Tuesday, 17 May 2022

Samobor, a Culinary Day Trip Treat from Zagreb with Much More than Kremsnita

May 17, 2022 - Famed for its kremsnita, Samobor is one of Zagreb's most popular day trips, and there are plenty of other local culinary delicacies to discover. 

Moving to Zagreb has given me a different perspective on life in the capital. Whereas I previously came to visit the city and enjoy the increasingly diverse offer it has, as a resident, I now have one eye on what there is to explore in the region. There is a lot!

With a green ring of nature, tradition, culture, gastronomy, wine roads, and adventure tourism available in Zagreb County (much more on the excellent Around Zagreb website), there is plenty of family fun to be had just 20 minutes from home.  Arguably the most popular day trip destination is the gorgeous historic town of Samobor, accessible by bus, and a 20-minute drive west of the capital. 

Just how popular it was I discovered on the first week of 2022, when we decided to go and explore the town, try the famous Kremsnita, and see what Samobor had to offer in the way of restaurants. According to the recently released Gault & Millau guide for Zagreb and Zagreb County, it seems that there was plenty of choice of quality eateries, with 3 Samobor restaurants featuring in the top 12 in Zagreb County. 

The town was packed! On the first weekend of the year, and restaurants were full, with people queuing to get in. It seems that quite a lot of other people also had the idea to grab a spot of weekend lunch out of the city. Come back during the week, we were advised, there are far less people, and the atmosphere was much more relaxed.

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(Photo by Ivan Tibor Grujic i Marivo)

We managed a good lunch and then headed to King Tomislav Square for perhaps the most popular thing to do in Samobor - trying the famous Kremsnita. Protected and listed in Croatia's Register of Cultural Goods, it consists of two layers of puff pastry and fluffy custard cream. The only two places serving the authentic Samobor-style kremsnita are located on the square: U prolazu pastry shop and Livadic cafe.

But while Samobor Kremsnita is undoubtedly the town's most famous product, there are some other indigenous treasures well worth exploring. 

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(Photo Zagreb County Tourist Board)

Meat lovers should seek out Samobor's very own authentic sausages, known as Samoborska cesnofka, or cesnjovka. This is a smoked sausage with a combination of chopped pork, beef, or veal and pork fat. As the name suggests ('cesnjak' means garlic in Croatian), additional ingredients include garlic, white wine, black pepper, salt and hot paprika. Served in pairs after being stuffed in pork casings, the sausages have a smoky and garlicky taste.

Every good sausage tastes better with a spot of mustard, and here too, Samobor has its own local delicacy. Samoborska mustarda it thought to have its origins with the French occupation of 1808-1812, when locals were taught how to make it. The unique Samobor mix is made from mustard seeds, sweet wine must, grape jam, salt, and sugar, emitting a peppery and fruity taste to compliment the traditional Samoborska cesnjovka. 

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(Photo Samobor Tourist Board)

Every good meal deserves a quality aperitif, and Samobor has its own, called Bermet. It is both sweet and bitter and to make it, red wine needs to be aromatized with wormwood, selected herbs and spice. The story goes that the drink came here with the French soldiers, when this area was a part of Napoleon's Empire. Yet, there is some proof that it predates the French and that the local pharmacists produced it as a remedy before the French came. The most famous producer is the Filipec family. Their lovely tasting room and shop are just around the main square. The family also produce an excellent Samoborska mustarda. 

There is one more Samobor speciality to try before you start your journey back to Zagreb, a delicacy which became a protected EU brand last year (as previously reported on TCN) - Rudarka Greblica. The savoury pie and its name date back to the 16th century and have their roots in what used to be the local mining industry in nearby Rude. 'Greblica' was the Croatian word for a traditional ask rake tool. 

This dish can be best described as a savory pie with cheese filling, neatly wrapped between two thin layers of dough. The filling is occasionally enriched with other ingredients such as walnuts, green onions, or leeks, and before baking, the whole pie is smeared with sour cream.

Rudarska greblica, thanks to the geographical protection it now enjoys throughout the European Union, can be produced exclusively in Rude and surrounding villages and is available at Bakery Nikl, which is the only certified producer of Rudarska greblica. 

