Friday, 19 February 2021

People also ask Google: What is Croatia Famous For?

February 19, 2021 – What is Croatia Famous For?

People outside of the country really want to know more about Croatia. They search for answers online.

Here, we'll try to answer the popular search terms “What is Croatia famous for?” and “What is Croatia known for?”

Most of the people looking for answers to these questions have never been to Croatia. They may have been prompted to ask because they're planning to visit Croatia, they want to come to Croatia, or because they heard about Croatia on the news or from a friend.

What Croatia is known for depends on your perspective. People who live in the country sometimes have a very different view of what Croatia is famous for than the rest of the world. And, after visiting Croatia, people very often leave with a very different opinion of what Croatia is known for than before they came. That's because Croatia is a wonderful country, full of surprises and secrets to discover. And, it's because internet searches don't reveal everything. Luckily, you have Total Croatia News to do that for you.

What is Croatia known for?

1) Holidays


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Croatia is best known globally as a tourist destination. Catching sight of pictures of the country online is enough to make almost anyone want to come. If you've heard about it from a friend, seen the country used in a TV show like Game of Thrones or Succession, or watched a travel show, your mind will be made up. Following such prompts, it's common for Croatia to move to first place on your bucket list. If it's not already, it should be, There are lots of reasons why Croatia is best known for holidays (vacations).

a) Islands


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What is Croatia famous for? Islands © Mljet National Park

Within Croatia's tourist offer, its most famous aspect is its islands. Croatia has over a thousand islands - 1246 when you include islets. 48 Croatian islands are inhabited year-round, but many more come to life over the warmer months. Sailing in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the islands, and if you're looking for a place for sailing in the Mediterranean, Croatia is the best choice because of its wealth of islands. These days, existing images of Croatia's islands have been joined by a lot more aerial photography and, when people see these, they instantly fall in love.

b) Beaches


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What is Croatia famous for? Its holidays are famous for their beaches © Szabolcs Emich

Croatia has 5835 kilometres of coastline on the Adriatic Sea - 1,777.3 kilometres of coast on the mainland, and a further 4,058 kilometres of coast around its islands and islets. The Croatian coast is the most indented of the entire Mediterranean. This repeated advance and retreat into the Adriatic forms a landscape littered with exciting, spectacular peninsulas, quiet, hidden bays, and some of the best beaches in the world. There are so many beaches in Croatia, you can find a spot to suit everyone. On the island of Pag and in the Zadar region, you'll find beaches full of young people where the party never stops. Elsewhere, romantic and elegant seafood restaurants hug the shoreline. Beach bars can range from ultra-luxurious to basic and cheap. The beaches themselves can be popular and full of people, facilities, excitement and water sports, or they can be remote, idyllic, and near-deserted, accessible only by boat. Sand, pebble, and stone all line the perfectly crystal-clear seas which are the common feature shared by all.

c) Dubrovnik


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What is Croatia famous for? Dubrovnik © Ivan Ivanković

As a backdrop to Game Of Thrones and movies from franchises like Star Wars and James Bond, Dubrovnik is known all over the world. Everybody wants to see it in person, and that's why it's an essential stop-off for so many huge cruise ships in warmer months. But, Dubrovnik's fame did not begin with the invention of film and television. The city was an autonomous city-state for long periods of time in history, and Dubrovnik was known all over Europe – the famous walls which surround the city of Dubrovnik are a testament to a desire to maintain its independent standing for centuries while living in the shadow of expanding, ambitious empires.

d) Heritage


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What is Croatia famous for? Heritage. Pula amphitheatre is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world

The walled city of Dubrovnik is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Croatia's rich architectural and ancient heritage. Diocletian's Palace in Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and still the living, breathing centre of life in the city (that people still live within it and it is not preserved in aspic is one of its most charming features and no small reason for its excellent preservation).

