Thursday, 19 August 2021

Pelješac Salt Festival Kicks Off Tomorrow in Ston With an Extensive Program

August 19, 2021 - The Pelješac Salt Festival seeks to continue the success of the Wine Cellar Festival carried out between May and June, promoting through well-organized events the products and eno-gastronomic offers of the peninsula.

The 5th edition of the Pelješac Salt Festival starts on August 20 in Ston and this year it is spreading to the entire peninsula, reports Turističke Priče. Until September 20, from Ston, through Janjina to Orebić and Trpanj, visitors will enjoy tastings of local specialties and wines, exhibitions, concerts, workshops, and presentations in which Ston salt from the world's oldest saltworks is the main star.

Along with Solana Ston, about twenty restaurants, taverns, wineries, family farms have joined the program, so all the best that the south of Dalmatia has will be "served" at this attractive event with promotional prices. Top Pelješac wines are 20 percent cheaper, festival menus at prices, a visit to oyster farms with tasting on boats, all this awaits you in a new, richer version of the Festival. The program includes about forty restaurants, taverns, wineries, family farms, shellfish, and shipping companies from all over the peninsula.

In addition to the eno-gastronomic experience, an entertainment program is being prepared, and guests of Pelješac can participate in a special experience: salt harvest. Just as in the 14th century the saltworks in Ston was a strategic economic point of the Republic of Dubrovnik, so today it is the guardian of the tradition of this region, but also a trump card that with Pelješac wines, rich heritage, and top specialties, at the end of this great season, enriches offer of Pelješac and the whole region.

''After the extremely successful Pelješac Cellars Festival, where in May and June about fifty wineries, wine shops, hotels, restaurants, and taverns presented their offer, top wines, and specialties, everything is ready for another attractive event. Given the large number of guests staying on Pelješac, we expect even greater success and a great response, and we believe that the festival program will attract guests from neighboring destinations. Next summer will be even more exciting and fun because, in addition to the Pelješac Cellars Festival and the Salt Festival, three more festivals are being prepared'', says Fani Slade, director of the Ston Tourist Board.

For more on the tourist and eno-gastronomic offer of the highly renowned Pelješac peninsula, be sure to check out the Total Croatia guide.

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

Monday, 29 March 2021

Ston Palace to Become Mediterranean Heritage Multimedia Centre

March the 29th, 2021 - One Ston palace, more precisely the Rector's Palace (Knezev Dvor) is set to become a multimedia centre for rich Mediterranean heritage, showcasing what this part of Europe has to offer historically and culturally. Ston is well known for boasting the European version of the Great Wall of China, and its mariculture with the famous Ston oysters also places it firmly on the map.

As Morski writes, this particular Ston palace is one step closer to becoming the home of the establishment of a modern multimedia interpretation centre for Mediterranean heritage as part of the wider TAKE IT SLOW project.

To be more specific, Dubrovnik-Neretva County and the company ARD d.o.o. Metkovic signed a contract for the preparation of a conservation study for the establishment of an interpretation centre in Ston, which will, as stated, be situated within the beautiful Rector's Palace.

The conservation study will include cultural and historical processing of this Ston palace, where a multidisciplinary multimedia space will be established in which cultural heritage, typical products from the area, traditional land cultivation and production customs and so on will be presented through various arts, designs, presentations and events which will delve more deeply into life there and the destination of Ston itself.

The aim of the interpretation centre is to acquaint foreign guests with the rich natural and cultural heritage of this area, and will also be a starting point for further exploration of Peljesac, the nearby southern Dalmatian islands and other parts of Croatia's southernmost county which borders Montenegro.

More than 3.5 million kuna has been provided for the renovation of the stunning Rector's Palace in Ston, and as part of the project, an access road to the medieval Blaca Hermitage complex on the island of Brac in central Dalmatia, a virtual museum and creative centre in Momjan and an open-air museum near Sibenik will all be arranged.

