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WOW Members, Ilo�ki Podrumi and Bottega Among the Stars!
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Petak, 19 Travanj 2019 15:45

WOW Members, Ilo�ki Podrumi and Bottega Among the Stars!

On Wednesday, April 17, at the Bornstein wine bar and wine shop at Zagreb's Kaptol, the first edition of the small but stellar wine project of the charming name WOW ASTRO WINE was held. It was a fun and educational evening in which wines and astrology merged.

The project was created under the auspices of the WOW association and was conceived by WOW member Maja Kuzmanović, WSET2, with the support of astrologist Jadranka Perić Adrianna Astrology. The idea was strongly supported by WOW president Sanja Muzaferija and Doris Srpek, a WOW member who hosted the event at the legendary premises of Bornstein, the oldest, but also the most innovative Zagreb wine shop.

The wine-astrology event included all the Zodiac signs and astrology in general – as an introduction to the future even more exciting and more specialised evenings about stars and wines. All 12 Zodiac signs were compared in the context of significant varieties of grapes and wines, so we could find out, at least in principle, who is what kind of taster, which wine should be given as a present to whom, who enjoys which wine characteristics...


With the help of the Bottega brand ambassador, sommelier Ines Matić, the evening started with sparks – the 2017 Bottega Prosecco Milessimato. Fresh, fruity and herbal at the same time, it sparked until the presentation of the first of the four wines by Ilo�ki Podrumi (Ilok Cellars) which were described by Željka Balja, who briefly told the history of the great winery.

Did you know that every moment, every event and not just every person – can have their natal map? This event was held in the sign of Aries, and for this reason, the first selected wine was 2018 ROSÉ FRANKOVKA by Ilo�ki Podrumi, a wine of exceptional freshness and fruity aroma, with emphasis on raspberry, ideally suited to the dynamic energy of Aries. The harmony and elegance of the body, as well as outstanding balance, are undoubtedly the features of Libra. And the ascendant of the event was in the sign of Libra, as well as the Moon that was also in Libra that evening.

190419 wow3

The second wine was 2011 GRAŠEVINA VELIKA BERBA 2011 by Ilo�ki Podrumi. The wine proved that this vintage was extraordinary and that it was indeed great in every respect. Dry, gold-yellow colour, with fruity aromas of apples, pears and dried fruits, creamy and complex, aged in barrels for three years. Sagittarius best describes this wine, just like this wine can describe the Sagittarius as a person in love with everything unknown to him, the new, the big, the solemn... The wine was so expressive that even the audience immediately guessed to whom it "belongs" and with whom it is best paired.

190419 wow4

The third wine was 2017 KAPISTRAN CRNI, another top-quality wine, with 70% of Frankovka and 30% of Cabernet Sauvignon. Deep ruby red colour, delicate fruity aromas with notes of blackberry and plum, and a light touch of smoke and black chocolate, full, complex... The astrological-oenological analysis concluded that it is mystical like Scorpio – governed by the powerful Pluto, intense, passionate, fearless and emotional. With a dose of chilly-spiced snack, the wine became even more powerful.

190419 wow5

The evening ended with a predicate wine – Traminac of the selected harvest 2016. The fine wine of the amber colour, intense and rich in rose scent, with gentle honey notes. Full, harmonious, sweet, but well-balanced – it matches the Zodiac sign of Libra which loves refined tastes and scents, romance and all that is sensuous.

190419 wow6

The guests and media representatives went home satisfied with the excellent snacks by Bornstein, enchanted with the music selected according to the Zodiac sign of each of the presented wines, rapt with wine and stars – which were definitely on the WOW side that evening.

Until the next time, let stars and your favourite wine protect you.

More wine news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Journalists Issue Manifesto ahead of European Parliament Elections
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Petak, 19 Travanj 2019 15:41

Journalists Issue Manifesto ahead of European Parliament Elections

ZAGREB, April 19, 2019 - The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), of which the Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) is a member, on Friday issued its manifesto ahead of elections for the European Parliament, scheduled for 23-26 May, to help promote media freedom, media pluralism and quality journalism in all EU member states and countries aspiring to join the bloc.

"Journalism is a public good," the EFJ says, urging policymakers to support its proposals "for the revival of a free, trusted and pluralistic media in Europe, where possible in cooperation with the Council of Europe, the OSCE representative on Freedom of the Media and other relevant stakeholders dealing with media."

Europe needs media pluralism, financial sustainability and the future of journalism, investigative journalism, collective bargaining and social protection for all workers, trust and accountability through ethical journalism, authors’ rights and fair contracts for all, strong independent public service media, and safety at work for journalists, the manifesto says.

Although the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights promotes freedom of expression, media freedom and media pluralism, journalism and journalists are increasingly under pressure, the ECJ warns, recalling that four journalists have been killed in the EU in the last two years.

"The financial sustainability of independent media is at stake, media concentration is on the rise and the increasing power of the internet platforms caused an unprecedented threat to our news and information ecosystem lacking accountability, transparency and regulation," the manifesto says.

