Wednesday, 26 January 2022

Lunar New Year in Croatia: The Basics

January 26, 2022 - As strategic relations between Croatia and China have continued to grow from strength to strength, a look at the Lunar New Year in Croatia. 

Over the last decade, relations between China and Europe have warmed as a result of the Belt and Road Initiative, and the “16+1” mechanism between China and Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries.

Similarly, strategic relations between Croatia and China have continued to grow from strength to strength.

A side effect of these collaborative efforts is that more European countries including Croatia, are taking the opportunity to learn more about Chinese culture and incorporate them into their annual festivities. 

Within Chinese culture, there is no celebration more important than the Lunar New Year, taking place from February 1-14 this year.

Celebrations in Croatia

In 2016, the City of Zagreb kick-started the first Lunar New Year celebrations in Croatia by lining Josip Jelacic Square with 80 sculptures of terracotta Chinese warriors.

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Terracotta Warrior Sculptures 2016, image: Zagreb Tourism Board/Facebook

In 2018 the Zagreb Tourism Board (TZGZ) introduced week-long celebrations before COVID halted further festivities in subsequent years.

But what is Lunar New Year? How is it different from New Year on the 1st of January? And what are some of the traditions involved in the celebration?

Let’s take a brief look at some of the basics.

Lunar New Year 101

The Lunar New Year, also called Chinese New Year (after the world’s largest population of Lunar New Year celebrants), or Spring Festival (春节 Chūn jié). This event is also widely celebrated in places like China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

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Lunar New Year Celebrations in Thailand, image: Pixabay

In Korea, Lunar New Year celebrations are known as 설날 (Seollal), which lasts 3 days. While in Japan, the Meiji government phased out the use of the lunar calendar in 1873 to be more in line with the West, making celebrations a more muted affair.

Like Thanksgiving and Christmas, Lunar New Year is a time for families and friends to gather, catch up on the past year while consuming copious amounts of food and exchange gifts in the form of money-filled red envelopes (红包, hóng bāo).

Red is an auspicious color for the Lunar New Year, symbolizing happiness, passion, hope, vitality, and luck.

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Exchanging of Red Envelopes, image: Rodnae productions/Pexels

Celebrations begin on the first day of the lunisolar calendar, last 14 days, and concludes with the Lantern Festival (元宵节 Yuán xiāo jié). The day before Lunar New Year, families usually come together to partake in a reunion dinner (年夜饭 Nián yè fàn) to begin the festivities.

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Reunion Dinner, Image: Angela Roma/Pexels

What is the Lunisolar Calendar?

While the Gregorian calendar, the standard calendar used as the primary means of tracking time worldwide - is the official calendar in all countries that celebrate Lunar New Year, the lunisolar calendar still plays an important role in everyday life.

It determines when traditional holidays such as Lunar New Year, Lantern Festival (元宵节 Yuán xiāo jié), Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节 Zhōng qiū jié) and Ancestors’ Day (清明节 Qīng míng jié).

Briefly speaking, the lunisolar calendar is a hybrid timekeeping method that accounts for both the earth’s orbit around the sun taking 365 days a year (i.e. Gregorian calendar) and the moon’s orbit around the earth (i.e. Lunar calendar).

On average, the moon’s synodic orbit around the earth takes 29.53 days which is then multiplied by the 12 lunar months. This adds up to approximately 354 days a year, 11 days shorter compared to the solar calendar.

To remedy this discrepancy, an additional 13th month is added to the lunisolar calendar once every 3 years. This once in three-year occurrence is known as (农历 nóng lì), or the agricultural calendar.

Since the lunisolar calendar is not in complete sync with the Gregorian calendar, Lunar New Year can fall anywhere within the months of January or February.

Due to this, the first day of Lunar New Year falls on February 1st this year, marking the beginning of the year of the Tiger.

In 2021, it fell on February 12th, welcoming the year of the Ox, while in 2020, January 25th marked the first day of the year of the Rat.

But why are there different animals for each year and what do these animals represent?

Chinese Zodiac

Each year in the lunisolar calendar is attributed to one of the repeating 12-year cycles of animals known as the Chinese zodiac.

In order, these zodiac animals begin with the Rat, followed by Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and ending with the Pig.

