Monday, 30 November 2020

PHOTOS: The Seven Fantastic Fortresses of FORTITUDE

November 30, 2020 - Fortress of Culture Šibenik has this year begun leading a cross-border heritage project involving seven of the most incredible historic forts on the Balkan peninsula. FORTITUDE joins together three Šibenik strongholds with fortresses in Karlovac (Croatia), Bar and Herceg Novi (Montenegro) and Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Here, we take a look at the adventurous project and each of its seven fortresses

Last week in Šibenik, a meeting was held to discuss how seven historic forts should be linked thematically in the EU-sponsored FORTITUDE project. Over 1.6 Million Euros is being put into the project, of which 85 percent is co-financed by the EU's Interreg IPA CBC Croatia - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Montenegro.

FORTITUDE is being led by Fortress of Culture Šibenik, under which the city's St. Michael's Fortress, Barone Fortress and St. John's Fortress will be run. They join with Old Town of Dubovac in Karlovac (Croatia), Forte Mare, Herceg Novi and the Old City of Bar (Montenegro) and Kastel Fortress, Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina) in the FORTITUDE project, which aims to strengthen and diversify the cross-border culture and tourist offer, as well as develop high quality and sustainable management of these cultural assets.

Though running from 1st March 2020 - 28th February 2022, FORTITUDE will leave permanent links between these incredible, historic places, not least the annual Fortress Night and the sharing of cultural programmes such as exhibitions, festivals or even entertainers.

As Total Croatia News has just shone the spotlight on The 21 Most Incredible Croatia Castles To See Year-Round, we thought it only fair to pay attention to the seven fantastic forts of FORTITUDE

St. Michael's Fortress, Šibenik (Croatia)
Kaštel_s_TanajeDobarSkroz.jpg© Dobar Skroz

The oldest of the three fortresses in Šibenik's contribution to the FORTIFICATION project, St. Michael's is also the most famous, not least for its historical importance, its prominence in the city skyline and its beloved standing as a cultural event space of international repute. Medieval Croatian kings Petar Krešimir IV (in 1066), Zvonimir (in 1078), and Stjepan II (in 1080) all made official and lasting visits here. They probably enjoyed seeing the incredible building upon approach to the city, and the incredible views offered from its walls, in much the same way we do today. Several islands of the Šibenik archipelago and the medieval town form the vista from the top.

tvrdava-sv-mihovila-sibenik-2fortressofculture.jpg© Fortress of Culture Šibenik

Most of St. Michael's preserved ramparts and fortress bastions date from the late Middle Ages and Early Modern Age, but this original settlement can be dated back to the Iron Age. Named after St Michael's church which once lay within its walls, some estimate the church to date as far back as the 8th century (its first official mention is the 12th/13th century). Sadly, the church, along with a large part of St. Michael's Fort, was destroyed in 1663 when lightning hit the store of gunpowder necessarily kept there for its defence. St. Michael's Fortress has been rebuilt many times since it was first founded and a great multimedia museum inside will guide you through its history. Afterward, take advantage of the sun-sheltered bar.

Tvrđava-sv.-Mihovila-Šibenik-(6)_JU_Tvrdava_kultre_Sibenik_2.jpgSt. Michael's Fortress is a host venue to internationally renowned music stars and festivals © Fortress of Culture Šibenik

Barone Fortress, Šibenik (Croatia)
LadyIvyBarone_izgradnja-43.jpegBarone Fortress © Lady Ivy

Named after the defender under whose control it lay upon its 1646 build, Baron Christoph von Degenfeld, modern attempts to more Croatian-ise this fortification as Šubićevac - using the name of a local medieval family - are largely observed only domestically. The fortress was given a more modern rebuild in 1659 – at the time it was so badly needed, its walls had probably been hurriedly built in the same way as those of a shepherd's grazing plot. The northern facade of the fortress was the part used to repel the invaders and is marked by two bastions that extend outwards, allowing returning fire to be issued in multiple directions. These bastions were reinforced with mounds and contained all of the artillery for the fight. The fortress was renovated and reopened in 2016 and today uses multimedia tools to guide visitors through its history and that of the town of Šibenik. There are great views of Šibenik and St. Michael's Fortress from the walls.

