Thursday, 16 September 2021

Croatia Part of UNESCO Mura-Drava-Danube Biosphere Reserve Crossing 5 Countries

September 16, 2021 - The UNESCO-declared Mura-Drava-Danube biosphere reserve is the first in the world to cross over five countries - Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia.

On Wednesday, UNESCO declared the Mura, Drava, and Danube area the world's first five-state biosphere reserve. The largest protected river area in Europe is an excellent example of cooperation between the five countries. The biosphere reserve stretches across Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, and Serbia to almost a million hectares and 700 kilometers of river flow, reports HRTurizam.

Recall, the joint nomination of the five countries was sent to UNESCO in September 2019, and it was the last step of the puzzle to declare the Mura-Drava-Danube the world's first five-state biosphere reserve. Due to its unique habitats and numerous rare species, the biosphere reserve is also known as the European Amazon.

The biosphere reserve area abounds in rare habitats such as large floodplain forests, sand and gravel banks, steep banks, and backwaters. They are home to the largest population of bald eagles in Europe and the nesting ground of many endangered bird species such as sand martin, little terns and black storks, beaver and otter habitats, and fish such as sturgeon.

About a million people depend on the Mura, Drava, and Danube, and these three rivers have shaped their lives. Floodplains protect settlements from floods and supply drinking water, while exceptional river landscapes increase the potential for sustainable tourism development.

"Cross-border nomination is a strong indicator of strengthening regional cooperation and unification of countries with a unique goal of nature protection. Working on a joint nomination is an excellent example of interstate cooperation on such an important issue," said Petra Remeta, director of the WWF Adria nature protection program back in 2019.

The value was also recognized by the European Union, which co-financed projects worth more than 20 million euros, which contribute to the protection of nature and the development of this area.

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

Monday, 17 May 2021

UNESCO Couple Jana+Matt Visit Šibenik (PHOTOS)

May 17, 2021 - Jana+Matt are a travel couple on a challenge to become the 1st to visit all 1121 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The UNESCO couple tells TCN about visiting Šibenik.

Hi there, Matt and Jana here. You may have met us on here a month ago, and now, one month later, we are still in Croatia! If you’ve missed our intro, we’re on an epic expedition to become to first on the planet to visit all UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

Our Croatian part of the Expedition started on the 12th of April, and we have just celebrated our first monthiversary road-tripping this beautiful country. 

We arrived in Croatia by bus from Prague in the Czech Republic. A full-day trip passing through both Austria and Slovenia. It was pretty cool seeing 4 countries in one day. 

We’ve had a lot of people asking what it’s like to travel during a global pandemic - it was surprisingly easy. There were only about 10 passengers on the bus, the time flew by, and before sunset, we arrived at the bus station in Zagreb. We only needed to show our negative Covid-19 tests, and that was it. Croatia is welcoming tourists, and we have definitely felt welcome everywhere we’ve visited so far. 

There are 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia, and we’re planning to visit all of them. Two of them are actually located in the same city - Šibenik, so let’s start there. We absolutely adored this charming Dalmatian town! You guys get comfy, and we’ll take you with us on this adventure, starting with our impressions from Šibenik. 

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We started our day there with a guided tour of the Cathedral of St. James, the first UNESCO site in Šibenik. You might be wondering what makes a cathedral so special that in the year 2000, it was added to the list of World Heritage sites? The cathedral was built between the 15th and 16th century, and the entire structure was built only using stone! Even the dome is built entirely from stone, which makes it a thoroughly unique construction technique. It is also a beautiful blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles. It’s a gorgeous building inside and out; we were especially blown away by the baptistery, which is just beautiful. 

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After the tour, we spent a good chunk of time just wandering around, getting lost in the charming streets and exploring hidden corners, one of our favourite activities in any city we visit. Our tour guide recommended a lovely local restaurant tucked away in one of those hidden corners, grandma-style cooking, which we love. 