"The 2019 EP elections come at a turning point for the European Union which urgently needs to reconnect with its citizens and represent their interests. We wish a forward-looking EU where not only the economy and growth matter but where concrete action is taken to ensure that everyone’s right to know is guaranteed.

"Unfortunately, the solemnly proclaimed European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) and the European Semester together with other EU strategies, such as the Digital Single Market (DSM) do not sufficiently provide an adequate framework for Member States to take action to protect (freelance) media workers and journalists, who often live in extreme precarious conditions and thus leave the profession. The future EU budget should help to deliver on EU post-2020 social and non-discrimination objectives, equal treatment for all workers independent of their employment contract, while a renewed political impulse is needed to support journalism as a public vital good," it adds.

The ECJ recommends promoting laws that encourage independent media and thwart the concentration of media ownership, supporting initiatives on monitoring media pluralism and checks to ensure that new EU legislation is consistent with the principles of media freedom and pluralism, and supporting initiatives that enhance gender equality and diversity in the newsroom.

"Media pluralism and democracy require that all voices are heard in the media," the ECJ stressed.

To ensure financial sustainability and the future of journalism, the ECJ recommends supporting initiatives that explore new ways of funding journalistic work, including non-profit financial models, and develop new socially sustainable economic models aimed at financing and supporting professional independent and investigative (cross-border) journalism.

With regard to investigative journalism, the organisation recalls that its role is to "hold institutions and individuals accountable to the public." It recommends abolishing criminal defamation laws, ensuring open access to EU documents and public data for citizens and journalists, and supporting proposals for the protection of journalists who are regularly subjected to lawsuits intended to censor their work or intimidate them.

The ECJ recommends ensuring equal rights and equal treatment for all forms of employment including free-lancers and journalists working in digital media/start-ups through fair working contracts with sufficient social protection.

As for authors' rights, the ECJ recommends ensuring full recognition of journalists as authors and fair and proportionate distribution of their revenues generated in the digital world deriving from such rights.

Warning that public service media is increasingly under attack in Europe, the organisation calls for a sustainable funding model for an independent public service media that serves the public interest, for the protection of public service media against political interference in their daily management and editorial work, and for supporting the need for public service media "to be able to adapt, innovate and develop, with emphasis on the online remit and the need to reach all (and in particular young) audiences."

To protect journalists' right to work freely without the fear of physical violence or imprisonment, the ECJ recommends implementing Council of Europe recommendations on protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors at the national level, monitoring the ongoing investigations about murders and physical attacks against journalists, and engaging against the increasing (online) threats and harassment against journalists and in particular female journalists.

The EFJ is the largest organisation of journalists in Europe, representing over 320,000 journalists in 70 journalists’ trade unions and professional associations across 45 countries.

More news about journalism in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.

Uljanik Workers Say Situation Alarming
Izvor:  Total Croatia News
Petak, 19 Travanj 2019 15:36

Uljanik Workers Say Situation Alarming

ZAGREB, April 19, 2019 - Unionists in the Uljanik shipyard said in Pula on Friday the situation was alarming and disastrous, and that the government was responsible due to its inaction.

"Recently... there has been less and less talk about Uljanik, where the situation is harder by the day. The situation has been alarming for a long time, but what has been happening to us over the past month is disastrous. Someone should be held accountable for this situation," unionist Boric Cerovac told the press, adding that "politicians are responsible, whether at local or national level, everyone should be called out."

He once again invited Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and his ministers to come to Uljanik and to the 3. Maj shipyard in Rijeka, and tell workers what they actually wanted regarding Uljanik and shipbuilding because "only they can resolve this."

"The government is toying with workers' fate, saying they are looking for rescue but doing nothing. They mention the Chinese, Norwegians, Africans, Americans, but there's no solution. With each new day, workers are in bigger problems because the wages aren't coming," Cerovac said.

They have been working without pay for eight months now and the delays of bankruptcy proceedings are only delaying the end of this agony, he added.

Cerovac said his Adriatic Union had been warning about the problems and the government's idleness, and that it demanded the payment of wages or interim financing.

"That hasn't happened and I don't know what else we unions can do after months of efforts, talks and the economy minister's promises that the wages will be paid... We can no longer believe the government and the minister? Evidently not."

Cerovac said the 150 workers of the Uljanik Group's security, accounting, legal and personnel departments today decided to leave the group, and that without them it could not function.

As for a bankruptcy hearing for the Uljanik dock at the Commercial Court in Pazin, he said: "These are spins to buy time, to do the European elections... There's no intention for something positive to happen. The majority was for bankruptcy if no other solution was found. The decision on bankruptcy is made by a judge. Everyone can say they want bankruptcy, but if the information comes from politicians, it won't happen."

Another unionist, �ino Šverko, said the "key of the rescue" is in Plenković's hands and that Uljanik needed interim financing for workers to survive. The government can agree with potential partners after that, he added.

Supervisory Board member Samir Hadžić said only the government was responsible for the current state of affairs and that its inaction was costing taxpayers one million kuna a day.

