Monday, 5 December 2022

Vukovar Best Croatian City for Education, Youth, Demography, Social Policy

December 5, 2022 - For the fifth year in a row, Hanza Media and the portal selected the best cities in five categories based on detailed analysis and with two special awards, Smart City and Eco City. This year, Vukovar won the title of the best Croatian city in the categories of education, youth, demography, and social policy.

Ivan Penava, the mayor of Vukovar, attended the award ceremony in Opatija on December 1.

"According to FINA data, competent ministries, and specialised agencies, Vukovar is constantly at the top of numerous rankings in Croatia according to various parameters, from investment in education, youth and family, the number of children enrolled in kindergartens, to the total income of entrepreneurs in 2021. I consider it my duty to keep Vukovar at the top and make it the best. This award achieved in the competition of big cities is the crown of many years of dedicated work of the City Administration of the City of Vukovar and is a confirmation of the enormous progress of Vukovar," said mayor Penava.

According to research based on data from the Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Croatia, data from FINA on the execution of the budget in 2021, and analysis by the portal, the City of Vukovar ranked 5th in the Republic of Croatia in terms of allocations for education.

In 2020, regarding allocations for family and children, the City of Vukovar took 3rd place with 193.75 kuna allocated per capita and 9th place with 2.19% of total city budget expenditures assigned.

Recall, the gift amounts of the City of Vukovar for newborn children were increased in 2021, and the City of Vukovar was the first city in the Republic of Croatia to introduce a unique demographic measure of co-financing overhead costs for families with three or more children up to 16 years of age.

Vukovar also stands out for with some of the lowest prices of kindergartens in the Republic of Croatia, which is 490 kuna for the first child, 441 kuna for the second child, while kindergarten is free for the third and every subsequent child, and from this year, the afternoon shift is also provided in Vukovar kindergartens.

In Vukovar, in recent years, the city's kindergartens have recorded a constant and continuous increase in the number of children enrolled. According to independent research, Vukovar is the second city in Croatia regarding the number of children enrolled in kindergartens!

For years, the city of Vukovar has been providing primary school students with the necessary school materials as well as the help of teaching assistants. Through an EU project, free meals have been provided to all students at risk of poverty.

Extended stays have been introduced in 6 out of 7 primary schools (expected from the summer semester and in the remaining newly renovated school of N. Andrić), Christmas presents have been a must for all the children of Vukovar, as well as free summer holidays on the Adriatic for the most successful primary school students.

Through high school education, the City of Vukovar supports young people by fully financing city bus transport tickets, co-financing intercity bus transport tickets, and providing stipends for high school students in deficit occupations in the amount of HRK 400.

It helps students from the area of the city with scholarships of 500 to 1000 kuna, it co-finances the intercity transport of regular students in the area of two counties - Vukovar-Syrmia and Osijek-Baranja, and the best ones who finish the academic year with an average of 4.50 to 5.00 are rewarded by the city of Vukovar with 1000 kuna.

It should also be noted that the works on the renovation of the new building of the Polytechnic Lavoslav Ružička Vukovar have been completed, so Vukovar students will soon enjoy the highest standards of education. The project is part of the Intervention Plan of the City of Vukovar, and its total value is HRK 66,439,727.54.

The housing program for the necessary staff in the area of Vukovar is also being successfully implemented, so in the last three years, 59 staff apartments have been allocated using this model.

Bjelovar, Čakovec, Pazin, and Velika Gorica also competed in this category. The City of Vukovar sincerely congratulated them and all other nominated cities and award winners.

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

Monday, 21 November 2022

Vukovar 2022 Remembrance Day: Visitors are Gone, the City Remains

November 21, 2022 – Wherever you find yourself around the 18th of November, Vukovar will be with you. Whether you like it or not, the name will follow you like a shadow; it will keep calling you, whispering, "Think about me." This year’s day has passed. The visitors have all gone, and the city once again remains. It is time for the first TCN Vukovar 2022 Remembrance Day reflections through the eyes of a resident. Big ask. As a tourist guide here and someone who has written about the city many times before, thinking about what to say to contribute to the discussion in a valuable way is a daunting little task. No words would be enough, yet it feels like four are all we need: We are still here.

1991 – 2022. It has been 31 years. It sounds like a long time, but it feels like time has stood still on the day. Something feels different with every year that passes by, but something is always the same. It’s hard to name it; I can’t put my finger on it. It happens if you live here. You learn something every time you meet someone new. New information, new emotions, new reasons to laugh or cry. But you connect in the old way. And there are two sides to that – the lessons are hard, but they force you to grow. Like Vukovar has been growing. With and without the parade. With and without politics. During November and the remaining eleven months.


18 November 2022 (Photo by Grad Vukovar 2022)


Jean-Michel Nicolier bridge (Vukovar 2022)

If you ask anyone from Vukovar to talk about it in November, they are likely to do at least one of the following things: politely ask you to move on and talk to someone else, tell their family’s story, or ask where you’ve been by now. These are some of the ways people deal with what happened here and what the reality is now.

