Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Croatian Returnee Stories: Stipe Barac, from Denmark to Rijeka

March 7, 2023 - Whisper it quietly, but more and more people are relocating to Croatia from the diaspora. In a new TCN series, we meet them to find out how they are faring and what advice they have for others thinking of making the switch. Next up is Stipe Barac, who moved back from Denmark to Rijeka.


After 3.5 years spent in the land of hygge, which states for the Danish philosophy of enjoyment, this is Stipe’s story of why he has exchanged Denmark with Croatia.

Born and raised in Rijeka, after living in beautiful Zagreb, Stipe moved to Denmark to study. He got enrolled in branding and marketing studies at one of the most prestigious Scandinavian design schools in the lifestyle sector.

But why he came back and how he sees Croatia, he expressed vividly in this interview. Feel free to read and share your thoughts.

1. You made the switch to Croatia. Tell us a little about the decision process and how long it took for you to get on the plane?

Life in Denmark is decent, and I feel blessed that I had an opportunity to study abroad, and this study experience has definitely enriched my life profoundly. I’ve studied in an international environment and met people from all over Europe and the world. According to the Associate Professor and culturologist Anatolie Cantir, Denmark is the happiest country in the world with the unhappiest expats.

From the very beginning, I intuitively felt that Denmark would only be a stopover in my life and that I would not settle my life there. I realized that I see myself in Croatia and that I would like to bring at least a part of what I learned in Denmark to Croatia. I think that’s the right path for me at this moment.

I see enormous potential in Croatia, and I believe that it is the task of us young people, to change this country for the better and contribute to its development. If everyone leaves and moves to the West, who will develop Croatia?

Since Croats are among the tallest men in the world, try to find me in the photo.


Photo: Graduation celebration with colleagues from Poland, Slovakia, Germany, Hungary, Canada, Iceland and the Netherlands 

If you thought I was the one in the middle, you're right! True tall Croat!

2. What did your family and community back home think of your decision at the time?

My family has always been supportive of most of my decisions, so they supported my return to Croatia.

On the other hand, my grandparents spent their entire work life in Germany, and they clearly suggested that I might consider returning back home. They experienced what it is like to feel like a stranger in a foreign land. I agree with that.

Some of my friends had a divided opinion, they didn't really understand why would I return, although they felt contented that I would return back. Some of them live in the belief that the grass is greener somewhere else. But, is it really? I think the grass is green in Croatia.

I understand that economic conditions might be better somewhere else, but not necessarily, because I believe that Croatia also has a lot of potential that is waiting to be developed. It is a country of undiscovered opportunities.

For instance, what I’ve learned in Denmark is that the Danes are resourceful, assertive, and know how to use their potential. In terms of energy, the Danes are leaders in green energy, so you'll find windmills in almost every village. I like their simple approach to life and business. They saw that the wind was constantly there. So, they learned how to make windmills and install them all over Denmark. Now, they sell windmills all over the world. Even the Danish government has decided to triple the number of windmills in Denmark in the coming years. Not doubling, but tripling! Typically Danish - extreme, ambitious.

How can Croatia do something similar, but something that suits our needs and our circumstances? On the Croatian coast, the number of hours of sunshine is high, and this could be our enormous source of energy, literally every hamlet should have a mini solar power plant. Croatia could triple the number of solar power plants and show its ambition! Croatia, please, make bold moves!


Photo: Windmills in every village in Denmark

3. Where did you get your information about the realities of Croatia prior to coming?

I often read the experiences of other people who moved to Croatia, mostly the experiences of returnees. Through LinkedIn, I was inspired by people who succeeded in Croatia, and they encouraged me that it is possible to succeed in Croatia. I’ve learned that it is not necessary to live abroad to live a prosperous and abundant life. I strongly believe it is possible in Croatia too! And no one can dissuade me from that!

4. What were you most nervous about making the switch? What was your biggest fear, and how was the reality of what you found?

I was most afraid of the mindset and the system that rules here in Croatia. I would like it to change for the better, for people to be more open and optimistic, nicer and kinder to everyone, to develop their talents and not depend so much on the opinion of others.

