Saturday, 14 May 2022

Mass Held at Udbina to Commemorate Bleiburg Victims

ZAGREB, 14 May 2022 - Mass was held on Saturday outside the Church of Croatian Martyrs in Udbina, about 150 kilometres south of Zagreb, to commemorate victims of the Bleiburg tragedy and the Way of the Cross of the Croatian people of 77 years ago.

The event at Udbina was organised by the Bleiburg Victims Commemoration Committee and held under the auspices of the Croatian parliament. Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and several hundred pilgrims were in attendance.

The events of 77 years ago are embedded in the history of the Croatian people because at the time an endless column of refugees, soldiers and civilians set out for Austria in the hope that they would be granted protection by the Western Allies who handed them over to the Yugoslav Partisans near the Austrian town of Bleiburg, the organisers said.

Đakovo-Osijek Auxiliary Bishop Ivan Ćurić said that many other places of execution, pits, deportations and abductions from towns and villages - when a large number of priests and nuns were taken away - were kept hidden and without a memorial. Since then, new suffering has occurred - the Homeland War in Croatia and in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the ongoing war in Ukraine, said Ćurić.

Patriotism must not be marred by vengefulness

The dignitary said he wished today's memorial day may encourage love and unity in the Croatian people as well as cooperation among nations and cultures and successful ecumenical dialogue so that patriotism is not marred by vengefulness.

The pilgrims at Udbina complied with the Committee's request to display only their parish and national flags, in line with Croatian laws and for the sake of commemorating the Bleiburg tragedy with dignity.

"Today's commemoration is a prayer gathering for the victims, it is by no means a political gathering," the organisers said.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated politics section.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Central Commemoration Of Bleiburg Tragedy To Be Held In Zagreb, Udbina

ZAGREB, 7 April 2022 - The central commemoration of victims of the Bleiburg tragedy and what in Croatia is known as the Way of the Cross marches, held under the auspices of the Croatian parliament, will be held on 13 and 14 May at Zagreb's Mirogoj cemetery and in Udbina, a town in Lika-Senj County.

Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković held a working meeting on the commemoration with representatives of the Croatian Bishops' Conference and the Honorary Bleiburg Platoon.

As part of this year's commemorative events, a mass will be served at the parish church in Bleiburg, Austria, and Croatia's Ambassador to Austria will lay a wreath there.

The central commemoration, including the laying of wreaths and a prayer, will take place at Zagreb's central cemetery, after which a mass will be celebrated at the Shrine of Croatian Martyrs in Udbina, some 140 kilometres south of Zagreb.

Participants in today's meeting underlined the importance of commemorating the victims in a dignified way to preserve the historical truth about the tragedy.

The event commemorates soldiers of the Nazi-allied Croatian Ustasha regime and civilians killed at the Loibach Field near Bleiburg, Austria in the aftermath of WWII, after they fled the areas taken over by Tito-led Partisans.


For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

Croatian Tourist Collaboration Between Gospić, Plitvice and Udbina Approved

June 3, 2021 - Taking advantage of the tourist offer at your availability, a Croatian tourist collaboration between Gospić, Plitvice and Udbina has been approved to promote tourism in the country through joint activities between their area.

In order to further contribute to the promotion of Croatian tourism, but also to jointly carry out activities in their areas, the tourist boards of the city of Gospić and the municipalities of Plitvice Lakes and Udbina, received approval to join a Croatian tourist collaboration, reports Turističke Priče. Namely, in order to jointly develop and promote tourist products, tourist communities will act as unique destinations through joint activities.


Nikola Tesla Memorial Center, in Smiljan, outside Gospić

This is a story that is not new in Croatia and has proven to be a successful project that contributes to the development of destinations. An additional advantage is that the area of ​​Plitvice Lakes, the town of Gospić, and the municipality of Udbina are located within a radius of 50 kilometers, they touch each other and are located in the same, Unit of Regional Self-Government, Lika-Senj County.

