Wednesday, 6 March 2019

German with Croatian Roots Invests in Krapinske Toplice's Bellevue

One of the most famous symbols of Krapinske Toplice has been stood neglected and entirely abandoned for years, but could a young German who is partly of Croatian origin who moved to the area a couple of years ago be the solution this old continental gem needs?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 5th of March, 2019, David Krauss (35) moved to Croatia, more specifically to beautiful Krapinske Toplice in the continental part of the country, just over two years ago. He decided to invest in the renewal of the long abandoned Bellevue and restore its former glory. The technical review has been announced for March the 7th, after which, Zagorje will get a new face in its blossoming tourism story, according to a report from Zagorje portal.

A relatively short (at least by Croatian standards) fifteen months of construction work and two years of preparation of the project saw one of the most famous symbols of Krapinske Toplice, Restaurant Bellevue, get some new life breathed into it and a brand new beginning. A young German of the Croatian Roots, 35 year old David Kraus has been coming to Krapinske Toplice for years to the property once owned by his parents.

"My mother is Croatian and my father is a German, and we always said that we were so sorry that such a beautiful building is collapsing, so I decided to start investing," Krauss told the Zagorje portal, adding that they wanted to give the building a modern twist but remain loyal to the facility's old outlines.

The old facility, due to the very poor condition it has been in for a long time, unfortunately had to be completely demolished, even though that certainly wasn't the original plan. Namely, during construction, the walls they thought they would endure the process began to fail, so the decision to demolish everything for safety reasons was reached. Despite this, some of the old material and clay were preserved to fit into the new facility.

Restaurant Bellevue's investment was realised entirely by the Krauss family alone, and although the young investor didn't want to talk too much about the exact amount he invested, he noted that it was a large figure. He is not sorry for the move, having replaced his life in Germany for that in the beautiful rolling hills of green Zagorje, where he has been living for more than two years. He is also trained and experienced in the hospitality industry and is more than happy to work a job in the profession in which he was educated here in Croatia, too.

"For the time being, we have thirteen employees, mostly made up of the local population, which I think is very important if you're in the hospitality industry because they know the area you're in well, the customs, gastronomy, the people... The capacity is about 150 to 200 places, and we have a large outdoor terrace of almost the same capacity,'' Krauss said, astonished that people had already begun asking about their offer for weddings.

He is particularly pleased about the great reactions to the restoration of Bellevue the local population, with whom he communicates daily, have had. The older people remember that they once went to school right here.

"It's really nice when people tell me that they were once taught here, and now in their older days they intend to come here for a coffee or a beer," he said, pointing out that the project was supported by the municipal government.

When it comes to Bellevue's gastronomic offer, Krauss says the facility will offer dishes made from old Zagorje recipes, but crafted in a somewhat more modern way. They're planning and organising evenings full of live music performances, and access to their facility is specially tailored for the disabled.

"The Toplički pedestrian ring is near us for the people who are on rehabilitation to walk on, so we're glad to be here for when they're walking to come and have a bit of cake and some rest. I think we'll really have something for everyone,'' Krauss, who has always been madly in love with Zagorje, stated.

His only regret is that tourism in Zagorje and Krapinske Toplice is still not yet sufficiently developed, but fortunately, foreign tourists are increasingly recognising it as an interesting and different type of destination.

"Austrians and Slovenes increasingly choose rural tourism as a form of holiday, not just the sea. I'm sure that in a couple of years, our Zagorje will be dominated by such tourism,'' Krauss said, feel optimistic, announcing that the technical review of Bellevue will be on March the 7th, after which the grand opening will take place.

Make sure to stay up to date by following our dedicated business, travel and lifestyle pages.

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

More and More Tourists Visiting Zagorje Region

Krapina-Zagorje County is among the leading inland counties when it comes to the number of tourist arrivals and overnight stays, continuing the trend of growth in these indicators, it was said at a press conference in Krapinske Toplice, reports on January 16, 2019.

The number of tourist arrivals in Krapina-Zagorje County increased by 12.3% last year, while the number of overnight stays by 7.4 percent higher. There were 159,191 arrivals and 348,694 overnights.

“We managed to continue the trend of our hotels being almost fully occupied 365 days a year. This is a confirmation that Krapina-Zagorje County is a serious tourist destination and I believe we will continue the five-year growth trend,” said County Prefect Željko Kolar.

He believes that the achieved results are the result of the branding of the Hrvatsko Zagorje region and the top-quality tourist offer. He added that the county had crossed the "magical" threshold of 3,000 commercial accommodation beds – the county now has 3,023 beds available, which is 364 more than the year before. Local and international guests equally fill the accommodation capacities: visitors from Croatia have a share of 51.5%, while 48.5% of guests came from abroad.

Director of the Krapina-Zagorje County Tourist Board Sanja Škrinjar said that the most significant number of overnight stays was realized by guests from Slovenia, Germany and Poland. They are followed by visitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Israel, Austria, the Czech Republic and Denmark.

"If we look at the number of arrivals and overnight stays, excluding Zagreb, we are the second-best county in Croatia, behind Karlovac County, as far as the inland counties are concerned,” said Škrinjar.

Presenting the plans for this year, she spoke about the further development of equestrian and cycling tourism and the redesign of tourist cards that serve as tickets for certain attractions and for receiving discounts on products and services. She said that this year, despite the reduced funding from the Croatian National Tourist Board for the joint advertising efforts, the county budget for tourism amounts to almost three million kuna.

More news about the Zagorje region can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Translated from

Monday, 21 January 2019

Made in Croatia: Zagorski Puran

January 21, 2019 — In this article of the Made in Croatia series, learn more about Zagorski puran, the domestic breed of turkey from the Croatian Uplands.