Each animal is also attributed with a set of traits that broadly categorizes the personalities of individuals born in that year.

For example, those born in the year of the Tiger are said to be independent and competitive yet have impetuous personalities. While those born in the year of the Ox are said to be diligent and honest, but with explosive personalities.

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12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac, image: Pixabay

This zodiac is rooted in a legend dating back to the Qin dynasty in China that ruled over 2,000 years ago. The story goes that the Jade Emperor summoned all the animals within his Kingdom to take part in a great race towards the palace.

The first 12 animals to reach the palace were selected to be part of the zodiac, and the order in which they arrived determined their place.

Lunar New Year thus marks the transition from one animal to the next. 

Although this tradition is fading, the Chinese zodiac used to play a vital role in everyday life, determining one’s entire outlook for the year including career, finances, marriage compatibility, health, and more.

So, as we prepare to ring in the second Lunar New Year since the beginning of the pandemic, here’s to a healthy and prosperous Year of the Tiger!

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 13 December 2021

A Jolly Good Trip: Digital Nomads Discover Zagreb County

TCN joins a merry band of digital nomads on a tour of Zagreb County, discovering some of the fine things the region has to offer

Digital nomads residing in Zagreb got together to recap the year at the Zagreb Digital Nomad Jolly WrapUp event that took place last week.

After the opening night hangout and the panel that followed the next day, a merry band of digital nomads set off on tour of Zagreb County on Saturday, December 11th. Sure, Advent in Zagreb might be the star of the show, but there’s plenty to see and do around the Croatian capital: the plan for the day promised nice views, cake, dinner and wine. Of course we tagged along - to the bus we go!

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It took a whole five minutes for the sleepy crowd to perk up thanks to James who ingeniously brought along three bottles of rakija, all different kinds at that. Many thanks, kind sir! The goods were generously passed around the bus and we quickly got to chatting - it was looking out to be a jolly good trip indeed.

First stop - Medvedgrad, a 13th century castle perched on the southern slope of Medvednica mountain. The medieval fortress solemnly stands guard over the city of Zagreb, offering a spectacular view over the capital and its surroundings.

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Left to ruin for hundreds of years, the castle was restored a few decades ago, with the most recent addition being an educational visitor centre completed in 2020. By a stroke of luck, Medvedgrad suffered no damage in the devastating earthquakes that hit the area last year.

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The new visitor centre is a work of art - more on that coming soon in a separate feature. Housed in the south tower and two palaces, several sleek exhibits unveil the secrets of Medvedgrad: medieval history, legends and mysteries, nature and wildlife, all superbly presented through a series of interactive displays. We had loads of fun exploring the castle grounds and admired the winter landscape from the top of the tower. 

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On to Samobor, a charming little town located a 10 minute drive from the city of Zagreb. The town is known for the lively traditional carnival (Fašnik) that takes place in February, but also for its artisans and craftspeople manufacturing various goods and souvenirs such as the licitar hearts.

It was too cold a day for any ambitious sightseeing and we were perfectly happy to get acquainted with our destination in a different way: feasting on kremšnita, the iconic custard cream cake Samobor is famous for.

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We gathered at the Livadić cafe on the main square for a generous serving of kremšnita and coffee to warm up before the last leg of the tour.

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And what a finale it was: an early dinner and wine tasting at the Jagunić winery, a family-run establishment and part of the wine road on Plešivica hill. We got there just in time to see the sun set over the rolling hills - quite a scenic backdrop even in the middle of December, and I can only imagine how sublime the view gets in spring when the entire landscape is in bloom.

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It was evident how much love and care goes into everything the Jagunić family does, from grape growing and winemaking to hosting guests in their restaurant. We got a taste of the region’s traditional cuisine with a wonderful four course meal, each course paired with a different Jagunić wine.

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The family predominantly produces sparkling wines, as well as whites and amber orange wines. They’re made from several grape varieties grown in their own vineyards. As our host explained during his warm welcome speech, their approach to winemaking starts with the soil and ends at the table; they control every step of the process.

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Genuine hospitality and a superb eno-gastro experience. It’s a spot not to miss - pair it with a visit to Samobor or the nearby Jastrebarsko town and you have yourself a fantastic day trip. We certainly enjoyed discovering some of the fine things Zagreb County has to offer - thanks for having us, and until next time!

