Thursday, 22 December 2022

Velika Gorica, Croatia's 6th City Bucking the Population Trends

December 22, 2022 - Whisper it quietly, but there is a positive population story in Croatia, as more families and foreign workers discover Velika Gorica. 

Can you name the 6 biggest cities in Croatia by population?

Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar, and... 

No it's not Pula.

It's Velika Gorica, a name which may not be so familiar at first sound to foreigners, but one which is increasingly coming on their radar as a family destination with a high quality of life for full-time living. So much so in fact that it was recently named the best large town for education and demography in all Croatia. 

For here is a city of more than 60,000 people which is bucking the national trend of depopulation and education. So much so, in fact, that, as we reported last month, Velika Gorica Attracts More New Residents Than Any Other Croatian City.

To speak more precisely, a rather impressive 2,203 people immigrated to Velika Gorica last year, and 1,753 left. These figures show an increase in the number of inhabitants by as many as 450 people in just one single year. 717 people arrived in Velika Gorica from abroad, and 620 of them moved abroad.

The number of foreign arrivals in Velika Gorica is a trend which is set to rise. Located close to Zagreb Airport and just 30 minutes from downtown Zagreb, Velika Gorica is also a short drive from one of the fastest-growing employment opportunities in Croatia, which is attracting international talent from all over the world - the remarkable team at Rimac Bugatti. 

For those with families, Velika Gorica is an attractive proposition. Close to the capital (and its airport) but with the many advantages of a smaller city feel, Velika Gorica has all the facilities of a bigger town without the hustle and bustle of the capital. 

And nature. 

Located in the heart of Turopolje, a region I only came across recently, the city has the advantage of being surrounded by beautiful nature with an array of active tourism options. I was very surprised, for example, to hear that one could go truffle hunting just outside Zagreb, and I can highly recommend a day's truffle hunting, complete an excellent truffle lunch at Velika Gorica's premier restaurant, Mon Ami. You can read more in Move Over Istria: the Rise of Zagreb Truffle Hunt Tourism.

Unsurprisingly, real estate developers are meeting the expected need, and quality new developments are providing more capacity to meet this welcome demographic trend.  The city's infrastructure has developed considerably in recent years, and more and more local and foreign companies are moving there. 

Among the most interesting is Project Gorica, a new multi-residential location which offers numerous amenities for a comfortable family life. In the immediate vicinity of the project there is all the necessary infrastructure - primary and secondary school, kindergarten, shopping centers, sports clubs, business area, and it is located in a perfect traffic position right next to the new ring road, with which you can be in the centre of Zagreb in less than 15 minutes, and in less than 10 minutes to the airport. The development in more detail:


According to the detailed plan, the plan is to build a residential complex consisting of one underground floor, ground floor, and five floors with residential units. There are parking garage spaces in the underground floor, while there are individual garages on the ground floor. The building will have 48 apartments of very high-quality construction and equipment. The apartments are 1 bedroom + living room (44.75 and 44.95 m2), 2 bedroom + living room (74.00 m2), 3 bedroom + living room (73.20 - 116.00 m2) and an extremely attractive penthouse - vi (from 160.15 – 174, 10 m2). The entire project, as well as the apartments, meet high construction quality criteria and a higher level of equipment in the apartments. The building will be built from a mixed reinforced concrete structure, on an AB base plate, the basic structural system is a system of transverse and longitudinal AB walls. With increased resistance to earthquakes.


The complete construction and decoration of the apartments is at a very high level, thermal facade, Daikin heat pumps with underfloor heating, split cooling systems, 1st class ceramics and parquet with the option of choosing several different types, high-quality burglar and fire doors, 3-layer aluminum carpentry at most quality, glass walls, aluminum shutters and aluminum blinds driven by electric motors for glass walls, first-class stone for benches and stairs. Access to the apartments will be provided by elevators from underground floors, and Penthouses will have direct access to the apartment from the elevator via special card readers. The special feature of this project is that the building will have 4 separate entrances equipped with elevators and only 2 or three apartments per floor/entrance.