And having tried all the local delicacies, take a stroll along the river of this picturesque historic town, just one of the wonders you can find in Zagreb County, a short drive or bus ride from the capital. 

To learn more of the magic of Samobor, check out the Total Croatia Samobor in a Page guide.  

Monday, 4 April 2022

One of Europe's Oldest: St Barbara Mine near Samobor Reopens to Visitors

April 4, 2022 - The St Barbara Mine is one of the oldest European copper and iron mines and also the first in Croatia to open to visitors as a museum.

The people of Samobor are very proud of this locality and tourist attraction, which is located only five kilometers from the city, i.e., in Rude. It is visited by more than 3,500 tourists a year, and the locals were especially pleased that it reopened to visitors until December 4, the feast of St. Barbara, reports Lokalni.Vecernji.hr.

"It is located in a village whose history is directly related to the history of the mine. The first miners immigrated from Germany, and even today, many of the inhabitants of Rude bear surnames such as Fresl, Lehpamer, Steinkler, or Lebegner. The mine reached its golden age in the 16th century when the amount of excavated copper was twice as large as the total production of this ore in England. The mine was closed in the 1950s and opened to the public in 2012 after a ten-year renovation. Apart from families and mountaineers, our most frequent visitors are school children who most enjoy spending time with the mythical creature of our mine Bergman," says Maja Klisurić, guide and member of KUD Oštrc, who has been managing the mine since 2016.

Most visitors do not know they will encounter the Bergman hologram before leaving the mine, which leaves a strong impression on children and adults alike. His story dates back to 1905 when in an article published in the Samobor newspaper, teacher Lujo Philer called the mine Bergman's corridors and left the first record of Bergmans, mythical creatures that live in the depths of the mine.

"Last year, in the simulation of the trench that we set up in front of the mine, we opened a blacksmith's shop where tourists can learn about how blacksmithing used to be, and they can also try their hand at blacksmith tools. Visitors also admire the beauty of the underground, all this is very exciting and interesting, and they are fascinated by the fact that the reconstruction of the mine is mostly due to folklorists and tamburitza players from KUD Oštrc who still run the mine, which seems to be nowhere in the world," says Maja Klisurić.

In addition to the visits organized every Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm, some important dates during the year are celebrated in front of the mine.

"Undoubtedly the most important and most visited are the Days of Rude Greblica, held on the first weekend in July. There is the celebration of European Heritage Day, as part of which we have the program ‘Be a miner for one day'. We are also delighted with Barbarinje in Rude, a program dedicated to St. Barbarians, protectors of all miners, with which we close the season of tourist tours and use the winter for some significant repairs and works in the mine," says Maja Klisurić.

Greblica is a salty cake made of cheese and walnuts or greens that the miners brought to the mine.

"Once the only snack of poor miners, today it is the 29th Croatian product with a protected name in the European Union and the first protected gastronomic product in Zagreb County, to the pride not only of Rude but also of the whole of Samobor," says the guide.

They have a lot of plans for the future, and last year a new attraction was opened, i.e., the smithy of Stjepan Lehpamer, a member of the fourth generation of blacksmiths in Rude.

"There are many plans, and only some of them are the renovation of an additional 465 meters of the mine, multimedia, and the construction of the promenade "walk through the canopy" between the trenches Kokel and Holy Trinity," concludes Maja Klisurić. 

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Saturday, 5 March 2022

Dr. Pigley: Samobor Frelimo Cvarci Get New International Name

March the 5th, 2022 - Samobor Frelimo cvarci have had a spring put back in their step and even have a new international name to boast of as more and more countries want their products.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, due to the growing number of countries to which this company now exports a globally successful product, the popular Samobor Frelimo cvarci have been given a new look and international name - Dr. PIGLEY.

This manufacturer is working out of its Samobor home base with brand new and improved packaging and it produces some of the highest quality Croatian cvarci and healthy lard. It plans to continue to export its products to European countries such as Germany, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain and several other markets.

