Friday, 21 February 2020

PHOTO: 6th-Century Sarcophagus in Trogir Contains Message for 21st-Century Citizens

February 21, 2020  - A recently discovered 6th-century sarcophagus in Trogir has a message for citizens of the 21st-century. 

Dalmacija Danas reports that a stone sarcophagus arrived at the Trogir City Museum this week, which was discovered by archaeologists from the company Temenos d.o.o when exploring several late antique graves and tombs on Put Ribola.

The ancient attraction, however, was mistaken for a garbage bin my many passersby on Wednesday, prompting clever signage that honors the antiquity of the stone coffin. 

Namely, popular satirical Facebook page ‘Daily dose of the average Dalmatian' posted a photo of the sarcophagus with a message to citizens.

“I am not a bin for garbage but a sarcophagus from the 6th century!”

The comments, as expected, are entertaining as ever.

“And not just any 6th-century sarcophagus. I am a sarcophagus who knows how to write, print and paste this message to you, an evil man of the 21st century!”

“Typical Dalmatian, we have been using the same bin for millennia and a half!

“Great to see how we treat our historical heritage! What is that sarcophagus doing in a street where everyone can throw garbage in it!? Isn't this intended for a museum or other institution? What a shame."

This sarcophagus is a representative of the geometric style characteristic of the 6th-century sarcophagi that were produced in Brac-Salona workshops, which were popular not only in central Dalmatia but were exported throughout the eastern Adriatic coast as well as Italy. It is a tomb of the better-known late antique Trogir, in which two deceased were buried, which we will know more about after the anthropological analysis of the remains.

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Trogir City Museum

The cemetery's findings indicate the existence of a larger economic-country complex (villa rustica) in the area of Ribola in the late antique period (4th - 7th centuries), where a church was erected in the Middle Ages, as evidenced by the map of Trogir from 1828, whose name so far, has not been revealed. 

It is worth noting that P. Andreis mentions as many as four churches in the Red Land (Ribola) area, with the ruins still visible today.

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

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

Trogir, Marked by Masters: Traditional Dalmatian Suits by Gena

February 18, 2020 - TCN meets the modern masters of Trogir in our latest series. Next up, distinguished Dalmatian-inspired suits by Boris Burić - Gena.

In November 2019, Trogir unveiled a new branding strategy, visual identity, and promotional video, becoming the first coastal destination in Croatia to use branding at such a serious and professional level.

The result of the creative process is the slogan “Marked by Masters”, influenced by the continuity of life in Trogir for over 3600 years, the great masters who have operated in Trogir since the Middle Ages, and the indelible traces that these masters leave. 

While the medieval master builders, sculptors, and stone-cutters who lived and created in Trogir left their mark through the traces of graffiti around the town, centuries later, we can find Trogir’s modern masters thriving as artists, chefs, jewelers, tailors, and klapa singers, to name a few. 

Today, we meet Boris Burić, aka ‘Gena’, a master tailor that specializes in men’s fashion and traditional Dalmatian suits. 

"I make suits for the soul of a man,” Gena was quoted saying in a 2019 interview for Jutarnji List, and it’s not hard to see why. 

In an attic inside the UNESCO walls of Trogir, Boris Burić founded the fashion atelier Gena in 1973. Inspired by the beauty of traditional civic attire, the Gena - Fashion Croatica collection was created, which is a blend of tradition and high-end fashion, unique and recognizable in the world.

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Considered a genius at the age of 5, hence the nickname ‘Gena’, it wasn’t until the age of 15 that the Trogir tailor sewed his first suit. While it was not Dalmatian, but classic, that is when Gena began to hone his skill. Two years later, he married, and soon after had his first child. As a young man, and already a father, he needed to find a way to feed his family. Thus, the idea of creating traditional Dalmatian suits was borne.

Gena styles a version of the civic suit, inspired by the beauty of the traditional types from the 19th-century. He begins with a strictly limited traditional outfit, and gradually adds new details to create a flawless, elegant form. 

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This blend of tradition and high-end fashion has made any Gena suit unique and recognizable in the world. Modernizing the lines and perfecting the quality and details of the past creates a distinctive style of high fashion in which the romantic trace of history and the spirit of modernity are discernable. Tiny details are added to enrich the whole and give a personal touch to simple, elegant and beautiful suits, with full freedom to introduce your personality and style.

“My suits have ten faces. Each shows one side of the man, but they all have something in common. It's simplicity, dignity, pride, leisure, and it all harmonizes to create the perfect suit,” says Gena, who is also known to claim himself as the ‘best tailor in the world’.

“The Dalmatian suit is the basic construction of the cut. The tradition of Dalmatian suits has existed for 120 years. In fact, I do nothing more than repeat what has been proven best and add my own details that tell a new story,” says Gena.

Gena’s skills have long been recognized by many celebrities and various media. His passion for the craft is noticed at first glance. 

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Gena suits have been worn by Formula One's Bernie Ecclestone, Spanish opera tenor Placido Domingo, and German racing driver Sebastian Vettel.

The first diplomatic gift US President Barack Obama received from Croatia was a Gena suit, from the hands of Biograd Mayor Ivan Knez in 2009. Gena said he didn't sleep for three days while creating it.

Croatian stars, like Stipe Mesic, Goran Ivanisevic, and Dino Rada barely make a dent in his local clientele. 