View_of_St._Michael_Fortress_from_Barone.jpegView of St. Michael's Fortress from Barone Fortress © Zvone00

St. John's Fortress, Šibenik (Croatia)
AnyConv.com__Tanaja_s_Baronea.jpegSt. John's Fortress © DobarSkroz

The medieval church of St. John the Baptist that stood on a hill, north of Šibenik's historical centre, dates to at least 1444. It is around this church that St. John's Fortress rose up. Naturally, it's also where the name comes from. In early 1646, when it was speedily built, its contemporary construction helped save the entire town. The population vastly outnumbered and the fortress not even complete, between late 1646 and the end of 1647, St. John's Fortress served as the main - and successful – defence against the largest invading army to have been seen in Dalmatia since Roman times. After the Yugoslavian army stopped using it, St. John's Fortress became somewhat neglected – locals enjoying to visit on a wild walk with incredibly rewarding views. It has lagged behind the city's other such assets in its state of repair, but incredible effort to address such neglect has been undertaken in recent years and the revitalised St. John's Fortress is set to open in 2021.

AnyConv.com__Tanaja_sa_sv._Ane.jpegView of St. John's Fortress from St. Michael's © DobarSkroz

Old Town of Dubovac, Karlovac (Croatia)
karlovac-dubovac-optimizirano-za-web-ivo-biocina.jpg© Ivo Biocina / Visit Karlovac

The Old Town of Dubovac is one of the best-preserved and most beautiful monuments of medieval architecture in Croatia. Although the architectural style is a dead giveaway to such dating, you struggle to believe such a pristine building it really so old – not least because, as a defensive fortress, it has been attacked many times. This fortress is the ancestor of the entire city of Karlovac. Nobody is quite sure when construction of the original fortification was begun, but it was certainly standing by the 13th century. Its Renaissance appearance of today comes from a 15th-century reconstruction. The fortress stands 185 metres above sea level on the western side of Karlovac and overlooks the Kupa – one of the city's four rivers.

VisitKarlovacDub.jpg© Visit Karlovac

The fortress has a permanent museum in its main tower, which details the history and fascinating, notable ownerships. One of its best features is a map of the ancient terrain detailing all of the other castles and fortresses that once existing in the region along the same defensive line of which the Old Town of Dubovac was a part. The tower holds incredible views. The ground floor of the fortress has a brilliant restaurant 0 arguably the best standard of food that has ever been served within its walls (and that's saying something, considering the dignitaries who used to live here). The courtyard plays host to art & crafts, gastro and other social events – best of all, perhaps, the music concerts and cinema screenings which take place with the looming, citadel walls gifting an incredibly atmospheric backdrop.

1280px-Stari_grad_Dubovac_-_Karlovac_2Miro.jpg© Miroslav.vajdic

Forte Mare, Herceg Novi (Montenegro)
BigMareH.jpeg© TZ Herceg Novi

Forte Mare, meaning literally Sea Fortress, is appropriately named as it sits impressively on top of a rock which rises directly above the Adriatic. It was once the epicentre of life in the town today known as Herceg Novi, the modern town lying just to its north. Construction of the fortress began in 1382 under the first King of Bosnia, Stefan Tvrtko I Kotromanić, and was originally named Sveti Stefan (Saint Stephen). It acquired the name Herceg Novi some time between 1435–1483 and continued to grow as a town and structure until the 17th century and was restored in 1833.

HercegMare5a78f3015bd19286b33c65657114fc4_2_XL.jpg© TZ Herceg Novi

Rather than ever being forgotten, the fortress is an integral part of the town's tourist offer and cultural life. Visitors love to see the narrow passageways that lie within the fortress, particularly the one which stretches from the upper fortress all the way down to the sea. The views are also fantastic – lying right at the start of the incredible Bay of Kotor, you can see the southernmost part of Croatia from the top. In warmer months, the site hosts fantastic events like open-air cinema.

FortMare95a78f3015bd19286b33c65657114fc4_XL.jpgIn this photo, you can see the screen of the outdoor cinema on the top of Forte Mare © TZ Herceg Novi

Stari Grad Bar (Montenegro)
AnyConv.com__Stari_Bar.jpgThe construction of FORTITUDE stronghold of Stari Grad Bar was probably started in response to attacks by the Pannonian Avars © Bojana Smiljanić

The Old City of Bar and its fortress actually lie several kilometres inland from the modern coastal city called Bar and sits on the Londša hill, at the foot of Mount Rumija. The modern city was constructed on the site of the port which served Stari Grad Bar, the relocation necessitated by the 1979 Montenegro earthquake which destroyed Stari Grad Bar's aqueduct. Parts of the wonderfully-arched aqueduct can still be seen today, as can the old city walls which form the fortress of Stari Grad Bar.