Zagorski puran — the only Croatian native turkey breed — was registered as a product of a protected geographical indication in 2016, and as of 2000, it has been on the World Watch List for domestic animal diversity.

The ancestors of this prized bird hailing from the Croatian Uplands were brought to the region by the Pauline Fathers in the 15th century, while some sources claim they first arrived to Zagorje in 1523 as a gift from Italian bishop Alessandro Geraldini.

Zagorje turkeys are pasture-raised in a traditional way, on small family farms just outside Zagreb, mainly around Krapina and Varaždin. The average weight of the male gobbler is 6 kilos, whereas females reach about 4 kilos. Turkeys from Zagorje are particularly sought after around Christmastime and the best choice for a traditional holiday spread are female birds not older than 8 months.

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Zagorski puran is today a protected Croatian brand, and behind this initiative is the Puran zagorskih brega agricultural cooperative. The geographical origin of the Zagorje turkey breed is protected at both the national and European level, meaning the birds can only be raised in Krapina-Zagorje and Varaždin county.

The most popular recipe is Zagorski puran s mlincima, a festive turkey roast dish sided with pasta tatters. In Croatia, turkey with mlinci is traditionally served as the main course during Christmas lunch or dinner.

If you'd like to know more about protected Croatian products, make sure you're following TCN's dedicated gourmet page.

Monday, 7 January 2019

Croatian Wine Regions: Croatian Uplands

January 7, 2019 — In the third article of the Croatian Wine Regions series, TCN unveils Croatian Uplands, the country's northernmost winemaking region.

Hrvatsko zagorje or Croatian uplands is most known for its indigenous white varieties Mirkovača, Moslavac, and Stara krapinska belina (lit. the old Belina of Krapina). The latter is one of the oldest varieties in the world and is considered to be the ancestor of numerous world-famous varieties like Chardonnay, Rhine Riesling, etc. In France and Germany, this Croatian variety is known as Gouais blanc and Heunisch weiss, respectively.

Other notable white wine varieties of Zagorje are Silvanac, Muškat, Pušipel, Kraljevina, and Škrlet, while international varieties include the aforementioned Chardonnay and Rhine Riesling, but also Sauvignon, Traminac (Gewürztraminer), Pinot blanc, and Pinot gris. The cultivation of red varieties in this area mostly comes down to Frankovka and Portugizac.

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As the northernmost Croatian wine region, in recent years, Zagorje has been pioneering in the domestic production of icewines but the region is also gaining recognition as a producer of some of the finest sparkling wines.

In particular, the area of Pleševica hills is regarded as the next big thing in Croatian winemaking and is today one of the most important spots on the Croatian wine map. Though it has a continental climate, this small Uplands subregion gets a lot of sun and is producing mainly Chardonnay, Graševina, Pinot blanc, Traminac, Riesling and Portugizac.

For more related content on Croatian wine regions, make sure you're following TCN's gourmet page.

Monday, 12 November 2018

Krapina Museum Opens With 80 ''Old Timers'' on Show

The leading Zagorje-based bus company has opened an attractive museum in Krapina, and much to the delight of car lovers, it's showcasing numerous old timers.

As PD and VL nativ tim writes on the 12th of November, 2018, in addition to the world famous Krapina Neanderthal Museum, Krapina has another museum attraction to boast since last year - the Presečki Old Timer Museum.

The museum is located within the business centre of the Zagorje-based Presečki Group and boasts eighty exhibits, including cars, buses, motorcycles and bicycles. In the category of some of the most interesting cars from the period between the two world wars, the 1924 Mercedes stands out in particular, as does the beauty of the red Morgan built on the basis of the 1935 model. There is also a whole range of cars from the 50s, 60s and 70s on show at the Krapina museum.

Motorcycle lovers won't regret paying a visit either, with more than sixty bikes being exhibited.

With the opening of the museum, the childhood dream of Croatian entrepreneur Antun Presečki has finally been realised.

Antun Presečki, the owner of the well-known Presečki Group, the leading Zagorje-based bus company, has been collecting and restoring old timer type vehicles for over 25 years. Years worth of effort and passion has now been compressed down and presented to the public on 1100 square metres of attractive exhibition space, where visitors can immerse themselves in the history of both motoring and motorcycle culture.

In the museum there are also many old photographs, magazines, books, posters and gadgets along with the vehicles themselves. Thematic exhibitions of photographs, workshops, the screenings of films and other presentations which work to promote the motor and motorcycle culture can also been seen there. Within the museum there is also a children's workshop, where kids can learn about the history of the world of cars and other vehicles.

Almost six million kuna was invested in the museum building, which sits next to the administrative building of the Presečki Group. In addition, another 300,000 euro was invested into the exhibited vehicles themselves, and by Presečki's own estimation, his collection is now worth between anywhere between 600,000 and 800,000 euro on the market.

Make sure to follow our lifestyle page for more information like this.


Click here for the original article by PD and VL native tim on Poslovni Dnevnik

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Zagorje in the Palm of Your Hand: Discover the Fairytale Region with New Mobile Application

Whether you're planning a visit to the region or feel like getting to know it better, it's never been easier with the newly released Visit Zagorje mobile application. 

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Croatian Products from Krapina-Zagorje Sought at Home and Abroad

One company in Krapina-Zagorje County is doing remarkably well...

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Croatia Hot Air Balloon Rally Paints the Sky of Zagorje

The biggest hot air balloon festival in Croatia saw 15 participating teams from all over Europe

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Tourism At The Top: Another Big Investment For Medvednica

Along with the construction of a city cable car, OiV is investing in a viewpoint, a rotating restaurant and other facilities in Sljeme's TV tower.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Croatia Becoming Smart Bench Superpower

It seems everybody wants to produce smart benches.

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