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Gena even created a custom suit for multimillionaire Bruce Grossman, who sailed to Croatia in summer on his $40 million 'Forever One' yacht. Grossman tried on the suit in the presence of his family and friends. When Grossman left the room, Gena recalls that it went silent. Grossman’s wife spoke first. 

"I'm fascinated,” she claimed, which Gena considers the highest praise he can receive for his work. 

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Gena’s intense emotion, unparalleled passion, and meticulous detail, fused with an ode to tradition and eye for elegance, give birth to works of art that are timeless, bold, and beautiful. 

“When you see a man in my suit, you have to look at him, whether you like it or not. No matter who you are, poor or rich, you'll stop for a moment, shut up, and look at him.” 

To read more about the modern masters leaving their mark on Trogir today, as well as the latest from this gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site, follow the dedicated TCN Trogir page.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Trogir, Where UNESCO Meets Game of Thrones and the Original Zinfandel

February 14, 2020 - Where to go to maximise the number of experiences in one place in Dalmatia? The case for Trogir. 

Tourism is changing, and people these days seem to want to get the most out of a holiday. With the Instagram god to feed, the days of sitting on one beach for a fortnight are becoming rarer. 

But sometimes you don't have to keep from place to place to enjoy unbelievable experiences on a daily basis. 

Take Trogir for example - a destination which has SO much to offer, but which is often overlooked in favour of its bigger neighbour, Split.  

I was in Trogir earlier this week, and my very fun day included a long overdue return visit to fabulous Vina Kairos, high in the hills over the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the old town of Trogir. It was more than four years since my first visit, when we featured Kairos and its enigmatic and innovative winemaker, Ljubo Jelacic, who is busy restoring the traditions of the birthplace of Zinfandel in the region where the iconic California grape variety was born. You can read about that first visit and a presentation of Kairos here

As I surveyed the magnificent view in the February wind, I was struck not only by its beauty, but also about the wealth of fantastic things so close to each other. The birthplace of the original Zinfandel for wine lovers (with plenty more vineyards to visit in nearby Kastela. The view included views of no less than two UNESCO World Heritage Sites worthy of a visit (Trogir and Diocletian's Palace in Split - perhaps three if your vision was good enough to take in the Stari Grad Plain on Hvar), and Game of Thrones film locations in Kastela and Split. 

The Kairos vineyard is GORGEOUS - here it is with a little more life on the vines. The Kairos vineyard is a great place to take in so much of the magic of Dalmatia, while enjoying local specialities and indigenous local grape varieties. 

And then wander around the historic old town, which has an incredible amount of hertiage packed into its stone walled town. 

Here, for example, is arguably the prettiest square in Dalmatia, the main square in Trogir. 

And all this magic - and more - is just a few minutes from Split Airport, so accessibility is among its many attractions. Indeed, as we wrote recently, the accessibility and range of fantastic attractions in Trogir makes it the ideal start and finish of a holiday in Dalmatia, especially for those holidaying on an island. No last-minute ferry stress to take into consideration. Learn more about why the town is the perfect start and finish to a Dalmatian island holiday

 

Sunday, 9 February 2020

Why Trogir is the Perfect Start and Finish to a Dalmatian Island Holiday

February 9, 2020 - Instead of racing for that last ferry on arrival or worrying about missing the connection for the flight home, there is a simple Dalmatian solution to a relaxed start and finish of an Adriatic island holiday. It is called Trogir. 

After many years of living in Dalmatia, and having experienced countless frustrations (both my own and countless others with a Western mindset), I reduced my decade of life learning here to a single sentence of advice. It was advice that would serve any visitor well if they adopted it immediately on arrival, or they could go through the same years of frustration I did and then come to the same conclusion:

Do not try and change Dalmatia, but expect Dalmatia to change you. 

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Things do not happen quickly in Dalmatia, nor are they supposed to. It is part ot the charm. And yet so many tourists come with the rules of their busy lives back home and apply them here. Nowhere is this more true than those coming to gorgeous Dalmatian islands such as Hvar and Vis.

As an island boy for so many years, I was in constant amazement as the number of visitors who had come to relax in paradise, but whose emotional energy was so invested in the stress of arrival and departure. The early evening arrival - will we make the last ferry, or will we be forced to spend the night in Split? Will we wake up for the 06:00 catamaran to catch that early flight home, and what happens if there is a bura and the catamaran is cancelled? 

There is another way. 

It is called Trogir. 

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Living on Hvar, I had not appreciated the majesty of Trogir as the ideal accessory to a perfect Dalmatian holiday until I saw it through the eyes of several friends from the UK, who were regular visitors to their holiday homes in Jelsa. For them, every holiday - usually 7 to 10 days - began an ended with a night in Trogir. 

Instead of arriving and stressing over the ferry departure in the 40-minute taxi ride from the airport, they instead turned right out of the airport and were in the heart of an historic UNESCO World Heritage site within 5 minutes. A town oozing in 3,000 years of rich history, with the architecture to match, of delightful cobbled alleys, picturesque squares, and a spectacular waterfront. A town with a great gourmet scene filled with authentic Dalmatian restaurants, whose local dishes were washed down with the wines from local vineyards. Vineyards which just happen to be the home to the original world-famous Zinfandel grape variety.  