1280px-Aquaduct_in_Stari_Bar.jpgThe aqueduct in Stari Grad Bar © Dudva

The original fortifications are guessed to come from the times that Roaman-Illyrian people sought an urban refuge from the attacks of the Pannonian Avars between 568 to 626. Such people inhabited Bar until at least the 14th century, being joined by Slavic people until the city was a mixture of Catholic and Orthodox peoples at the point the Ottomans arrived. The city had been known for its builders and stonemasons, as well as the agriculture of its surroundings, and the unique architecture of Stari Grad Bar today attests to that. Even some of the singular, modern dwellings that lie in the now repopulated town seem to fit in with the stonework of much earlier centuries perhaps, in some cases, as forgotten parts of the old city were borrowed and put to contemporary use. Medieval streets and palaces still stand in the town. It is a fascinating place to visit.

1620px-Ruins_Stari_Bar2_Montenegrochenyingphoto.jpgSome of the fortifications of the fascinating Stari Grad Bar, the southernmost inclusion in the FORTITUDE project © chenyingphoto

Kastel Fortress, Banja Luka (Bosnia and Herzegovina)
TomasDamjanovicBanjalukaNKD136_Kastel_tvrava_Banjaluka.jpegKastel Fortress in Banja Luka, the only fortification from Bosnia and Herzegovina in the FORTITUDE project © Tomas Damjanovic

Sat on a small hill on the banks of the Vrbas river, at the exact point where the more minor Crkvena river flows into it, Kastel Fortress is one of the oldest inhabited parts of Banja Luka and one of the city's key tourist attractions. The fortress itself is medieval, built by the Ottomans, but is situated on the site of Roman fortifications. Archaeological excavations have proven people lived on this exact tract of land from at least the 13th millennium BC. From the year 1553, Banja Luka served as the seat of the Ottoman ruler of the region. Shortly thereafter (1580), it became the capital of the newly-formed Bosnia Eyalet, the most westerly administrative district of the Ottoman Empire.

Bosanski_pasaluk_1600-_godine.pngThe Bosnia Eyalet, of which Banja Luka and the FORTITUDE Kastel was the capital. The Ottoman territory stretched throughout much of modern-day Croatia © Armin Šupuk

It held this status through the entirety of the Eyalet's strongest period until 1683. During this period, the Eyalet included much of modern-day Croatia including, at its peak, most of Dalmatia, right the way up to Lika. After then following a similar path to today's border with Bosnia, it again encroached into today's Croatia, just east of Sisak, engulfing all of Slavonia.

__7SaaKnei.jpegFORTITUDE inclusion Kastel lies on the Vrbas river © Saša Knežić

The Ottomans used this site as an arsenal, its development as a fortress taking place between 1595-1603. It was reconstructed to become the fortress we see today between 1712 –1714 and it is said that around 1785 the fortress held some 50 cannons. It was used as a military site up to after World War II. The Kastel covers an area of 26,610 m2 inside the fortress walls and about 21,390 m2 outside the ramparts and it is dedicated as a National Monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

SaaKnei__2.jpeg Kastel Fortress in Banja Luka, Bosnia and Herzegovina © Saša Knežić

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Columbian Company Takes Ownership of HNK Sibenik

November 26, 2020 -The Croatian football club HNK Sibenik is officially in the hands of the Columbian company Football Smart International d.o.o. reports that the agreement on the sale and transfer of shares was signed on Wednesday in the City Administration by Mayor Zeljko Buric and the director of the company Eduardo Fernando Zapata Sierra.

It should be reminded that the City of Sibenik announced a Public Invitation to collect offers to purchase shares in HNK Sibenik, owned by the City of Sibenik, upon completion of which it was determined that the most favorable offer was that of the Colombian company Football Smart International d.o.o. with its headquarters in Zagreb, which was then adopted by the City Council of the City of Sibenik at its session in September 2020.

The company Football Smart International, following the terms of the public tender, paid HRK 3 million as collateral and HRK 651,000 as the remaining purchase price for 297,056 shares of HNK Sibenik. HRK 100,000 was paid earlier as a precondition for participation in the tender procedure.