“Smart and Slow Tourism Supporting Adriatic Heritage for Tomorrow” (TAKE IT SLOW) is a strategic bilateral project of the Republic of Croatia and neighbouring Italy designed to manage and promote the Adriatic region as a green, smart, sustainable, accessible cross-border tourist destination.

The project holder is Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and it is being implemented by the Regional Agency DUNEA. The project is worth more than 28 million kuna, of which 85 percent is from the European Regional Development Fund, and 6.5 million kuna is available for Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

For current coronavirus information specific to Croatia, including border and travel rules, as well as testing centres across the country, bookmark this page.

Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Peljesac Bridge Brought a Demographic Boom in the Nearby Municipalities of Ston and Slivno

October 20, 2020 – In addition to changing the landscape of the Neretva coast, the Peljesac Bridge brought a demographic boom in this area, namely in the nearby municipalities of Ston and Slivno.

As Slobodna Dalmacija reports, statistic data says so, and in this case, the situation is favorable for two municipalities – Ston on Pelješac and Slivno on the Neretva River, which are connected by the Pelješac Bridge.

Unlike other Croatian regions that record a pronounced depopulation trend, especially in the Dalmatian hinterland, Ston and Slivno have an increase in the population of as many as 407 people. This is shown by the report of the Central Bureau of Statistics on estimates and natural population trends in the past year.

However, it cannot be said with certainty that the construction of the bridge directly affects the population growth, but it is certainly interesting that the positive demographic trends coincide with the intensification of work on the Pelješac Bridge. True, hundreds of workers temporarily staying in this area work on the bridge and the surrounding access roads, but it is assumed that they are not covered by these statistics because they do not have a permanent place of residence in the municipalities of Ston and Slivno.

 

Desirable places

The Mayor of Ston Municipality, Vedran Antunica, is delighted about the news that the number of inhabitants in the municipality of Ston increased by 281 people or 12.5 percent. Namely, in 2018 in the municipality of Ston there were 2246 inhabitants, and now there are 2521, interesting numbers in this part of Pelješac where tourism and shellfish farming, especially oyster farming, are the main economic activities.

"Our municipality provides certain benefits for young families and I am sure that this has also contributed to positive demographic trends," says Mayor Antunica.

For the first child born in a family permanently residing in the municipality, 5,000 kunas is paid from the municipal treasury, 10,000 for the second child, and 20,000 kunas for the third and each subsequent. Mayor Antunica notes that the money is paid at once, not in delays or installments.

"The municipality strives to make life as easy as possible for its residents. That is our main task. We have a kindergarten for children, a nursery, all the facilities as in a big city, and we are a small community. True, Dubrovnik is not far away, so we are a desirable place for living," says Antunica, adding that it is very difficult to buy a house or an apartment in big cities, so young people stay with their grandparents.

Ston and Pelješac will be an even more suitable place for a living once the Pelješac Bridge is built. This will be an additional stimulus to the economic and demographic renewal of this area, the people of Pelješac hope.

 

Vts8zpYT.jpeg

The municipality of Ston / Copyright Romulić and Stojčić

 

Technical increase

Somewhere people emigrate, and somewhere they immigrate. According to statistical indicators, they also move to the municipality of Slivno, the only coastal municipality on the Neretva River. Statistics say that during 2018 and 2019, the population of Slivno increased from 1868 to 2024, 156 people, or 8.35 percent.

The former mayor of Slivno Mate Dragobratović says that the area of ​​Slivno is the most beautiful part of the Neretva valley, so he sees that as the reason for the number of increasing residents who have decided to live on the Neretva coast. Everything is close – Metković, Ploče, Dubrovnik – and such a geographical position attracts many, especially young people.

"People are engaged in agriculture, growing mandarins, and tourism, which is a good combination," says Dragobratović, emphasizing that with the construction of the Pelješac Bridge and the connection of the Neretva and Pelješac, the municipality of Slivno will be even more desirable for young families.

However, Denis Šešelj, a former municipal councilor, and local politician points out that there is no real increase in population but a technical increase in the population of Slivno municipality.