Some don’t want to or can’t talk about it. Shake their hand and move along.

Some find it easier to tell their stories; they need compassion, appreciation, and a thank you for your sacrifice. They will open their homes and their hearts to you. Sit down with them, let them make you a cup of coffee, and listen. Cry with them, laugh with them. At times feel overwhelmed. And if they say they don’t expect you to understand, don’t believe them. Of course, you should understand. It’s not that complicated; what happened here. The human experience was reduced to its lowest form. Houses were burned, families broken apart, and lives ruined on all sides of the flag. Keep that in mind, and be respectful. Walk the parade, light a candle, and say a prayer. Remember that the whole point is to thank those who gave their lives for you to walk free and never allow that to happen again.

On the other hand, you could meet people who had nothing to do with the war, whose families were lucky, or who ended up moving to Vukovar recently. Your instinct may be to ignore them; it’s not about them. Don’t. Listen to them carefully. They live here now by choice or by fate. The city is theirs, and the city is them just as much as it is you who visits, who remembers, and talks about it.


City centre Vukovar 2022 (21 November)

That brings us to the message I would like to send this year. The message that rings painfully accurate whenever we hear our co-residents say it to the cameras pointed at them in November. Come to Vukovar on the 18th, do the thing and take the pictures. We appreciate it; we really do. Without your support, we wouldn’t even be where we are today.

But don’t let that be your only visit. Do not reduce our city to pain, our streets to the parade. Recognise the artisan shops under the baroque vaults, the business that blooms daily. Sit down for a hearty meal and chase it down with a cold Vukovarsko brewed right here. Wear the Borovo shoes, which still promise and provide quality. Check out the municipal museum or hop over to Vučedol to go on a journey of five thousand years. Come and see July and August – take it easy swimming in the Danube, or get your culture fix at the Vukovar Film Festival. Run, walk, or cycle kilometres of routes through plains and forests. Try fishing for dinner.


Like in many other places in Slavonia, life is hard in Vukovar. Many leave in search of a somewhat normal life. Not because they want to but because they have to. They will come back, though, because enough of Vukovar’s driving force is still here. Those who stay and those who come to Vukovar refuse to live in the bubble of the 18th and have decided to give Vukovar what it needs and what it deserves. Love, laughter, optimism, and friendship – every day. Never forget its sacrifice, and never stop talking about it. But never ignore its future and never underestimate the willpower of its children.

Vukovar is 365, full of life. 

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


Tuesday, 15 November 2022

Wild Grass That Never Goes Away: Vukovar Volunteer Jean-Michel Nicolier

November 14, 2022 – The 18th of November is around the corner. The day that inspires the most twisted mix of feelings in many of Vukovar's residents. Sadness at the base. Heartbreak, nostalgia, frustration, gratitude. Hope. All of Croatia comes together to commemorate the sacrifice of Vukovar for its homeland. Remembering those who gave their lives to defend our home almost feels like a new experience every time. Reading their names is one dimension; reading the years is an entirely different one. One more painful than the other. A different story stands out every year. This time, we will take a moment to share the legacy of one of the youngest foreign volunteers, Jean-Michel Nicolier.

On the 18th of November 1991, Vukovar fell into the hands of the occupying forces. Our families, neighbours, friends, all those who spent three months locked away in underground shelters, were let out and sent on their way towards Zagreb, Belgrade, Novi Sad, who knows. Some of them were lucky enough to reunite with their loved ones, but many of them learned that their loved ones were gone or couldn’t find them anymore. All of them had to say goodbye to their city. November 18, 19, and 20 were days when many families of the volunteers who came to fight for Vukovar received the worst kind of news. Or the only thing even worse than that – no news at all.

Jean-Michel Nicolier, “the Frenchman,” was born in Vesoul, France, in July 1966. In July 1991, at barely 25 years of age, he travelled to Zagreb to fight for Croatia. He had seen the news of war on TV and decided that he wanted to help. I want to help these people; they need me. I must go, but I'll be back. You know I'm a wild grass that never goes away. Those were Jean-Michel’s words to his mother, who begged him not to go. He was mobilised into a HOS unit and spent two months fighting at Duga Resa. In September, he was among the last groups of volunteers to arrive in Vukovar. He fought in the Sajmište area, where the battle was extremely difficult and constant. On the 9th of November, he was wounded and had to remain hospitalised.

In the hospital, he was interviewed by a French TV crew, and this is how Jean-Michel Nicolier described his days in Vukovar: “I've lost too many friends, I've seen too many people cry too much suffering. I have been advised several times to leave Vukovar and return to France, but I stayed. We lost. I knew it would be difficult, but I didn't think it would be this terrible, especially for civilians. I came to Vukovar as a volunteer. It's my choice, for better or for worse.