The contract defines that the buyer is familiar with the condition of sports facilities for which the Sibenik first league club is given the right to use and accepts the same condition and that the City of Sibenik is not responsible for the investment maintenance of sports facilities HNK Sibenik has the right to use. The buyer has also allowed HNK Sibenik to make their sports facilities available to the City of Sibenik, city company, or institution at any time, upon a special invitation.

In the formal procedure of taking over the club by the new owner, it is necessary to obtain the consent of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports - Commission for Professional Sports Clubs on the contract signed Wednesday.

During the signing of the contract, the representatives of Football Smart International expressed their satisfaction with the completion of the procedure, as well as their interest in starting work on raising the quality of the club as soon as possible.

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

Tuesday, 17 November 2020

Croatia Music Festivals Return in 2021... including Exit Festival?

November 17, 2020 – After an absence of one season, Croatia music festivals return in 2021. Tickets for some of the biggest events are now on sale and, in today's media, it's suggested Croatia could even host 2021's Exit Festival as it is forced to move from Novi Sad, Serbia. Exit is the biggest music festival in the region.

At the Croatia music festivals site near Tisno, Murter island, 2020 was the quietest summer in almost a decade. Since 2012, the sprawling accommodation and beach complex has played host to Croatia music festivals running consecutively throughout the summer. Each attracting upwards of 5000 international visitors, summers on the beach at The Garden Tisno were one long party of dancing, drinking, partying and music. But, in 2020 everything fell silent.

As reported earlier in Total Croatia News, the festival hosts in Tisno took the opportunity to make improvements to the site in preparation for the return of events. That return is now almost certain to be 2021.

Tickets for the 2021 editions of all the major brands of international Croatia music festivals taking place in Tisno are already on sale. With the full calendar of 2020 Tisno festivals having been cancelled, many attendees have simply held onto their tickets. These tickets are now valid for 2021's rescheduled events. Dimensions, Hospitality On The Beach, Love International, Suncebeat, Outlook Origins, Defected Croatia and Dekmantel Selectors are the festivals already announced for summer 2021 in Tisno.

And far from being a modest return, could 2021 be Croatia's peak year as a host nation? In today's Jutarnji List, it is suggested that Croatia might become the new home for Exit Festival, usually held in Novi Sad, Serbia.

Provisions for workers within the events industry during the pandemic have been met differently across individual nations. In Croatia, the industry-wide crisis was highlighted earlier in 2020 by many famous event venues being lit in red. In Serbia, Exit Festival has incurred debts due to its cancellation and, according to Jutarnji List, the event is faced with losing its workforce due to a lack of financial support.

122774406_10158932491148698_1013880594007771696_o.jpgExit Festival is the largest event of its kind in the region. It is currently held in Novi Sad, Serbia. In 2021, could it become one of the Croatia music festivals? © Exit Festival

One route available to the event organisers is relocating Exit. As its organisers already hold one of the successful Croatia music festivals in Umag, Istria, Jutarnji suggests that Exit could possibly move to Croatia. Before fans of Croatia music festivals get too excited at the prospect, it should be noted that Exit also hold successful events in Montenegro, which is also a very viable alternative host site. And, it should be remembered just how much Exit Festival puts into the local economy - Jutarnji report that, since Exit started, 200 million Euros in tourism has been gained by Serbia from this one event. The article also suggests that Montenegro values Exit 2021 being able to put a potential 30 million Euros into its budget, with the attached value of Montenegro tourism promotion being over one hundred million Euros. It is difficult to imagine such a cash cow so easily being allowed to leave Serbia without financial assistance to Exit being readdressed by Serbian authorities.

A fresh sense of optimism has emerged in recent days, as news of successful COVID-19 vaccines now places the end of the pandemic within sight. However, it could be autumn or winter 2021 before enough people are successfully vaccinated for us all to relax, especially when considering mass gatherings like music festivals. But, as was proved by Croatia music festivals in Sibenik during summer 2020, a template does exist for the successful hosting of large events and music festivals, regardless of the progress of vaccination by summer 2021.

martinska.jpgThe Martinska site for Croatia music festivals hosted over 10, 000 people at events during summer 2020, creating a template by which large scale events can successfully take place while adhering to strict epidemiological guidelines © Seasplash / Pozitivan Ritam

As reported in TCN at the end of this summer, the Martinska music festival site near Sibenik welcomed over 10, 000 festival-goers across their 2020 season. Adhering to the strictest epidemiological guidelines, the festival site recorded zero cases of COVID-19 from its attendees. Whether or not everyone has received a vaccination shot by next summer, and regardless of whether Exit Festival is among them, fans should confidently expect the welcome return of Croatia music festivals in 2021.