I believe that young people are brave, that they want to make bold moves for Croatia. I like how more and more people are getting involved in entrepreneurship and want to contribute to the creation of modern Croatia. LOVE IT!


Photo: Stipe with his colleague Ana from Canada

5. Think back to the time before you arrived. What were your perceptions about Croatia and how were they different from the reality you encountered?

I spent the summer holidays of 2022 in Croatia, and the more time I spent here, the more I was sure that I wanted to move back, and it was only a question of the day when I would move. In September 2022, I moved completely.

Before I came back, I had a deep conviction that Croatia is a country of untapped potential. That it is a country where many things can be better, and I want to contribute to that development. I had this attitude before my return, and I still have this attitude. I seriously plan to make my contribution in the field that interests me, which is sustainable design and business.


Fotografija: Predstavljanje brenda UCKA

6. You are still here, so obviously the pros outweigh the cons. Tell us about some of the things that you love about being in Croatia, as well as some of the things you don't like.

Yes, I am in Croatia for a reason! After I returned, I joined the Startup Incubator in Rijeka, where I am developing a sustainable sportswear brand called UCKA Sportswear. I am focused on creating tights and tops from recycled materials, and I hope that we will soon release our first collection. Stay tuned!

Feel free to follow our journey at @ucka-sportswear.

When it comes to other things that I love about Croatia these are definitely our fresh and delicious food, relaxed people, pleasant climate, and that we have mountains!

Considering Denmark, which is a flat country with the highest peak Møllehøj - 171m, Croatia is a miracle! I missed those mountains so much that when I climbed to the top of Kamenjak and saw the beautiful view of Kvarner, I almost cried!

Furthermore, I am bothered by the disorganized system here in Croatia and the corrupt government. I assume that is one of the reasons why so many young, educated people leave. I feel deeply sad about that. From where I am standing, the current government will lose the elections in the next period because they are not leading Croatia in the right direction and are not working in the public interest.


Photo: Beautiful view from the top of Kamenjak, Rijeka

7. What advice do you have for others thinking about making the move from the diaspora?

I would like to use this opportunity to encourage all people who live abroad and are considering returning back home, to do that!. Every person is valuable, and everyone who returns will surely contribute to the development of Croatia!

8. How do you think Croatia can better assist those who are looking to return to the Homeland?

When many people return, they will certainly be looking for a new job, and the HZZ should step in to help people find their way on the labor market. On the other hand, I think that the media should actively invite people to return and report on good and successful stories in Croatia. This will create a positive climate in society.


Thanks, Stipe, and enjoy your time in Croatia.

You can follow the TCN Croatian Returnees series here.

If you would like  to contribute your returnee story, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Subject Returnees

You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel here.


What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

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Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.


Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Antibiotics, Vegeta, Lasers: Meet the Legendary Croatian Female Scientists

March 8, 2023 - Gabrijela Kobrehel, Croatian chemist and inventor of Sumamed, an important antibiotic used worldwide, passed away at 83 on Monday, 6 March. On International Women's Day, let us honour her along with Zlata Bartl and Lidija Colombo, all three legendary Croatian female scientists.croatian_female_scientists.jpg

From left to right: Gabrijela Kobrehel, Slobodan Dokic, Gorjana Radobolja-Lazarevski and Zrinka Tamburasev

As 24Sata writes, Gabrijela was born in Obedisce in Moslavina. She graduated from the Faculty of Technology in Zagreb and worked at the Pliva Research Institute on chemical transformations of antibiotics, specifically synthesizing new macrolide antibiotics. She published 25 scientific papers and protected over twenty inventions with patents in Croatia and worldwide.

She is the winner of numerous awards, including the "Hero of Chemistry" award, which was presented to her, and posthumously the leader of her team Slobodan Dokic, by the American Chemical Society. Gabrijela Kobrehel, Slobodan Dokic, and Gorjana Radobolja-Lazarevski were the team that discovered azithromycin, the active ingredient of Sumamed.