Journalist: Why as a volunteer? – Because I think they need help. That's why I chose their side.

Journalist: What does Vukovar mean for you? – A slaughterhouse. A slaughterhouse. Slaughterhouse.”

Nine days later, Jean-Michel Nicolier, the Frenchman, was taken to the Ovčara concentration camp, along with many other volunteers and civilians from the Vukovar hospital. According to Dragutin Berghofer Beli, he stood up even when his name was called at the camp, where he suffered torture. On the night of the 21st of October, he was murdered by Spasoje Petković, nicknamed Štuka, who then proceeded to rob him of his last 20 Francs. The murderer himself confessed to this at the Belgrade War Crimes Court. Claiming that he was a frightened soldier who feared for his life, Petković went from being the defendant to a penitent witness, earning a privileged status, freedom, and the position of a protected witness, which guarantees that he will never be extradited to Croatia.


Grad Vukovar

Jean-Michel Nicolier’s body is yet to be found. It is possible that he was buried in one of the ditches of the Ovčara mass grave which were moved, or that he ended up in the Danube, but there has been no evidence to confirm either. His family still visits Vukovar, his mother and brother have been in several interviews, and his mother has written letters to Jean-Michel, and about him to the Croatian Government.

Not many knew a lot about Jean-Michel until Višnja Starešina’s documentary film on Siniša Glavašević, Zaustavljeni Glas, came out in 2010. In 2011, the NGO Veterans' Association, Dr. Ante Starčević from Tovarnik, led by Antun Ivanković, took a particular interest in Jean-Michel, his life, and his story. They contacted his family, wrote about him to the president’s office, and eventually ensured his name was listed among the volunteers. Jean-Michel was posthumously awarded the Vukovar-Syrmia County Tribute for love, loyalty, and bravery in the Croatian War of Independence. In 2012 Nevenka Nekić published the book Jean ili miris smrti (Jean, or the Smell of Death). In 2014, the renovated main pedestrian bridge in Vukovar city centre was named after Jean-Michel, and in 2015 his bust was installed next to the bridge. May Jean-Michel rest in peace.

View of the Jean-Michel Nicolier bridge (right)

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

Tuesday, 8 November 2022

Programme Published for Vukovar Remembrance Days 11-20 November

November 8, 2022 – The city of Vukovar has published the full programme for this year’s Remembrance Day. The full schedule will stretch over ten days, from Friday, the 11th November, to Sunday, the 20th.

The scope of the programme is broad, with institutions such as the county hospital, the city library, its museums, veteran associations, and more all taking part. On top of the events happening in Vukovar, the official programme includes other Croatian cities where candles will be lit on the evening of the 18th of November.

programme.jpgGrad Vukovar

The first of the events included in the programme will be a professional meeting of the Croatian Society of Emergency and Medical Intensive Care at the National Memorial Hospital in Vukovar at 5 pm on Friday, the 11th and Saturday, 12th November. On Saturday, the 12th, the Sv. Bono Centre by the monastery will host an exhibition of artwork and models of the Vukovar Watertower and a meeting of war reporters.

On Monday, the 14th, the Municipality Museum is organising a Multimedia Exhibition of their archive photos and videos, while the Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar will host an online seminar titled Vukovar Today – Memories, Experiences and the Reality of Living.

On Tuesday, the 15th, the Croatian Culture House (Hrvatski Dom) is hosting an exhibition titled Vukovar Execution Grounds, opening at 1 pm. The same venue will host the 18th Stories From My City Memorial on Wednesday, the 16th at 5 pm. The Association of Vukovar’s Women Veterans is hosting the 10th Festival of Unpublished Patriotic Poetry Grad u Školjci (The City in a Seashell), starting at 6 pm at the Ružička House.

On the morning of Thursday, the 17th, at 10 am, the associations of families of the city’s volunteers will lay roses and candles on the graves of Vukovar’s defenders. At 11 am, the Dragutina Tadijanovića primary school will host the 13th Vukovar History Lesson titled Naša pjesma, naša snaga (Our Song, Our Strength). At noon, the City Library will host a Siniša Glavašević memorial panel on the Croatian Diaspora for Vukovar, titled The City – It Is You. At 1 pm, a scientific symposium on the Vukovar’s war hospital will take place in the Sveti Bono Pastoral Centre. At 2 pm, a monument to Kata Šoljić and her four sons who have died defending Vukovar will officially be revealed at Bartola Kašića bb. At 4 pm, the veteran associations will lay wreaths and candles and say their prayers at the votive chapel Put Spasa (Way of Salvation) at Kukuruzni Put – a path through the cornfield which served as the only link between Vukovar and the territory of the Croatian army in late summer and autumn of 1991. At 5 pm, the National Police Union will pay their respects at Hrvatski Dom. Ending the day, at 7 pm, the Vukovar Hospital will be the traditional venue for a candlelit prayer, with the support of Klapa Sveti Juraj.