Organisers of the Suncebeat festival visit the Croatia music festivals site in Tisno during summer 2020 to see new improvements awaiting those who attend 2021's events

Wednesday, 11 November 2020

New Measures in Sibenik-Knin County: Cafes to Close at 10 pm

November 11, 2020 - A look at the new measures in Sibenik-Knin County as cafes must shut at 10 pm starting Thursday.  

Dalmatinski Portal reports that in the past 24 hours in Sibenik-Knin County, 69 people were infected with COVID-19. These are 17 from the area of Sibenik, 11 from the area of Drnis, nine from the area of Knin, five from the area of Vodice, three from the area of Pirovac, two from the area of Bilice, and one person each from the area of Promina, Tribunj, Primosten, Ruzic and Ervenik.

Eight residents and one employee of the Mihek Home for Mentally Ill Adults, Sibenik branch, also became infected. Furthermore, eight people who currently reside in this county, and their place of residence is elsewhere, were infected.

The Sibenik Hospital Department of Infectious Diseases is treating 23 people, one of whom is on a ventilator. Others have milder clinical symptoms and are in self-isolation. There are currently 215 active cases of COVID-19.

In the last 24 hours, 91 samples were tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Currently, 700 people are under health supervision and self-isolation measures.

The National Civil Protection Headquarters, at the proposal of the Civil Protection Headquarters of Sibenik-Knin County, amended the Decision on introducing necessary epidemiological measures for Sibenik-Knin County, which enters into force tomorrow.

The decision prohibits holding all public events and gatherings of more than 30 people in one place, except for sports competitions where there may be a maximum of as many competitors and officials as allowed by the competition regulations for each sport. A maximum of 50 people may be present at professional art performances and programs, cinema screenings, and exhibitions in museums, galleries, and other exhibition spaces with strict adherence to all prescribed epidemiological measures and special recommendations and instructions of the Croatian Institute of Public Health.

The working hours of all types of catering facilities are limited until 10 pm. Visits to residents of social welfare institutions that provide accommodation services and exits of residents outside the premises and courtyards are prohibited unless conditioned for medical reasons.

At religious ceremonies indoors, the number of persons present is limited according to the space's size, so that at least 4 m2 of space must be provided for each person present. It is recommended to sports associations and other organized groups that do not participate in official competitions not to hold training, preparatory exercises, and recreational activities indoors.

It is recommended that private gatherings are not held. If a private gathering is still held, it is recommended to limit the gathering to members of the same or as few connected households as possible. It is recommended that sessions of representative bodies of local and regional self-government units be held via videoconference or other technologies for holding remote meetings.

It is recommended that employers organize work with the greatest possible distance between workers and maintain a minimum physical distance of at least 2 meters, whenever possible.

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

Monday, 26 October 2020

HNL Round 9 Recap: Only Two Games Played, Wins for Dinamo and Slaven Belupo

October 26, 2020 - The 9th round of the Croatian First League was held from October 23 to 25, 2020. In this round, only two out of the five games were played, with wins for Dinamo and Slaven Belupo. 

Varazdin v. Slaven Belupo (1:2)

Varazdin and Belupo opened the 9th round in Varazdin on Friday, October 23, 2020.

Krstanovic scored in the 18th minute for Belupo to make the game 0:1 at the half. Bacelic-Grgic increased Belupo's lead in the 50th minute for 0:2. 

Petkovic was able to get one for Varazdin, making the final result of the match 1:2 

Varazdin is currently in 7th place with 7 points, while Belupo is in 5th with 10 points. 

Sibenik v. Dinamo (0:2)

Dinamo and Sibenik closed out the 9th round on Sunday, October 25, 2020. 

While the first half ended 0:0, Petkovic scored a penalty for Dinamo in the 54th minute for 0:1. Orsic increased Dinamo's lead in the 72nd minute for the final score of 0:2.

Sibenik is currently in 7th place with 7 points, while Dinamo is in 1st with 22 points. 