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We also popped into Civitas Sacra - a playful, fun, and interactive museum explaining the story of the Cathedral. Upstairs they have a restaurant with stunning views of the city; you can stop for a coffee or a bite and relax there.

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In the evening, we hopped on a boat and headed to visit our second UNESCO site in Šibenik - St. Nicholas Fortress, one of the most important Venetian fortifications. Built in the 16th century to defend the port of Šibenik, which was at the time the most important port on the east coast of the Adriatic, from the Ottomans. The unique triangular fortress, accessible only by boat, makes for an exciting visit. We loved exploring the underground catacombs and prisons and imagining what life must have been like back then.

The boat took us through St. Anthony’s Channel, which was once a canyon of the Krka river, such a beautiful area full of biodiversity and the film location of Braavos in Game of Thrones!

Taking the boat back gave us a stunning panorama of the city, it’s really beautiful to see it from the sea. 

It was a bit crazy exploring the empty city, empty because of the pandemic, not because it’s not an exciting place, quite the opposite. We fell in love with Šibenik, its beautiful location on the coast, its historic centre, its 2 UNESCO sites, and its proximity to Krka National Park, where we spent another amazing day soaking up the beauty of nature and marvelling at waterfalls! 

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This city has a special energy, and we hope you could feel at least a glimpse of it through our eyes. Now it’s time for you to pack your bags and see it for yourselves! And in the meantime, follow us at @GuideVenturous for daily updates from our Croatian adventure!

To learn more about Sibenik, check out our Total Croatia page

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

Monday, 12 April 2021

Meet Jana+Matt, On an Expedition to Become 1st to Visit All UNESCO World Heritage Sites

April 12, 2021 - TCN meets Jana and Matt, a travel couple on a challenge to become the 1st to visit all 1121 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Their Croatian part of the adventure begins today in Zagreb.

We are Jana+Matt, an international travel couple on an absolutely Epic Expedition and unofficial Guinness World Records attempt!

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6 years ago we started a travel challenge to become the 1st to visit all UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Now, in April, this challenge is taking us back to beautiful Croatia. For about 3 weeks starting on the 12th of April, we plan to visit all 10 Croatian sites. We'll also travel to a few of the 15 sites that Croatia has nominated to become World Heritage sometime in the future. Possibly we'll throw in a few of the fantastic Croatian National Treasures outside of the list as well. 

There are currently 1121 sites spread across 167 countries. We have so far visited an amazing 128 sites located in 35 counties across 4 continents. Do you know what a UNESCO World Heritage Site is? Do you know which the Croatian ones are? 

Join us on our epic Croatian Road Trip here on Total Croatia News in a series that will show you! We will show you just how amazing Croatia looks through our eyes.

Who are we? Well, we are Jana+Matt, from the Czech Republic and Sweden respectively, but living in and working as tour guides in Barcelona, Spain. We think that our experiences from our Epic Expedition and our background as guides give us a unique perspective. During our travels, we have mixed with cultures and religions and met with fantastic people of all colours and backgrounds. 

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We have both quit our "normal" 9-5 jobs to follow our passion. Now we are avid travellers with a passion for culture, history, architecture and the outdoors. We have a lot of insight, and many stories to tell. As professional tour guides, we also know how to tell them.

We are coming back we said. This because we went to Zadar 2 years ago. That time it was for another passion of ours, sailing. Jana is an avid sailor and hosts sailing tours in Barcelona. Matt was also in Istria when he was a child, and when Croatia still was part of Yugoslavia.

What we know about Croatia is perhaps a little more than most visitors since we know a bit about history than the average person. We also very recently spent a month in Albania on our project. Obviously, quite a bit of Balkan history is connected. We absolutely loved the hospitality of the way less famous Albania, so we are quite excited to find out how their northern, bigger brother is! We both have different interests and tastes when it comes to the UNESCO Sites. Jana normally likes the natural ones like parks and landscapes (and the animals in them) and Matt is the one fascinated by architecture, history and religion. On this Road Trip, we are actually both most excited about the same place, visiting the Plitvice Lakes. This can also have to do with us having been in Prague for a few months, so getting outside is very appealing!