For more information about the project, contact Miranda Milicic at Dogma Nekretnine

Looking to buy property in Croatia? Here is what you need to know in the Total Croatia property guide.

For the latest news from Velika Gorica, follow the dedicated TCN section.


Monday, 7 November 2022

Velika Gorica Attracts More New Residents Than Any Other Croatian City

November the 7th, 2022 - One Croatian city near Zagreb has attracted more new residents than it has ''sent away'', the opposite of the trend we typically see in more or less all Croatian towns, cities and villages. Velika Gorica is on the up, it would seem.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, although in most cities across this country one continually encounters a reduced number of inhabitants as the years go by, there are also those with a positive migration balance.

The 2021 census showed that the total number of inhabitants in the Republic of Croatia had decreased by more than nine percent when compared to the census conducted ten years earlier. This decline in the number of inhabitants was visible across all counties, and one of the factors that certainly contributed to this negative trend is emigration abroad, which only intensified when the country joined the European Union (EU) back in July 2013. With work permits scrapped for Croatian citizens for the vast majority of EU countries and opportunities for a more stable life on offer in countries like Ireland and Germany, this country's already dire demographic trends only went even further downhill.

Velika Gorica, however, is the first on the list of Croatian cities to which more residents moved than moved out, as reported by Velika Gorica's local vgkronike portal. It is followed by Krizevci, Samobor, Cakovec, Dugo Selo, Solin, Sveti Ivan Zelina, Zadar, Sveta Nedelja and Duga Resa, which also showed a positive migration balance It's interesting to note only two Dalmatian areas on that list, with the rest being located in the continental part of the country.

To speak more precisely, a rather impressive 2,203 people immigrated to Velika Gorica last year, and 1,753 left. These figures show an increase in the number of inhabitants by as many as 450 people in just one single year. 717 people arrived in Velika Gorica from abroad, and 620 of them moved abroad.

For more, make sure to keep up with our dedicated news section.

Sunday, 9 October 2022

Fancy Getting Your Croatian Driving License or Passport Digitally?

October the 9th, 2022 - Ever been standing in line at MUP and wondering if maybe, just maybe there could be a better way of getting administrative tasks such as applying for a new Croatian driving license or passport done? Set up your digital identity and there is.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Ines Papes from AKD, the company which creates Croatian ID cards and the like, has talked more about the new way of doing things at the Velika Gorica police station. The brand new digital identity card project was presented at the Velika Gorica police station recently, and a kiosk has been set up on the station premises where people can activate their e-identity cards and request their own mobile digital identity to make getting administrative tasks done painlessly.

"The project was financed by European Union (EU) funds, and we'd like to invite people to come and activate their ID cards, and all those who haven't done so yet can do so at the police station. They'll need their ID card and PIN envelope. If they don't have their PIN envelope, they can get it free of charge at the counters of the police department. When using the console, which was set up by AKD, they can activate their ID cards, and once they activate them, they can also download the Certilia application for free on their ID cards, and that's where they'll get their mobile digital identity from," explained Ines Papes from AKD, as reported by Vecernji list.

"People are now being offered over a hundred services, on the e-Citizens (e-Gradjani) platform, they can now use the application to sign all their documents that they used to have to come and sign physically. Now they can do it quickly and easily using just their mobile phones," they stated from AKD.

"The most interesting thing about it all is that they only need to come to the counter once every five years, because that's when their identity card expires. They can send their application for their Croatian driving license or passport from their home and receive it at their home address," concluded Papes.