On Friday, the 18th, Vukovar’s pupils will traditionally light the candles along the city’s main roads in preparation for the memorial parade, whose start will be at the hospital at 10 am for the commemorative programme, and 10.30 for the parade itself. The arrival at the Vukovar Memorial Cemetery is expected at 12, with the national and city officials laying wreaths and paying their respects at 12.15, while the holy mass will take place at 12.30. At 5 pm, the Danube will become a Memorial River of Light. At 6 pm, other Croatian cities will pay their respect by lighting candles on their local Vukovar Street or the main street.

On Saturday, the 19th, the pupils will light candles in the Borovo naselje area. The memorial programme starts at 9.30 at the Borovo Commerce, which served as a war hospital and shelter. The memorial parade will pass through the Blago Zadro and Trpinjska Cesta streets, reaching the Gospa Fatimska Church for the holy mass at 11. At 12.30 pm, respects for the veterans and civil victims of the war will be paid at the bank of the Danube in Borovo Selo. The same will be done at the Lovas Farm at 1 pm, while the Vukovarske Majke Association will honour those who went missing in the war at 1.30 pm at Sportska Ulica bb in Borovo naselje.

Finally, on Sunday, the 20th, respects will be paid, and wreaths will be laid for the victims of concentration camps at the Velepromet venue in Vukovar, where the holy mass will start at 9.30 am. At 10.30 am, a memorial parade from the Memorial Cemetery to the Ovčara site will walk to honour the victims of this concentration camp. At 1 pm, wreaths will be laid there, followed by prayer. At 2.30 pm, a holy mass in honour of all the dead and missing Croatian veterans and civilian victims, as well as the victims of the Ovčara mass grave. It will take place at St Philip and James Church in Vukovar.

TCN will be in Vukovar to pay respects and walk the memorial parades on the 18th and the 19th of November. In the meantime, let us remind you that Vukovar also lives the other 364 days of the year.



For more, follow our dedicated Travel section.

Friday, 4 November 2022

The City - It Is You: Legacy of Vukovar War Reporter Sinisa Glavasevic

November 4, 2022 - 62 years ago in Vukovar, Sinisa Glavasevic was born, who went on to become the most recognisable voice of the city. The city that is us.

After primary and secondary school, he graduated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Sarajevo and worked in schools in Lovas and Borovo naselje near Vukovar. He was an editor for the pre-war Radio Vukovar and continued to report from the besieged city for the whole duration of the Serbian aggression against Croatia. Sinisa Glavasevic was the voice of hope, faith, and community in the most difficult times. His reports were made up of not only facts and news but stories, essays, and words of reassurance and inspiration. He was not afraid to call out the Croatian Parliament when he felt abandoned. His Optužnica, based on Émile Zola's J'accuse, might not have made it through the censorship of the national radio, but it was broadcast on Zagreb's 101. 


Hrvatski Radio Vukovar

On this day 31 years ago, his 31st birthday, while entering the hospital where he went to collect the latest reports on the wounded civilians and volunteers, he was injured by a shell fragment and remained under treatment in the Vukovar hospital. He kept reporting from the hospital and sent his last report on November 18, 1991. On the night of November 19-20, all traces of him were lost. Sinisa Glavasevic and the other wounded from the hospital were brutally murdered at the Ovčara camp for Croatian prisoners. His body was buried at the Zagreb Mirogoj cemetery next to his colleague, a radio technician, Branimir Polovina, who was also killed at Ovčara.

His warm human stories were collected into a book and published posthumously in 1992 under the title Stories from Vukovar. The book has been translated into German, English, and two editions in Esperanto. 24Sata also republished it in 2011. His stories inspired other works of art, such as documentaries and theatre plays. In Vukovar, one of the primary schools carries his name, and his two busts watch over the school and the building of Hrvatski Radio Vukovar.


We spoke to Robert Rac, the director of Hrvatski Radio Vukovar, who shared his views on Sinisa Glavasevic's legacy. The foundations of the work of fifteen employees of today's Radio, he says, are those set by Sinisa Glavasevic and his colleagues, who were also tragically taken away by the war. His legacy lives on in the journalistic integrity they all share, with the single goal of sharing the truth above everything else. And his words found a way to not only live on in us but in actual tapes found in the ruins of the Radio's building in Vukovar. During the siege, the building was constantly shelled and was largely destroyed. Some of Sinisa's tapes, however, fell through the cracks into the basement, where a citizen found them while looking for something, anything of value left in the fallen city to live off. Not knowing what they were or having the technology to find out, he decided to wrap them up in a plastic bag and store them in his attic. Upon the return of the Radio's employees, they were stunned to find out that the tapes were preserved well enough and contained Sinisa's reports, thoughts, and interviews. They are faithful witnesses of the time. They were digitalised and kept in the archive, and are now publicly available.