Sumamed, an antibiotic created in Croatia, is one of the biggest and certainly the most useful Croatian inventions, and it hasn't left its throne for almost 40 years. During the pandemic, many doctors prescribed it to their patients as well.

Zlata Bartl













Podravka website

Known in Croatia as Aunt Vegeta, Zlata Bartl changed the fate of the Koprivnica company 64 years ago with her invention of a mixture of different spices.

She was a professor of chemistry, physics, mathematics and meteorology, and then worked as a chemical technician in the laboratory of Podravka. In her work, she has always liked to experiment. After she tried a soup from a bag that a friend brought from France, she herself produced the first bags of Podravka soups.

Not long after that, she took the next step to create a mixture that would not only be used in soups but in many other dishes, and Vegeta was born - a mix of salt and dried carrots, celery, parsley, parsnips and onions.

She received many awards and recognitions for her work, and in 2007 she won the Vecernjak Award for Lifetime Achievement.

Lidija Colombo



One of the most outstanding Croatian scientists of the 20th century secured her place in Croatian history with her work.

After graduating in mathematics and experimental physics at the Faculty of Science and Mathematics in Zagreb, Lidija Colombo started working at the Ruder Boskovic Institute, where she stayed until retirement. As the first woman in Croatia to receive a doctorate in physics, she had a successful career for which she was awarded several times.

In the 1960s, she was a member of the team of physicists at the Ruder Boskovic Institute that constructed the first laser in the then SFRY (Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), and she is remembered as the founder of the first laboratory for molecular physics in Croatia.

She taught several physics courses and published over forty scientific papers. She edited Matematicko-fizicki List, a mathematics and physics journal, trying to popularise science and involve young collaborators in the paper's work, writes Studentski.

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


Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Pican Municipality in Istria Prohibiting Flat Roofs to Preserve Tradition

March 7, 2023 - Pitched roofs, plastered facades, and wooden shutters are aspects of traditional construction on the Istrian peninsula. However, modern construction in rural areas is gaining momentum. This is unacceptable for the municipality of Pican. Therefore, to preserve tradition, they determined in their spatial plan it is mandatory to install pitched roofs on family houses.

"We wanted to protect the original traditional construction in some way so that residential buildings can have a maximum of 30 percent of the floor plan of the building flat, like some attics and terraces", emphasized Dean Mocinic, the mayor of the Pican Municipality for HRT.

Flat roofs are still allowed on tourist and hospitality facilities and office buildings.

"For example, a car mechanic or a carpentry shop can have a flat roof," he said.

They followed the example of the Municipality of Barban. The conditions of traditional construction have been in force there since 2002.

"Those measures of the architectural plan that are within our spatial plan also determine the colors of the facade, the direction of the ridges of the roofs, and the necessity of using traditional materials of stone, tiles, everything that makes our space the way it is", Dalibor Paus, Mayor of Barban Municipality pointed out.

The profession believes that it is necessary to go one step further - to consider the construction schedule, that is, the number of buildings in the area.

"Now we have examples of small municipalities in Istria and Dalmatia, which are actually smaller than the complexes of apartment houses and holiday homes," says Breda Bizjak, president of the Association of Architects of Istria.

Protecting traditional construction is a step in preserving the identity of the place. An identity that is slowly disappearing in the overbuilding, not only of urban but also of rural areas in Istria, reminds HRT. 

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

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Zagreb Water Price to Increase by Seven Percent from March

March 7, 2023 - Zagreb water price for the average household will increase by seven percent, which will become apparent on the bills in April, Zagreb Holding has revealed.

"After the suspension of the application of the Decision on compensation for the development of communal water structures, the price increase for the average household will be approximately seven percent until the documentation related to the compensation is resolved," Hina was told in the Zagreb Holding, as reported on 24Sata.

In Zagreb Holding, they also said that the new price of water services would be visible to citizens for their consumption in March, shown on the bills in April.

The price list is also published on the Vodoopskrba i Odvodnja website.

They stated that the bill for water services consists of a fixed and a variable part. The fixed amount is charged monthly for each service user invoiced, regardless of consumption. The variable part is charged according to consumption and comprises several items, i.e., fees, intended for different entities.

