, Split, Osijek, and Dubrovnik.

Pula Airport
From 27.03

Zagreb / Zadar (Croatia Airlines),

London (Ryanair).

From 28.03

Split / Osijek (Trade Air),

London (EasyJet),

Brussels Charleroi (Ryanair).

Rijeka Airport
From 27.03

Stockholm (Ryanair),

Brussels Charleroi (Ryanair),.

London (Ryanair).

From 29.03

Split / Dubrovnik / Osijek (Trade Air).

Zadar Airport
From 27.03 

Zagreb / Pula (Croatia Airlines),

Vienna (Ryanair),

Budapest (Ryanair),

Dublin (Ryanair),

Dusseldorf Weeze (Ryanair),

Marseille (Ryanair),

Stockholm (Ryanair).

From 28.03

Berlin (Ryanair),

Brussels Charleroi (Ryanair),

Frankfurt Hahn (Ryanair)

Karlsruhe (Ryanair),

Cologne (Ryanair),

Rome (Ryanair).

From 29.03

London (Ryanair),

Memmingen (Ryanair),

Poznań (Ryanair).

From 30.03

Bremen (Ryanair),

Newcastle (Ryanair),

Paris Beauvais (Ryanair).

From 02.04

Krakow (Ryanair).

Split Airport
From 27.03

Zagreb (Croatia Airlines),

Munich (Croatia Airlines),

Frankfurt (Croatia Airlines),

Rome (Croatia Airlines),

Geneva (EasyJet),

Basel (Easyjet),

London (EasyJet),

Bristol (EasyJet),

Glasgow (EasyJet),

Amsterdam (KLM),

Vienna (Austrian),

Stuttgart (Eurowings),

Berlin (EasyJet),

Dublin (Ryanair),

Cologne (Eurowings).

From 28.03 

Naples (EasyJet),

Osijek / Pula (Trade Air),

Amsterdam (EasyJet).

From 29.03

Rijeka / Dubrovnik / Osijek (Trade Air),

Manchester (EasyJet),

Paris (EasyJet).

From 30.03

Helsinki (Norwegian),

Dusseldorf (Eurowings).

From 01.04

Munich (Lufthansa),

Rome (Vueling),

Osijek (Croatia Airlines).

From 02.04

Barcelona (Vueling),

Naples (EasyJet),

Frankfurt (Lufthansa),

Hamburg (Eurowings),

London (Croatia Airlines).

Osijek Airport
From 28.03

Zagreb (Trade Air),

Pula / Split (Trade Air).

From 29.03

Rijeka / Split / Dubrovnik (Trade Air).

From 01.04

Split (Croatia Airlines).

Dubrovnik Airport
From 27.03 

Zagreb (Croatia Airlines),

Amsterdam (EasyJet),

Amsterdam (KLM),

Barcelona (Vueling),

Bristol (EasyJet),

Brussels (Brussels Airlines),

Dublin (Ryanair),

Dusseldorf (Eurowings),

London (EasyJet),

London (British Airways),

Madrid (Iberia),

Paris (Croatia Airlines),

Paris Orly (Transavia),

Vienna (Ryanair),

Vienna (Austrian),

Warsaw (LOT).

From 28.03

Frankfurt (Croatia Airlines),

Istanbul (Turkish Airlines),

Rome (Vueling).

From 29.03 

Split / Rijeka / Osijek (Trade Air),

Dublin (AerLingus),

Edinburgh (EasyJet),

Geneva (EasyJet),

Naples (Easyjet).

From 30.03

Berlin (Easyjet),

Manchester (Easyjet),

Nantes (Transavia).

From 31.03

London (Jet2),

Manchester (Jet2).

From 01.04 

Helsinki (Finnair).

From 02.04 

Birmingham (Jet2)

Copenhagen (Norwegian),

Frankfurt (Lufthansa),

Munich (Lufthansa).

From 03.04 

Leeds (Jet2).

Brač Airport
Brač currently has no announced flights. For now, the first scheduled flight is expected on April 16 on the Croatia Airlines route from Zagreb.