 

Saturday, 27 November 2021

Advent in Zagreb Begins, Mayor Lights Candle of Hope

ZAGREB, 27 Nov, 2021 - Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević on Saturday lit the first Advent candle on the Advent wreath around Manduševac Fountain in the city's main square, symbolically marking the beginning of the Advent in Zagreb event, which lasts until 7 January.

Tomašević said he was glad to light the first candle, the candle of hope, claiming that people needed hope now, especially for the pandemic to end and for the city to be reconstructed after last year's earthquake.

Speaking to the press, he said it was difficult to organise this year's Advent in Zagreb due to the pandemic, but added that in cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board and other partners, "we came up with a rich programme with over 120 concerts at some 15 locations."

He said the eventual realisation would depend on the pandemic and that all concerts and programmes would be held in compliance with COVID rules. He added that COVID certificates would not be required for outdoor programmes.

"We are confident that despite these difficult circumstances, Advent will be good and that people will be satisfied, that they will socialise and finally feel some joy amidst all these hardships and problems," the mayor said.

Zagreb Tourist Board director Martina Bienenfeld said that this year "the pandemic dictates all Advent events as well as all others around the New Year," adding that if COVID rules were to be tightened, organisers would adapt their programmes.

She said there were many foreign tourists in the city already and that more had announced their arrival. She recalled that The New York Times recently ran a "beautiful" piece on Zagreb, saying it was great for promotion.

The motives of this year's Advent in Zagreb are traditional Croatian toys as well as music, culture and light.

There are a little under 70 booths at this year's event, as against 220 in 2019, selling food, drinks and souvenirs as well as 50 specially decorated terraces of hospitality establishments offering special food and drinks.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

2021 Zagreb Advent Features in The New York Times

November 27, 2021 - Ahead of the opening on Saturday evening, the 2021 Zagreb Advent event features in the online edition of The New York Times.

As Zagreb prepares for the opening of Advent on Saturday, November 27, the award-winning event was featured in the online edition of The New York Times through the presentation of Zagreb fashion accessories and designers, reports Jutarnji List.

The Zagreb Tourist Board (TZGZ) reported on Friday, noting that a feature on Zagreb and fashion in The New York Times was prepared by journalist Kristin Vukovic, presenting a tie, handmade bags, hats, and umbrellas as authentic Zagreb fashion accessories.

The report features statements by well-known Croatian fashion brands and designers, such as those from Croata, Ethno Butik Mara, Kobali šeširi, Kišobrani Cerovečki, and goldsmith Marija Nokaj, while Zagreb is described as a city with a style that through influences from nearby Italy and the Austro-Hungarian past, together with traditional symbols combined with contemporary design, creates a distinctive flair.

The Tourist Board points out that The New York Times is one of the most popular daily newspapers in the United States, and that by cooperating with them, as well as many other media around the world and appearing at tourism fairs and congresses, they are working on the promotion of the Croatian capital, noting that the invested funds are returned many times over through various media announcements.

The opening of Advent Zagreb on Saturday, November 27, begins with the symbolic lighting of the first Advent candle on Manduševac on the central Ban Jelačić Square, followed by the illumination of pine trees on the Gradec Plateau, and the main lighting on Zrinjevac.

Advent will be held until January 6, 2022, at multiple central locations.

Every year and despite the pandemic, the Tourist Board believes that the event will attract many domestic and foreign tourists, who are recommended to adhere to the prescribed measures at Advent locations. Note that many hoteliers and caterers in Zagreb are ready for Advent with special offers.

It is also expected that December could further improve the results of tourist traffic in Zagreb. This year, from 1 January to 25 November, it is significantly increasing compared to the same period in 2020.

According to the Tourist Board, by October 25 this year, about 555,000 tourists visited Zagreb, who realized 1.2 million overnight stays, which is an increase of 69 and 63 percent compared to 2020, with both domestic and foreign tourists achieving more overnight stays than last year, i.e., 305,000 and 920,000.

Compared to 2019, the total number of overnight stays in Zagreb this year until October 25 was at 52 percent from that record pre-pandemic year.