In Vodoopskrba i Odvodnja, they reminded that in accordance with the Water Act, a price for socially vulnerable citizens has been determined, which is 60 percent of the basic price of water services.

In addition to Zagreb, on their website, they have listed the water price structure for Samobor, Sveta Nedelja, and Stupnik.

Zagreb Holding has announced public tenders for the director and deputy director of the Vodoopskrba i Odvodnja trading company, and the deadline for submitting bids is March 16.

Zagreb mayor Tomislav Tomasevic said earlier that he dismissed the director of the company Davor Poljak due to the decision of the body at the Ministry of Economy to postpone the increase in the price of water in Zagreb, which was supposed to come into force on March 1 and amount to an average of 15 percent. It was a decision of the Council for Water Services, which determined that the decision to increase the price of water in Zagreb from March 1 by 15 percent was irregular. According to the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Davor Filipovic, that body suspended the decision to increase the price of water due to a number of irregularities that were found when the decision was made.

"Part of the price increase is disputed; part is not. On the other hand, the Council made that decision because they asked Vodoopskrba i Odvodnja to submit certain documentation by a certain deadline, which they did not do. That's why they decided to suspend," Tomasevic said. He did not explain in detail how much the price of water will increase until approval is obtained for the disputed part of the water price increase in Zagreb.

The spokeswoman for the City of Zagreb, Dinka Zivalj, then told Hina that - although the price of water in Zagreb was supposed to increase by 15 percent on average from March 1, due to investments in water infrastructure and the preparation of the Zagreb project - the increase in the price of water will be at half that percentage until further notice.

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

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Zadar Polyclinic Getting Own Solar Power Plant, Reducing Electricity Cost

March 7, 2023 - A solar power plant will soon be installed on the roof of the Zadar Polyclinic, which will help the Zadar General Hospital reduce electricity costs and turn to renewable sources, it was announced on Monday in Zadar at the presentation of the project "Zadar General Hospital Solar Power Plant."

As 24Sata (HINA) reports, the director of the Zadar General Hospital, Zeljko Culina, pointed out that investing in renewable energy sources is the most important way to save energy and stop dependence on fossil fuels.

"With the project to build a solar power plant on the roof of the Polyclinic, we will ensure a reduction of electricity costs by more than 18 percent, and the saved funds will be invested in modernisation and human capacities. We are ready for innovative moves that ensure sustainable business to serve as an example and incentive for other institutions," Culina added.

The total area of the power plant will be 1,111 square meters, with an output power of 220 kW and an installed capacity of 0.23 MW, producing 279,063 kWh of electricity per year.

The construction of a solar power plant on the roof of the Zadar Polyclinic will contribute to safe supply and environmental protection by reducing CO2 emissions by 65.3 tons per year.

Lovre Karamarko from the Directorate for European Territorial Cooperation of the Ministry of Regional Development and Funds of the European Union said that by applying for the project, the Zadar General Hospital fulfilled many conditions of energy independence, thus proving itself as an active participant in society.

"This project is not only big on a financial level. Through rational conduction of business, we improved the system, treatments, and patient care," concluded the state secretary of the Ministry of Health, Silvio Basic, at the end of the conference.

The construction of the solar power plant also contributes to the goal of the "Energy and Climate Change" program by greater use of technologies with lower carbon emissions and a more secure energy supply in the Republic of Croatia.

The project is financed through the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EEA) 2014-2021 with co-financing from the Republic of Croatia as part of the "Energy and Climate Change" program.

The investment is worth EUR 261,352.88, of which EUR 222,149.95 is non-refundable. The project should last until November 15, 2023. The collection of the necessary documentation will be completed by the end of March, followed by the installation of the solar panels.

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

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Five Croatian Companies Make it Onto FT's Prestigious List

March the 7th, 2023 - Five Croatian companies have made it onto the Financial Times' prestigious list of the fastest growing companies based in Europe.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, as many as five Croatian companies have been included in the prestigious Financial Times list of the fastest growing European companies. This ranking follows the growth of company revenues in the last three years, ending in 2021, and according to the growth criteria, five Croatian companies have entered the prestigious rankings of the 1000 best.