Recall, three 9th round Croatian First League matches meant to be played this weekend were postponed.

HNK Gorica announced on Friday that after testing the entire team and the professional staff of HNK Gorica, 13 players and three staff members are coronavirus-positive. Due to several infected players, the 9th round match against Rijeka was postponed. 

In addition to Gorica, Lokomotiva Zagreb announced they could not compete. After postponing the match against Osijek in the 8th round, the 9th round match against Hajduk, which was supposed to be played on October 24, at Kranjčevićeva, was also postponed. 

The same happened with the match between Istria and Osijek, as seven players of the Osijek Football Club tested positive. 

All matches will take place on the first possible date, which will be decided later.

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

Monday, 19 October 2020

HNL Round 8 Recap: Shocking Hajduk Loss to Sibenik, Osijek-Lokomotiva Postponed

October 19, 2020 - The 8th round of the Croatian First League was held from October 16 to 18, 2020. This round featured a shocking Hajduk loss to Sibenik, while Osijek and Lokomotiva has been postponed due to coronavirus cases in the Zagreb club. 

Slaven Belupo v. Istra 1961 (5:1)

Belupo and Istra opened the 8th round on Friday, October 16, 2020, in Koprivnica in front of 308 spectators. 

Belupo's scoring spree started in the first half with two goals by Bozic in the 31st and 45+2 minutes for 2:0 at the half. 

Krstanovic (penalty) and Glavic increased Belupo's lead in the 50th and 61st minutes for 4:0. Boakye made it 5:0 in the 79th minute, though Istra's Vuk was able to come back to score one goal in the 85th minute for the final score of 5:1. 

Belupo is currently in 6th place with 7 points, while Istra is in the last place with 5. 

Dinamo v. Gorica (3:2)

Dinamo and Gorica met on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at Maksimir Stadium in front of 815 spectators. 

Gavranovic scored two goals for Dinamo in the 32nd and 36th minutes for 2:0 at the half. Gorica opened the second half with two goals to equalize - Mudrinski scored in the 46th and Hamad in the 50th for 2:2. 

Gavranovic secured a hattrick with a goal in the 66th minute for 3:2, which was the final score of the game. 

Dinamo is currently in first place with 19 points, while Gorica is in 2nd with 16. 

Rijeka v. Varazdin (2:1)

Rijeka and Varazdin met on Saturday, October 17, 2020, at Rujevica Stadium in front of 2,072 spectators. 

While Varazdin's Obregon was the first to score in the 17th minute for 0:1, an own goal by Stolnik made it 1:1 three minutes later. Kulenovic then increased Rijeka's lead to 2:1 at the half. 

With no goals in the second half, the game ended at 2:1 for Rijeka. 

Rijeka is currently in 4th place with 12 points, while Varazdin is in 8th place with 7. 

Hajduk v. Sibenik (0:1)

Hajduk and Sibenik met at Poljud Stadium on Sunday, October 18, 2020, in front of 4,517 spectators. 

Sahiti scored the only goal of the game in the 34th minute, which gave Sibenik the victory. 

Hajduk is currently in 5th place with 10 points, while Sibenik is in 7th with 7. 

Osijek v. Lokomotiva (POSTPONED)

Two players of NK Lokomotiva are positive for coronavirus, the Zagreb club announced on Sunday.

"Two NK Lokomotiva players were tested for COVID-19 on Sunday, October 18, and are positive. According to the Personal Data Protection Act (GDPR), we are not able to disclose the identity of the infected persons," the statement said on the club's website. The club also announced that "the competent epidemiological service was immediately notified, which imposed a measure of strict self-isolation on the two players, all following the recommendations of the Croatian Civil Protection Headquarters and the HNS working group."

Lokomotiva was supposed to play against Osijek Sunday at 5:05 pm, but the match was postponed.

"To avoid further possible spread of the infection to all other participants in the Osijek - Lokomotiva match, it is necessary to postpone it until the competent epidemiologist decides on further action and until additional testing of the entire team and determine the actual situation. According to the provisions of the Ordinance on football competitions and the Proposition of the competition, postponed matches must be played in the first possible free term, which will be decided later," said the commissioner of HT Prva Liga, Josip Brezni.