Having existed on the line of European defence against the Ottoman empire, Croatia also has many incredible fortresses and castles. The fortresses of Sibenik are well worth seeing if you're visiting Sibenik-Knin County and its excellent coast. A small number of Croatia's best castles exist on the coast, Rijeka's Trsat and Nova Kraljevica Castle is nearby Bakar being two of them. Most of Croatia's best and prettiest castles are actually located in its continental regions which, compared to the coast, remain largely undiscovered by most international tourists.

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Many spectacular castles in the country's continental regions are, for these parts, what is Croatia famous for

Pula amphitheatre (sometimes referred to as Pula Arena) is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. A spectacular sight year-round, like Diocletian's Palace, it remains a living part of the city's life, famously hosting an international film festival, concerts by orchestras, opera stars, and famous rock and pop musicians. Over recent years, it has also played a part in the city's music festivals.

e) Music Festivals


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What is Croatia famous for? Music festivals © Khris Cowley

There is a very good reason why the city of Pula leapt massively up the list of most-researched online Croatian destinations over the last decade. It played host to two of the country's most famous international music festivals. Though the music at some of these can be quite niche, the global attention they have brought to the country is simply massive. Clever modern branding and marketing by the experienced international operators who host their festivals in Croatia mean that millions of young people all over the world have seen videos, photos and reviews of Croatia music festivals, each of them set within a spectacular backdrop of seaside Croatia.

f) Plitvice Lakes and natural heritage


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What is Croatia Famous For? Plitvice Lakes, national parks and natural heritage

Known for its chain of 16 terraced lakes and gushing waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes is the oldest, biggest and most famous National Park in Croatia. Everybody wants to see it. And many do. But that's not the be-all and end-all of Croatia's stunning natural beauty. Within the country's diverse topography, you'll find 7 further National Parks and 12 Nature Parks which can be mountain terrain, an archipelago of islands, or vibrant wetlands.

2) Football


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What is Croatia famous for? Football. Seen here, Luka Modric at the 2018 World Cup © Светлана Бекетова

The glittering international careers of Croatian footballers Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Ivan Perišić, Mario Mandžukić, and others have in recent years advertised Croatia as a factory of top-flight footballing talent. They helped put Croatia football on the map with fans of European football. Football fans in Croatia have a very different perception of just how famous Croatian football is to everyone else in the world. If you talk to a Croatian fan about football, it's almost guaranteed that they will remind you of a time (perhaps before either of you were born) when their local or national team beat your local or national team in football. 99% of people will have no idea what they are talking about. The past occasions which prompt this parochial pride pale into insignificance against the Croatian National Football Team's achievement in reaching the World Cup Final of 2018. This monumental occasion brought the eyes of the world on Croatia, extending way beyond the vision of regular football fans. Subsequently, the internet exploded with people asking “Where is Croatia?”

Sports in general are what is Croatia known for

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Croatians are enthusiastic about sports and engage in a wide number of them. The difference in perception between how Croats view the fame this gets them and the reality within the rest of the world is simply huge. Rowing, basketball, wrestling, mixed martial arts, tennis, handball, boxing, waterpolo, ice hockey, skiing and volleyball are just some of the sports in which Croatia has enthusiastically supported individuals and local and national teams. Some of these are regarded as minority sports even in other countries that also pursue them. Croatians don't understand this part. If you say to a Croatian “What is handball? I never heard of that,” they will look at you like you are crazy or of below-average intelligence.

3) Zagreb


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What is Croatia famous for? Its capital city Zagreb is becoming increasingly better known

Over relatively recent years, the Croatian capital has skyrocketed in terms of fame and visitor numbers. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world now come to visit Zagreb each year. Its massive new success can be partly attributed to the rising popularity of international tourism in some areas of Asia (and Zagreb being used as a setting for some television programmes made in some Asian countries) and the massive success of Zagreb's Advent which, after consecutively attaining the title of Best European Christmas Market three times in a row, has become famous throughout the continent and further still. Zagreb's fame is not however restricted to tourism. Zagreb is known for its incredible Austro-Hungarian architecture, its Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and the buildings there, an array of museums and city centre parks and as home to world-famous education and scientific institutions, like to Ruder Boskovic Institute and the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb.