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

Thursday, 11 November 2021

Zagreb Advent 2021 Program is Here! (VIDEO)

November 11, 2021 - It's the most wonderful time of the year, and the Zagreb Advent 2021 program is here! 

Organized by the City of Zagreb, the Zagreb Tourist Board (TZGZ), and institutional and private partners, this year's award-winning Zagreb Advent will be held from November 27, 2021, to January 7, 2022. While respecting the reality of the current pandemic situation, on November 27, the first Advent candle will be lit on Ban Jelačić Square at 5:00 pm. And at 7:00 pm, the Zrinjevac lights will follow. 

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In addition to traditional Croatian toys that are the motif of this year's Zagreb Advent, particular emphasis is placed on cultural and musical events that will enhance the holiday mood and anticipation of Christmas. Namely, 14 music programs will be held with a total of 129 concerts, including the Zagreb Soloists, the Zagreb Chamber Orchestra, and many top Croatian musicians and promising young singers.

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Zagreb museums, including the Museum of Arts and Crafts, the Ethnographic Museum, the Museum of Broken Relationships, and the Chocolate Museum, are included in this year's program, and other events, such as performances at the Croatian National Theater, Gavella at Grič Tunnel, Ilica Project: Q'ART, Advent Run, Advent at Vidra, and other special programs are prepared for the youngest visitors. 

 

Zagreb Tourist Board director, Martina Bienenfeld, introduced the festive event:

"Every year we try to enhance our Advent, and I am especially pleased to announce six new programs, namely: LADO Advent, Academy of Fine Arts (ALU) Christmas Garden, Advent on Katarinac, Zagreb Jingle Mingles in cooperation with Zagreb restaurants, Advent on Prolaz Matice hrvatskih obrtnika in cooperation with our craftspeople, and Advent at Zagreb hotels with a specially designed holiday offer and decorations. I would also like to mention Advent in Zrinjevac, where 13 concerts featuring famous Croatian performers will be held every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

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In addition, the event will continue with last year's successfully launched augmented reality (AR) exhibition, which will use animated traditional toys as a motif for this year's Advent. This will be showcased in 10 city parks, squares, and large open spaces. Namely, Zagreb Advent 2021 and the Virtual Toys project will take visitors back to their childhood through the long tradition of handmade toys that marked our youth. Visitors will have the opportunity to play with them again with the help of smartphones. The event will also continue with the Advent Light project, where windows will be decorated on selected institutions in the Upper Town.

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In addition, the Zagreb Tourist Board promotes Zagreb Advent through integrated online and offline campaigns in more than 16 markets, following the current epidemiological situation, and has designed a special promotion within the World Exhibition EXPO Dubai. We have also established our traditional promotional cooperation with Croatia Airlines, Turkish Airlines, and HŽPP, with which we have provided special ticket prices for anyone visiting Zagreb's Advent."

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In addition, the Zagreb Tourist Board and its partners will decorate 11 locations in the Lower Town: Ban Jelačić Square, Zrinjevac Park, J.J. Strossmayer Square, King Tomislav Square, European Square, Oktogon, Croatian Republic Square, Ivan Mažuranić Square, Matica hrvatskih obrtnika, ALU, and Grič tunnel, and four in the Upper Town: St. Mark's Square, Bela IV Park, Gradec plateau, and Strossmayer promenade west.

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"We invite everyone to responsibly enjoy Advent this year, following all measures and recommendations of the competent authorities, and for those who cannot be with us, we have provided online broadcasts on our social networks. A rich cultural and musical program at various locations in the city will, of course, be held following the latest official measures and recommendations, and all programs are subject to change. Detailed timetables of all programs, as well as current information, are available at www.adventzagreb.hr," concluded the Zagreb Tourist Board. 

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

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

New Zagreb Tourist Board Sports Website Created with Croatian Olympic Committee

September 15, 2021 - The Zagreb Tourist Board sports website has been created in cooperation with the Croatian Olympic Committee to show the capital as a modern sports center.

In cooperation with the Croatian Olympic Committee, the Zagreb Tourist Board has published a new website dedicated to sports in Zagreb. You can check it out HERE.