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The feedback we have gotten about going to Croatia has been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone seems to have only great memories from their visit. It's all looking very positive and we are super excited, to say the least.

Would you be interested in finding out how we're doing on our trip? See what we think about Croatia and the people? We will share our experience here on Total Croatia News and on our Instagram @GuideVenturous.

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

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

Wednesday, 16 December 2020

Croatia and Russia Sign Programme for Boosting Cultural Cooperation

ZAGREB, Dec 16, 2020 - Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Croatian Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek signed on Wednesday the sixth Programme of Cooperation in the Field of Culture for the 2020-2022 period, the Croatian Ministry of Culture and Media said.

The program was signed as part of the Russian Foreign Minister's official visit to Croatia, and it encourages exchange and cooperation between artists, cultural and art institutions, and associations, as well as direct cooperation between cultural institutions of mutual interest, the MKM said.

Mutual cooperation, the Ministry said, encompasses a wide range of activities related to museums, galleries, performing arts, literature, and publishing, as well as the existing high level of cooperation in the area of audiovisual activities.

The Ministry recalled that in the domain of cultural heritage the cooperation was especially pronounced between the Underwater Research Centre of the Russian Geographical Society, the Lomonosov Moscow State University Marine Research Centre, and the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar, a UNESCO Category II Centre.

Signing the Programme will improve, the Ministry said, the existing cooperation between organizations, artists, and experts.

In addition to a good and meaningful bilateral cooperation between the two countries, which is achieved through direct contact between cultural institutions and artists working in Croatia and Russia, the cooperation within international platforms will also continue, the Ministry of Culture and Media said.

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Geological Park Biokovo Imotski Lakes In UNESCO Network In Two Years

December 9, 2020 – After Papuk Nature Park and Vis Archipelago, Croatia will soon get another geopark under UNESCO protection. If everything goes according to plan, Geological Park Biokovo Imotski Lakes' proclamation is expected in the next two years.

As Lokalni.hr reports, the National Commission for UNESCO Geoparks of the Republic of Croatia sent the UNESCO Council of World Geoparks based in Paris documentation for registration and accession of the Biokovo-Imotski Lakes Geopark area to the network of UNESCO World Geoparks.

A unique area of Dinaric karst

"This completes a significant chapter on our path to the ultimate goal of becoming a Geopark under UNESCO protection," said Luka Kolovrat, director of the Imotski Tourist Board Imota.

The arrival of UNESCO evaluators is expected in the summer, and if everything goes according to plan, the Biokovo-Imotski Lakes Geopark's proclamation will be in the next two years.

"The initiative was launched in 2018 when we reported the Imotski Lakes Geopark project to the National Commission, and at the same time, the Biokovo Nature Park had a similar initiative. The position of the Commission was to unite the initiatives and to approach this project together," says Kolovrat.

There are many reasons for this. One of them is that the area of Imotski Krajina (Imotski region) with the Biokovo Nature Park is a geologically, geomorphologically, and unique landscape area of the Dinaric karst. Thus a joint application would use the potential of both areas for the benefit of the local community.

"At the end of 2018 and in 2019, the City of Imotski carried out a very complex and comprehensive geological research of the area of Imotski Krajina. It was the basis for future applications. The Geological Institute prepared the geological brochure of Imotski Krajina. At the same time, we conducted intensive negotiations with representatives of PP Biokovo on a joint application, defining names, headquarters, borders, coverage, management of Geopark, etc. At the end of 2019, the geological brochure was presented to the public, and the association Geopark Imotski Lakes was founded, which took over the management, operational affairs, and coordination from the Imotski Tourist Board," Kolovrat states the chronology.

In May this year, they sent a letter of intent to the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development. In July, they presented the project, after which they received a letter of support from them.