"Year after year, the share of exports in our revenues is becoming more significant and we realised with our partners that we already have a quality product, but we also need a recognisable market presence, to further advance in both Croatian and foreign markets. We want to clearly set ourselves aside and make ourselves stand out from the competition. We devised a new communication strategy in collaboration with experts from Studio Conex, who very quickly recognised our needs and did a great job. Judging by the first reactions of our customers and business partners, the new Dr.PIGLEY brand and better packaging will meet expectations in the markets in which we operate and win some brand new ones as well. Demanding Croatian and foreign customers are accustomed to the quality of Samobor Frelimo cvarci, which, in this new packaging, will preserve the fine aromas, crunchiness and freshness even longer,'' stated Miroslav Matausic, the founder and director of Fortuna food.

They have been producing lard and domestic cvarci, a much loved pork snack which are very much like pork scratchings/rind (British English) for nineteen years now.

Fortuna food and the Dr.PIGLEY brand are the successors of the Frelimo company, which has been producing lard and homemade cvarci for nineteen years in a modern facility, with the highest health standards and family recipes.

“We enjoyed developing a new communication strategy and the Dr.PIGLEY brand. It's an extremely high quality product which will win people over on their very first taste, so from the very beginning, we've known that we're participating in a story with potentially great international success. Dr.PIGLEY cvarci are a natural product prepared by hand, according to a traditional recipe and are very different from industrial products from other manufacturers,'' explained Boris Lesic, the director of Studio Conex.

Fortuna food has already won awards and recognitions for the quality of its Croatian cvarci and packaging innovation.

For more, check out Made in Croatia.

Saturday, 26 February 2022

Mali Tehnopolis Samobor: Games, Drones Being Created in Ex Military Barracks

February the 26th, 2022 - In some former military barracks in the quaint and charming continental Croatian town of Samobor, not far from Zagreb, innovation is being born. From games and smart devices to drones, Mali Tehnopolis Samobor is putting itself firmly on the tech map.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, in addition to always being a favourite place for dessert lovers, Samobor is increasingly attracting entrepreneurs who are developing successful companies in the blossoming Croatian ICT and gaming industry, as well as those in the air conditioning, automotive, construction, metal and manufacturing industries.

It was in Samobor, on the site of the former Taborec barracks, that Mali Tehnopolis Samobor was completed just two years ago, conceived as a regional centre for the management and dissemination of 3D technologies and innovations within Zagreb County.

The project, worth 21.6 million kuna, of which 90 percent is being co-financed by the European Union (EU), offers start-up owners in the development and growth phase continuous support in business through workshops, seminars and conferences, with additional spaces such as meeting rooms and conference rooms.

Although it was officially completed at the end of August 2020, it actually started operating in mid-June of the same year. At that time, equipment for 3D printing and 3D scanning was put into operation, and on July the 1st, they got their first "tenants".

The capacity of Mali Tehnopolis Samobor, managed by the Samobor Entrepreneurship Centre, is 19 spatial units, of which 16 are currently being used. A total of 1431 square metres of space houses 14 incubated companies whose range of activities is wide, but with the common denominator among them all being modern technology and innovation.

“Samobor has always followed the craft and entrepreneurial tradition, so it isn't surprising that the first business incubator in the town in a very short time was almost completely filled. In addition to the activities represented in the incubator, there's a clear path to modern, technologically advanced and innovative products and services that are or will be found in the near future on both the Croatian and global markets. The key goal is to fully fill the incubator infrastructure and increase the existing portfolio of the clients who use its accompanying content, more specifically 3D technologies and meeting rooms, conferences and coworking rooms. Given the extremely favourable entrepreneurial climate in Samobor itself, we believe that such goals are achievable.

In addition to the subsidised rent of office spaces within the incubator - the first year being subsidised at 70%, the second year at 50% and the third year at 30% - at the request of the market, a virtual incubation service was introduced that allows entrepreneurs to register their company at Mali Tehnopolis Samobor without the need for physical residence incubators, and to use the mailbox, if necessary, a meeting room, and participate in seminars and workshops organised by Mali Tehnopolis Samobor and all this at, I would dare say, currently the best price on the market,'' explained Mali Tehnopolis Samobor's main man, Karlo Kupres.