Given the growing importance of Zagreb as a modern sports center and the need to further position Zagreb in the segment of sports tourism, the site includes an overview of current sporting events, a list of sports and recreational facilities and halls, proposed activities, and a historical overview of rich Zagreb and Croatian sports history, reports HRTurizam.

"TZGZ develops sports tourism as a special form of the tourist offer that contributes to creating a new, quality, and competitive position in the tourism market," says the director of TZGZ, Martina Bienenfeld, and adds that Zagreb has repeatedly proven itself as a top host of numerous domestic and international sporting events, including various world championships and world cups.

“Also, our city offers great outdoor and indoor spaces for professional, amateur, and recreational sports, as well as for sports preparations of foreign and domestic competitors. Our pages unite in one place the entire Zagreb sports offer, thus providing the necessary information in a clear, efficient, and effective way. In addition, the new pages represent a platform for concrete promotional activities that we will intensify with a new promotional film dedicated to sports in Zagreb.

Congratulations to all our Olympians and Paralympians on the great successes achieved at the Olympic Games, where we once again showed that, although we are a small country, we can achieve great sporting as well as tourist successes," said Bienenfeld.

 

The President of the Croatian Olympic Committee, Zlatko Mateša, said that in addition to the impressive results of Zagreb athletes who promote the City, the tourist effects achieved through sports events are very much part of this success story.

"Almost every year, we have sporting events that significantly affect the occupancy of tourist facilities in Zagreb, and those already established and world-famous, such as the Snow Queen or Hanžek, have been doing so for many years. As a perennial European capital of tourism at the time of Advent events, the Sljeme Snow Queen gives Zagreb an additional icing on the tourist attractions at this time of year. The renovated RŠC Jarun also offers an opportunity for major sporting events of the European and world level, so we will soon talk more about it in the context of sports offer and sports tourism. Numerous smaller sporting events with a long tradition also significantly enrich Zagreb's sports offer, which is truly diverse and has it united in one place - it is to be commended," said Mateša.

The website is available in six languages ​​- English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and, of course, Croatian, and the navigation is designed by categories that can be searched quickly and easily.

The Croatian Minister of Tourism and Sports, Nikolina Brnjac, stated that Croatia has proven to be an excellent host in the organization of numerous sports events. The management of such events contributes to a more complete and diverse tourist offer.

"By developing sports tourism, we also contribute to the development of year-round tourism, so I welcome this cooperation between the Zagreb Tourist Board and the Croatian Olympic Committee, whereby tourists, especially sports fans, will have the opportunity to learn all the information about current sports events in one place and get to know Zagreb and Croatian sports history better. Therefore, I hereby call on all organizers of sports and other events to once again take responsibility and respect for epidemiological measures, and tourists to responsibly enjoy the rich tourist offer of Zagreb and Croatia."

For the needs of promoting Zagreb as an ideal sports destination, a promotional film was made and available on the official YouTube channel as well as on the website: https://sport.infozagreb.hr/

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Connecting Europe Express Train Stops Over in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 12 Sept, 2021 - The Connecting Europe Express train, travelling across Europe to mark the European Year of Rail, has stopped over in Zagreb, and its passengers gathered at the Esplanade Hotel on Sunday morning for Orient Express theme breakfast, organised by the City of Zagreb Tourist Board.

The train started out from Lisbon on 2 September and is due to end its journey in Paris on 7 October. It will cover about 20,000 kilometres, travelling through 26 countries and 100 cities to promote railways as a safe, sustainable and "green" means of transport. From Zagreb, where it stayed for the night, it will continue to Belgrade, stopping along the way at Slavonski Brod and Tovarnik.

On arriving in Zagreb, about 50 passengers took a sight-seeing tour of the city.  At the breakfast at the Esplanade they were welcomed by representatives of the Ministry of Transport, Croatian Rail (HŽ) company, the European Commission and its representative office in Zagreb, and the City of Zagreb Tourist Board. The passengers are members of the European Commission, which organised the journey, and representatives of EU travel agencies and the transport and tourism sectors.

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

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 21 August 2021

New Artistic Surprises in the Streets and Parks of Zagreb

August 21, 2021 - The Zagreb Tourist Board is seeking to connect its inhabitants and visitors with the city through the project ''Around'', and it is thus that from August 20 to 30 they will be able to find new artistic surprises in the streets and parks of the Croatian capital.