Dubrovnik has the largest number of lines announced for the first week of the summer flight schedule (36), followed by Split with 31 lines, Zadar with 21, Pula with 5, and Rijeka and Osijek with 4 regular lines each.

Almost all lines to Zadar Airport from next week are on Ryanair, which also applies to Rijeka Airport.

On the other hand, Osijek remains on Trade Air domestic lines, which have been in traffic all winter. The start of international traffic is expected in May. At the beginning of the summer flight schedule, the novelty is the Croatia Airlines route to Split, which will start operating on April 1.

In the first week, Split and Dubrovnik expect several international routes from low-cost carriers and well-known legacy carriers such as Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, British Airways, KLM, and others.

Zagreb Airport was excluded from this list because it had several international flights in the winter, which was not the case in other Croatian airports. 

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

10 Most Valuable Croatian First League Players Ranked

March 23, 2022 - Who are the most valuable Croatian First League players? A closer look during one of the most interesting HNL seasons. 

The Croatian First League (HNL) is more interesting than ever this season. Four clubs are in a tight race for the title of Croatian champion, and all top teams are full of quality.

Dinamo is by far the most valuable team in the HNL, and according to the estimates of the reputable Transfermarkt, is worth around 97.45 million euros. In second place is Hajduk Split, worth 40.95 million euros, followed by Osijek in third worth 35 million, and Rijeka in fourth worth 27 million euros.

When looking at the players individually, Dinamo dominates again, which is to be expected, considering that the club has been successfully representing Croatia in European competitions for several seasons.

However, only two footballers, the young Josip Šutalo and Martin Baturina, have increased in value compared to the last Transfermarkt update. 

The list of the 10 most expensive Croatian First League players starts with Luka Ivanušec, valued at 12.5 million euros, which is a drop of one million compared to previous data. In second place is his teammate Mislav Oršić, worth 11 million euros. In the top five are three more Dinamo players - Dominik Livaković, Arijan Ademi, and Bruno Petković.

The Croatian First League's top scorer and according to many the best player of this season, Marko Livaja, achieved the highest market value in his career and is now worth 6.5 million euros, which is enough for sixth place on the list of the most expensive players in the HNL.

In seventh place is the new Osijek reinforcement Kristijan Lovrić, who shares the spot with Dinamo defenders Josip Šutalo and Rasmus Lauritsen.

The tenth spot is shared by Bartol Franjić and the young winger of Hajduk Stipe Biuk, with an estimated value of 4.5 million euros.

It is interesting that Rijeka's most valuable player, Robert Murić, is only in 16th place.

Source: HRT

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

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Info Centre for Ukrainian Refugees Opens in Osijek

ZAGREB, 22 March 2022 - An information centre for Ukrainian refugees who have fled from the Russian invasion of their country was opened in Osijek in the main square and it will provide information regarding accommodation in Osijek-Baranja County which is currently caring for about 350 refugees.

After Osijek Mayor Ivan Radić and County Prefect Ivan Anušić visited the centre on Tuesday, Anušić said that the integration of Ukrainian refugees in communities in Osijek-Baranja County was going well.

"Refugees can contact this Info Centre to solve their issues and needs, from obtaining documents to communicating with possible employers," Aničić explained.

The Osijek-Baranja County Prefect called on all employers in need of workers to contact the centre where they can be connected with Ukrainians who seek employment. Anyone willing to make their residential premises available to refugees can also contact the centre because the European Commission and Croatian government will cover the cost of their accommodation for the next three years, he added.

Mayor Radić recalled that the county and city authorities promptly prepared themselves for this situation and adopted an Action Plan.

City authorities have prepared a children's corner in the city's Cultural Centre which has already been filled and plans are being prepared for its extension he said and underscored that city authorities were doing everything in their power to help refugees feel welcome.

An attorney and interpreter are present at the Info Centre every day while volunteers assist with everyday tasks in cooperation with Osijek's Faculty of Law.

A Croatian language course has been announced for refugees to help them to be better integrated into the community. The first group consists of 30 adults with childcare services provided while they are attending classes.