A piece of the planet of inestimable wealth

The next step is the arrival of UNESCO evaluators in the summer, and until then, they have a lot of work to do.

"In the next period, we need to implement the activities from the management plan: mark about a hundred sites that we have identified as geological, natural, and cultural sites, mark geological trails, do training for agencies, renters, family farms who should become partners of Geopark, create a bilingual website, promotional video, print brochures and various promotional materials," announces Kolovrat.

UNESCO Geoparks are unique geographical areas of international importance governed by a holistic concept of protection, education, and sustainable development.

"The UNESCO brand will lead to the recognition of our area at the global level. The creation of innovative crafts and new jobs encourages new sources of income as part of geotourism, strengthening the local community. At the same time, the geological, natural, and cultural heritage of the area remains protected. We believe that this piece of a planet of inestimable wealth on which we have the privilege to live, and we are its heirs, deserves to become part of the UNESCO family to the pride of us and the generations to come," says Kolovrat.

Geological treasury of Croatia

Due to its geological diversity and numerous fossil finds of organisms from the Pannonian Sea, the Papuk Nature Park was the first Croatian Geopark under UNESCO protection. Papuk is also in a nature park category since 1999, and the first geological natural monument in the Republic of Croatia is located in the Park.

Last year, UNESCO added three European sites to its geological parks, including the Vis Archipelago. In the geological past 220 million years ago, a magmatic breach formed the present islands of Jabuka, Brusnik, Biševo, and Palagruža. Palagruža is also geologically the oldest island in the Adriatic, which, like the island of Brusnik, is continuously growing under the influence of tectonic activity.

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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

See Together Challenge: Diocletian's Palace to be Live-Streamed to Viewers Around the World

October 20, 2020 - UNESCO World Heritage Site Diocletian's Palace will be live-streamed to viewers around the world on Thursday, October 22, as part of the 'See Together Challenge' by Seoul company Magenta. 

Magenta, a documentary production company based in Seoul, South Korea, is launching a new project titled ‘See Together Challenge’. 

The project is co-hosted by SK Telecom, the National Korean Committee for UNESCO, and Magenta, and is funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT, and supported by the Korea Radio Promotion Association.

‘See Together Challenge’ was envisioned to lift spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic and to raise awareness of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the importance of their preservation.

Namely, project participants will film and live stream UNESCO World Heritage Site(s) to global viewers for 1 hour and then pass on the live stream to the next participant, who will film for an hour at their location, and so forth. The videos will be live-streamed on Youtube and will run 24 hours a day, for one week, beginning on October 21, 2020.  

The videos will also be edited into a two-part documentary on social distancing, which will be aired on KBS, a national broadcaster in South Korea.

Since Croatia boasts some of the world’s most spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it comes as no surprise that the country will be featured in this admirable project. 

Thus, among the various Croatian UNESCO heritage sites is the breathtaking Diocletian's Palace. Famous Split tour guide Ivica Profaca will lead viewers through its ancient stone walls and unveil its history to future travelers around the world on October 22 at 10 am.

To find out more about our project, you can visit the official website and watch the official promo video HERE.

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Sunday, 4 October 2020

Plitvice Lakes National Park is Developing A Zero-Waste Strategy

October 4, 2020 - Plitvice Lakes National Park is developing a zero-waste strategy. A look at the UNESCO-protected park's sustainable development. 

HRTurizam writes that Plitvice Lakes National Park is at first associated with green and sustainable development. However, a few years ago, it was just the opposite. Fortunately, some of the significant problems have been solved, such as the congestion of visitors and septic tanks, and today the situation is much better than several years ago.

Thus, Plitvice Lakes National Park uses electricity from renewable sources for the last two years. This week, for the second year in a row, they received the ZelEn certificate, which confirms that 6,351 MWh of electricity was delivered from renewable sources.