4) Olive oil


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What is Croatia famous for? Olive oil

Croatian olive oil is the best in the world. Don't just take out word for it! Even the experts say so. In 2020, leading guide Flos Olei voted Istria in northwest Croatia as the world's best olive oil growing region for a sixth consecutive year. Olive oil production is an ancient endeavour in Croatia, and over hundreds of years, the trees have matured, and the growers learned everything there is to know. Olive oil is made throughout a much wider area of Croatia than just Istria, and local differences in climate, variety, and soil all impact the flavour of the oils produced. Croatian has no less than five different olive oils protected at a European level under the designation of their place of origin. These and many other Croatian olive oils are distinct and are among the best you're ever likely to try.

5) There was a war here


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What is Croatia famous for? A relatively recent war left its mark on the country © Modzzak

Under rights granted to the republics of the former Yugoslavia and with a strong mandate from the Croatian people, gained across two national referendums, Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic country, with each republic containing a mixture of different ethnicities and indeed many families which themselves were the product of mixed ethnicities. Ethnic tensions and the rise of strong nationalist political voices in each of the former republics and within certain regions of these countries lead to a situation where war became inevitable. The worst of the fighting was suffered within Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and the part of southern Serbia which is now Kosovo. The Croatian War of Independence (known locally as the Homeland War) lasted from 1991 – 1995. The Yugoslav wars of which it was a major part is regarded as the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II. In many cases, this war pitted neighbouring houses or neighbouring villages against each other and sometimes members of the same family could be found on opposing sides. The war left huge damage on the country and its infrastructure, some of which is still visible. Worse still, it had a much greater physical and psychological impact on the population. Some people in Croatia today would rather not talk about the war and would prefer to instead talk about the country's present and future. For other people in Croatia, the war remains something of an obsession. If you are curious about the Croatian War of Independence, it is not advisable to bring it up in conversation when you visit the country unless you know the person you are speaking with extremely well. It is a sensitive subject for many and can unnecessarily provoke strong emotions and painful memories. There are many resources online where you can instead read all about the war, there are good documentary series about it on Youtube and there are several museums in Croatia where you can go and learn more, in Vukovar, Karlovac and in Zagreb.

6) Wine


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What is Croatia famous for? Its wine is some of the best you'll ever try © Plenković

Croatia is not really that famous for wine. Well, not as famous as it should be because Croatia makes some of the greatest wine on the planet. Croatian wine is only really famous to those who have tried it after visiting – you'll never forget it! A growing cabal of Croatian wine enthusiasts are trying their best internationally to spread the word about Croatian wine. However, there isn't really that much space in Croatia to make all the wine it needs to supply its homegrown demands and a greatly increased export market. Therefore, export prices of Croatian wine are quite high and even when it does reach foreign shores, these prices ensure its appreciation only by a select few. There's a popular saying locally that goes something like this “We have enough for ourselves and our guests”. Nevertheless, Croatian wine is frequently awarded at the most prestigious international competitions and expos. White wine, red wine, sparkling wine, cuvee (mixed) and rose wine are all made here and Croatia truly excels at making each. You can find different kinds of grape grown and wine produced in the different regions of Croatia. The best way to learn about Croatian wine is to ask someone who really knows about wine or simply come to Croatia to try it. Or, perhaps better still, don't do that and then there will be more for those of us who live here. Cheers!

7) Croatian produce


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Drniš prsut
is protected at a European level, one of 32 products currently protected in this way and therefore what is Croatia famous for © Tourist Board of Drniš

To date, 32 agricultural and food products from Croatia have attained protection at a European level. These range from different prosciuttos, olive oils and Dalmatian bacon, to pastries and pastas, honey, cheese, turkeys, lamb, cabbages, mandarins, salt, sausages, potatoes and something called Meso 'z tiblice (which took a friend from the region where it's made three days to fully research so he could explain it to me at the levels necessary to write an informed article about it – so, you can research that one online). While some prosciutto, bacon, sausages, olive oil and wine do make it out of Croatia, much of these are snaffled up by a discerning few of those-in-the-know. The rest, you will only really be able to try if you visit. And, there are many other items of Croatian produce which are known which you can also try while here

Truffles


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What is Croatia known for? Truffles © Donatella Paukovic

By weight, one of the most expensive delicacies in the world, truffles are a famous part of the cuisine within some regions of Croatia. They feature heavily in the menu of Istria, which is well known as a region in which both white and black truffles are found and then added to food, oils or other products. Truth be told, this isn't a black and white issue - there are a great number of different types of truffle and they can be found over many different regions in Croatia, including around Zagreb and in Zagreb County. But, you'll need to see a man about a dog if you want to find them yourself.