Monday, 21 March 2022

€35.6m Project to Upgrade Osijek's Tram Infrastructure Kicks Off

21 March 2022 - The HRK 267 million project for upgrading Osijek's tram infrastructure was launched on Monday in that eastern Croatian city and the works are expected to be completed within the next two years.

Osijek Mayor Ivan Radić said that the project includes the adaptation to low-floor trams, which involves the reconstructing of 9.5 kilometres of tram tracks, the entire contact grid and 23 tram stops which will be adjusted for use by disabled persons.

A total of HRK 200 million (€27 million) will be ensured from EU funds while the remainder will be secured by the state government and Osijek City authorities. The project is aimed at increasing the number of commuters on public city transport, developing a modern and comfortable public transport means and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, Mayor Radić said.

He underscored that this is the first large investment in the city's tram infrastructure in 14 years.

The director of the Osijek City Passenger Transport company, Dejan Rusmirović explained that the project involves the reconstruction of tram tracks, the contact grid and tram stops. It envisages laying 6.5 kilometres of underground cables and the reconstruction of two rectifier stations as well as the construction of a completely new station.

Rusmirović underscored that the project also involves the construction of a new tram depot and extending tram tracks to new locations.

We are currently at the stage of preparing the necessary documents which will also be funded from EU funds and in cooperation with the state government and county and city authorities. The low-floor trams are expected to be delivered over the next three years and our project foresees 24 new trams, ten in the initial phase and then the remaining 14, added the director..

Monday, 21 March 2022

Newfire Global Partners Moving Employees from Ukraine to Zagreb and Osijek

March 21, 2022 - IT company Newfire Global Partners has transferred some of its employees in Ukraine to Croatia, specifically Zagreb and Osijek.

The American company, founded in 2016, operates on four continents and in eight countries, has four offices in Ukraine, three in Lviv, and one in Ivano-Frankivsk. Newfire Global Partners also has offices in Zagreb and plans to open them in Split, reports Index.hr.

However, due to the crisis in Ukraine, Newfire Global Partners decided to offer employees in Ukraine the possibility of moving to Croatia, where another office is being opened in Osijek due to the war.

"We decided to help our employees and members of their families in Ukraine to come to Croatia, which proved to be a safe location. Therefore, we organized a private bus from Lviv to Osijek and Zagreb. As a result, we transported our employees and their children and immediate family members," explained the director of Newfire Global Partners, Stephen Hau.

"From the first day, the City of Osijek has supported our employees and plans to open an office. We look forward to working with and empowering the local business community by opening another office in this beautiful city and creating new jobs. Namely, we plan to hire about a hundred new team members by the end of the year, and we invite all those interested to contact us," he said.

Tetyana Tsyupka worked in Lviv as a business analyst but is now in Zagreb. 

"I come from a beautiful ancient city in western Ukraine - Lviv. The city's geographical location was why we decided to leave Ukraine and why we did it quickly. I woke up on February 24, did what has become my routine in recent months - checked the news, and what I saw was terrifying. Russia declared war on Ukraine. I was scared and didn't know what to do," she said.

"My priority is the safety of my children. I have two children, one is 12, and the other is nine. My husband and I were shocked, but we soon heard sirens, woke up the children, and went to a shelter in the basement. It was the worst day of my life because I had to tell the kids to wake up and get dressed quickly because the war started," she says.

"After that, we decided to cross the border with Poland. We didn't know how safe it was, but we succeeded after six hours of waiting at the border. My children, my husband, and I," she said, adding that she and her husband's parents live in Lviv, and the situation in that city remains tense.

She said she was very grateful to all Croats for their emotional support, both from colleagues and ordinary citizens she did not know.

"My daughter had a stomach ache, but the doctor was highly empathetic and professional. Luckily it was nothing serious. Also, my son played rugby in Ukraine; we wanted him to continue training in Zagreb. Rugby club Zagreb offered to go to free training," she said, adding in the end that we should be with Ukraine in this dramatic time.

Newfire Global Partners employees, partners, and friends have raised about $200,000 for various humanitarian associations and organizations in Ukraine, and the second round of donations is underway.