At the very top of the list, in a very impressive fourteenth position, is Aircash, which makes it the best positioned domestic company, but also one of the fastest growing in Europe. Devōt (87th place), Syntio (551st place), Heloo (712th place) and SysKit (771st place) also follow.

At number one on the FT list was Tripledot Studio, a mobile video game development studio from Great Britain whose three-year average revenue growth rate was 794%. The most fast-growing European companies on the list come from Italy (260), Germany (217) and Great Britain (155).

The impressive growth in income achieved by these companies, writes FT, can be best explained by the situation they found themselves in back in 2021. It was a time of restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic and interruptions in supply chains. Because of the above, many sectors, especially tourism, catering/hospitality and trade, faced a significant drop in sales and an increase in costs. And while they were fighting for survival, the IT and technology sector was blooming. Namely, people were forced to work, and then do their shopping from home, which accelerated the digitisation process and the growth of online sales.

"The FT's great recognition for our company is also a confirmation of the success of our continuous work and efforts in the development of innovative financial products and services. We managed to radically and permanently change the way the traditional industry functions, and this is a confirmation that we 'e going in the right direction", said Hrvoje Cosic, the founder and director of Aircash, the company that developed the very first Croatian digital wallet, which is used by more than half a million people today.

Their growth, he says, was significantly influenced by the expansion of operations to several new EU markets last year. Investments in the development of new technologies and products will be crucial for their continued growth and maintaining their leading position in this industry, he pointed out.

"Further expansion plans will further strengthen our global position, and considering the fact that we work to improve the user experience every day and offer simpler and more efficient solutions for our users, this recognition further motivates us to continue working on the development of new services and products and the establishment of new partner relationships in with the goal of further business expansion,'' the founder and director of Aircash stated as his plans for this year.

With impressive growth of 155% and revenues of 2.6 million euros, Devōt, which is focused on product development within the so-called health tech system is the second best positioned domestic company on the list.

Third, in 551st position, comes Syntio, whose average three-year growth was 57.4%, while its revenues in 2021 amounted to 3.4 million euros. It is a company that was founded in 2017 and deals with cloud-based data engineering. Today, they have 110 employees, and their clients come from all over the world, from Scandinavia to the USA to South Africa.

"Year after year, we've been recording positive business results, and this prestigious award confirms that we're carrying out quality work for the second year already," pointed out Davorin Cetto, the co-founder and director of Syntio.

With growth of 47.3 percent, the company Heloo, which achieved 12 million euros in revenue in 2021, also took 712th place on FT's list.

The last of the Croatian companies that managed to enter the list thanks to its business results is SysKit. This particular startup, which develops a platform for managing Microsoft's environments, is positioned in 771st place with a growth of 44.8 percent and three million euros in revenue in 2021.

"Although for the last few years we've been extremely focused on scaling the company, due to the great competition, we didn't expect to be included on the list. This is an additional confirmation that our continuous investment in people, knowledge and product enables us to stand among the most successful European organisations,'' said Toni Frankola, the CEO of SysKit.

For more on Croatian companies, check out our business section.

Tuesday, 7 March 2023

Croatian DOK-ING Impresses All at Enforce Tac Fair in Germany

March the 7th, 2023 - The Croatian DOK-ING continues to impress across the board, and the latest event they've performed excellently at is the German Enforce Tac fair.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian DOK-ING company reported last week that it has premiered its multi-functional machine, called the MV-3 Hystrix, intended for special, intervention, anti-explosion and anti-terrorist units of the police and military at the German Enforce Tac fair, which it believes will attract great interest.

According to the Croatian DOK-ING company customer manager Dina Isasegi, they came to that fair, which was held in Nuremberg from February the 28th to March the 1st, to present their newest robotic system to the ever-demanding global market.

"The MV-3 system is unique in the global sense and was created to bridge the identified gap in capabilities observed when performing counter-terrorist tasks of special forces. It is used in the tasks of combating terrorism and resolving high-risk crisis situations such as terrorist attacks, hostage crises, and the like," he said.