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The perfect start to a holiday. And then the leisurely transfer to Split and the late morning ferry to Stari Grad, where the main island holiday can begin. And the same experience in reverse at the end of a magical island holiday. 

Rather than a 04:30 start to catch that early ferry or catamaran and transfer to the airport for that morning departure, a chilled afternoon ferry crossing the day before, brining you to your accommodation in time for an early evening walk around Trogir's timeless streets, before one final dinner and a cocktail at sunset to reflect on a holiday in fabulous Dalmatia. And in the morning, a relaxing breakfast and effortless five-minute ride to the check-in desk at Split Airport. 

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I asked one of my friends to sum up why Trogir in an email recently. This is what she replied:

Trogir - Croatia microcosm- Perfect intro to the best of Croatia in terms of what most tourists think of, when they are heading to Croatia.

Lovely compact old town that is easy to walk around as a pedestrian.  Car free centre.   Lots of interesting buildings - fort, campanile, monasteries.  Good range of restaurants by water and in old pjacas. 

Quirky - tortoises in the cloister for example.  Beach. 8 or so minutes to Trogir from the airport to break journey to the islands.  Hopping off point for the yacht flotillas.  

Accommodation options feel more local - get to know the real Croatia? No big hotels. We stayed at the Kampanel (boutique hotel) and my sister books Airbnb.

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The best way to enjoy Dalmatia is to embrace the Dalmatian way of life - 'pomalo.' Rush for that last ferry and rise before the crack of dawn on the final day if you must, or take the 'Trogir option.'

It really is one of the most delightful and complete destinations on the coast, just minutes from your arrival and departure point. 

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To learn more about this UNESCO wonder, check out the Total Croatia Trogir in a Page guide

 

This article was produced in association with the Trogir Tourist Board.

Monday, 3 February 2020

Meet the Treasures of UNESCO World Heritage Site Trogir

February 3, 2020 - TCN is delighted to announce a new partnership with the Trogir Tourist Board to increase the visibility of one of Dalmatia's true gems, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Trogir and surrounding areas. 

A challenge will not only be fun, but also a pleasure. When you have such a fantastic destination with so much to offer and stories to tell, the task becomes a lot easier. And the stories of Trogir are fascinating and numerous, as we will discover together in the coming weeks and months. 

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A destination which is not only rich in heritage, but exploring the best ways to utilise that heritage for better quality tourism. The recent rebranding of Trogir into the town 'Marked by Masters' was innovative indeed, and a truly spectacular day was had by all a few weeks ago at the launch, which you can read about here (and more in the promo video below).

As other coastal towns and cities have lost the artisans and craftsmen within the city walls (Dubrovnik no longer has any, for example), Trogir has several great stories of modern masters making their mark inside Trogir's ancient walls today - fantastic authentic experiences which we will be documenting in the coming weeks (we already started with the coral jewelry genius of Misel).

There are so many other things to explore in Trogir, such as the surrounding vineyards, which are home to the original Zinfandel. But all that is to come, and we begin by getting to know the UNESCO town through its architecture through the eyes of our UNESCO heritage correspondent, Filipa Marusic. 

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Croatia is blessed with no less than 11 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and few are as compact or spectacular than the old town of Trogir. The historic city centre is an excellent example of urban continuity and is a well-preserved medieval town built on layers of the Hellenistic and Roman city. Different rulers and periods have bequeathed many valuable buildings and fortifications. The historic town has numerous Romanesque churches and lovely Renaissance and Baroque buildings from the Venetian period. The influence of different cultures and times is visible in the whole town, and the city was added to the UNESCO list back in 1997.

The origin of the name Trogir dates back to the 2nd century B.C., which proves the ancient foundation of the town. The name means 'goat hill', which was probably related to the fact there were goats in the area. Additional evidence of the Greek presence is the Kairos relief, which is from the 3rd century B.C. – part of the permanent exhibition in a Benedictine monastery next to St. Nicholas church. The Kairos legend says that the god of the lucky moment is faster than the wind, and if you catch him by the tuft on this head, you will have your lucky moment and happiness throughout life.

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Different buildings from different times around Trogir city centre create a unique city centre complex where almost everything has its history. There are numerous sacral and residential buildings for the city complex.

The most attractive building is the Cathedral of St. Lawrence or - as locals call it - of St. John of Trogir. Its unique work of art from different art periods ranging from Romanticism, Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque. It took four centuries to build, and building started around 1200 on the foundation of the early Christian Church and probably former Greek temple. The length of the construction can be seen on the bell tower. The first floor is Gothic; the second floor has the features of Venetian floral Gothic of the 15th century while the third floor has Renaissance elements and was completed at the end of the 16th. Different artists were working on each level of the tower.

When you are standing in front of the main entrance, there will be a stunning Radovan portal gate, which is the most famous monument from Romanesque times. The Radovan portal construction ended in 1240, and 50% is the work of master Radovan and 50% work of his students. The lunette shows the birth of Christ, and the arches show different scenes from Christ's life. The portal has sculptures of lions on the left and right as guardians, and there are on each side sculpture of Adam and Eve. There are images of apostles and Bible motifs. Additionally, there are images of everyday life and agricultural work, depending on the seasons. The sculptures of the Saracens who attacked Trogir in 1123 are at the base as portal bearers. At the top of the portal there is the sculpture of St. Lawrence with the grill - The legend says St. Lawrence during his martyrdom said to his torturers "I'm well done, turn me over" and because of this he is the patron saint of the chefs and comedians.”