"We have people who are registered in their weekend cottages in the municipality of Slivno, but live in Metković or elsewhere. So they avoid paying taxes. This is best seen when voting in elections. In the municipality of Slivno, the number of inhabitants has been increasing in this way for years. Some companies and crafts are also being opened because taxes and duties are lower," says Šešelj.

 

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Monday, 16 September 2019

Non-Refundable Support from County for Ston Oyster Farmers

As Morski writes on the 15th of September, 2019, Dubrovnik-Neretva County, of which the famous Ston is a part, has awarded non-refundable support to seventeen companies, more specifically to shellfish farmers. The large sum is to cover the costs of obtaining a prestigious mark of originality, the total amount of which stands at 68,000 kuna.

Namely, the oysters from Mali Ston (Malostonska kamenica) have been awarded the much-sought-after national originality label and therefore should soon be fully protected by the European Union (EU).

The designation of origin should give the Ston shellfish an easier placement and a guarantee of quality to the buyer. Ostrea edulis is the first seafood product to receive the protected designation of origin label. It is the first step in protecting the geographical origin of the so-called ''queen'' of the shellfish.

This procedure must first go before the European Commission (EC), and this means that the famous oysters from southern Dalmatia will be the first protected shellfish in the whole of the territory of the European Union.

This support for properly protecting Ston's much loved molluscs at the Union level is part of some of the intensive and ongoing activities in the Bay of Mali Ston, which have been continuously implemented by Dubrovnik-Neretva County. 

These activities related to Ston's produce have increased significantly over the past three years or so, ever since the jurisdiction over concessions in the Bay of Mali Ston was passed over into the hands of Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

In order to enable all of the necessary elements of the production process, Dubrovnik-Neretva County continuously monitors the goings on in the Bay of Mali Ston. Separate studies were conducted in cooperation with the competent ministry for the cultivation of mussels and oysters, and a comprehensive analysis of the situation in the Bay of Mali Ston is expected soon, with special attention being paid to protection against possible predators, and securing a safe shore site for unhindered shelling of the oysters.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more. If it's Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow or check out Dubrovnik in a Page.

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Salt Festival in Ston Goes Plastic Free

August 29, 2019 - The third Salt Festival begins at Solana Ston, the oldest saltworks in Europe. 

The Ston Salt Festival is a multimedia event that connects the tradition of Solana and the production of salt with various gastronomic, musical, and cultural content. The idea of the Salt Festival was fueled by the story of the importance of salt for the Republic of Dubrovnik, reports HRTurizam.

The Ston saltworks have been unchanged since the 14th century, as it was a strategic economic point of the Dubrovnik Republic, while today it is an important economic entity, a unique cultural monument, but also a tourist attraction with enormous potential.

With its vibrant program, the Salt Festival seeks to offer interesting content for all generations. The Traditional Products Fair will be held throughout the festival in cooperation with the Croatian Island Product Association Pelješac, where OPGs from the Pelješac peninsula will be presented.

 

 

Also, every day, under the expert guidance of Dalija Ficović Franušić, a special tour of the salt works will be organized, with a story about the importance of salt and salt production for the Dubrovnik Republic. What's new this year is the Wine, Salt and Jazz program, where certified sommeliers will showcase some of the regional wines with a jazz evening.

The big news is, of course, that the Ston Salt Festival is joining the plastic-free movement this year, and this year's event will use biodegradable packaging.

Also, the organizers did their best to send an additional environmental message. For the official carrier of the 2019 Ston Salt Festival, they have agreed to cooperate with Avantcar, which provided the BMW electric car for the event. Recall, in 2016, two charging stations for electric cars with an output of 22kW were installed in Ston.

Find out more about the Ston Salt Festival here.

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

Friday, 10 May 2019

World's Biggest Welcome in Croatia: Day 49 - Ston to Ploče (Kayak, Paddle, Bike, Row)

May 10, 2019 - Putting Croatian adventure tourism on the map, with the biggest welcome in the world. Day 49 of this incredible 2011 adrenaline trip covering 2,500 km along the Croatian coast. 