You can see the full HNL table here

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

Monday, 28 September 2020

PM Says Priority Projects in Sibenik Being Implemented, Prepared

ZAGREB, Sept 28, 2020 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Monday visited the coastal city of Sibenik and after talks with mayor Zeljko Buric and county head Goran Pauk, he said he was glad local priority projects were either being implemented or prepared.

"I'm glad we will visit a new centre which will serve to educate young people who with their start-up businesses want to follow in the footsteps of our giants Infobit and Nanobit. The centre, a HRK 28 million investment, to be launched today, shows that the city and Sibenik-Knin County have been following the trends of the fourth industrial revolution, digital transformation and new technologies," Plenkovic said, adding that he was confident the recently amended law on foreign nationals would make Sibenik and Sibenik-Knin County attractive to digital nomads.

Damages should be paid to Varivode victims' families

As Plenkovic arrived in Sibenik after a visit to Varivode, a village in the Sibenik hinterland where he attended a commemoration for nine Serb civilians killed in the aftermath of the 1995 Operation Storm, reporters wanted to know if the victims' families would receive compensation.

"Court decisions awarding damages should be implemented, and as for responsibility, there is no statute of limitations on war crimes, so we expect the competent institutions to continue with their work. We have stepped up work on the prosecution of war crimes... a lot of time has passed and it is increasingly difficult to find evidence and witnesses. Both police and specialised prosecutorial offices will continue working on that," he said.

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Monday, 28 September 2020

Volunteers Remove 350 Bags of Rubbish from Sibenik Seabed

September the 28th, 2020 - The issue of harmful plastic and other waste ending up in the world's oceans and seas isn't a new thing, but more and more attention has been being given to it of late, with the EU passing decisions in an attempt to limit the devastating effects such behaviour has on the environment and on marine life. Croatia is known for its many ''beach and sea clean ups'', and a group of volunteers have recently removed a discouraging 350 bags full of rubbish from the Sibenik seabed.

The historic Dalmatian coastal city of Sibenik is known for everything but its rubbish, but the sheer amount of trash pulled from the Sibenik seabed is shocking. As Morski writes on the 27th of September, 2020, yesterday, one area of Sibenik was full of volunteers from all over the Republic of Croatia who arrived to clean up what had unfortunately found itself thrown onto the Sibenik seabed in an ''out of sight, out of mind'' manner. The result is 350 garbage bags or three full containers full of harmful waste placed there by humans.

The initiator of this and numerous previous environmental clean-up actions in the wider Sibenik-Knin County is Goran Simic, who was joined by 80 divers from 12 diving clubs from all over the country, as well as about 40 other volunteers armed with good will.

They were helped by firefighters, the local Funcuti fan group, students, passers-by, and various associations. What people are sadly able and even more sadly willing to throw into the sea is best shown by the photos taken by Valerio Baranovic. It can be seen that in addition to glasses and bottles and chairs from local cafes, there were quite a few iron artifacts, car tyres, and even water heaters dragged from the Sibenik seabed.

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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Over 10, 000 Attend Music Festivals in Sibenik In 2020 - Zero Infections

September 22, 2020 - For six consecutive weeks this summer, the Martinska venue alone welcomed over 10, 000 international visitors to its music festivals in Sibenik. Zero cases of Coronavirus occurred.

Over recent years, three things have firmly placed Croatia on the international stage – Game Of Thrones, the World Cup and music festivals. Running for over a decade now, music festivals are the oldest of these. They have elevated places like Pula and Tisno to become among the most-Googled destinations in the country.

So popular now are Croatia music festivals, that many say the summer season of music festivals in Croatia has supplanted the famous hedonistic holidays of Ibiza as the hippest place to go. Incredible disappointment was therefore felt by tens of thousands of expectant party people earlier this year when most of the international Croatia music festivals decided to cancel their 2020 events. They did so in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

One venue stood alone – Martinska, a 20-year-old site for music festivals in Sibenik. Over six consecutive weeks, all of their 2020 festivals took place. They did so under strict adherence to epidemiological guidelines. And, following a wait of two weeks after the final event (to cover any potential Coronavirus incubation period), site organisers Pozitivan Ritam have released their results - zero cases of Coronavirus.

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“It's not only the five festivals and one concert event that we did,” Pozitivan Ritam director Vedran Meniga told TCN, “The Fortress of Culture in Sibenik had more than 30 events this summer and Project Vojarna in Sibenik had two parties this year with over 4000 people. On one RTL television show, they described Sibenik as the Croatian Wuhan when 3000 people were in the town for one techno party there. But, at the end of the season, none of these events resulted in a single Coronavirus infection. Not one.”