As reported by Turističke Priče, this year, in cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board, the project "Around" continues with new artistic surprises that beautify the face of the city, create an atmosphere of optimism in these challenging times, and invite citizens to rediscover their city through art. From August 20 to 30, everyone is invited to go on an artistic tour of the city and see a series of space-specific installations and street art interventions signed by local creative forces.

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Zagreb Tourist Board

By placing art projects in the city landscape, "Okolo" revives public spaces and turns them into places where art spontaneously touches the city's everyday life. It highlights local artists and their personal experience and vision of the city while bringing contemporary art closer to a wider audience.

New artistic surprises include temporary space-specific installations and street art interventions that you can find "Around" around the city this year are signed by young sculptors Matej Vukovic and Manuela Pauk, multimedia artist Anja Leko, street artist Boris Bare, sculptor Helena Ohnjec, designer Iva Capak and design teams The All, klasja & zita and Stella Beloš and Iva Peručić.

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Zlatne Ruke (''Golden hands''), The All

Start your artistic walk in the Craft Passage where you are symbolically greeted by golden hands (The All). On the way to the Upper Town, in the passage to Zakmardi's stairs, discover what the new-old Red Carpet (Boris Bare) looks like or what is hiding behind the curtain that is being raised (Manuela Pauk) in Kamenita Street. In the labyrinth on the Gradec plateau, solve the Riddle of the Future (ears & grains) and in the Bela IV Park. rest your head Among the clouds (Matej Vukovic). On Strossmayer's promenade, you meet Acrobats (Helena Ohnjec) who keep Matoš company, and on Katz Platz, in the passage by Tomić's stairs, you meet an unusual gang of cats (Anja Leko). At the very end of the tour, in Tuškanac Park, jump into the holiday net and become a Tree Observer. All the way, look carefully where you are walking and you may come across great miniatures by Ivo Capak that will adorn 17 mini locations.

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Crveni tepih (''Red carpet''), by Boris Bare

"Around" will be launched in 2018 by the Two of Us (Ana Mikin, Tina Kovačićek) in cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board. Singing forest in Bela IV Park, a woolen heart that became a symbol of Zagreb's recovery after the earthquake, red carpet to Gornji grad, silk sculpture in Tomićeva, large floor mural on the playground above Dubravka road, light installation in the canopy of Ribnjak park, godmother on the stairs Dolca, a sleeping giant in Petrinjska, cute street miniatures in play with urban elements and plants that play to the touch, these are just some of the interesting interventions with which "Okolo" has already enriched the streets of Zagreb and delighted citizens and tourists at the same time.

To learn more about the project ''Around'', visit the Zagreb Tourist Board dedicated page HERE.

For more information on what the Croatian capital has to offer, such as what to see or do, be sure to check out our Total Croatia guide, Zagreb in a Page 2021. Now in your language!

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

 

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Krapina-Zagorje County Becomes Part of ''Around Zagreb'' Campaign

August 19, 2021 - In addition to Zagreb County, the single destination campaign "Around Zagreb" has been extended to Krapina-Zagorje County in order to promote the diverse tourist and cultural offer on the outskirts of the Croatian capital.

After an excellent joint partnership between the Zagreb Tourist Board and the Zagreb County Tourist Board on a unique destination campaign, "Near the city, close to the heart" / "Around Zagreb", Zagreb Tourist Board this year expanded the campaign to promote Zagorje, reports HrTurizam.

The promotional campaign of the Zagreb Tourist Board "Close to the city, close to the heart" was expanded through cooperation with the Krapina-Zagorje County Tourist Board (TZKZŽ) and thus, for the first time, jointly promote Zagreb and Zagorje through a unique destination campaign with a focus on staying outdoors, in greenery and nature, and additional emphasis placed on the eno-gastronomic offer and historical heritage. The director of TZGZ (Zagreb Tourist Board), Martina Bienenfeld, pointed out that the cooperation with TZKZŽ is a logical step in upgrading the campaign "Close to the city, close to the heart".