Vegeta


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What is Croatia known for? Vegeta

Having celebrated its 60th birthday in 2019, the cooking condiment Vegeta is exported and known in many other countries, particularly Croatia's close neighbours. It is popularly put into soups and stews to give them more flavour. Among its ingredients are small pieces of dehydrated vegetables like carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, plus spices, salt and herbs like parsley.

Chocolate


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What is Croatia known for? Chocolate is a big export© Alexander Stein

Though making chocolate is only around a century old in Croatia, Croatian chocolate has grown to become one of its leading manufactured food exports. Some of the most popular bars may be a little heavy on sugar and low on cocoa for more discerning tastes. But, lots of others really like it.

Beer


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What is Croatia famous for? Its beer is becoming more famous internationally © The Garden Brewery

The exploding growth of the Croatian craft ale scene over the last 10 years is something that is likely to have passed you by, unless you're a regular visitor to the country, a beer buff or both. Most of the producers are quite small and production not great enough to make a big splash on international markets. However, even within a craft-flooded current market, Croatian beer is becoming more widely known – in one poll, the Zagreb-based Garden Brewery was in 2020 voted Europe's Best Brewery for the second consecutive year

8) Innovation


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What is Croatia famous for? Pioneers, inventors and innovation. Nikola Tesla was born here

From the parachute, fingerprinting, the retractable pen and the tungsten filament electric light-bulb to the torpedo, modern seismology, the World Health Oganisation and the cravat (a necktie, and the precursor to the tie worn by many today), Croatia has gifted many innovations to the world. The list of pioneers - scientists, artists, researchers and inventors - who were born here throughout history is long. And, although innovation is not currently regarded as experiencing a golden period in Croatia, there are still some Croatian innovators whose impact is felt globally, such as electric hypercar maker Mate Rimac.

9) Being poor


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What is Croatia famous for? Being poor. Yikes!

The minimum wage in Croatia is among the lowest in Europe. Croatian language media is constantly filled with stories about corruption. There is a huge state apparatus in which key (if not most) positions are regarded to be politically or personally-motivated appointments. This leads to a lack of opportunity for Croatia's highly educated young people. Many emigrate for better pay and better opportunities. This leads to a brain drain and affects the country's demographics considerably (if it usually the best educated, the ablest and the youngest Croatian adults who emigrate). Many of those who stay are influenced by the stories of widespread corruption and lack of opportunity and are therefore lethargic in their work, leading to a lack of productivity. A considerable part of the Croatian economy is based on tourism which remains largely seasonal.

10) People want to live in Croatia


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What is Croatia famous for? People want to come and live here. No, really.

Yes, despite many younger Croatians leaving or dreaming of leaving and despite the low wages, many people who are not from Croatia dream about living here. Of course, it's an all too familiar scenario that you go on holiday somewhere and while sitting at a seafood restaurant in sight of a glorious sunset, having had a few too many glasses of the local wine, you fall in love with Miguel or however the waiter is called who served it and Miguel's homeland. But, with Croatia, this is actually no passing fancy, no idle holiday dream. People do decide to move here. And not just for the sunset and Miguel (nobody in Croatia is called Miguel - Ed).