When you go past the portal and enter this three-nave church, the first thing you can see are narrow Romanesque windows and three semicircular apses in the east. The central nave is the location for the main altar with ciborium and sculptures of Our lady and angel Gabriel, made by master Mavro in the 14th century. In front of the sculptures, there are carved wooden choir seats work of Ivan Budislavić from the 15th century. In Baroque times, the main altar got a new marble tabernacle and statues of Blessed John and St. Lawrence. In the Church, the central place is for the crucifix painted by Blaž Jurjev Trogiranin in the 15th century. The Church has various paintings that show images from saints' lives. Another sight is a large wooden candelabrum in the form of a Greek cross of the 16th century, which was powered with oil before, but which has since been electrified. The Church had its first organ in the 15th century and then again during Baroque times. The new organ came to the church mid-20th century, but it was built partially from the old pipes.

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Another work of art is the Blessed John’s Chapel, built in the 15th century according to the draft of Niccolò Fiorentino, with contributions from Andrea Alessi and Ivan Duknović. They used ancient inspiration to make the chapel (Jupiter's temple in Split). The reliefs are showing the winged boys with torches that represent the afterlife. Life on earth is presented with apostles led by Christ, while round windows are a symbol of the sun. The cassette ceiling symbolizes the vault of heaven, and the central medallion represents God. The Blessed John’s Chapel has marble angles made in baroque style. There is a sarcophagus with the remains of the Blessed John.

The treasury of the cathedral is the place for golden and silver objects, church clothes, written documents. The Trogir diocese was abolished in 1828 and is from then part of Split-Makarska archdiocese. The sacristy has a library and coat of arms of the Trogir bishops.

In the vestibule in front of the church there is the 15th-century baptistery made partially by Andrea Alessi. There are famous reliefs made by him like Christ's Baptism located above the entrance and St. Jerome's cave inside the baptistery. The baptistry has a rectangular ground plan with cassette vaulting on the ceiling. There are images of angels with a wreath probably made under the influence of Niccolò Fiorentino. In the centre, there is the stone baptistry covered in wood in the upper part.

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Other sacral buildings include Saint Dominic monastery, Our lady of Mount Carmel Church, All Saints Church, Saint Peter's church, Saint John the Baptist church, Saint Sebastian Church, Saint Barbara Church, Saint Michael Church and Church of St Nicholas.

Saint Dominic Monastery dates back to the mid-13th century. There was a single nave church with a Gothic tower in the 14th century. There are several works of art in the monastery and Church as old as from the 14th century.

The Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel dates from the Middle Ages and was expanded in mid-17th century.

All Saints Church was renovated at the end of the 17th century and is between the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St. Dominic. As it was old, the Church was closed at the end of the 19th century, but from the second half of the 20th century, it is used as a gallery. Today it is a souvenir shop.

St. Peter's church used to be within the Benedictine monastery intended for noble daughters. It was probably established by the wife of Bela IV who was hiding in Trogir in the 13th century. The monastery existed until the 18th century.

The Church of St. John the Baptist (13th century), at the time of construction, was an integral part of the men's Benedictine monastery. It has the features of the Romanesque style, with one nave. In the mid-19th century, it was closed, and was a temporary stone exhibition. Nowadays, the church is place for the collection of church sculptures.

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The Church of St. Sebastian is from the mid-15th century and was a votive church as a sign of thankfulness for salvation from the plague. It has a semi-circled apsis form turned towards the South, and with the entrance towards the North, since with its eastern wall, it leans on the neighboring Church of St. Mary, and instead of a bell tower, it has the city clock tower. The Renaissance front and the sculptures in the interior are a work of art of Niccolò Fiorentino. In the mid-19th century, it became a warehouse. Nowadays, it is fully renovated and is a memorial for heroes of the Homeland War.

Old Croatian three-nave Church of St. Barbara (St. Martin), with three semi-circled apses in the East, a bell tower in the middle of the dome and shallow niches in the sidewalls, was built in the early Romanesque style in the 11th century, with its northern wall leaning on the town loggia – the courthouse. In its construction, parts from the antiquity were used, in particular posts and capitals. From the second half of the 19th century, it was a warehouse, and at the end of the century was a depository of stone fragments. It was renovated on several occasions during the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century.

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The bell tower of the Church of St. Michael is a remnant of a demolished church and monastery, destroyed in the Anglo-American bombing in 1944. The Church was established in the 14th century, while the monastery, intended for the female students, was founded in 1595. The French rule abolished monastery in 1806. Later, there was a public school on the monastery premises, while at the time of the First World War it was the soup kitchen for the poor.

The Church of St. Nicholas (and the Kairos art collection) was created on the foundations of older smaller churches and the southern gate of the antique town, with the stylistic features ranging from Romanesque period to Baroque. It is an integral part of the only preserved women's Benedictine monastery founded in 1064, intended for noblewomen. The bell tower is from the end 16th century with lacy, stone grids, work of the stonemason's family of Tripun Bokanić. The interior has Baroque style ornaments, with stucco decorations and portraits of the saints. On the southern wall of the monastery's courtyard, there is the oldest Greek inscription built-in (2nd century B.C.) mentioning the names of people who performed public services. The courtyard is the place for a small stone exhibition from which one enters into the Kairos art collection, whose most valuable exhibit is the relief with the figure of Kairos, a god of the happy moment created in the period between the 4th and 3rd century B.C. In the exhibition, there are stone fragments found during archaeological research in the Church itself and heritage in paintings, silver, church vestments, manuscripts, etc.