“We have created a new visual, promotional film, as well as websites where we offer various itineraries and ideas for excursions that naturally connect Zagreb and Zagorje. So you can go on the Gastronomic Roads of Zagreb and Zagorje, experience 3 days of fun and relaxation, or look at the proposals for a fun and active weekend in Zagreb and Zagorje. There is also a new section, ''Did you know...'' which reveals that more than 75% of Zagreb covers green areas and that at least one of the 45 city parks is located in each neighborhood, as well as other attractions”, states Bienenfeld.

The head of the Tourist Board of Krapina-Zagorje County, Sanja Škrinjar, is also extremely satisfied with the first such cooperation and pointed out that the overlaps of the most important emitting markets for both destinations are certainly the starting point for the realization of such cooperation. ''We believe that we complement each other extremely well in creating an even better and richer offer for all future guests of our destinations with a tendency to extend their stay in Zagreb and Zagorje, especially since Zagorje "leans" on Zagreb and is a very good road connection between the two most important tourist destinations in the continental part of Croatia'', pointed out Škrinjar.

"TZGZ is launching the campaign in the markets of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, northern Italy, Slovenia, and Serbia, and all materials and websites are linguistically adapted to the markets we are addressing. With such facilities, we extend the stay of guests in both destinations'', concludes Bienenfeld.

The website www.aroundzagreb.hr offers creative suggestions on what to see and do, and there is also a promotional film that shows the natural, eno-gastronomic, sports, and historical offers of Zagreb and Zagorje.

Video in English, but with subtitles in four foreign languages (Croatian, Slovenian, English, and German) can be viewed and shared HERE.

Visit Total Croatia if you want to learn more about what Zagreb and Zagorje have to offer you. Now available in your language!

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

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

How Far Can Zagreb Grič Cannon Fire? Ideal Conditions View of the Fire Range

July 21, 2021 - Ever wondered about the Zagreb Grič Cannon fire? TCN reporter Ivor Kruljac played with Google maps to provide an answer in ideal conditions.

While Zagreb Grič Cannon did not shoot at the time of writing this article, it is still one of the key symbols of Zagreb, and memories of its bang during midday is a vital part of the living in Zagreb experience.

As TCN previously wrote, the Grič Cannon was first introduced on January 1, 1877, and was located at the State's Meteorology department, back in the times when Croatia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. It wasn't until 1927 that it was moved to Lotršćak, where it is situated to this day. In addition, the current cannon serving this purpose is actually the fifth to do the job and was donated to Zagreb by the Yugoslavian National Army (JNA), during Universiade.

Apart from signaling noon, the old legend says the Grič Cannon also served a defensive purpose. As TCN previously wrote, legend has it that the Ottoman commander Hasan Pasha (Hasan Paša) settled his army along the coast of the Sava river, in today's area of Novi Zagreb. He was preparing to cross the river and invade the city, but before that, he was about to have lunch, and Zagreb fired a cannon in the Ottomans' direction, close to Hasan, blasting a chicken he wanted to eat. The shot scared the hell out of the Ottomans, and they retreated, leaving Zagreb totally intact.

The legend itself is part of a book titled ''The Grič Cannon legend'' in which writer Dubravko Horvatić has gathered 20 Croatian legends, and the book is a mandatory book report title for Croatian pupils in the third year of elementary school.

ptc_pixsell.jpgPreparing the cannon, screenshot / PIXSELL

Legend vs facts

With the story taking place way back in the 16th century, it's obvious the tale is just a legend as the cannon wasn't introduced until the 19th century. Still, it's a cool story, and a bit of a twisted mind can't but help think: what's the range you could actually shoot with the Grič Cannon?

As the Wikipedia page says, and as a member of the Zagreb Tourist Board in Lotrščak tower confirmed to this sleuth reporter, the current cannon's range is 7,929 metres (almost eight kilometres), and the sound of the blast has a solid 140 dB.

Legend says Hasan Paša was on the coast of the Sava river, which means he was in southern Zagreb, and sure enough, the Grič cannon is facing south from Lotrščak. The cannon floor also has windows looking in each direction, meaning you could move the cannon to north, west, or east.  