It was people like Sinisa Glavasevic who helped the civilians in the occupied city keep going, who reassured them and made them feel like they weren't alone. He was the voice of the people, of the city, of hope. Let us carry on his legacy by sharing today's words of Hrvatski Radio Vukovar, as well as the translation of his essay (translated by Marko Puljić, Saint Louis, USA). 

Siniša was killed, but his voice lives on among us.
Editor, thanks for everything.
"Who will watch my city, my friends, who will carry Vukovar from the dark?"
Us. Because the city is us. (HRV)

A Story About the City

I refrain from searching for all justice, truth, I refrain from attempts to let ideals arrange my personal life, I refrain from everything that until yesterday I considered essential for some good beginning or good end.

I would possibly refrain from myself, but I cannot.

Because who will remain if we renounce ourselves and flee into our fears.

Who will inherit the city? Who will watch it for me, when I am gone, while I am searching in the trash heaps of the human spirit, while I am as it is alone, staggering without myself, wounded, tired, feverish, while my eyes begin to wax before my personal defeat.

Who will watch my city, my friends, who will carry Vukovar from the dark?

There aren't shoulders stronger than mine or yours, and therefore if it isn't too much for you, if there still remains in you a youthful whisper, join us.

Somebody has touched my parks, the benches that still have your names carved into them, that shadow that you gave it at the same moment, and received your first kiss - somebody has simply stolen it all, because how do you explain that not even a Shadow remains?

There isn't that store window in which you admired your personal joys, there isn't that movie theater in which you saw the saddest film, your past has been simply decimated and you have nothing.

You must build anew. First your roots, your past, and then your present, and then if you still have the strength, invest in the future. Do not be alone in the future.

Do not worry about the city, it has been with you all this time. Only hidden. So that the murderer cannot find it. The city - it is you.


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

Thursday, 3 November 2022

Meet Vukovar 365, Full of Life - Valentina Šimak's Holiday Home

November 3, 2022 – November is always a difficult month in Vukovar. The feelings are a mix of pride and gratitude, sadness and hope. All further aggravated by the sudden interest in what goes on. And while the city often only gets one weekend of attention, people here live, work, and thrive every day. Just another example of that is a young lady called Valentina, who not only decided to take the plunge and start a business with her partner but was brave enough to do that in tourism. Yes, in Vukovar. In the beautiful area of Vučedol.

Could you tell us about yourself and your project?

I'm Valentina, I'm 28 years old, and I grew up in Vukovar and lived here all my life. I studied public administration, and I graduated in 2020. I worked various jobs until I found one in the profession; now I work as a school secretary. I often go to holiday homes with my friends to take a break from work and the hustle and bustle of the city or to escape from everyday life. The cottage, located 3 kilometers from the town of Vukovar, in the forest of Vučedol, has become our oasis of peace and a corner where all worries disappear. I thought it would be good for other people who visit our city to have their own oasis of peace, so I decided to open a vacation house called "Vučedolska Golubica" (The Vučedol Dove). Just as the dove symbolises peace, our home also exudes peace due to its location in beautiful nature.


What inspired you to start something of your own?

Thinking about my hometown, my fellow citizens, visitors, and tourists who come from different parts of the world, I realised that our holiday home is all they need to spend quality time resting and relaxing. From there, they can take a short walk to the Vučedol Culture Museum, the beautiful Danube, and the island that can be seen from the shore, the wonderful wine road. People who enjoy walking and cycling will love the proximity and accessibility of all the sights and amenities.

What were the main challenges of starting such a business?

Every beginning is complex, and so was ours. I was always thinking about how to start a business, how to advertise, how to do marketing, and how to show people all the great things they could experience here... Really, there were a lot of challenges because I didn't know where to start. After we took the first step, though, all my worries disappeared. The visitors who came rated us very well and gave us the strength and motivation to be even better and more persistent in our goal. We strive to be better every day.


How does your location in the east of Croatia affect the development of your business?

Vukovar is located in the very east of the Republic of Croatia, in our beautiful Slavonia. Our city has a lot of historical stories and events that every individual should learn about to experience Vukovar as we, the people of Vukovar, share it. For us, the city of Vukovar, a hero city, is our strength.

Our location is challenging since we are not at the coast. Visitors do believe that it is much better to go to the sea, but I can convince them with photo evidence that we also have our sea, our beautiful Danube. In summer, free boat transportation to the island (Vukovar's Ada) is organised. And it boasts a diverse world of content for all ages and desires. 


Are you happy with your progress so far?

I am satisfied with what we have done so far, even though we are at the very beginning. The house has two floors, a kitchen, two bathrooms, and a bedroom with panoramic windows upstairs, while downstairs, there is a large living room and dining room. We are planning to build a children's playground on the property, as well as a swimming pool. We currently have a jacuzzi, an area for barbecuing, and a fire pit for outdoor cooking.

What is the situation with this type of tourism in Vukovar?