The Laboratory for 3D Technologies is equipped with modern devices for 3D printing in Multi Jet Fusion and stereolithographic technology, as well as optical 3D scanning, which are available through services to all incubator users, as well as to external companies and individuals. Meeting room spaces, conference rooms and coworking spaces are also available through rental services to outside companies and individuals, Kupres added.

They also conduct seminars and workshops 2-3 times a month, and the topics are related to digital advertising, branding, EU funds and Hamagp-Bicro tenders. Kupres said that attendance levels at seminars and workshops is high if pandemic measures are taken into account. In addition, once a year they organise the Technology Forum, whose main task is the promotion of 3D technologies and the networking of entrepreneurs.

"As an incubator, we cooperate with the Zagreb incubator Zicer, and with the help of 3D technology laboratories we've established cooperation with about 15 companies across Croatia from various industries such as the metal, automotive, medical, construction and entertainment industries," added Kupres.

All those interested who want to move into the incubator can check the public invitations published on the website of the Entrepreneurial Centre Samobor, and with them is the complete documentation required for application, and the rules. Public invitations are published several times a year and last 30 calendar days after their publication.

However, as Kupres pointed out, at any time, those interested can apply for the lease of office space within Mali Tehnopolis Samobor by e-mailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

For more, make sure to check out Made in Croatia.

Thursday, 13 January 2022

Czechs Constructing 500 Million Kuna Samobor Logistics Centre

January the 13th, 2022 - A brand new Samobor logistics centre is on the horizon, as part of a Czech project estimated to stand at around half a billion kuna in total.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, there's a growing logistics ''trend'' in and around Zagreb, and the City of Samobor is paving the way for a project estimated at half a billion kuna, which will be developed by the Czech development and investment company RC Europe.

The aforementioned company is currently engaged in preparing all of necessary documentation for the construction of a brand new Samobor logistics centre (which will also deal with distribution) spanning 83,000 square metres of storage space with a net height of twelve metres, suitable for logistics and various production activities.

Excellent prospects for the accelerated development of the Samobor logistics centre project for not only Croatia but for the whole immediate region, the higher standard for citizens of Samobor and those living in its surroundings, the opening up of more than 800 new jobs and attracting partner investment companies... all of the above are the positive effects which would come from the adopting of a new Samobor UPU. It was discussed at a recently held session of the Samobor City Council.

This is a precondition for the development of the new Bobovica economic zone, within which the realisation of the aforementioned Samobor logistics centre has been announced, as a unique project for this part of Europe that will connect the Republic of Croatia with the wider European Union (single) market.

Talks with potential tenants and companies interested in cooperating on this project have already begun, as was confirmed by the Czech company RC Europe. The current storage capacity envisages about 140,000 places for pallets to be placed on 60-metre-long shelves.

The Samobor logictics centre project will create up to 800 new jobs just for warehouse workers alone, and construction is scheduled to be completed in 2023/2024. After significant experience in construction, RC Europe has realised a large number of successfully completed projects in the Czech Republic, Romania and neighbouring Serbia in the logistics sector.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Get a Taste of Zagreb County Jastrebarsko on Wine Country Getaway

January 12, 2022 – Celebrated Croatian-American Chef Richard Gruica has a big enthusiasm for local wine and food. This Saturday he'll lead curious gastronauts through a culinary tour of Zagreb County Jastrebarsko on Wine Country Getaway.

These days, it's easier than ever to find great local food in Croatia's capital. But, if you're searching for authentic Zagreb dishes, what you'll actually find is a cuisine of shared provenance.

For the most part, Zagreb food is actually the traditional menu of Zagreb County and Zagorje. These largely rural areas supply the homes, hotels and restaurants of Zagreb with much of their best food and wine.

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In villages and towns surrounding Zagreb, traditional skills are used to get the very best from the land. Often, this know how has been passed down over many generations.