The company "doubles" each donation by paying the same amount and will continue to help in all possible ways. Thus, the Lviv-Osijek bus will continue to transport employees and members of their families. If one of the employees is called up for military service, they will financially support him and members of his family.

For more, check out our lifestyle section

Monday, 21 March 2022

HNL Round 28 Recap: Gorica Shocks Rijeka, Hajduk Outclasses Lokomotiva, Routine Wins for Dinamo and Osijek

March 21, 2022 - The 28th round of the Croatian First League was played from March 18 to 20, 2022. This round saw Rijeka complicate their race for the title as Gorica won 1:0, while Hajduk, Dinamo, and Osijek recorded wins to keep the top of the standings tight. Here is our HNL round 28 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Istra 1961 (0:0)

Dragovoljac and Istra opened the 28th round on Friday, March 18, 2022, in Zagreb in front of 200 fans. 

Neither team was able to score, and the game ended 0:0. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 14 points, while Istra is in 9th with 25. 

Gorica v. Rijeka (1:0)

Gorica and Rijeka met in Velika Gorica on Saturday, March 19, 2022. 

The first half went without goals, and Da Cruz was booked for his second yellow in the 60th minute, forcing Gorica to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. However, a Cestic own goal put Gorica in the lead in the 73rd minute and gave them the ultimate win. 

 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 36 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 52. 

Hajduk v. Lokomotiva (4:0)

Hajduk and Lokomotiva met in the second match on Saturday, March 19, at Poljud Stadium in Split. 

Nikola Kalinić scored Hajduk's first goal in the 22nd minute for 1:0. Grgić scored the second though it was recalled due to VAR. Krovinović made it 2:0 for Hajduk just before the halftime whistle. Melnjak scored for 3:0 in the 54th minute and Sahiti for the final 4:0 eight minutes later. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 3rd place with 52 points and a game in hand, while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 36. 

Slaven Belupo v. Dinamo (0:1)

Slaven Belupo and Dinamo met in Koprivnica on Sunday, March 20, 2022.. 

Petović scored from an offside position in the 9th minute which VAR called back. Oršić scored the winning goal in the 20th minute for 0:1. 

 

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 30 points, while Dinamo is in 1st with 57 and a game in hand. 

Šibenik v. Osijek (0:3)

Šibenik and Osijek closed out the 28th round on Sunday, March 20, 2022, in Šibenik. 

While the first half went without goals, Lovrić scored for 0:1 Osijek, followed by a Marin own goal for 0:2, and a Topcagic goal for 0:3. 

 

Šibenik is currently in 8th place with 26 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 57. 

You can see the HNL standings HERE

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

Friday, 18 March 2022

Festivities in Eastern Slavonia: Things To Do in Spring

18 March 2022 - Spring is on the horizon! Ceremonies and events are slowly but surely moving outdoors and since TCN already covered “Five Places You Must Visit During Spring in Croatia”, this is a look into what festivities in Eastern Slavonia are happening during the new season. 

Firstly, we need to start with the biggest city of Eastern Slavonia - Osijek. As usual, the greenest city in Croatia has various events that can fulfill any person's preferences: from music, film, theater, and traditional events to sports and other activities that include all of citizens and guests. Since there is no shortage of events this spring season, we had to single out a few that will happen soon. It doesn't hurt to mention again that Osijek is going to host the 29th Porin Music Awards on the 25th of March. For more details, check the article here.

 

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Antiques Fair, (Photo:Okusi sreće by Pavica/Facebook)

 

Antiques Fair - 2nd of April 

The citizens of Osijek love their culture and heritage so it’s not surprising that the Antiques Fair is one the most popular events in the city. From old gramophone records to lost books and masterpieces from local unknown artists, this festivity is for everyone. Excitement as you pass by a sea of stalls that potentially contain a lost “treasure”? It is guaranteed only at the Osijek Antique Fair that is usually held on the first Saturday every month in the Old Town of the city - Tvrđa. However, the next Antique Fair will be held in King Držislav Park near the famous urban statue The Shell (Školjka) on the 2nd of April. The Park is located just across from Tvrđa, so it is not hard to find it. You can check for more here.