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


Saturday, 19 March 2022

Opatija and Velika Gorica Have Highest Easter Bonuses for Croatian Retirees

March the 19th, 2022 - Two Croatian towns, one on the coast in Kvarner and one inland close to the City of Zagreb, pay out the highest Easter bonuses for Croatian retirees in the entire country.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, while the amounts for Easter payouts for Croatian retirees are mostly symbolic and depend on a rather low pension income threshold as a basic condition, these two Croatian cities still loosened up their purse strings in order to make Easter a little better for Croatian retirees living there, as reported by

The City of Velika Gorica will pay up to 800 kuna to Croatian retirees who are drawing a monthly pension of up to 2,000 kuna over Easter. Those who are receiving a pension of up to 1,000 kuna will also be paid an Easter bonus in the amount of 800 kuna, and Croatian returees who receive a monthly pension of 1,000.01 kuna to 2,000 kuna will be paid an Easter bonus in the amount of 400 kuna. Croatian retirees from Velika Gorica are also paid out the exact same amount for the Christmas period.

The picturesque town of Opatija close to Rijeka in Kvarner isn't lagging very far behind Velika Gorica either. It does have a slightly lower final amount, but a much higher threshold. Thus, all Croatian retirees drawing a pension of up to 4,000 kuna per month will receive an Easter bonus, and the amounts range from 500 to 700 kuna.

Croatian retirees with pensions of up to 2,000 kuna per month are entitled to an Easter bonus of 700 kuna, while those drawing a monthly pension of 2,000 to 3,000 kuna will receive 600 kuna on their bank accounts for Easter. 500 kuna is paid out to Opatija's resident pensioners who are drawing monthly pensions ranging from 3,000 to 4,000 kuna.

For more on retirement in Croatia, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

NK Osijek Shakes Up HNL Transfer Deadline with Kristijan Lovrić Signing

February 16, 2022 - NK Osijek managed to stir up the final hours of the HNL transfer window by bringing the high-in-demand Kristijan Lovrić from Gorica to City Garden. 

The First HNL transfer window has been concluded - and it ended with a bomb and the unexpected transfer of Kristijan Lovrić from Gorica to Osijek. 

The 26-year-old winger has played 21 games in the First HNL this season. Lovrić spent 1,803 minutes on the pitch, which was enough for him to score seven goals and five assists. He added three appearances and three goals in the Cup. His market value according to Transfermarkt is five million euros.

Gorica should earn around two million euros for Lovrić, and the player signed with Osijek for four and a half years.

"After three and a half years, 120 appearances, 54 goals, and 29 assists in the HNK Gorica jersey, Kristijan Lovrić left our club and became a player of NK Osijek," Gorica announced on its Facebook confirming the news. 

Lovrić arrived as a replacement for Petar Bočkaj, who moved to Dinamo Zagreb on Christmas Eve for 2.5 million euros. After the arrival of Mijo Caktaš this winter, Lovrić is the second big reinforcement for Osijek, who are now even more ready to fight with Dinamo, Hajduk, and Rijeka.

Along with Petar Bočkaj, Dinamo also brought Azerbaijani Mahir Emreli from the Warsaw Legia, and released left-back Marin Leovac to Osijek.

Along with Lovrić, Osijek brought Mijo Caktaš, who terminated his contract with Saudi club Damac. Kristian Fućak, Vinko Petković, Alen Grgić, Antonio Mance, and Diego Barri arrived with Caktaš.

Hajduk also had a successful transfer period. Midfielder Lukas Grgić, right back Dino Mikanović, stopper Ferro and forward Nikola Kalinić have joined the team. Among the significant departures is stopper Kristian Dimitrov to the Romanian CFR Cluj. Hajduk earned half a million euros by selling Marin Jakoliš to Angers, France.

Rijeka brought stopper Sava-Arangel Čestić from Cologne, Germany, free of charge. Colombian right-back Andres Solano from Atletico Madrid's B team also arrived. Rijeka was left without an important first-team player Ivan Tomečak who went to Paphos, Cyprus. 


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

Tuesday, 8 June 2021

Gorica Evenings Celebrates 45th Edition With An Outdoor Cultural Program

June 8, 2021 - After more than four decades of successfully organizing an enriching cultural program aimed at people of all ages, Gorica Evenings will celebrate its 45th edition in style with concerts, cinema, theater, art, and more in the open air from this Thursday 10 to June 20 in Velika Gorica.