The Croatian DOK-ING company's impressive innovative system is primarily intended for solving crisis situations in closed spaces - such as in shopping centres, airports, concert and sports halls, he added.

According to Alenko Ribic, the former assistant for operational tasks of the Croatian Interior Ministry's special units, and who is now an external associate of DOK-ING, the MV-3 gives the tactical team the ability to use the system with or without the involvement of a physical team, which enables flexibility and a modular approach without the need to risk exposing special tactical teams to immediate danger.

If the machine goes out into a particularly risky area without a tactical team, it boasts the possibility to carry out research and reconnaissance with an advanced video system of 9 cameras and 2 LCD monitors. In addition to that, it can remove dangerous obstacles thanks to its additional tools, and it also has detectors for certain gases (for example, butane, propane, etc.).

The machine can carry another 700 kilograms of additional specialist equipment, such as formation protective ballistic shields, weapons and ammunition, ladders and more, according to the Croatian DOK-ING company's announcement.

Otherwise, DOK-ING produces robotic and autonomous systems and equipment for special purposes and has more than 80 percent market share in more than 40 countries around the world.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Monday, 6 March 2023

Zlatko Dalić Announces 25 Croatia Players for EURO 2024 Qualifiers

March 6, 2023 - The EURO 2024 qualifiers begin for Croatia on March 25 against Wales at Poljud in Split.

Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalić has chosen 25 players for the EURO 2024 European qualifiers, where Croatia hopes to play in their seventh European championship.

Croatia is placed in group D with Wales, Armenia, Turkey, and Latvia, and the two best teams will directly qualify for the final tournament, which will be held in Germany in 2024.

The Vatreni open the qualifiers on March 25 at home against Wales in Split, and three days later they visit Bursa to face Turkey. After the Nations League final tournament in June, Croatia will continue qualifications with double programs in September (Latvia, Armenia), October (Turkey, Wales), and November (Latvia, Armenia).

Dalić invited 25 players and added four reserves (Grbić, Jakić, Beljo, Špikić).

"We have no reason to change much from the team that won the bronze medal at the World Cup a few months ago, so there are 22 players from Qatar on the list. We called up Luka Ivanušec, who is playing in very good shape with Dinamo, and we have been wanting to see Petar Musa in the national team environment," said coach Dalić.

"Throughout January, it was evident that physically and mentally the World Cup left its mark on the national team members, but I am happy that most of them are getting in shape and I believe that everyone will be in good shape by the time of the gathering. It is extremely important for us to start well in the qualifications, especially because we start against probably the biggest rivals and we can immediately take important steps towards Germany. In this respect, it is good that we are playing the first game at home and I believe that Poljud will be filled to the last place to greet the bronze medalists," Dalić points out.

"We accept the role of favorites in this group - we have the most powerful team and a huge desire to play the Euros in Germany because we know what kind of support we would have from our fans there, that championship is a dream for all of us. However, we have enough experience to know how the qualifications can be and that full concentration and maximum approach is needed in every game, and that's how we will prepare the team, with respect for every opponent," concludes the coach.

Croatia will gather on March 20 in Split, where they will stay until March 27, when they will travel to Bursa.

List of invited players for the matches against Wales and Turkey:

Goalkeepers: Dominik Livaković, Ivica Ivušić, Nediljko Labrović

Defenders: Domagoj Vida, Borna Barišić, Josip Juranović, Joško Gvardiol, Borna Sosa, Josip Stanišić, Martin Erlić, Josip Šutalo

Midfielders: Luka Modrić, Mateo Kovačić, Marcelo Brozović, Mario Pašalić, Nikola Vlašić, Lovro Majer, Luka Ivanušec, Luka Sučić

Attackers: Ivan Perišić, Andrej Kramarić, Bruno Petković, Mislav Oršić, Marko Livaja, Petar Musa

Reserves: Ivo Grbić, Kristijan Jakić, Dion Drena Beljo, Dario Špikić

Source: HNS

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

Monday, 6 March 2023

Exploring The Croatian Language - The Gorski-Kotar Dialect

March the 6th, 2023 - The Gorski-Kotar dialect is a dialect of Kajkavian, and is spoken in the narrower area of the boundaries of Gorski Kotar, all the way to the upper reaches of the Kupa river.