In this way, Plitvice Lakes National Park procures electricity from certified hydropower plants, with special attention paid to evidence of the harmlessness of the power plant's impact on the environment and the disposal of hazardous waste, according to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

This is green energy obtained exclusively from renewable sources, which is delivered by HEP through the ZelEn certificate. Also, the buyer of ZelEn acquires the right to use the trademark ZelEn - Friend of Nature for promotional and marketing purposes, which is imperative today. Otherwise, according to HEP, green electricity is more expensive, i.e., additional 20 eurocents or about 1.5 kuna / MWh. 

In 2018, Plitvice Lakes National Park introduced new lighting that uses LED technology that consumes up to 50% less electricity and is more favorable for wildlife because the light is not scattered in all directions but is directed only to the narrower area around the trail. The lighting is also programmed to work at 40% intensity for most of the night when there is no need for intense light.

"It is imperative to us that flora and fauna feel the presence of man and his technologies as little as possible, so this project was of great importance," states Plitvice Lakes.

Food waste is a big challenge today. Due to a considerable amount of it, but also the use of soil, water, and energy to produce excessive amounts of food, our footprint on the planet are colossal, and analyzes indicate that as much as 70% of biodiversity is lost by deforestation to agricultural land.

Unfortunately, Croatia does not lag behind global data. We throw away about 400,000 tonnes of food a year, contributing to European figures around a staggering 90 million tonnes, about 20 percent of total food production. i.e., 173 kilograms per capita. The value of the food thrown away is 143 billion euros. Also, for the production, distribution, and storage of food, natural resources are consumed, and the ecological footprint is further increased. That is why the World Conservation Organization (WWF) has recognized food waste as one of the most important programs of its work.

It is for this reason that, together with the Jezero Hotel of Plitvice Lakes National Park, it has joined forces in a project to reduce food waste.

“As a UNESCO-protected national park, the importance of influencing nature conservation and raising awareness about waste reduction is an important determinant of our actions. As we manage several catering and accommodation facilities, we are faced with the great challenge of reducing our environmental impact. Through numerous activities and projects with which we started, we strive for a "zero waste" strategy," according to Plitvice Lakes National Park.

With the introduction of biodegradable packaging in 2015, removing plastic from business began. All generated waste in the hotel is separated, while biowaste is used to produce biofuel and animal feed.

Promotional materials are printed on eco paper, food is procured through green procurement and cooperation with WWF.

“With proper internal communication, communication with guests in our hotels through informative and educational messages and excellent cooperation with WWF on this commendable project, we believe in excellent results, and we are proud that our largest hotel Jezero was among the first hotels in Croatia with this project," concluded Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Plitvice Lakes National Park finally has a clear Management Plan, visitor counters, online ticket purchase, electric vehicles as well as an electric boat are used, products from local family farms are encouraged and used, and they received the green light from UNESCO, which has just monitored all protection processes and even threatened to remove Plitvice Lakes from the UNESCO list. The situation today is much different than 5 or more years ago.

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Plitvice Lakes 

“The management plan sets basic goals in achieving the vision of the National Park, according to which a good way of managing the protected area and cooperation with the local community is the foundation of sustainable development. In achieving these goals, special attention should be paid to preserving the unique universal value of the Park, preserving the tradition and cultural identity of the area, sustainable development of the local community and building a partnership in which the local community recognizes the Park as part of its identity."

You can download the Plitvice Lakes National Park Management Plan until 2028 HERE.

The UNWTO defines sustainable tourism as tourism that fully considers current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts and takes care of the needs of visitors, sectors, environment, and destinations.

Therefore, sustainable tourism should make optimal use of environmental resources that are a key element of tourism development, retain essential ecological processes, and protect natural heritage and biodiversity. Respect the destination's socio-cultural authenticity, preserve their built and living cultural heritage and traditional values, contribute to intercultural understanding and tolerance, and ensure that economic activities are sustainable and long-term.

The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has been the leading voice for nature for more than half a century, and they also operate in Croatia.