 

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Osijek Ferivi Half Marathon (Photo Osječki Ferivi Polumaraton/Facebook)

18th Osijek Ferivi Half marathon - 9th of April 2022 

This event, as the name suggests, will take place in Osijek, with four different races included: a half marathon (21.1 km), relay (3 x 7 km), citizens’ race (5 km), and a race for the youngest - children. These events will be accompanied by a music festival, instrumental, dance, and singing groups with a goal to entertain the visitors and competitors. Since its foundation, Osijek Ferivi Half Marathon has had an increase in the number of participants every single year and it’s becoming one of the biggest sporting events in Osijek and its surroundings. If you’re interested, the application is still open for everyone - it doesn’t matter if you’re a professional or casual, everyone is welcome!

 

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Craft Beer Festival in Osijek (Photo: Osijek CRAFT BEER Festival/Facebook)

Craft Beer Festival - sometime in May (to be determined) 

How can Spring pass in Osijek without an event for beer lovers? In the last decades, Osijek has become a center for beer connoisseurs, not only in Eastern Slavonia but for beer enthusiasts all over Croatia. This fact is not surprising at all if we take into account that Osijek is also a center of multiple small breweries that produce various types of beers which have become iconic for this part of Croatia. Craft Beer Festival has been held last year during June but this year it’s probably coming back to its original date in May. We still don’t know the exact date. Nevertheless, the event will come back to the famous so-called “beer street” - Sun Street (Sunčana Ulica). For updates check their Facebook page.

If you’re interested in breweries in Osijek, check an article from our intern Toni.

After Osijek, we go further East and present cities of Vinkovci and Vukovar. Two historical Slavonian cities have a lot to offer with the support of surrounding small towns and their own events that enrich the lives of locals in Vukovar - Srijem County.

 

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Flower Festival in Vukovar (Photo: Miroslav Slafhauzer/Turistička zajednica grada Vukovara)

Flower Festival - end of the April 

Flower Festivals are a common event in Slavonia (we already had one in Osijek during Women’s Day). At the end of April every year, a Flower Festival is held in the center of Vukovar which brings together local and regional plant growers, florists, arrangers, related craftsmen, and lovers of flowers and ornamental plants. The Fair has sort of an exhibition and sales character which gives a completely different, colorful, and warmer look to the center of Vukovar. This event is also an overture for marking City Day.

 

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Svi zaJedno Hrvatsko Naj Festival in 2019 (Photo: svizajedno.eu/Galerija)

Svi zaJedno hrvatsko naj - cultural and tourist event - part of Vukovar City Day, 3rd of May 

This festival is fairly new - it was firstly held in 2018, as a part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Its uniqueness lies in the fact that it is the first Croatian festival to present protected Croatian intangible cultural heritage on the national and UNESCO list with the most attractive tourist events, attractions, and destinations from all over Croatia. During the event, visitors have a chance of exploring various manifestations held all over Croatia by tasting autochthonous Croatian dishes and enjoying the offer of the best Croatian wines. Of course, what would be a Slavonian event without traditional music and dance groups? For more details, you can check their website.

 

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"Motorijada" in 2021 (Moto Klub Županja/Facebook)

Motorijada by Moto Club Županja - 10th of April 

Motorijada (Moto Race) is an event that is organized by Moto Clubs all over Croatia. Motorcycle enthusiasts organize these events to promote, among other things, motorsports and use this opportunity to meet with their fellow motorcycle buddies. This April, Moto Club Županja is organizing the 16th Opening of Moto Season of Vukovar - Srijem County with the aim of drawing the attention of other road users to the presence and safety of motorcyclists in the traffic. They will start their tour in the village Rajevo Selo and go through multiple towns in Vukovar - Srijem County with the ending in the host city - Županja. Everyone is invited and if you’re a motorcycle enthusiast or just love looking at the motors, this is a great event to visit. For more information, check their Facebook page.