Croatian-American chef Richard Gruica has a big enthusiasm for local wine and food. Splitting his time between the US and Zagreb, there's actually nothing better he likes than setting off on a voyage of culinary discovery in Zagreb County. Thankfully, there's lots to explore.

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This Saturday, 15th January, Richard is sharing some of the secrets he's found in Zagreb County Jastrebarsko on Wine Country Getaway. He'll take a small group from Zagreb to one of Croatia's premium wine-growing regions. There, you'll try some of the best wines made in continental Croatia, while learning about indigenous grapes and traditional methods. After sampling the wines, you'll be treated to a meal of traditional local food, with wine paired to the dishes.

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Richard's Wine Country Getaway will visit Plešivica, Jastrebarsko, the Samobor Hills, and the southern part of the Žumberak mountains. The tour will visit the estate of a renowned local winemaker. You'll also drop in on a traditional copper – he's the only one in this region still making wooden barrels in the traditional way. After taking in the tradition, you'll head into the hills to enjoy a traditional lunch in a rustic wooden hillside tavern. Richard's tour will conclude with a trip into town for a famous dessert.

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Richard's tour of Zagreb County Jastrebarsko on Wine Country Getaway includes

• Transportation

• Cooperage visit and tour

• Wine tasting and tour

• Gourmet lunch with appetizer, choice of entrée and paired wine

• Dessert

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All guests will be picked up in front of Hotel Academia (Ul. Ivana Tkalčića 88) at 11am on Saturday 15th January. You'll return to Zagreb at approximately 7.30pm. The cost for Zagreb County Jastrebarsko on Wine Country Getaway is 500 Kn or 75 USD. You can book your place and get more information here.

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Monday, 13 December 2021

A Jolly Good Trip: Digital Nomads Discover Zagreb County

TCN joins a merry band of digital nomads on a tour of Zagreb County, discovering some of the fine things the region has to offer

Digital nomads residing in Zagreb got together to recap the year at the Zagreb Digital Nomad Jolly WrapUp event that took place last week.

After the opening night hangout and the panel that followed the next day, a merry band of digital nomads set off on tour of Zagreb County on Saturday, December 11th. Sure, Advent in Zagreb might be the star of the show, but there’s plenty to see and do around the Croatian capital: the plan for the day promised nice views, cake, dinner and wine. Of course we tagged along - to the bus we go!

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It took a whole five minutes for the sleepy crowd to perk up thanks to James who ingeniously brought along three bottles of rakija, all different kinds at that. Many thanks, kind sir! The goods were generously passed around the bus and we quickly got to chatting - it was looking out to be a jolly good trip indeed.

First stop - Medvedgrad, a 13th century castle perched on the southern slope of Medvednica mountain. The medieval fortress solemnly stands guard over the city of Zagreb, offering a spectacular view over the capital and its surroundings.

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Left to ruin for hundreds of years, the castle was restored a few decades ago, with the most recent addition being an educational visitor centre completed in 2020. By a stroke of luck, Medvedgrad suffered no damage in the devastating earthquakes that hit the area last year.

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The new visitor centre is a work of art - more on that coming soon in a separate feature. Housed in the south tower and two palaces, several sleek exhibits unveil the secrets of Medvedgrad: medieval history, legends and mysteries, nature and wildlife, all superbly presented through a series of interactive displays. We had loads of fun exploring the castle grounds and admired the winter landscape from the top of the tower. 

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On to Samobor, a charming little town located a 10 minute drive from the city of Zagreb. The town is known for the lively traditional carnival (Fašnik) that takes place in February, but also for its artisans and craftspeople manufacturing various goods and souvenirs such as the licitar hearts.

It was too cold a day for any ambitious sightseeing and we were perfectly happy to get acquainted with our destination in a different way: feasting on kremšnita, the iconic custard cream cake Samobor is famous for.

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We gathered at the Livadić cafe on the main square for a generous serving of kremšnita and coffee to warm up before the last leg of the tour.

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And what a finale it was: an early dinner and wine tasting at the Jagunić winery, a family-run establishment and part of the wine road on Plešivica hill. We got there just in time to see the sun set over the rolling hills - quite a scenic backdrop even in the middle of December, and I can only imagine how sublime the view gets in spring when the entire landscape is in bloom.