Croatia may be known for being poor, but it also has one of the best lifestyles in Europe. That it's cafe terraces are usually full to capacity tells you something about the work to living ratio. Croatians are not just spectators of sport, many enjoy a healthy lifestyle. This informs everything from their pastimes to their diet. There are great facilities for exercise and sport, wonderful nature close by whichever part of the country you're in. You can escape into somewhere wonderful and unknown at a moment's notice. The country is well connected internally by brilliant roads and motorways, reliable intercity buses and an international train network. The tourism industry ensures that multiple airports across Croatia can connect you to almost anywhere you want to go, and major international airports in Belgrade and Budapest, just a couple of hours away, fly to some extremely exotic locations. There are a wealth of fascinating neighbour countries on your doorstep to explore on a day trip or weekend and superfast broadband is being rolled out over the entire country. This is perhaps one of the reasons Croatia has been heralded as one of the world's best options for Digital Nomads. In a few years, when we ask what is Croatia famous far, they could be one of the answers.

What is Croatia famous for, but only after you've visited

Some things you experience when you visit Croatia come as a complete surprise. Most would simply never be aware of them until they visit. They are usually top of the list of things you want to do when you come back to Croatia.

Gastronomy


fritaja_sparoge_1-maja-danica-pecanic_1600x900ntbbbbb.jpgGastronomy is only one of the things what is Croatia known for only after you've visited © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board

Despite a few famous TV chefs having visited and filmed in Croatia over the years, Croatian gastronomy remains largely unknown to almost everyone who's never been to Croatia. That's a shame because you can find some fine food here. Croatia has increased its Michelin-starred and Michelin-recommended restaurants tenfold over recent years. But, perhaps the bigger story is the traditional cuisine which varies greatly within the countries different regions. From the gut-busting barbecue grills and the classic Mediterranean fare of Dalmatia to the pasta, asparagus and truffles of Istria to the sausages and paprika-rich stews of Slavonia and the best smoked and preserved meats of the region, there's an untold amount of secret Croatian gastronomy to discover.

Coffee


restaurant-3815076_1280.jpgWhat is Croatia known for? Well, to locals, it's famous for coffee - not just a drink, it's a ritual

Croatians are passionate about coffee and about going for coffee. It's a beloved ritual here. Going for coffee in Croatia is often about much more than having coffee. It's an integral part of socialising, catching up and sometimes being seen. It doesn't always involve coffee either. Sometimes, you'll be invited for coffee, only to end up ordering beer. It's not about the coffee. Although, the standard of coffee in Croatia, and the places where you drink it, is usually really good.

The misapprehension: What is Croatia known for (if you are a Croatian living in Croatia)

Handball, music

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Saturday, 23 January 2021

Zagreb In Top Three European Capitals With Cleanest Tourist Accommodation

January 23, 2021 – According to user ratings of the most important platforms for booking accommodation, Booking.com, Airbnb, and Tripadvisor, Zagreb is among the three best European destinations with the cleanest tourist accommodation.

Namely, with the onset of the pandemic, the requirements for travel hygiene have further increased. Therefore, a survey on the European metropolises with the cleanest accommodation was recently conducted. Zagreb Tourist Board reports that some guests described their stay in the Croatian capital as "brilliantly clean" and "spotlessly clean."

The survey was published by the British portal ShowersToYou.co.uk and is based on the average ratings of accommodation's cleanliness in famous European capitals.

In the overall ranking of the 20 cleanest destinations in Europe, Zagreb took a high third place with an average rating of 4,74. Only Lisbon, with an average rating of 4,792, and Prague, with an almost identical rating as Zagreb - 4,741, are ahead of the Croatian capital.

Considering only the ratings of Booking.com and Airbnb users, Zagreb takes first place, ahead of Moscow, Lisbon, Prague, Vienna, and other capitals. In case only Tripadvisor users' ratings are taken into account, Zagreb is in 14th place, but this does not diminish its overall ranking given the average ratings on all three platforms, where Zagreb is in third place.

"We are extremely pleased with this result. Hygiene has become especially important, and the health aspects of staying in a destination have become one of the main backbones when promoting in the foreign tourism market. We are pleased with Airbnb, Booking.com, and Tripadvisor platforms' user ratings. They give additional value to Zagreb as a safe and clean destination," said the Zagreb Tourist Board director, Martina Bienenfeld, congratulating Zagreb accommodation providers.