In the historic city of Trogir, there are plenty of residential buildings and old palaces. We will have a look into Garagnin-Fanfogna palace, Ćipiko palaces, Town Hall, Lucić palace, and other houses from notable families during history.

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The complex of the Garagnin – Fanfogna Palace consists of two blocks of Romanesque and Gothic houses that in the second half of the 18th century became one bigger building. Today it's the place for the Museum of the City of Trogir. The permanent exhibition of the city museum includes the Garagnin – Fanfogna library in the original interior from the early 19th century, the Archaeological collection presenting the earliest history of the Trogir area and the foundation of the town itself.

There is a collection of the cultural history from the Middle Ages and the Modern Age presenting the town history from the 13th to the beginning of the 20th century. The traditions related to everyday life from 17th to 18th century are in the living room of the Garagnin family. The museum has the stone exhibition where one can see a collection of stone monuments that showcase the artistic tradition of stonemasonry workshops in Trogir as well as the room with work of Ivan Duknović. There are also the oldest urban layers of the town with remains of the houses from the 2nd to 1st century B.C. Trogir Museum is also a home for Cata Dujšin Ribar Gallery and Zlata Radej.

The two Cipicco/Ćipiko Palaces, the large and the small ones, were created by connecting Romanesque buildings. The palace has a lot of artwork from artists from the 15th century, like Niccolò Fiorentino. Andrea Alessi, Ivan Dubković. There are both Gothic and renaissance decorations and architectural influence.

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The Town Hall dates from the 13th century, and it was the centre of political power in Trogir for a century. It has kept its original purpose until today as it stayed the administrative centre of the town. It was also a theatre where noble families would mark their spots with emblems. During more recent reconstructions, people engraved all found emblems on city loggia.

There are several more palaces including Lucić palace - the birth house of the father of Croatian historiography, Ivan Lucić, located on the waterfront. Another palace is the Stafileo/Štafilić Palace situated along the central longitudinal street that following the direction of the antique decumanus (street in direction east - west). Then the group of Andreis houses located in the southwestern part of the town, near the Church of St. Peter, the group of houses of the Dragazzo family, the Berislavić house – birth house of the Croatian Ban and Bishop Petar Berislavić who history remembers as a courageous fighter against Ottoman invasion.

The City Loggia is situated on the southwestern side of the main city square, on the one side leaning to the Church of St. Sebastian – a tower with the city clock, and on the other side to the Church of St. Barbara. was built as a porch at the end of the 13th century. The 17th century stone table has its place in the loggia above which there is a renaissance relief of Niccolò Fiorentino with a presentation of Justice and city patron saints – St. John and St. Lawrence from the 15th century, with several subsequent interventions.

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There was a statue of the Venetian lion of St. Mark, which locals removed like all the other lions in town in the 1930ies. On the southern wall of the city loggia, there is a relief of Ban and Bishop Petar Berislavić, a work of art of Ivan Meštrović from 1938. In the past, the loggia served as a courthouse and as a sales location and place where duke would speak to people. Today you can enjoy a capella klapa music during the summer. There is also the gallery of the art collection of sacral objects of the cathedral of st Lawrence. There are numerous works of art related to sacral architecture.

The small loggia situated to the East of the southern city gate was a resting area for travelers who were late to enter the town after the city gate would close. On the wall of the loggia the writing on the wall describes its purpose. It served as a tent to keep the sun away and shelter from the wind for the people of Trogir and visitors. Until recently, the small loggia was peškarija – a fish market, while nowadays, in the summer, it is a place for the souvenirs.

The Northern City Gate is a new city gate built in the 17th century, and today's looks have from the 18th century. Above the door, there is the statue of St. John of Trogir, patron saint of the city of Trogir. The Southern City Gate is dating from the 16th century.

In front of the southern city gate, there is Štrandac – the flag stand which has changed its locations during history.

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The Trogir historic city centre has two fortresses – Karmelengo and St Mark tower.

The St. Mark Tower circular tower is from the 15th century, and it was a defence point and a slaughterhouse until the second half of the 20th century, while today its home to Dalmatian music. Kamerlengo fortress was built in the 15th century after Venetian arrival to Trogir. The original purpose was to accommodate the Venetian army while today is the lace for different music concerts and events.

From all these buildings and monuments, it's obvious Trogir is an exceptional example of the town that has continuity in urban development for centuries with a lot of representative artwork from Romanesque and Renaissance times.

Learn more about this lovely town in the Total Croatia Trogir in a Page guide and 25 things to know about Trogir, or visit the official tourist board website.

This article is produced in association with the Trogir Tourist Board. 

Friday, 10 January 2020

Trogir Flooded Twice in 2019: Seaboard Repairs Not Enough

In ten days, repairs will begin on a damaged section of the Čiovo seaboard in Trogir. Therefore, Čiovo residents will finally have seventy meters of their damaged and destroyed seaboard repaired, but repairs won't be enough, the city's mayor warns.