 

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Logo of the Festival (photo: Festival Glumca/Facebook)

Actor’s Festival - all cities of Vukovar - Srijem County, 13 - 22 May 

The festival was founded in 1994 by the Croatian Society of Dramatic Artists and Vukovar - Srijem County and it is the only festival in Croatia dedicated to the actor and their artistic work. Today, this event has grown into a festival that brings chamber and large ensemble performances to the audience. If you’re interested in the festival full of character, good acting, acting personality, talent, and originality, visit Vukovar - Srijem County from 13th to 22nd May this year. Every city will have its appropriate events surrounding this festival. For more, check their official website.

 

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 Petrovačko Zvono event few years ago (photo: savezrusina.hr)

Petrovačko Zvono - sometime in June, 49th edition 

Rusyns are a national minority in Croatia with most of the residents residing in the village of Petrovci, which is located near Vukovar. Tradition, heritage, and constant maintenance of their culture for more than 40 years made this event one the most important in Vukovar - Srijem County. Rusyns from all over Croatia and other countries, visit Petrovci to connect to their fellow Rusyn people. They have a strong connection to Ukraine and their people, so if you’re nearby, visit this event, learn about the traditions of the people who’ve chosen Croatia as their home, and enjoy Petrovačko Zvono and its celebration of their heritage. For more details, you can visit their website here.

This is it for now. There are a lot more events that need mentioning, however, this article won’t be enough. TCN will bring you stories from some of these events and part two of places to visit in Eastern Slavonia is already on the way. Stay tuned!

Make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Knight's Amusement Park and Camp Coming to Kolođvar Fortress Near Osijek

March 16, 2022 - The Kolođvar fortress, a favorite excursion destination for the inhabitants of the Čepin Municipality and surrounding area, is getting a new look.

Zidine, that is, the Kolođvar fortress was built of hard construction material on the northeastern part of the Korođvar marsh - a famous depression located between Čepin, Vuka, Dopsin, Hrastin, and Ernestinovo, reports Lokalni.hr.

The restoration of the Kolođvar fortress aims to activate the historical identity in the present, enrich the local tourist offer, and transfer cultural values to the future.

"With this project, the Municipality of Čepin wants to create preconditions for the restoration of cultural heritage and the development of additional educational and tourist facilities in the existing protected cultural property "Medieval Town Kolođvar" to create a new tourist offer and develop tourism in Osijek-Baranja County," said Dražen Tonkovac, mayor of Čepin.

 

"An integrated development program for the reconstruction of Kolođvar fortress and construction of additional content includes several components, including restoring and revitalizing individual immovable cultural property in the Medieval city of Kolođvar, then arranging educational and tourist content for visitors related to the historical context of cultural heritage and natural forests (info-educative boards), as well as arranging picnic areas with gazebos and barbecues," he states.

Of particular interest will be constructing a themed knight amusement park and camp. The project also includes a mobile stage for concerts and various events. Furthermore, sales and presentation spaces will be arranged from natural materials for exhibiting souvenirs and traditional and local products.

It will enrich the local tourist offer and ensure the transfer of cultural values in the future, all to protect and revitalize the cultural property of the Kolođvar fortress," continues Tonkovac.

The Kolođvar fortress will be included in the tourist cycling route, and the reconstruction will give cyclists a picnic area. Furthermore, arranging picnic areas and facilities for children, i.e., a knight's entertainment camp will be a new oasis for an escape to nature that will attract fans. The project's value is 1,248,750 kuna.

The new tourist offer includes a range of activities and facilities attractive to both locals and various target groups such as families with children, cyclists, individual visitors, generation Y and Z, tourists from river cruisers, organized school groups, and other organized tourist groups with an emphasis on tourists who come for a short vacation," says the mayor.

He adds that the Kolođvar fortress has always been a symbol of this area, specifically for its form, age, and secrecy. Therefore, the goal is to make it not only a tourist attraction but also an outdoor classroom and a pleasant place to spend free time.

Until the coronavirus pandemic, the 'Return of the Knights' event at Korlođvar fortress was held on the walls, organized by the Agency for Sustainable Development of the Municipality of Antunovac - RODA d.o.o., with the support of the Municipality of Antunovac and Čepin.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

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