The World's Biggest Welcome, an ambitious adventure tourism project in 2011 in Croatia enters Day 49 of this 2019 appreciation of one of the finest tourism promotion projects ever in Croatia.  

The plan? To showcase the diversity and fabulous offer of adventure tourism in Croatia by following a GPS route the length of the Croatian coast in the shape of the word 'Welcome' - thereby creating the biggest welcome in the world from a hospitable tourism country. 

252052_214585278561491_1378212_n.jpg

Day 49 moved from Ston to Ploče.

Screenshot 2019-05-10 at 07.10.26.png

61 kilometres for the day: 3 km by kayak and paddling from Ston to Neum, followed by 33 km bike ride from Neum to Metković, and 25 km from Metković to the Neretva firth rowing in an old Neretva style boat to continue forming the ‘E’ in ‘Welcome’.

249329_214584895228196_4076480_n.jpg

252423_214584928561526_4377690_n.jpg

249253_214584958561523_714846_n.jpg

Day 49 kicked off with a send-off from the kids of Mali Ston. 

250222_214584978561521_454179_n.jpg

Lacko trying out his new vessel. 

251649_214584991894853_2714754_n.jpg

Lacko giving tribute to Czech adventurers who often choose paddle boats as their transport on the Adriatic.

250312_214585015228184_1823371_n.jpg

248394_214585031894849_4076747_n.jpg

They traded in their paddleboats for bikes and set off towards Bijeli Vir.

250434_214585058561513_8146163_n.jpg

Passing Lake Kuti along the way. 

253090_214585118561507_307181_n.jpg

Locals in Bijeli Vir admiring their traveling circus.

254973_214585175228168_7646270_n.jpg

Lacko made it to Metković and rowed with the team from Krvavac 2 in an original ship from Neretva. 

252059_214585188561500_398065_n.jpg

Passing by the Kula Norinska tower. 

249494_214585205228165_8297799_n.jpg

Krvavac 2 arriving in Opuzen where Kominski pirates gave Lacko a proper welcome.

252370_214585241894828_5298579_n.jpg

The Kominski gusari pirate ship.

247215_214585295228156_3504793_n.jpg

They even let Lacko steer for a bit!

252062_214585315228154_4162349_n.jpg

Kominski gusari pirates in Crna rijeka.

254083_214585345228151_5290910_n.jpg

The day ended with a group photo. 

A key part of the project was promoting tourism, and the official website has details of the key places visited during the day. 

You can see the entire project on the Welcome website, as well as much more of Luka Tambaca's stunning photography on the Welcome Facebook page

Tune in tomorrow for Day 50, as Lacko and the team move from the Neretva to Korčula. 

To follow the whole project from the start, follow the dedicated TCN page

Thursday, 9 May 2019

World's Biggest Welcome in Croatia: Day 48 - Lumbarda to Ston (Kayak, Bike, Foot)

May 9, 2019 - Putting Croatian adventure tourism on the map, with the biggest welcome in the world. Day 48 of this incredible 2011 adrenaline trip covering 2,500 km along the Croatian coast. 

The World's Biggest Welcome, an ambitious adventure tourism project in 2011 in Croatia enters Day 48 of this 2019 appreciation of one of the finest tourism promotion projects ever in Croatia.  

The plan? To showcase the diversity and fabulous offer of adventure tourism in Croatia by following a GPS route the length of the Croatian coast in the shape of the word 'Welcome' - thereby creating the biggest welcome in the world from a hospitable tourism country. 

252794_214373565249329_7540016_n.jpg

Day 48 moved from Lumbarda to Ston. 

Screenshot 2019-05-09 at 08.46.34.png

49 kilometres for the day: 21 km kayak ride from Lumbarda to Žuljana, followed by 26 km bike ride from Žuljana to Ston and 2 km walking the Ston walls to begin forming the ‘E’ in ‘Welcome’.

253034_214370708582948_8058125_n.jpg

Lacko begins Day 48 and the start of the letter 'E' from Lumbarda. 

248109_214370831916269_1729161_n.jpg

Lacko rowing towards Pelješac.