Following a successful lockdown earlier in the year, cases of Coronavirus were limited in Croatia at the start of the season. Yet, some were understandably hesitant to come. Music festivals in Sibenik still managed to attract visitors from Britain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany to Martinska. Even after the middle of August when cases began to appear in other regions and international visitor numbers dried up, the festival site was still busy with Croatians and partygoers from near-neighbouring countries. At the end of August, there were no more than five infected persons in Sibenik. None were music festival or music event attendees. Throughout much of the summer, Sibenik recorded zero cases.

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“The music festivals in Sibenik are proof that it's possible to work doing events during the era of Corona,” Meniga tells TCN. “Of course, all of our events were open-air and no doubt that helped.”

"When cases started to reappear elsewhere at the end of July, I went to the civil authorities and epidemiologists immediately, before they came to us,” says Vedran. “The civil authorities and the police grant the license for the events. I presented them with a plan and they were satisfied. They allowed us to continue.”

“It helped that Martinska is across the bay from Sibenik. Festival attendees don't even need to go into the town to come, they drive here straight from the Magistrala (Croatian coastal highway). Also, Martinska's capacity is five times bigger than the numbers we were going to cater for. The site can accommodate six to seven thousand. We expected no more than 1500 daily. That was more than enough space to maintain physical distance. We carefully took all contact details for each attendee at the entrance, in case something appeared and we (or authorities) had to later contact people. We also took everyone's temperature. And in addition to the required epidemiological sanitization, we also installed disinfectant pillars at every single point where money or goods exchanged hands. All our staff wore not only masks but also gloves. Four times the civil authorities made surprise visits to the site for inspection along with epidemiologists and police. Each time they were completely satisfied.”

Current forecasts for the Coronavirus response predict that a vaccine will not be available to cover everyone until the autumn of 2021. This has serious implications for at least one more tourist season. Yet, with the incredible achievements seen this summer at Martinska's music festivals in Sibenik, we can all take hope that events, tourism, and even life itself may continue to be enjoyed in the near future, as long as we're all smart about it.

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All photos 2020 Martinska © Seasplash / Pozitivan Ritam. 

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Wednesday, 22 July 2020

VIDEO: See The Wild Birds Of Krka National Park And A UNESCO World Heritage Site In Šibenik

July 22, 2020 – VIDEO: See The Wild Birds Of Krka National Park And A UNESCO World Heritage Site In Šibenik

Known for its series of cascading waterfalls, its picturesque pools and its acres of lush vegetation, Krka, just outside Šibenik, is one of Croatia's most-loved National Parks. But, scoring the skyline overhead and resting in its trees you can spot one of its other best attractions; the wild birds of Krka National Park.

The National Park has released a new video showcasing just some of the 229 species of birds that call Krka home. Now, you don't have to strain your eyes to see some of its wondrous winged inhabitants. Also visible in the film is the park's Visovac island and its postcard-pretty monastery.

The wild birds of Krka National Park

The short but stunning video catches kingfishers, ducks, buzzards, kestrels, cormorants, swallows and others, in flight or at play on the water's surface. But, should you choose to visit Krka National Park, there's the chance of seeing even rarer birds that sometimes live there, such as ospreys, eagles, falcon and griffon vulture.

Situated just a few kilometres from well-known seaside destination Šibenik, in summertime Krka becomes one of the most popularly visited National Parks in the country. Visitors who can't spend their entire vacation on the beach love to make the short journey inland for a day of stunning natural beauty, shaded on the pathways as they walk by trees like umbrellas.

fortress-3643226_1920.jpgThe Fortress of St. Nicholas, just off Šibenik, the best-preserved Venetian defensive structure in Croatia and a UNESCO World Heritage Site © Sebastian Gößl

And, there's never been a better time to take in the park. Visitor numbers to the region are understandably down on 2019 and so Krka National Park this year offers a more peaceful and unhurried experience than in many previous seasons. If that wasn't incentive enough, tickets for the park in summer 2020 hold a 10% discount to entry of the Fortress of St. Nicholas in Šibenik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best-preserved Venetian defensive structure in Croatia, the fortress has undergone considerable reconstruction work over recent years and only opened itself up to the public again in 2019.

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