Most of our visitors come to Vukovar from Croatia. The reason is that few foreigners know our city's history and what it has to offer. I recommend everyone who hasn't been to visit us and see all the cultural sights of our city and take a break from everyday life in beautiful nature. Indeed,we are surrounded by fantastic nature and have wonderful things to offer.


Are you connected with other similar businesses in Vukovar?

In the city, there are many renters, but we are unfortunately not connected. I want to connect with others to reach a place where everyone would present their suggestions and criticism so that together we can keep up with the times and take off into new business ventures.

What is it like to live in Vukovar, and what is unique about the area of Vučedol?

I would describe life in Vukovar as a priceless gift. Most of us from Vukovar know what the city experienced in its past and how it rose and became a wonderful, peaceful, small town over time. Next to Vukovar, which exudes uniqueness because of everything it has experienced, you can find Vučedol. This area is a peaceful natural oasis where our holiday home has found its place, adorned with untouched nature and the beautiful wild coast of the Danube, which is incredibly charming for fishermen. Of course, cyclists won't be disappointed either because a cycling route through Vučedol goes all the way to Ilok, following one of the most beautiful cycling routes in Europe.


Why should people visit your holiday home?

After all, it can be concluded that our vacation home exudes uniqueness and peace, and gives you a touch of home. It's a place where you feel like it's your home. Why? Because it provides peace, security, and a sense of freedom. Visit us, come to us, and see how you can get immense quality, warmth, and acceptance for a small price. We will be at your disposal throughout your stay, ready for any questions and always helpful.

How can they reach you?

Book your stay on Whatsapp or Viber at +385989532320 and follow us on Facebook at Kuća za odmor Vučedolska golubica.

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

Sunday, 16 October 2022

Serbian Orthodox Church Patriarch Visits Vukovar, Prayer for War Victims

October 16, 2022 - The patriarch of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Porfiri, called on the Orthodox believers from Vukovar to remember their sacrifices in prayer, but also the sacrifices of their Catholic neighbours because, he said, the one who respects the sacrifice of another is equal to the one who sacrifices himself for another.

As Index writes, he called on the believers to pray for the sacrifices of others. "They are our role models, and those who commit violence against helpless people, whether in war or peace, are worthy of all condemnation and contempt. That is why I invite you today to light a candle for all our suffering Orthodox brothers and sisters, but also to light a candle for all the innocent Roman Catholic Croats who have suffered; let us pray for our brothers and sisters who have suffered, but also for the Roman Catholic Croats who have suffered," urged Porfirije, who served the holy liturgy in the presence of numerous Serbian Orthodox bishops in the Vukovar Cathedral of the Holy Father Nikola, where he consecrated the renovated temple and Parish Hall.

He called on the believers to pray for every sacrifice, for every innocent victim in Vukovar and the city of Vukovar itself because, he said, prayer and Christian forgiveness are the only way to heal all wounds. He asserted that people live in Vukovar whose differences are small and insignificant, there are incomparably more similarities than differences, and the Christian faith brings them together but also binds them.

"When in prayer for our sacrifices, we also remember our martyred neighbours, Catholic Croats, God will rejoice over us," noted the Serbian patriarch.

He said he constantly lights a wax candle in his heart for the victims in Glina, Varivode, Grubori, and other places where Serbs suffered. "In the same way, I pray and light a candle for those who perished at Ovčara, Škabrnja, Lovas, Sotin, and many other places of execution."

"We also pray for all those who disappeared from 1991 to 1995, in the terrible and unfortunate war in these areas, regardless of which nation they belonged to," he said in his address to the believers, inviting them to join him in prayers.

There is no other way but prayer and forgiveness, he asserted. "As children of God, we must not leave it to those who have levers of power from this world to solve the issues of our lives, arrange our mutual relations, past, present and future because," as he said, "at the very least it can be said that the goals of these leverage different from the goals of the Gospel."

At the end of the liturgy, Patriarch Porfirij was presented with the award of the Holy Despot Stefan Štiljanović, patron of the Diocese of Osijekopolska and Baranja. Decorations were also given to other deserving people, including SDSS president Milorad Pupovac and one of the party's founders and longtime president Vojislav Stanimirović.

The Cathedral of Saint Nicholas was built in 1737. On the night between September 18 and 19, 1991, the temple was severely damaged in an explosion. The renovation lasted from 2009 to 2014 and was financed entirely by the Croatian government.

The comments of Vukovar mayor Ivan Penava

As Index further reports, after commemorating the 31st anniversary of the death of Major General Blago Zadro, the mayor of Vukovar Ivan Penava was asked to comment on Patriarch Porfiri's message that it is necessary to pray for all victims from both sides, without distinction. He stated that the call to pay homage to innocently killed victims is a step in the right direction and that he welcomes it, but that the situation in which the Serbian Orthodox Church decided to promote the war criminal Vojislav Šešelj remains unacceptable.