For the 45th year in a row, the Gorica Evenings have enriched the tourist and cultural offer of Velika Gorica, but also of the Zagreb County in general. The traditional event is organized by the Velika Gorica Public Open University in cooperation with associations and other Velika Gorica organizations, reports Turističke Priče.

In addition to a diverse cultural program, Gorica evenings are a combination of open-air concerts, theater performances, open-air cinemas, children's programs, and more. This year's 45th edition of the event runs from 10 to 20 June at two locations in the center of Velika Gorica, in Dr. Franjo Tuđman and Stjepan Radić Square, brings a rich program for children and adults.

Interesting plays are intended for theater audiences and children, and the first is scheduled by Tonka Bontonka Scene Gorica. This play for children will also be the first event of the 45th Gorica Evenings. There are also lectures for art history lovers at the Galženica Gallery, as well as performances, which will be presented to the public by participants in the Drama Studio and Guitar Course of the Velika Gorica Public Open University.

The Gorica evenings will be enhanced by klapas, which will present their acapella singing repertoire. It will be at a meeting that will serve as an overture for the Omis Festival. The youngest will show their creativity at workshops for children.

Fans of the seventh art will come to theirs every Wednesday. Namely, Dr. Franjo Tuđman Park will host the Open-Air Summer Cinema, which will show Hollywood blockbusters, animated dubbed films, and comedies. Screenings are scheduled for 6 and 8 p.m.

The highlight of the Gorica evenings will be, as always, open-air concerts. In addition to Gorizia's Mungos and the already traditional VG Blues, Rock & Country festival, Klapa Kampanel and the popular Bosutski bećari will sing and play.

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

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

EURO 2020 Prep: Croatia and Armenia Friendly Ends 1:1 in Velika Gorica

June 1, 2021 - Croatia and Armenia finish 1:1 in Velika Gorica in a friendly match played as part of EURO 2020 preparations. 

The Croatia national team played its first EURO 2020 preparatory match against Armenia in Velika Gorica. 

Zlatko Dalic's team will open the EURO against England at Wembley on June 13, before meeting the Czech Republic and Scotland in Glasgow on June 18 and 22. 

Until London, Croatia will play another friendly match against Belgium on Sunday. 


Croatia: Livaković - Vrsaljko, Ćaleta-Car, Vida, Barišić - Modrić, Brozović - Brekalo, Vlašić, Perišić - Kramarić

Armenia: Jurčenko - Teterian, Voskanjan, Calisir, Hovhannisian - Babajan, A. Grigorian, Spertsian, Bajramian - Barsegian, Adamian

Croatia opened the match in control and had their first chance already in the 2nd minute when Perisic headed over the goal. Vlasic had another great chance for Croatia in the 10th minute but shot wide of the post. 

After a few threatening plays by Armenia, Croatia took the lead thanks to a brilliant Perisic header off a Modric corner. Perisic not only scored for 1:0 Croatia - he scored on his 100th cap in the Croatia shirt! 

Josip Brekalo had to come off the pitch due to injury in the 26th minute, with Mario Pasalic taking his place. Kramaric and Vida both had chances in the 10 minutes that followed, and perhaps the best chance of the match in the 42nd minute with Perisic missing from close range. Pasalic's scissor kick hit the post to end the half.  


Slobodan Kadic

The second half began with many changes. Vrsaljko, Modric, Vida and Vlasic came out at half time for Juranovic, Rebic, Skoric, Petkovic. 

Rebic had an excellent chance to start the second half but shanked over the goal from 10 meters out. Rebic found Kramaric five minutes later who took a weak shot from in front of the goal. 

Pasalic was in an excellent position to score two minutes later but decided to lay the ball off instead of shooting. 

Badelj came on for Perisic in the 60th minute. 

Armenia shocked Croatia with an equalizer in the 72nd minute - Wbeymar scored for 1:1! Livakovic saved Croatia from another Armenia goal in the 79th minute. 