We've explored many of the dialects, subdialects and indeed languages in their own right as some linguists consider them to be which are spoken across modern Croatia. From the Dubrovnik subdialect (Ragusan) in the extreme south of Dalmatia to Northwestern Kajkavian in areas like Zagorje, the ways in which people speak in this country deviate from what we know as standard Croatian language enormously. That goes without even mentioning much about old DalmatianZaratin, once widely spoken in and around Zadar, Istriot, or Istro-Venetian.

Where is the Gorski-Kotar dialect spoken?

While its name might lead one to the apparently blindingly obvious conclusion, as touched on above, the Gorski-Kotar dialect is actually spoken in the very distinct area of the upper part of where the Kupa River flows and then further east, reaching all the way to the outskirts of what is classed as the region of Gorski Kotar. It's a form of Kajkavian, and so the way the words are formed, accentuations and most of its general features are clearly Kajkavian. That said, it also boasts features of both the Chakavian and modern Slovenian languages.

Kajkavian is very widely spoken and is one of the main dialects that makes up modern standard Croatian. It contains many dialects of its own, from Eastern Kajkavian to Northwestern and Southwestern Kajkavian. The Gorski-Kotar dialect is just another in a list.

A little history involving former Croatian territory...

Jumping across the Croatian-Slovenian border for a minute or two, we can how linguistics in this area and an often turbulent history has intertwined over time, as speech with many features of the Gorski-Kotar dialect has stretched to the border areas on the (modern-day) Slovenian side of the Kupa river (more specifically areas of Bela Krajina and Pokuplje), which was where Croatian feudal lords had many of their fancy estates once upon a time.

In brief, the Gorski-Kotar dialect is a type of transitional speech that originated in an originally Chakavian area and then along the Kajkavian-Chakavian border a little south of the Kupa river which flows through both Croatia and neighbouring Slovenia

It's worth noting that Bela Krajina, which is now Slovenian territory, was then part of Croatia, and much later it also became part of the wider Zagreb diocese. The entire wider area was quite dramatically changed by populations of migrants to the north, fleeing the arrival of the marauding Ottomans across the region, and later the return of that native population from the area of lower Kranjska (Dolenjska), now Slovenia.


For more on the Croatian language, including histories on the various dialects and subdialects, as well as learning how to swear in Croatian, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Monday, 6 March 2023

Jadran Hotel Group Plans Reconstruction of Crikvenica Hotel International

March the 6th, 2023 - The Jadran hotel group is set to reconstruct the famous Crikvenica Hotel International after having applied for the large project under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NPOO).

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the large hotel group Jadran has successfully applied for a project under the NPOO worth an enormous 22 million euros, of which they could use grants in the amount of 6.6 million euros.

Jadran, as a leading company in the entire Croatian tourism sector for the use of grants, submitted their project for the reconstruction of the much loved Crikvenica Hotel International. The project is called "Step into the hotel of the future/Zakoracite u hotel buducnosti" because the aforementioned funds are aimed primarily at encouraging the green and digital transition of companies working within the wider tourism sector.

The green and digital transition has been a huge talking point for a considerable amount of time across all fields in Croatia, and the coronavirus pandemic has only worked to push things along in both regards. The tourism sector, Croatia's largest economic branch, accounting for around 20 percent of the country's GDP, is far from an exception to the transition. Numerous projects with the green and digital transition firmly in mind have been launched across the wider sector, and hotels aren't immune from the changes Croatia hopes to implement.

Thanks to these very handsome funds, the well known hotel group Jadran will be able to modernise the Crikvenica Hotel International and introduce the latest technologies on offer. The start of the hotel reconstruction is planned for November this year, and it is expected that the works will be finished completely by June 2025, just in time for the very height of that year's summer tourist season.

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