In addition to the mentioned survey, Zagreb won a valuable award at the online BH Tourism Film Festival 2020 in Sarajevo. Namely, Zagreb Tourist Board won the award for "The Best Culture and Heritage" for the film "Zagreb Loves You."

This film is an unusual tourist promotional film because it was made in March last year when two misfortunes hit Zagreb at once – a pandemic and an earthquake. The film has become the backbone of the comprehensive #ZagrebLovesYou campaign, and this is Zagreb Tourist Board's fifth award for it in a little over half a year.

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Thursday, 21 January 2021

Zagreb Summer Today Has 45 More Days Than During 1960s

January 21, 2021 – What will be welcome news to Zagreb's increasing number of transitory summertime visitors, may be more difficult for permanent residents (and their children) to deal with, as it's revealed the hot Zagreb summer has been extended by a considerable 45 days since the 1960s

Over recent years, the Croatian capital's rising popularity with visitors has made it the fastest-growing tourist destination in the country. But, its increasing footfall from those on holiday is not the only similarity the city now shares with the sun-drenched coast; their climates, once separate and distinct, are now closer than ever before. In fact, Zagreb summer now has on average 45 more days to its duration than it did during 1960s.

While summertime tourists don't seem to mind basking in the sunny streets while catching the city sights in t-shirts and shorts, many residents are only too aware of how stifling an entire season can be if spent solely in the capital. Zagreb summer is traditionally a time when many try to get away, to go cool off on the coast. And yet, despite this being a time-honoured tradition, the extent of the rapid and recent extension of Zagreb summer will still come as a shock to many.

The surprising details were revealed in a rather long article in yesterday's Vecernji List. Within the sprawling text, Doctor of Science Ivana Herceg Bulić, a professor at the Department of Geophysics, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb and the head of the newly established Centre for Climatological Research said “Based on previous measurements, our analysis shows that every ten years the number of Zagreb summer days - the number of days with a maximum temperature above 25 degrees Celsius - on Grič increases by eight days. In Maksimir, on the other hand, located in a less developed part of town, measurements indicate an increase of seven additional summer days in ten years. Only when we approach the end of the city like Pleso do we reach the number of six summer days more. Zagreb today has 45 more summer days than we had in the middle of the last century."

city-3335667_1920.jpgThe centre of Zagreb is the area of the capital which has experienced the most sustained rise in temperatures

The reason for the increase in Zagreb summer is less welcome than the hot days it provides; global warming and climate change are the cause, compounded by inadequate urban planning. As TCN has recently reported, the population of Zagreb continues to rise. As it does so, the demand for new buildings increases and the city boundaries extend. This creates an island of heat whose concrete retains the warmth of the day, long after the sun has set, resulting in sustained high temperatures. Studies show that such conditions are disadvantageous to health.

The information given by Dr Herceg Bulić comes from a new report by the Centre for Climatological Research. Coming just days after Zagreb residents were informed that they had just breathed the worst quality air in the whole of the European Union, you could forgive anyone considering to make their Zagreb summer exodus a more permanent move. But, the news isn't all that bad.

Less built-up areas of the city, those with extensive parkland and who have kept the trees that line their avenues, record a much less harsh summer temperature. In Croatian cities like Osijek and Karlovac, where parkland and trees within the city are cherished, the summers are far from stifling. Though climate change requires a global response, Zagreb can easily address its own summer burden with better urban planning, the preservation of grasslands, parklands and trees, plus the planting of more. Such foresight is necessary to embrace now if we are to ensure that Zagreb summer in the future will be as welcoming to visitors and as wonderful for residents as it is today.