Plitvice Lakes National Park has a world natural pearl and a large number of tourists who can complete their stay in the National Park by visiting the town of Gospić, which is the center of the county, and choose one of many additional sports, tourism, adrenaline or cultural activities.


Plitvice Lakes (Photo: Mario Romulić)

The lack of promotion of the historically known and significant area of ​​the Republic of Croatia, the municipality of Udbina, or medieval Krbava, would change with this project and the destination would get a historically and religiously significant role than it has so far. Udbina with its position, historical and cultural significance, religious tourism and natural features, and well-known eco production can greatly contribute to the development of a common tourist destination in the marketing activities ahead, complete the tourist offer, and to the satisfaction of tourists visiting us.

The Croatian tourist collaboration between the three tourist boards will be able to work better on the development of the tourist product and promotional activities of Lika as a character and define the tourist brand of the destination or micro-region as a whole.


Udbina (Photo: Lika Tourist Board website)

The development of a diverse offer and the generation of demand is a prerequisite for year-round tourism, which tourist boards strive for and which must ensure stability and a much more significant impact of tourism on the entire economy. Through year-round tourism, moving away from seasonality, and offering a quality and recognizable product throughout the year, you can conjure up everything that rural destinations have to offer. The aim is to provide visitors with useful and interesting information about the tourist offer of the destination and to show the attractiveness of the destination. In this way, new visitors will be attracted and the destination will be positioned on the tourist market while building the image of the destination as safe, which offers a diverse offer, and keeping this recognizability as a permanent trademark.

Tourist boards are facing the definition of potential future resources, product inventory, and programs for developing the Outdoor offer.

For more on what to do and how to get to Plitvice, check out our dedicated Total Croatia page HERE. Also, visit our 2021 guide on all Croatian National and Natural Parks HERE. Both now in your language!

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

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

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Marko Babić Leadership Development Centre Opened in Udbina

ZAGREB, September 14, 2019 - The newly-established Marko Babić Leadership Development Centre was opened at the "Josip Jović" barracks in the central town of Udbina, with President and Armed Forces Commander-in-Chief Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović presenting diplomas to instructors who underwent the centre's demanding training programme.

The event was also addressed by Defence Minister Damir Krstičević, and the Army Chief-of-Staff, General Mirko Šundov, who both said that the centre was established on the model of the centre for the specialist training of non-commissioned officers "Damir Tomljanovic Gavran", which operated in Šepurine near Zadar from 1994 to 2000 and whose establishment was initiated by General Ante Gotovina.

Underlining the need to modernise the army so that it can cope with current security challenges, Minister Krstičević called on military attaches of the diplomatic corps of NATO member-states to relay to their countries an invitation to send their soldiers to the new centre for training as soon as possible so that it could become an international centre.

He said that the main purpose of the new training centre was to strengthen the competencies of commissioned and non-commissioned Croatian Army officers as highly motivated leaders who understand their soldiers and lead them by setting a personal example.

General Šundov spoke about the necessary competencies and skills to lead a team, group or squad, explaining that group leaders and higher-level commanders would gain unit leadership and command skills in line with modern requirements.

Addressing those attending the opening of the training centre, named after the Homeland War hero and Vukovar defender, President Grabar-Kitarović said that Marko Babić, like Blago Zadro, Predrag Matanović and Damir Tomljanović Gavran, would be role models for Croatian soldiers forever.

Welcoming General Gotovina, who also attended the ceremony, Grabar-Kitarović said the opening of the centre showed, among other things, "that the time has passed when the legacy of the Homeland War was lightly renounced and belittled and when the role of the most deserving individuals from the time when Croatia's independence was established was negated."

"Such unjustified and unjust treatment was also felt by workers and instructors of the Šepurine training centre, and the Croatian Army and state will never again deny the memory of the brightest period of our history," she said.

More news about Croatian Army can be found in the Politics section.