Trogir is a historic town and harbor on the Adriatic coast in Split-Dalmatia County, Croatia, and has a total municipal population of 13,260. The historic city of Trogir is situated on a small island between the Croatian mainland and the island of Čiovo. It is located 27 kilometers west of the city of Split.

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Trogir | Wikimedia Commons

The historic center of Trogir has been included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites for its Venetian architecture since 1997.

“This investment is worth around 500,000 HRK (67,100 EUR). We had a problem with a ship which was illegally docked, but we have resolved it and the project should be finished in three months. In addition, we plan to make additional improvements the seaboard, port authority and town square,” said Ante Bilić, the mayor of Trogir.

Both the Čiovo and Trogir shorelines ended up underwater twice last year, in November and December. Many other Dalmatian cities have been experiencing similar fates according to HRT on January 9, 2020. Extreme windstorms (Bora), heavy rainfall and a sudden rise in sea level could be disastrous for coastal areas.

“It has happened in the past, but not as frequently. This can hardly be solved by raising the seaboard level because flooding also occurs from catchment and stormwater. We need to discuss these issues at the state level and with ministry of the environment, because this is everyone’s problem,” explained Mayor Bilić.

Scientists have been warning that sea levels could rise from 40 to 120 centimeters in the next hundred years. Without serious investment into preventative projects, the question is who will end up in the "front row to the sea."

Follow our Lifestyle page for updates on environmental concerns and the effects of climate change in Croatia.

Friday, 20 December 2019

Trogir Tourist Board Looking for a New Director

December 20, 2019 - Fresh from its innovative branding of Trogir, Marked by Masters, the small Dalmatian town and UNESCO World Heritage Site is looking for a new tourist board director. Who is looking for their dream job? 

The Tourist Board of a town of Trogir has put out a tender in which they're trying to find a new director of the Board.

Now that the new brand strategy for the town has been created and is being implemented, and the preparations for the new tourist season are underway, they're looking for the person to manage the tourist potential of one of the most beautiful towns on the coast, with over a hundred years of tradition of tourism.

The ad for the job is published in the Narodne novine (Official Gazette), according to the clear criteria applicable for all tourist boards, and the applications can be sent before December 28th, 2019. 

Trogir is a jewel with enormous tourist possibilities and potential, not in terms of the numbers but in terms of the high quality of the offer and prolonging the tourist season. We have everything that's needed for that, remarkable UNESCO protected Old Town, which is still alive and not just a movie set, our three islands, decent restaurants, smaller family farms... But all of that should and can be even better. Whoever becomes the director of our tourist board will have their work cut out for them, but the criteria for where we want to go in the future are clearly set. Tourism is one of our major branches of the economy and we hope we'll be able to attract and bring a person of highest qualities who will know how to capitalize on the potential we have - Ante Bilić, Trogir's mayor, said.

By the beginning of December, Trogir saw 148 thousand arrivals and 611 thousand of overnight stays during 2019. Both of those numbers represent the 4 per cent growth, compared to last year, but the people from Trogir repeat that the increase in numbers shouldn't be the only indicator of tourist success.

"It took us a year and a half to build the new branding strategy of the town, and it creates great opportunities for us to position ourselves on the domestic, but also the Mediterranean market. We feel we should know how to answer to what the modern tourist needs, and give them a reason to visit at least 10 months in a year, and that's what our project of branding the destination is aimed to do. I'm proud that we're the first destination in Croatia to go all into that project, while on the national level it's still something that's only talked about. That's why we want the best, and the most competent professionals to apply for the position and to manage our tourist board.", the mayor added.

In addition to implementing the recently presented brand strategy, based on the old and modern artisans of Trogir, the new director will also work on the opening of the brand store, planned to open in 2020. It will also be the first such store in Croatia, and the director will need to create new content and offers for it, as well as promote it and communicate in modern channels.

"We hope that our candidates for the position will show the understanding of the concepts of the ambitious projects we started, a good level of marketing and digital knowledge and that their enthusiasm will follow our plans and desires. Yes, we want hard-working, creative and energetic people, because they are also needed in the public sector! I invite everybody who sees themselves in our projects to apply if they meet the requirements of the job. We're offering a dream job here in Trogir!"

Saturday, 30 November 2019

As Dubrovnik Sells Its Soul, Trogir Artisans Highlight Authentic Traditions

November 30, 2019 - Trogir artisans have been at the centre of the town's life for thousands of years. Unlike Dubrovnik, the modern Trogir artisans are upholding the authentic traditions of the past. 

The most thought-provoking presentation of 2019 for me so far was called Successful Tourism by tourism guru Doug Lansky at the Crikvenica International Health Tourism conference earlier this month. One of the most acclaimed speakers on the global circuit, Lansky gave a brilliant presentation of what does, and what doesn't work. HIs simple message for what people are looking for was something unique, different experiences. You can read the full report on Lansky's presentation here, but one of his simple observations was the following:

But it is the truly unique attractions which make us travel. And the very ironic thing is that those very unique things are VERY affordable and cost almost nothing. Imagine going to Paris without visiting two of its stars, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre - combined entrance price just 20 euro. The Taj Mahal (1 euro), the Pyramids (6 euro) the Great Wall of China (7 euro), the Hermitage in St Petersburg (8 euro), the Statue of Liberty (17 euro), Edinburgh Castle (20 euro), Macchu Picchu (39 euro). Lanksy took us through 15 world-class and very unique attractions, of which Petra in Jordan was the most expensive at 60 euro - total entrance price just 290 euro all in. In his example, a tourist coming from Vancouver to Paris to see the Louvre was spending just 0.3% of the holiday budget on the thing he came to see.