252154_214371625249523_8030942_n.jpg

Saying goodbye to Korčula. 

253164_214372318582787_432492_n.jpg

And the islands that sit in front of it.

252124_214372385249447_4569656_n.jpg

253799_214372668582752_2489992_n.jpg

252429_214372908582728_1230087_n.jpg

Lacko arrived at Žuljana on Pelješac.

252914_214373115249374_41372_n.jpg

"Old friends meet again."

254999_214373351916017_5961028_n.jpg

The group then made their way to Ston for a walk around the walls of Ston, the second longest defense walls in the world (after the Great Wall in China).

250954_214376968582322_6311603_n.jpg

They might look familiar to you. 

247694_214373461916006_63130_n.jpg

254074_214374668582552_2489202_n.jpg

The team taking on the walls. 

247319_214373718582647_891770_n.jpg

The view of Ston and the salt pans.

253889_214374358582583_6278385_n.jpg

249969_214377761915576_1682986_n.jpg

The salt pans were actually the reason the walls had to be built.

247234_214374565249229_5912158_n.jpg

247499_214376781915674_8131706_n.jpg

The Mali Ston bay and the most famous mussel farm in Croatia.

247109_214378461915506_3525309_n.jpg

And the day ended with Lacko blog writing.

A key part of the project was promoting tourism, and the official website has details of the key places visited during the day. 

You can see the entire project on the Welcome website, as well as much more of Luka Tambaca's stunning photography on the Welcome Facebook page

Tune in tomorrow for Day 49, as Lacko moves from Ston to Ploče.

To follow the whole project from the start, follow the dedicated TCN page

Monday, 11 March 2019

Are Mali Ston's Precious Oysters Now Norovirus Free?

We reported recently on the truly tragic situation that Ston's precious oysters had found themselves stuck in. In short, this famed gem of southern Dalmatian cuisine had fallen victim to Norovirus after septic tanks weren't being cleaned out properly, and the traditional Days of Mali Ston Oysters, which was due to be held on the 16th of this month, had to be cancelled for health and safety reasons.

While the news was indeed as sad as it was alarming, has a solution to Mali Ston's Norovirus problem been found?

As Morski writes on the 11th of March, 2019, there appears to no longer be any detected presence of the potentially deadly Norovirus in Mali Ston. This was confirmed to Dubrovacki list by dr. Sc. Eddy Listeš from the Veterinary Institute of Split.

The last tests on the matter were carried out last Friday, but unfortunately the paperwork confirming the absence of Norovirus from the area and its beloved oysters has not yet reached those to whom such a document of confirmation is of vital importance.

To briefly recall, back at the very beginning of March, discovered via the regular sampling of the seawater and shellfish (oyster) quality, the presence of Norovirus was established.

Norovirus, otherwise of human origin, is the cause of infections of the digestive system. Norovirus wreaks havoc in the human digestive system, causing violent diarrhoea, vomiting, the inability to hold any food or liquid down, often resulting in dehydration and the need for emergency hospital treatment, and sometimes even in death. It is transmitted from person to person, via the fecal-oral route, typically through food contaminated by the fecal matter of infected persons and contact with surfaces contaminated with Norovirus. Norovirus is highly contagious and its symptoms, which as described above are often severe, tend to manifest quickly.

Having the potentially massive health issues that could be caused by the consumption of Mali Ston oysters which have come into contact with Norovirus in mind, a decision was made by the organiser of the traditional Day of Mali Ston Oysters to cancel the beloved event, writes Dubrovacki list.

Vlado Onofri, a respected senior scientific advisor at the University of Dubrovnik said that septic tanks, which in themselves would not be problematic were the situaton involving just several family houses, were the cause of the Norovirus issue. The situation that has arisen in the Dubrovnik area as a whole is that there are now a lot of apartments and far too many people, without anyone properly dealing with the septic tanks and the dangerous bacteria and viruses that gather there.