Sunday, 22 November 2020

PHOTOS: The Sun Shines Again On Bogoviceva, City Centre Zagreb

November 22, 2020 – One of the most iconic modern monuments of city centre Zagreb, Ivan Kožarić's Grounded Sun, has returned to Bogoviceva following eight months of restoration. We visited to bask in its brilliant glow

Grand remnants of the Austro-Hungarian empire surround on both sides of Bogoviceva, lower town Zagreb. These buildings are several storeys high. This is the heart of the city. At this time of year, the sun doesn't even pass directly overhead at midday. That Bogoviceva lies in shadow for most of autumn's days does not halt the effervescence of life on the street. This is the edge of the promenade for Špica - the beloved Zagreb ritual of coming to this particular stretch, looking at your best, for coffee, while taking in everyone else looking at their best.

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Following several weeks of cloudy skies overhead, the boldest blue has blessed Zagreb for all of this late November weekend. In daylight hours, the strong rays banish the chill of the air for those sat in cafes on open squares or in the upper town. On shaded Bogoviceva, we have to rely on the rays of an artificial sun to bring brilliance to the street.

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Following an absence of eight months, that brilliance shines once again on Bogoviceva with the return of Ivan Kožarić's Grounded Sun monument. Removed immediately after the 2020 Zagreb earthquake (for fear that masonry would fall on it), its leave was extended in order that it be restored. One of the most iconic monuments in downtown Zagreb, it is admired by all city residents. Only some have a different way of expressing their appreciation.

10477718_10152522301938221_7068547737211026534_o.jpg© City of Zagreb Tourist Board

Over several years, the monument acquired significant scars. Stickers, graffiti and deep gouges, cut by keys or other implements, covered its surface. Such additions were perhaps the easiest way for the least remarkable people to actually leave a mark in the city – a sad admission of underachievement expressed in a desperate act to create permanence.

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Damir Ujević, the restorer of the piece, has appealed to city residents to allow Ivan Kožarić's Grounded Sun to remain unscathed now the monument has come back. Although the original artist, the sadly deceased Ivan Kožarić, said he didn't mind the interaction with his work, it's easy to appreciate Ujević's plea. Grounded Sun looks glorious upon its return. Its golden glow now draws lingering glances from all who pass. People stop to take photos. Children can't help but want to touch it.

Josip Kozarić's Grounded Sun was first introduced to Zagreb city centre back in 1971. Its first home was on the Republic of Croatia Square (back then known as Maršal Tito square). Over the course of three decades, and several changes of address, it became a much-loved fixture of Zagreb centre. So much so, that it was decided that an entire solar system be built to accompany it.

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Using the scale of Kozarić's Grounded Sun as a base, artist Davor Preis created monuments of each other planet in our solar system. Kozarić's Grounded Sun's had been moved to the heart of the city centre in 1994. In his accompanying Nine Views installation from 2004, Preis placed each other planet around it to scale. Mercury sits in nearby Margaretska, Venus on Ban Josip Jelačić square, Earth lies on Varšavska, Mars can be found on Tkalčićeva 21 and the furthest neighbour, Neptune, is way out of the city centre, in the south-east Kozari suburb.

You easily can visit all of the Zagreb planet monuments in one day. It's perhaps the quickest way to journey around our solar system. But, none of the other planets resonates with the same glow as Kozarić's Grounded Sun on Bogoviceva. Its welcome return adds an extra highlight to Špica. Maybe this winter now won't feel so cold in the shadows of Bogoviceva with the restoration of the sun.

All uncredited photos © Marc Rowlands


A map of where to find all of the planets of our solar system on the streets of Zagreb

Sunday, 8 November 2020

PHOTOS Autumn Day on Sljeme, Zagreb's Favourite Excursion Site

November 8, 2020 – Although Zagreb has been shrouded in fog on Sunday morning, it has been a sunny autumn day on Sljeme and its forest.

Standing 1000 meters above Zagreb, the highest peak of Mount Medvednica, Sljeme, is the perfect and most favourite weekend excursion site for many Zagreb residents, as well as people from the surrounding area.

Although the fog did not look promising on Sunday morning, many Zagreb recreationists and excursionists still decided to head to the highest peak of Zagreb. And they did not regret it, as the sun appeared just after the first hills. Climbing to an increasing elevation, the fog slowly but surely disappeared, and the late autumn sun shone through the already half-bare branches of the Medvednica forest.

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