When playing with Google maps distance measuring tools, you can see that the smallest distance between the Sava river and Lotrščak is, give or take, about 3,1 kilometres. So, the current cannon, under the right angle, could easily make that shot.

lotrščak_sava_distance.jpg

The distance between Fort Lotrščak and Sava river, screenshot / Google Maps

Apart from the possibilities of buildings and hills messing up the shot, there are other things that need to be taken into consideration. As the Department of the Army U.S. Marine Corps identified back in 1996, in their manual, there are many factors that affect artillery fire.

Muzzle velocity, projectile weight, range wind, air temperature, air density, even the rotation of the Earth, not to mention the overall condition of the barrel, all of which are challenges that could limit the cannon's full potential. And yes, Google maps isn't really the most precise tool on the planet, but let's take a shot in the dark and see how far the Grič cannon could actually fire (keep in mind these projections are made solely based on the maximum range, and the factors aren't taken in account but are mentioned for the sake of trivia knowledge).

South! Aim! Fire!

Let's start from the cannon's current position. Assuming no buildings, hills, or anything else gets in the way, and you're a physics genius that managed to isolate yourself in Lotrščak with live ammo and achieve a clear straight shot, your cannonball makes an impact all the way in line with Donji Čehi (but a bit away to the east from that place). Donji Čehi, along with Gornji Čehi, used to be independent villages but are today part of the City of Zagreb. With only 1,72 km2 of length, the place is inhabited by 232 residents, based on a 2011 census.

grički_top_range_south_side.jpg

Grič Cannon maximum range to the south, screenshot / Google Maps

 West! Aim! Fire

Continue clockwise and set your cannon to take a shot towards the west, with a range of little under eight kilometres. You can score all the way to Krnska street in Gajnice. Krn is both a name of a mountain and a peak (2244) in neighbouring Slovenia. The mountain is a part of the Triglav National Park in Slovenia (and if this side note makes your attention turn to Slovenia, be sure to check our friends at Total Slovenia News). Gajnice is a neighbourhood in Zagreb that is inhabited by around 10,000 residents. The neighbourhood is notorious for its pretty lousy connection with the rest of the Zagreb, and local residents often complain about infrequent buses that connect them to Črnomerec from where they can travel to the city centre. Well, at least, the centre doesn't aim at them with a cannon. 

 west_range.jpg

Grič Cannon maximum range to the west, screenshot / Google Maps

 North! Aim! Fire!

The new target, or perhaps better to say lucky shot, lies towards the north. Don't worry about Medvednica mountain getting in the way of a clear shot towards Zagorje, as the range isn't long enough. The shot will hit Medvednica mountain, more precisely, to the close proximity of Tusti Vrh. This location is 648 metres above sea level and serves as a stand for a communication station with some antenna polls. But, there's no need to shoot the place up and destroy a lovely piece of nature, which also serves as an important social role in regards to telecommunication. Instead, you can visit the place as the Gračani trail leads there.

north_range.jpg

Grič Cannon maximum range to the north, screenshot / Google Maps

 East! Aim! Fire!

Finally, it's time to ruin someone's day in east Zagreb (fortunately, no person was hurt during these simulations in reality). Specifically, this applies to whoever lives in Retkovec III near Bruma Interijeri d.o.o., a company specialised in woodwork.

Petkovic is a neighbourhood that is part of the Dubrava district. It's mostly a residential place, like much of eastern neighbourhoods considered to be a bit of a rough area to live in. Still, things aren't as bad as they were as before.

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Grič Cannon maximum range to the east, screenshot / Google Maps

 

Shooting blanks

Again, it's worth noting these projections aren't accurate science and imply conditions which are perfect. Of course, in an ideal world we wouldn't need firearms and everyone would be living in peace. In reality, where these ideal conditions don't apply, residents of the aforementioned areas, but also citizens in general, can be relaxed, as the ranges are irrelevant.

shot_fired.jpgShots fired aftermath, screenshot / PIXSELL

''It's worth noting the cannon is modified, and it can't fire live ammo,'' warned the Zagreb TB official, who was a bit puzzled as to why I would even ask her for the potential range of a weapon overlooking the Croatian capital from Fort Lotrščak. But, as I'm sure any researcher will confirm, scientific curiosity often calls for asking controversial questions.

Learn more about Zagreb on our TC page.

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

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