"Septic tanks can't withstand that pressure and it (everything that builds up in them) has to come out somwhere. That's it. We've sh*t on ourselves,'' stated Onofri.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more. If it's just Dubrovnik and southern Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow.

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Has Croatia Ruined its Oysters? According to an Expert, Apparently...

Have Croats managed to destroy their beloved Ston oysters with feces? Maybe. It sounds like another negative and inflammatory headline about how nobody can do anything right, but according to one respected expert, this might really be the case.

Norovirus is a potentially dangerous virus of the Caliciviridae family which causes 19 to 21 million illnesses, 56,000 to 71,000 hospitalisations and as many as 570 to 800 deaths per year according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. Often called stomach flu, Norovirus is highly contagious, and is known to mercilessly tear through populations of people in concentrated areas, cruise ships are a particular favourite playground for the virus.

Symptoms, which include chronic vomiting and diarrhoea can become very severe very quickly, rendering a person unable to hold anything down, eventually leading to extreme weakness, sudden weight loss, dehydration, and the need for emergency treatment. Now we've covered the basics of this microscopic devil, how has the presence of Norovirus managed to infiltrate Ston's long oyster-based traditions? Perhaps more importantly, just how have the Croats succeeded in allowing such danger to seriously threaten Ston's most prized gastronomic offer?

As Index writes on the 5th of March, 2019, Vlado Onofri, a scientific advisor at the University of Dubrovnik spoke to Libero portal and explained that the Croats have indeed managed to destroy southern Dalmatia's internationally adored gourmet delicacy. He said that the cause was the unsolved issue of the area's sewage network, more specifically septic tanks that are full, and not being emptied. Such conditions lead to the presence of potentially dangerous viruses and bacteria, including the potentially fatal Norovirus.

Because of the presence of Norovirus on three of the five control points on which Ston's beloved oysters are grown, the Day of Mali Ston Oysters, which was supposed to take place on March the 16th, has now been cancelled for health and safety reasons.

"I'm sorry for the hospitality and catering facilities and for oyster lovers, I know they'll lose out on a lot because of this, but some things need to be said in order to start sorting things out," said Vlado Onofri rather bluntly, who claims that when it comes to Croatia's very unfortunate oyster situation, there's nobody to blame but the Croats themselves.

"There will certainly be a reaction after all of this, but come on, have someone show me that they've paid for the emptying of the septic tanks! Nobody will show you that! Except the Koruna restaurant, which I know keep their oysters in pools and they're absolutely fine for consumption. That's the only example [of that] in Ston.

The entire area hasn't had its sewage situation solved adequately, and it was the obligation of the state to resolve it at the beginning of the eighties when the sewage [system] was being done. Mali Ston and Veliki Ston were meant to be connected to the entire sewage system, this wasn't done and now after so many years, it's time to pay! You know how it goes with septic tanks, when there were small households, there were small quantities, but now there's a lot more, it's all too full up, and nobody is emptying them!" Onofri said.

This isn't the first time a virus has appeared in these oysters.

"Three years ago, there was a problem. People got food poisoning, started having diarrhoea, vomiting... that's Norovirus, viruses aren't harmless things, that virus can live for hundreds of years in sludge, when it comes across live tissue, it becomes virulent again (a pathogen's ability to infect its live host) because it crystallises its capsomer (a covering of protein that protects the genetic material of a virus). I'm good with virology and I know what I'm talking about because I did a Master of Science in the 1980s, and later a doctorate in Ston,'' Onofri explained, backing up his claims.

"We're dependant on the whims of humans and nature"

He also provided a response to the question of how long this dire situation might last:

"The oysters can quickly get rid of the virus if they're in clean water, meaning that we need purification pools that we don't have. There was an idea to make them in Bistrina, and I personally brought plans from France to show what this should look like. There were ideas thrown around about doing that, but it hasn't been done. This is an absolute necessity, for when such things do happen, to end up with a sanitised and proper product. Now we're depending on the whims of humans and nature when it comes to how our products end up! The pools weren't made because of a protected reserve where nothing at all can be constructed,'' stated Onofri.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated lifestyle page.

Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Pelješac Bridge Brings New Tourism Boom: Komarna Comes to Life with Chinese Workers

The little seaside town of Komarna was thus far known as the popular weekend getaway of longtime politician Luka Bebić, and at the time of Yugoslavia, it was known as a resort town of Bosnian Herzegovinian strongmen and intellectuals. Today, however, the town has become the liveliest construction site in Croatia, as the biggest bridge in the country is constructed over the next three years, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on January 28, 2019. 

The town of Komarna was built in the seventies as a weekend resort. It has a little more than 170 registered residents today, about 50 in the winter, and in the summer up to two thousand with tourists. 

The town, however, is no stranger to the megaproject that is underway, which is worth 420 million euro, 85% of which is financed by the EU - the Pelješac Bridge. The renowned Chinese construction giant China Road and Bridge Corporation was commissioned for the project. 

Not only will this bridge pass through the Bay of Mali Ston, with one stop in Komarna and the other in Brijesta on Pelješac, but it will also connect Croatia after 303 years, the time that has passed since the Dubrovnik Republic handed over the territory of Neum to the Turkish Empire in 1718. 

The bridge will be 2.4 kilometers long and 55 meters tall, and it will carry four traffic lanes. The EU is also financing the supporting infrastructure needed, including access roads, tunnels, additional bridges and viaducts, and an 8-kilometer bypass at Ston.

Works have begun, construction sites on both sides of the bay are up, and foundations are being laid about one hundred meters below the sea surface. On the Komarna side, Chinese and Croatian engineers will be located in apartments, while on the Pelješac side, a container settlement will be erected for seven hundred Chinese workers. The area will transform into an actual city by the sea.

“We see them, they come through here, they were initially quiet, but now they send greetings. The main director knows how to say 'good day and goodbye’, and we, I’m afraid, are not even close to learning Chinese. And you know that there will be 700 Chinese cheering for Hajduk and singing 'Marjane, Marjane’,” said Mile Brljević (64) from Komarna, predicting that by the summer of 2021, when the works on the bridge will be completed, Komarna will be known as Zagreb, always on television and in newspapers.

“The engineers and workers who are directly involved in the project are located in Komarna, and from Opuzen to Ploče, we are renting rooms to Croatian and European controllers, observers, all those who have a job in supervision, so our restaurants and apartments will be full all winter and summer. It’s all great. There are engineers from Sarajevo, Belgrade, Zagreb, Split, and we are all together in the same place. The Chinese see the job and are interested in nothing else, and our Neretva firms have done the preparatory work, like setting up fences, asphalt, panels, so there was a job for everyone,” says Mile.

Ivo Jerković Bili is a 24-year-old who canceled all the announced tourists until 2021 and leased about 70 beds to engineers, translators, and logistics. The Chinese chefs even cook by him, as part of the office is located there. 

“The first came in July, two bosses and engineers, and then there were more and more… At present, there are about fifty Chinese and about the same amount of Croatian engineers. You can’t miss the seriousness the Chinese have for this job; they are looking for references, all paperwork and experience, they are not interested in anything done 'by a connection'. The chief director was here, very young, born in 1986 I think. Every boss has his boss, and statements and photographs or entry into the construction area are strictly forbidden without permission from the top. There is no chatting or breaks, and there is no chance that even a penny is missed on the account.

Most of the workers will come in April and sleep in the container village. I think that the people we rented to for the summer and had to cancel will not be upset, but God, there is really a lot of work,” explains Ivo, who will open a restaurant this summer - a Chinese restaurant.

“The main Chinese chef is a professional, the food he prepares is excellent, and I noticed that they use ginger in everything. If possible, I will ask him for help in opening the Chinese restaurant. And you know what was the strangest to me; this summer, apart from the thousands of guests we have from all over Europe, was the first time we had Chinese tourists. If this is a random coincidence, who knows. But, we will have a lively and cheerful atmosphere over these three years,” says Ivo Jerković.

To read more about the Pelješac Bridge, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Page 1 of 3

Search