Crowds of tourists coming to the Adriatic beaches, islands, towns, and cities cause enormous pressure on both infrastructure and natural resources. In response, WWF points out our protected areas are looking for new, commercially viable alternatives in the form of ecotourism.

Mass tourism is not inclined to care about nature - and the consequences are disastrous. Tourism is one of the main causes of ecological collapse in the region. Some once untouched places can no longer be rebuilt today. Unsustainable tourism activities also harm protected areas. We also know the negative effect of Instagram destinations, where they suddenly become so popular that they ruin an entire destination that cannot accommodate so many tourists.

Tourism, if well managed, can support nature conservation while contributing to sustainable development and providing opportunities for income and a better quality of life for local people, the WWF said, and add that caring for natural heritage through protected areas is key to sustainable development and is the foundation of socio-economic well-being. A more efficient and ecologically oriented form of tourism or ecotourism.

In response to these key issues in Croatia, WWF focused on four components in its work on tourism: the project should have a positive impact on the environment and contribute to nature protection and conservation, commercial sustainability, local community development, and respect for the culture. Local circumstances, traditions, values, and human rights and gender must be respected. 

Today, more than ever, the focus is on sustainable development and ecology, and destinations that go that route will certainly benefit.

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Friday, 18 September 2020

VIDEOS: Amazing New Google Project Shows Croatian Culture to the World

September 18, 2020 - Incredible new video series explore Croatian culture, its natural assets, and the country's rich traditions, a collaboration with Google

Steeped in history and tradition, Croatian culture is incredibly diverse. Recognised as being of high value to the country's appeal and its understanding of itself, many items from this rich heritage appear on the protected UNESCO list.

The Croatian National Tourist Board has teamed up with Google Arts & Culture and partners The Museum of Arts and the Museum of the Sinjska alka to produce an incredible series of videos that explore this cultural heritage.

From arts & crafts to music and dance, natural assets and architecture, the new videos show off the rich menu of traditions assets that make Croatia such an incredible country. With so many items included on the protected UNESCO list, there's always something more you can learn about Croatia, no matter how many times you visit.

Lace-making, costumes of folklore, ancient instruments, time-honoured recipes, beloved festivities and distinct, regional styles of music are just some of the facets of Croatian culture explored in the videos. Now, people from all over the world can explore Croatian culture and heritage before they even arrive. The menu of videos and accompanying media is presented in both English and Croatian.

Some of the videos in the series are not new, but they have been selected by the Croatian National Tourist Board for inclusion as they are the best at showcasing their particular aspect of Croatian culture. Alongside the video presentations, there are a wealth of photographs and informative texts. You can view the whole new collaboration with Google Arts & Culture here

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Friday, 18 September 2020

Croatian Intangible Heritage: Google and Croatian Tourist Board Cooperate

As Novac/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 17th of September, 2020, the tourist champion of the Mediterranean has a new ace up its sleeve to attract tourists, but also to promote its very own culture. As of today, Croatian Intangible Heritage is available on Google on the pages "Croatia: Hearts & Crafts" in both Croatian and English.

Croatia is one of the countries with the largest number of intangible cultural heritage sites in the whole world. Croatian intangible heritage is under the protection of UNESCO, and is now available on the Internet through the cooperation of Google Arts & Culture and the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB/HTZ).

The Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Museum of the Sinj Alka participated in the project, thus becoming just some of more than 2,000 cultural institutions from 80 countries participating in the Google Arts & Culture project.

Kristjan Stanicic, the director of the CNTB, says that this is the first large and comprehensive project of the Croatian National Tourist Board and Google which promotes Croatian intangible heritage in an innovative way.

"As part of this project, we've revealed 25 Croatian intangible traditions to the world that will, I'm sure, contribute to further positioning our country as a tourist destination with a rich and diverse offer with emphasis placed on our cultural and historical heritage, which we're all very proud of,'' said Stanicic.