The match ended 1:1. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Friday, 21 May 2021

First Croatian Energetically Self-Sustainable Settlements Being Designed

May the 21st, 2021 - Could Croatian energetically self-sustainable settlements be the thing of the future? It seems that with a huge price tag attached and big plans in the works, they might well be.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, carrying an estimated project value of 25 million euros, with seemingly great ambitions and on a European scale, things are moving in the direction of designing the first Croatian energetically self-sustainable settlements.

The local population of several settlements in Velika Gorica near Zagreb will need to recognise and choose the benefits arising from sustainable energy without air pollution. They are separated from this act by one big step - the development of an investment concept for which the Velika Gorica authorities have received a significant European Union grant.

Their project application - applied within the Horizon 2020 programme of the European City Facility (EUCF) met all of the stringent criteria for the aforementioned cash sum.

The result is a grant worth 60,000 euros for the purpose of developing an investment concept called "The development of energy-positive and climate-neutral settlements." The settlements of Busevec, Rakitovec and Turopolje were chosen as the pilot areas for the development of the investment concept, along with the settlement of Ogulinec in the immediate vicinity and at the same time on the outskirts of the city.

According to the acting mayor of Velika Gorica, Kresimir Ackar, the project aims to examine the possibilities of creating the first Croatian energetically self-sustainable settlements with minimal air pollution.

These partcular pilot settlements were chosen because they are surrounded by forest and agricultural land and have enough potential in terms of local renewable sources to achieve energy independence, and on the other hand, they're on the outskirts of the administrative area of ​​the city itself.

The focus is being especially placed on Busevec, one of the oldest settlements in the area. According to Ackar, locals are always interested in exploring new possibilities aimed at improving the quality of their own lives, which is what this project aims for, so the feasibility study will determine what the possibilities for developing energy and climate independent settlements actually are.

The need for the energetic renovation of households will be taken into account, the potential of the surrounding forest and agricultural lands will be examined, it will be determined whether it is more profitable to build a smaller heating plant that would supply all settlements in the pilot area, or if it is instead more profitable to heat all of the settlements. and ultimately, they'll decide on which of these solutions will pollute the air less.

The entire investment concept is expected to be completed by the end of the year. What the local population gets will be seen based on what people are the most interested in, and there will also be options on offer such as solar collectors or heat pumps, photovoltaic power plants to produce electricity, and so on.

The new development perspective shows that the local population has the most prominent position because they will choose between several offered solutions based on RES, and the project itself will be implemented in three different phases. Using the benefits of digital technology, the situation on the ground will be analysed first, and at this stage, the first talks with the local population will be initiated, in order to immediately get them more involved in the project.

According to the last census from 2011, there were 886 inhabitants in Busevec, 570 inhabitants in Rakitovac, 292 inhabitants in Ogulinac, 953 inhabitants in Turopolje and 57 inhabitants in Lazi Turopolje.

A public procurement procedure has been carried out and a contract for the preparation of a Techno-economic analysis of possible solutions within the EUCF grant is an important link before launching the development of an investment concept that will answer the question of the possibilities for transition to new renewable energy sources.

According to Ackar, the new project also confirms at the European level that they're moving in the same direction that Europe has determined by adopting the European Green Plan.

For more, follow our dedicated lifestyle section.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography Publishes Book On All things Turopolje

May 7, 2021 - Last month, The Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography had a presentation in Velika Gorica regarding the newly published book on all things Turopolje.

The ever-fascinating region of Turopolje, not so far from Zagreb, as the largest city of the region is Velika Gorica (connected by Zagreb with a regular public service bus) earlier this month good a book that gives an overview of every knowledge collected about Turopolje. Or in a noun: a lexicon.

As The Miroslav Krleža Institute of Lexicography informs on its website, the end of April saw the presentation of the latest work in the edition of the Institute in Velika Gorica.