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Unique experiences. It is something I have been thinking a lot about ever since. Croatia has an abundance of unique and fascinating experiences, but they are either completely overrun by tourism (Dubrovnik, Diocletian's Palace, Plitvice Lake and the Blue Cave), or almost completely ignored by tourists visiting Croatia (incredible Vucedol, the birthplace of Telsa in Smiljan, or - for religious tourists - the only authenticated Croatian miracle in Ludbreg). 

I had another incredible authentic experience last week in Dalmatia, a 6am walk around a spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site that I had all to myself in bright sunshine. Thousands of years of history in the stone streets and squares of Trogir, it was magical, and I encourage you to take the effort, particularly out of season, when most of the cafe awnings have been put away, thereby exposing more of the original stone. 

I was in Trogir for the launch of the new branding of the town, Trogir, Marked by Masters, a fantastic project with so many layers of genius that I am still trying to unravel them before writing a big report on it. While I knew that Trogir had a rich artisan history, I had no idea that the traditions of the past were so alive in Trogir today, or that all the actors in the promotional video above were in fact masters in their own field. The new branding of Trogir, Marked by Masters was not only a throwback to past history, but very much a link to the vibrant creative scene in the old town today. 

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Unlike Dubrovnik. 

If we were to make a list of must-see places according to Lansky's presentation, the old town of Dubrovnik would surely be number one on the list. It is even free to visit (or about 25 euro from memory to visit the famous walls). Just the kind of attraction that Lansky would be drooling over. An attraction which gets people on the plane with most of the money generated around it. A destination filled with fine stone buildings and cute arts and crafts from family businesses dating back generations. Unique and different experiences. 

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Except things have not quite worked out that way in Dubrovnik. 

The curse of overtourism and the obsessions with numbers, numbers, numbers is such that one of Croatia's leading boutique travel agencies told me they are considering removing Dubrovnik entirely from their 2020 offer. 

How crazy is that?

But if you stop to take a closer look, the reasons are plain to see. Several years ago I went to visit the legendary barber in the old town who had run his barbershop for about 50 years from memory. 

He was the last such business left in Dubrovnik. All the other artisans had stopped their trade or moved out of the old town, to be replaced by tacky souvenir shops selling cheap Chinese crap and Game of Thrones souvenirs. 

And the majority of visitors on their day trips were not even spending. I was shocked when a specialist souvenir shop, which has successful stores in other coastal locations, told me they were closing their Dubrovnik shop as business was so bad, especially in July and August when sales were worse than May and October. So many people in the town that those who wanted to explore at leisure and spend were going elsewhere. 

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I decided to look into the Dubrovnik artisan scene over the years. Many thanks to Miso Mihocevic and Miljenka Tarana for their local Dubrovnik expertise. Check out this 1929 map of the old town of Dubrovnik and its artisans. The map is from a 1929 edition of a book by Nada Scatolini.

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A list of all the arts and crafts shops which made the list. 

I asked Miso how things were in the more recent past, 1991 for example, the year of the outbreak of the war:

By 1991 there were 7 barber shops, now only one, 3 tailors, now zero, one hat shop (was old tradition and excellent) closed several years back; 5 joiners, long since gone. 3 shoe repair shops, zero now. ( in my time there was an interesting little shop that repaired umbrellas, time ran it over ..) Some craft shops have become souvenir shops and are hardly traceable even in the memory of my friends.

Apart from the solitary barbershop, nothing else remains in Dubrovnik today. 

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Which is why Trogir was SO refreshing. Although smaller than Dubrovnik, Trogir is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a formidable heritage dating back thousands of years. But the big difference between Dubrovnik and Trogir is that so many of those old arts and crafts are very much on display today and practiced by the youngest generation of the family business. 

Sculptors, coral jewellers, goldsmiths, tailors, shoemakers and a clock repairman - they can all be found in the old town of Trogir, practicing their family trade as generations of their family did before them. 

In an era of overtourism and making the quick buck, this new direction of Trogir is one of the most interesting positive tourism developments I have come across recently, certainly on the coast. 

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I encourage you to visit. But make sure that your day starts with a 6am walk around this magnificent World Heritage Site out of season, when you will experience Dalmatia at its very finest, and all to yourself. Then enjoy a morning coffee on the waterfront of one of the squares, before starting your tour of the Trogir artisans. 

To follow the latest from Trogir, check out the dedicated TCN section, or learn more about the town in the Total Croatia Trogir in a Page guide

 

Friday, 29 November 2019

Packed Winter Program Announced for Advent in Trogir

November 29, 2019 - Advent in Trogir will run from December 4, 2019, to January 5, 2020. 

Dalmatinski Portal reports that the third winter Advent in Trogir officially kicks off on Wednesday, December 4th with the charity event 'When Little Hands Get Together’, which will only be the slightest introduction to a series of events, concerts, plays, exhibitions, book presentations, gastro presentations and performances that will take place in the heart of Trogir's city center until January 5, 2020.

The winter advent festivities are becoming a beautiful tradition in the famous coastal museum town and an event that brings vibrancy to the city even during the winter.