Intangible cultural heritage that refers to traditions or living expressions that are passed from one generation to another are being presented through this joint project in four sections, ie through the knowledge of crafts, folk songs and dances, and then festivities and food.

Amit Sood, director of Google Arts and Culture, says 2020 has been a challenging year for travellers around the world. He is convinced that this project to showcase Croatian intangible heritage through cooperation with Google will bring even more people closer the rich traditions and history of Croatia, which is already known for its natural beauty and picturesque cities.

"Using technology and innovative storytelling techniques, this project in cooperation and under the auspices of the Croatian National Tourist Board is aimed at preserving and promoting selected aspects of Croatian intangible heritage to a global audience. This is also the first global presentation of Croatian intangible heritage on Google Arts & Culture,'' stated Sood.

Some of the examples included in the project are the making of Agave lace, which according to tradition originates from the Canary Islands, and which today in Croatia is made only by nuns from the Benedictine monastery in Hvar Town on the island of the same name. The incredible Sinjska Alka, held every year in August on the anniversary of victory over Turkish invaders in 1715, when 700 Croatian soldiers from Sinj managed to repel the onslaught of 60,000 Turkish soldiers, as well as the traditional Tribunj donkey race, which is held every year on the first day of August.

The project also includes Nijemo kolo from the Dalmatian hinterland, which is unique in that it is performed in a circle or in pairs almost exclusively without any musical accompaniment, klapa singing, traditional polyphonic homophonic singing without the accompaniment of instruments dedicated to love or to the community in which the singers live, the art of preparing strukli, from Zagorje a salty or sweet dish made of dough stuffed with cheese, the most famous specialty of Hrvatsko Zagorje, and the folk singng, becarac, is also described, and much more.

It's also worth mentioning that by using the Google Street View feature, people around the world can virtually navigate through many places, and with just one click they can find out additional information about Croatian treasures or immerse themselves in high-resolution photos. They can visit the glittering coastline and dive into the crystal clear Adriatic sea, explore Korcula, the home of the Moreska sword dance, or travel to Omis, where the Festival of Dalmatian Klapa takes place. They're free to stop by the island of Lastovo, known for its natural beauty, Venetian architecture from the 16th century and a traditional events, and much more.

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Thursday, 26 March 2020

Papuk Nature Park has UNESCO Status Extended for Four Years

March 26, 2020 - Papuk Nature Park, the first UNESCO Geopark in the Republic of Croatia, has retained its status as one of the world’s geoparks.

Namely, HRTurizam reports that part of the regular revalidation process, a two-member UNESCO Geoparks Commission visited in July 2019. During their four-day visit to the Papuk Geopark, they were presented the progress made in the past two years, from infrastructure to new projects, and met with stakeholders and representatives of local government.

The UNESCO World Geoparks Council, based on the report of the revalidation, has decided to extend its status in the UNESCO World Geoparks by four years, with recommendations for future work. 

“We base the entire future of the Park on the signature of UNESCO. And our biggest project, Geostories, bears its name. Therefore, the whole progress of the Park's tourism offer, carried out for the benefit of the local community, is also due in large part to the status of a UNESCO geopark. We are thrilled and proud that our membership in the World Geoparks Community has been extended for another four years,” said Alen Jurenac, the Papuk Nature Park Director.

Thanks to its lowland plains with large cultivated areas, Papuk Nature Park is one of the main features of Slavonia. The Papuk Nature Park is located in the mountain forest areas of Papuk and was declared a nature park on April 23, 1999. Its exceptional natural value encompasses a great diversity of habitats and species of plants and animals, but also geological diversity represented in numerous geological formations created in different periods of Earth's past.

Of particular value are the numerous fossil finds of organisms that lived 16 million years ago in the "Pannonian Sea".

The Papuk Nature Park, near Vocin, houses the first geological nature monument in the Republic of Croatia, protected in 1948 because of its unique morphological occurrence in Croatia - the columnar secretion of volcanic rocks.

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