"As a believer, I respect all religious institutions, including the Serbian Orthodox Church, but everyone must be aware that the moment you promote the war criminal Vojislav Šešelj, you close the door and that this is a story that is not welcome in Vukovar, said Penava.

He points out that "he would like Zagreb to become more aware that the story of Vukovar is also the story of Croatia" because he believes that it is not good for Vukovar to always be "on some sort of buffer or advanced position, while everyone else suffers from political correctness."

"If there must be a line below which we do not go, I think that everyone in Croatia will agree that Vojislav Šešelj and the Chetniks are the line that we will never agree to. I hope this attitude is a generally accepted value in Croatia because otherwise today's commemoration of Blago Zadro loses its meaning, said Penava.

He wished the citizens of the Republic of Croatia of Serbian and any other nationality to feel good in the Croatian state, and to respect their religious customs and culture, but that all of this "has nothing to do with Greater Serbian hegemony, aggression against Croatia, pretensions towards other people's territory and all other things which we witnessed 30 years ago".

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

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Discover the Croatian Danube: One With the River, Vukovar

October 12, 2022 – We have written about Vukovar before. You might know a little about how its history affects those who live there, what they do, or what happens in the city year-round. You might even be planning your weekend there. Maybe you’ll let the place change you like it changed Paul. In any case, when you do go, make sure you stop and honour its Danube.

This city and the river are one. The Danube is why people settled in the Vukovar area, Vučedol, as early as around 3000 BC. The Vučedol culture revolved around the riches provided by the river – fishing was, of course, a big part of their daily lives, and the kind of soil on which the settlements were built was especially fruitful thanks to its proximity to the river. The Vučedol settlement was only a couple of hundred metres away from the riverbank. If you visit the museum built on the actual site, you will surely see what it means to be so close to the Danube and to be close with the Danube.


Steve Tsentserensky

The Vučedol Culture Museum is the perfect place to start your Vukovar Danube tour. It was opened in 2015 and received an award for its architecture in 2016. It is among the few museums built on the actual site of the single culture it represents. If you would like to learn a little about how people lived in the area five thousand years ago and why they were just as cool and important as Egyptians, treat yourself to a visit to the museum. As a reward, you will enjoy some exceptional rooftop views at the end of your tour.


Steve Tsentserensky

If you were to follow the Danube from Vučedol towards the city centre, it would ensure the perfect itinerary. Firstly, you could stop by the Memorial Cemetery and light a candle for those who have given their lives for the Homeland. During autumn, just taking a walk there will be peaceful and serene, and on the way out, you can buy a little bag of roasted chestnuts to warm your soul. The next logical stop would be the Watertower. You can take the 198 stairs to its top or the panoramic lift. Either way, the journey will make you truly understand the sacrifice of Vukovar’s heroes, and the Danube will again display its grandness.


Vukovar Tourist Board

From there on, you can take the side streets and visit the Franciscan monastery and church on the hill or follow the main road to arrive directly at the baroque streets. These were initially built during the 17th and 18th centuries and were preserved and rebuilt time and time again, keeping their recognisable decorative look. This is the heart of Vukovar. You will find the shops of many of its small businesses and entrepreneurs nestled right under the famous arches. Take a right, and you will find your way to the riverbank yet again. Follow the newly built promenade, which will take you past the shopping street, the Municipal museum with its lovely open backyard, and finally, to the recreation part, where you’ll often find locals walking, cycling, skating, or catching some sun rays. You can even engage in our favourite pastime and sit down for a cup of coffee or two, followed by a beer or two, while overlooking the Vukovar Ada, making sure the Danube flows in the correct direction.


Vukovar Tourist Board / Marko Balaži

And just like the baroque street is the heart of the city, Ada is the heart of Vukovar’s Danube. In Croatian, the word ada means river island. And that’s what it is. And so much more. It’s a place of gathering, relaxation, recreation, pure fun, and joy. It’s Vukovar’s home in the summer. It’s the unique spot from which you can observe the silhouette of the city, almost feeling like the city is watching over you. If you enjoy camping, this is where you want to be. Perfectly calm during nighttime, full of life during the day. In Vukovar, there are two types of people – those who have their boats and those who take other boats to reach Ada. Usually starting in June until late August, boats will go up and down the river all day to take everyone to the island and back, and they will do it free of charge. In the middle of the island, facilities are set up so you can enjoy a quick bite or a refreshing drink between swims, naps, or rounds of beach volleyball.


Vukovar Tourist Board

Finally, if you would like a taste of the river along with a little glimpse into the culture, we recommend that you visit Vukovar either in June during the Danube Fest or in September for its Autumn Festival. On both occasions, you will have a chance to experience local tradition and way of life and taste some of the best products brought by the river and the soil of Vukovar, made possible by the crafty and hard-working hands of its experienced and knowledgeable home and fair, sometimes competition, chefs.