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It was evident how much love and care goes into everything the Jagunić family does, from grape growing and winemaking to hosting guests in their restaurant. We got a taste of the region’s traditional cuisine with a wonderful four course meal, each course paired with a different Jagunić wine.

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The family predominantly produces sparkling wines, as well as whites and amber orange wines. They’re made from several grape varieties grown in their own vineyards. As our host explained during his warm welcome speech, their approach to winemaking starts with the soil and ends at the table; they control every step of the process.

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Genuine hospitality and a superb eno-gastro experience. It’s a spot not to miss - pair it with a visit to Samobor or the nearby Jastrebarsko town and you have yourself a fantastic day trip. We certainly enjoyed discovering some of the fine things Zagreb County has to offer - thanks for having us, and until next time!

 

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Wine Roads of Jastrebarsko, Samobor, Sv. Ivan Zelina Presented through New Website

27 Nov 2021 - Central Croatia is rightfully getting more and more acclaim as a top-notch travel destination. This is especially true when it comes to its offer of food and wine. Another step in the right direction is the unveiling of the new project Gourmet Tourism – GoWine.

There are numerous attractive towns, villages, and micro-regions around the Croatian capital Zagreb. Some of them are well known among Croatians, most of them unfairly neglected by international travellers. However, things are changing at a rapid pace and we are seeing an increase in promotional actions uncovering the wonders of Central Croatia. The Gourmet Tourism project is a joint effort by tourism boards of three towns: Sv. Ivan Zelina, Jastrebarsko, and Samobor and aims at promoting the food and wine offer in these three areas. This project is backed by the Zagreb County Tourism Board and authorised by the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and Sports.

Increasing visibility of Jastrebarsko, Samobor, and Sv. Ivan Zelina

The primary goal of the project is to communicate a local offer of authentic food and wine more clearly and efficiently by creating interactive and printed maps, a promotional website (www.gowine.hr), WebVR app, as well as to give the project its own recognisable visual identity. The most attractive parts of all these three areas covered in the project are their wine roads. Using stylised maps, the users will now have an easy time navigating them. The locations of numerous local wineries and countryside estates offering quality, authentic bites and sips are now there for all to find and enjoy. With plenty to explore in the area, the creators of the maps had their hands full at selecting those local businesses that will represent the area well.

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The presentation of the project itself took place at the beautiful Mirnovec Ethno Farm. While there was plenty of information to go through, representatives of the three tourism boards and their associates kept the protocol dynamic and interesting. With plenty of mouth-watering local food and delicious wine, all gathered members of the press were able to taste for themselves exactly what wonders lie in the vicinity of Zagreb. Well-known names of the Croatian food and wine scene: Mr. Bakalovic, Mr. Spicek, and Mr. Spiranec created a lunch menu perfect for showcasing the finest this region has to offer. 

So, next time you get a chance, make sure to explore the areas of Jastrebarsko, Samobor, and Sv. Ivan Zelina. With gowine.hr and all the local information one click away, you now officially have no excuse not to do so. Just make sure you go hungry and thirsty.

For all the tourism information in Croatia, do not miss Total Croatia

Sunday, 3 October 2021

2021 CRO Race: Stephen Williams Named Overall Winner, Tim van Dijke Wins 6th Stage

October 3, 2021 - Briton Stephen Williams, a member of the Bahrain Victorious team, is the winner of the 2021 CRO Race which ended on Sunday.

In the last, sixth stage on the roads of Zagreb County and the capital, from Samobor to Zagreb (157.5 kilometers), Williams took second place behind the Dutchman Tim van Dijke (Jumbo-Visma) and thus defended the leader's red shirt in the overall standings, which he took over with a stage victory in Opatija on Saturday, reports HRT.

Up to six kilometers before the finish, Williams could ride comfortably in the main group, but after entering the last lap in the center of Zagreb, Van Dijke and Norwegian Markus Hoelgaard, second and third in the overall standings, had attacked, so Williams had to react. 