“I believe that with the program this year, we have raised the bar a little more. We had a great response from the great reaction of the people in the first two years and this is a sign that this event was badly needed in Trogir - and we even have visitors attending from other cities in the surrounding area,” said deputy mayor Viktor Nova.

This year the morning and afternoon hours are reserved for the youngest guests. On December 6, the children of Trogir will wait for St. Nicholas, and over the next month, they will enjoy fairytales, face painting, workshops, performances, and more. 

“As for the evening program, it will be opened on December 6 by the stars of 'A strane’, the great Matija Cvek, who will be joined by Vjeko and Ana. In the days that follow, there will be concerts by Klapa Iskon, Amel Curic, Frajle,  Sandi, and Jure Stublic and Film. We will have an early New Years' Eve celebration in the morning with Trogirski Kanti, and Marko Pecotic will introduce us to the New Year,” deputy mayor Novak added.

You can find the full program for this winter’s Advent in Trogir here

Recall, earlier this week, the town of Trogir unveiled a new branding strategy, visual identity, and promotional video, becoming the first coastal destination in Croatia to use branding at such a serious and professional level.

The result of the creative process is the slogan “Marked by Masters”, influenced by the continuity of life in Trogir for over 3600 years, the great masters who have operated in Trogir since the Middle Ages, and the indelible traces that these masters leave. You can watch the new promo video below.

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

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Trogir, Marked by Masters: Red Coral Jewelry from Mišel

November 28, 2019 - TCN meets the modern masters of Trogir in our latest series. First up, the red coral king Marin Miše of Mišel jewelry.

Earlier this week the town of Trogir unveiled a new branding strategy, visual identity, and promotional video, becoming the first coastal destination in Croatia to use branding at such a serious and professional level.

The result of the creative process is the slogan “Marked by Masters”, influenced by the continuity of life in Trogir for over 3600 years, the great masters who have operated in Trogir since the Middle Ages, and the indelible traces that these masters leave. 

While the medieval master builders, sculptors, and stone-cutters who lived and created in Trogir left their mark through the traces of graffiti around the town, centuries later, we can find Trogir’s modern masters thriving as artists, chefs, jewelers, tailors, and klapa singers, to name a few. 

Today, we meet Marin Miše of Mišel, a master of red coral jewelry.

Wandering Trogir’s twisted streets, it’s easy to miss the unassuming entrance to the Mišel workshop, nor would anyone presume that the expertise of five generations of red coral jewelers could be found behind their doors. 

Namely, Mišel is a family-owned business with a tradition lasting over 100 years. Run today by Marin Miše and his two sisters Marina and Vesna, the family’s jewelry tradition began by great grandfather Duje in the 19th century, though the family’s first storefront came only in 1932 when grandfather Filip opened a shop in Split. 

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“Duje had three sons: Marina, Filip and Vjeko, who were famous jewelers, though Filip was the most famous. In 1937, when Roma and Hajduk played in Split, he gave Hajduk's best player Mario Krulz a gold watch. He had his shop on Morpurgova poljana in Split. My grandfather Aleksander was Marina’s son. He was born in 1920 and at the age of 12, he made his first gold brooch. In 1962, he took part in an exhibition in Milan, where he presented two models of gold rings and garnered all praise. My grandfather opened his first store in 1970 near Trogir's southern city gate. In the 1980s, the shop moved closer to the current location, which has been at Gradska ulica 22 since the early 1990s. Unfortunately, my father Gordan, who was also very successful in running the business, died early,” Marin recalled in an interview for Slobodna Dalmacija back in 2016. 

Marin’s mother and father were killed in a car accident when he was 18. He has been determined to continue their craft ever since.

Today, Mišel creates jewelry and art pieces from precious metals, gems and other natural materials borrowed from the earth and the sea. 

“I travel the world in search of high-quality gemstones and corals. Mines in India, Asia, Africa, and South America supply the perfect materials for our collection of cosmopolitan jewelry that exudes the Mediterranean spirit,” Marin says. 

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Given he has the right inspiration and materials, Marin claims he can craft a piece of jewelry in just a few hours - moments even. However, more complex pieces can see the process take years. This, of course, depends on how easily the materials are acquired and how grueling the artistic process is based on the needs of the client. 

Marin gathers his inspiration from nature, which can be seen in Mišel’s considerable collection of red coral jewelry, their most recognizable product. 

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Thanks to Mišel’s unique coral, they’ve been lucky to travel not only around Croatia, but the world. In addition to the mineral fairs in Split and Zagreb, Mišel is a regular in the United States at the Tuscan Gem Show, the largest in the world. 

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“My jewelry pieces are not just jewelry; they are small sculptures. I design them and craft them with care and love. They will be recognized by people who feel a strong connection to Mother Nature and the Creator. More than one hundred years of keeping the tradition and following modern trends is no small feat,” Marin says.

Mišel is currently preparing for the next Tuscan Gem Show in January 2020, but until then, you can find them in the heart of Trogir, at Gradska ulica 22, or in the lobby of luxury hotel Le Meridien Lav in Split. And if you're not in Croatia? Take a look at the creative coral collections on Mišel's website.

To read more about the modern masters leaving their mark on Trogir today, as well as the latest from this gorgeous UNESCO World Heritage Site, follow the dedicated TCN Trogir page.

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