Vukovar Tourist Board / Vedran Barić

We could continue telling you of the riches the Danube provides for Vukovar, but we will leave some to your imagination and discovery. If you happen to visit this December, stay tuned for the dates of TCN’s presentation of a very special little something that we’ll call the Vukovar Card.


Vukovar Tourist Board / Marko Balaži

If you are only tuning in now, check out the previous editions of the Croatian Danube series - Aljmaš parts I and II, Erdut, and Dalj.


How good is your knowledge of eastern Croatia? Take the CROMADS test above - how many places do you recognise?

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

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Zagreb Tourist Board Marking World Tourism Day in Vukovar

September the 27th, 2022 - For the first time, the Zagreb Tourist Board will mark World Tourism Day outside of the capital city, looking to Eastern Croatia and choosing Vukovar.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb (TZGZ) traditionally celebrates World Tourism Day every single year, and this year will be the first time it will do so outside of the City of Zagreb, presenting the long-standing educational high school project "Culture of Tourism" in Vukovar. As such, in cooperation with the Croatian Association of Tourist Journalists and Writers in Tourism - FIJET Croatia, the projects of the students of Zagreb will be presented within the a programme called "Culture and tourism in the revival of the continental tourist offer".

The Director of the Zagreb Tourist Board, Martina Bienenfeld, said on this occasion: "World Tourism Day is celebrated on September the 27th under the auspices of the UNWTO (World Tourism Organisation), so I'd hereby like to send my sincere congratulations to the entire tourism industry of Zagreb and Croatia. In accordance with this year's slogan, Rethinking tourism, we focused on our "Culture of tourism" project, which we're implementing in cooperation with the City Office for Education, Sport and Youth.

With this project, we're involving young people in participating in environmental protection programmes, raising their quality of life, preserving ethnological, historical and cultural heritage, raising the level of hospitality and creating a welcoming climate, and with their great work, they're showing how well tourism can truly be thought through. With an emphasis placed on year-round tourism, Zagreb has a developed, sustainable, equal and responsible tourist offer and has achieved great tourist results in the previous part of the year. Cooperation with Zagreb's high school students provides the foundations for shaping the future of tourism in a way that makes it sustainable, stronger, more inclusive and empowering both for our city and for the country as a whole."

Through the systematic education of Zagreb high school students for whom tourism and catering are not primary, the Zagreb Tourist Board hopes the "Culture of Tourism" project will succeed in its aim to raise the students' awareness of their own city and introduce young people to its touristic, cultural and natural potential. Over the years, all schools in the City of Zagreb have participated in the project, and this year there were six of them. They will present their projects in Vukovar this year.

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

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

Unseen Footage: Inside Vukovar & Hospital, November 18 1991

September 27, 2022 - The fall of Vukovar on November 18 1991 is marked every year all over the country. Some previously unseen footage, including a tour of the hospital, shows the true horrors and suffering of war on that fateful day. 

The horrendous images coming out of Ukraine over the last 7 months have shocked the world, with millions of Ukrainians forced from their towns and villages, their homes destroyed. 

The images have reawoken some brutal memories among people in Croatia, especially eastern Croatia, which experienced similar aggression in the Homeland War from 1991-5. 

I am just back from the east, where I recorded the first TCN video podcast with Englishman Steve Gaunt, who has lived in Vinkovci since arriving in Croatia in 1991 to fight as a volunteer for Croatia in their war of independence. 

Steve has a fascinating story which you will soon be able to watch, as we recorded for more than an hour in his magical English pub, The White Boar, in a field in the middle of nowhere in eastern Croatia. 

Steve was wounded in the fighting, but carried on, despite losing a foot. He was also very active with the media as a photographer and helping out the international media, in particular ITN News. He formed a great relationship with ITN News anchor, the legendary Michael Nicholson, who gave him a lot of the uncut footage of his reporting as a parting gift. 

Steve has decided to publish that footage on his YouTube channel, Steve Gaunt - you can subscribe here. PLEASE NOTE - these images are VERY disturbing.

The videos are all from November 18 1991, the day that Vukovar finally fell after a brutal 87-day siege. The scenes of people trudging through the ruins of the city and being led out into exile are truly harrowing.

Even unedited, the footage is compelling viewing, and the level of detail it captures makes it an important historical reminder of what happened that day.

But the most harrowing is the third video of the three, as Nicholson and his camera crew have a tour of the basement hospital where around 600 patients (including 12 babies born in horrific conditions) somehow managed to exist from day to day, despite there being no basic supplies such as running water for over a month.

The interviews with the heroic doctors are testament to the bravery and dedication of true heroes working in the most appalling conditions. But what makes the footage even more terrifying is what happened next.

The same day as Nicholson and his team visited the hospital, Vukovar fell, and the Serbs entered the hospital. Some 200 were taken away and murdered. According to Steve, these included the heroic doctor in the lead photo. 

The female doctor who gave the main interview survived, as did the injured baby, who is now married. 

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