The leading trio in the overall standings took the first three positions in the last stage, and in the final sprint in front of the Croatian National Theater, Van Dijke was faster than Williams, while Hoelgaard finished third with five seconds ahead of the peloton led by Australian Kaden Groves (Team Bikeexchange).

Williams eventually reached the biggest victory of his career, having won only one weaker stage race in France so far (Ronde de l'Isard 2018), with a 13-second lead over second-placed Van Dijke and 17 seconds ahead of third-placed Hoelgaard.

Apart from the stage victory in Zagreb and the second place in the overall standings, Van Dijke is also the winner of the competition for the best young cyclists and won the white T-shirt.

The blue T-shirt intended for the best sprinter was worn by the Dutchman Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma), while the green T-shirt for the best climber was won by the British Simon Yates (Team Bikeexchange).

Bravo for another world-class cycling event!

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

Transparent Samobor Provides Automated Display of Payments, Contracts

July the 27th, 2021 - Transparency isn't something the Croatian authorities are all that used to. With corruption apparently being tackled with a wave of new mayors and local government units doing things differently, one continental Croatian town is going a step further. Meet transparent Samobor.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, in July, Samobor became the only city in all of Croatia to boast an automated display of all of the payments, invoices, contracts and purchase orders made by Samobor's administration in one place, thanks to the digital service iTransparency made by the Zagreb IT and consulting company Libusoft Cicom.

This digital service enables the creation of a transparent Samobor, the publication of timely, accessible, accurate and credible information on the implementation of budget items, which, among other things, prevents irresponsible actions and misuse of public funds, while local government units are encouraged to publish and explain their own budget documentation.

At the same time, the general level of information available to people, the media, entrepreneurs and even investors about local strategies and actions and their results has been raised, and it's all available in just a few clicks on the following website: https://transparentno.samobor.otvorenigrad.hr/isplate.

The director of the company responsible for the development of the newly transparent Samobor's service, Marko Ignjatovic, explained just how the system works and what it means for this city.

“Samobor is currently being provided with insight into payments made out to both individuals and legal entities, as well as incoming invoices, contracts and purchase orders, which will provide people with an accurate insight into all operations. On top of that, further improvements in functionality are being made to make new search and filtering capabilities available; according to time and the desired classification.

The possibility of corruption is definitely now reduced to a minimum and from our experience so far, we can say that the first results are visible very quickly. Unlike some competing solutions, our iTransparency system simply connects to other systems, and all of the data comes in automatically. In this way, additional costs and the possibility of mistakes are avoided, and business itself is facilitated,'' stated Ignjatovic.

The value of the project ranges from 20 to 30,000 kuna. and the company's team gradually developed and upgraded it over the years, while the introduction of the system in Samobor was worked on intensively for two weeks.

The iTransparency service is just one of the nine functionalities of the company within the LC Platform Open that can be implemented in the business of counties, cities and municipalities.

"So far, about 20 cities and about 10 municipalities have joined the project, and some more are currently in the process of being introduced. Digitisation and transparency are no longer a matter of choice but a legal obligation. As a direct consequence of the introduction of digitalisation and transparency, JLP (R) S is becoming more open to people, it's becoming easier and faster to communicate digitally, we can facilitate business insight, and it allows for more efficient budget management and the optimisation of investments,'' said the director.

Most of their team, out of a total of 140 experts, are based in Zagreb, but in order to be more easily accessible to many users, some are located in four business centres in Dalmatia, Primorje, Istria and even further east in Slavonia.

So far, they have achieved successful cooperation with more than 1,200 users, which include budget users, utility companies, residential building managers, companies and non-profit organisations, meaning that the newly transparent Samobor is one client in a long line for this successful Croatian enterprise.

“Thanks to 29 years of experience and numerous references, we've become leaders in the segment of software solutions intended for local and regional self-government units. We're proud to be able to stand out in the field of customer support, consulting services, online education and consulting, system and technical support, design and implementation, etc. Thanks to this transformation of business and comprehensive service, in addition to being an IT company here on the Croatian market, we've also profiled ourselves as a successful consulting company,'' stated Ignjatovic.

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