In respect to the epidemiological measures, the presentation was held among a limited number of journalists and attendees. Nina Obuljen Koržinek, the minister of culture was present along with the mayor of Velika Gorica Krešimir Ačkar, and the head if Miroslav Krleža Insitute, Bruno Kragić. The county ruler of the noble county of Turopolje Mladen Klemenčić was present too and talked about the book. Katja Matković Mikulčić, the headmistress of Velika Gorica City Library and a co-editor of the lexicon, had an opening speech.

The accompanying culture program saw an actor and singer Adam Končić recite poems by Krleža (a famous Croatian writer, poet, publicist, and encyclopedist the Institute was named after) and pupils from Franje Lučić Art School that sing with the back-up of Krešimir Starčević that followed the notes of a famous conductor from Turopolje Franjo Lučić (the inspiration for the name of the art school).

As usual, the Institute was determined to gather as a wider circle of associates as possible, especially the authors. Some of the authors are individuals from heritage, educational, and cultural institutions, but researchers from specific scientific areas and noted publicists contributed to the book as well.

„The project started with the overwhelming support of the City of Velika Gorica, the central administration unit of Turopolje, and the cooperation contract was signed in 2018. With its concept and graphics, this lexicon continues the previous editions of the Lexicography Institute, which focuses on individual Croatian regions (Istria, Croatian Zagorje) or towns (Zagreb)“, the Institute's website quotes the foreword of the book.

When it comes to history, science, and art, museums are great institutions to learn more. You can learn more about museums in Croatia on our TC page.

For more about science in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Vukovar Hospital War Doctor Treats Earthquake-Affected For Free

January 29, 2021 – Dr. Sadika Biluš had the chance to leave the war-era Vukovar Hospital as bombs increasingly rained down on the town. She refused and stayed to treat hundreds of wounded people before the hospital was captured and she was sent to a concentration camp. Today, she offers free treatment to all those from earthquake-affected Sisak-Moslavina at her polyclinic in nearby Velika Gorica

'I went through the war in Vukovar and the (concentration) camps, I know what suffering is,' Dr. Sadika Biluš told journalist Lada Novak Starčević in an interview with Jutarnji List, 'so I treat people from Banija for free.'

'I am not a cook, nor a roofer, but I know how to treat people, wrote Dr. Bilus on social media immediately after the earthquake of 29 December 2020 and opened the doors of her clinic for free to all those from the earthquake-affected area. 'So I offer free internal medicine examinations and therapy to the victims of the earthquake.'

These days Dr. Sadika Biluš owns and runs the Tomi Polyclinic for Internal Medicine and Gynecology in Velika Gorica. Her doctor's surgery may lie some 60 kilometres to the north of the earthquake's epicentre, but many polyclinics in the affected area are still not back up-and-running. The main hospital for the region, in Sisak, was heavily damaged and its gynecology department completely destroyed. Specialist examinations, such as the ones performed by Dr. Biluš, are currently near non-existent in the affected area. Dr. Biluš's own premises received damage during the fierce tremor.

croatia_hrvatska_velika_gorica_0003.jpgVelika Gorica, where Dr. Biluš's Tomi Polyclinic for Internal Medicine and Gynecology is located © Croatian National Tourist Board

It would come as no surprise to learn the earthquake had not put Dr. Biluš off her stride. She has experienced worse. During Croatia's war for independence, she was working in Vukovar hospital. The town was the most heavily damaged place in Croatia by artillery fire. As the number of shells increased and the guns drew nearer, she was offered the opportunity to leave Vukovar hospital. She refused. She stayed behind to look after the injured and the dying. The cost of this action was her freedom. When Vukovar hospital was captured, Dr. Biluš was taken to a concentration camp. She was released at the end of 1991.

'After Vukovar and all the torment we went through, I did not cry,' Dr. Bilus recounted to the journalist. Following the earthquake, she was deeply moved by seeing on TV all of the help offered immediately to those in the earthquake area. 'But now I cried terribly and out of emotion because that accident encouraged people to do so much good.'

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