Economy Minister Darko Horvat said on Thursday that executives of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation would visit Uljanik Group on 30 April and 1 May to explore possibilities for cooperation and that after that they would hold meetings with the Croatia side, however, Horvat declined to speculate the outcome of the Chinese visit to Pula and Rijeka.

More Uljanik news can be found in the Business section.

Croatian folk group LADO celebrating 70th anniversary with show in Zadar
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Petak, 19 Travanj 2019 14:52

LADO (Photo credit: LADO)

19 April 2019 – National Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia LADO, the nation’s most successful cultural export product, will celebrate 70 years of performing with a show in Zadar next week. 

LADO will be performing at Arsenal in Zadar on 26 April 2019 to celebrate seven decades of continuous activity. 

The ensemble, which travels the world promoting Croatian culture, consists of over 38 dancers who also sing while they perform, and a group of 14 top musicians who play traditional and classical instruments. 

(Photo credit: LADO)

In 70 years of existence, LADO has more than 5,000 performances in Croatia and around the world under their belts for which they have won numerous awards. The group, which was founded in 1949, was nominated a few years back for the prestigious Independent Music Award (IMA) in America.

(Photo credit: LADO)

Lado has had numerous famous Croatian ethnographers and choreographers, music arrangers, and folklorists work with them. 

Tickets for the concert are available online at eventim.hr.

Writing & Adventure Summer Camp for teens launched in Croatia
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Petak, 19 Travanj 2019 13:32

First English summer camp set to be held (Photo credit: Jamming Adventures)

The region’s first ever English summer camp aimed at building writing skills in students is taking place on the island of Murter this summer. 

“Teaching English over the years, I’ve noticed that students who have been educated in Central Europe particularly struggle with expressing themselves in writing. They don’t know how to start writing, they have trouble structuring their texts, and they are generally afraid of the whole process because of how little attention is paid to it in schools. My goal is to bring American-style writing classes to students in Croatia and build strong and confident writers with developed critical thinking skills,â€� explains English and Writing Teacher Jelena Primorac, who will be teaching the writing classes in English at the camp. 

While students will be spending the mornings strengthening their writing skills in English, the afternoons will be dedicated to outdoor adventures—the teens will be hiking, biking and kayaking with professional guides from Jamming Adventures, exploring the island and its surrounding waters. 

A snapshot of the camp is provided below, for details visit https://www.writingandadventurecamp.com/.

English Writing & Adventure Camp on Murter

• June 23 – June 29, 2019
• June 30 – July 06, 2019

• 20 hours of classes with a native-speaking, professional English and writing teacher 
• 15 hours of biking/hiking/kayaking/sight-seeing with professional guides (also in English!)

• private apartments 5 min. from beach 
• 3 meals a day 
• constant supervision

• 12-17 yrs. old
• 14 participants max
• B2-C2 English level

• All of the above, plus: 
• Travel insurance
• Transportation from/to Zagreb 

Croat set to break car-pushing Guinness World Record
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Petak, 19 Travanj 2019 12:22

Tomislav Lubenjak (Photo credit Saša Ćetković/Aviokarte.hr)

19 April 2019 – Croatia is set to hold another Guinness World Record. Next weekend, on Saturday 27 April at 3 pm young Croatian strongman Tomislav Lubenjak will attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for pushing a car the furtherest in 24 hours by an individual. 

“My goal in 100 km!,â€� Tomislav says ahead of his world record attempt next weekend which will take place in his hometown of Zagreb. Tomislav will also attempt to break the record for pushing a car the furtherest by two people in 24 hours. 

The current world record for an individual pushing a car in 24 hours is 82.28 km set by Poland’s Przemyslaw Marczewski. The world record for pushing a car by two people was 95.07 km, set by Macedonians Aleksandar Chekorov and Alexsandar Smilkov.  

Tomislav Lubenjak (Photo credit Saša Ćetković/Aviokarte.hr)

“I believe I can do more than they could do together,â€� Tomislav, who according to Guinness rules needs to push a car and a driver with a minimum combined weight of at least 730 kg. 

The record attempt will take place on Vukovar street from the intersection of Donjih Svetica and Vukovar street to the ZagrepÄ�anka building (intersection of Savska street and Vukovar street) (back and forth) from 3 pm on Saturday 27 April – 3 pm Sunday 28 April. Traffic will be regulated during that period. Guinness judge Sofia Greenacre will arrive from the UK to oversee the attempt. 

Tomislav has been preparing for this record for a number of years. In February this year he decided to walk 100 km in 18 hours. He also prepared by pushing a car 50 km in 10 hours. 

Tomislav Lubenjak (Photo credit Saša Ćetković/Aviokarte.hr)

“I decided to set the record in the category of pushing a car because it is both physically and mentally extremely demanding. As a boy I really liked to read through the Guinness Book of Records, and the people who set the records have always fascinated me. Moving the boundaries, beating oneself, the challenge of that extra step, that’s why I’ve decided on this. I want to encourage young people, especially guys, to move their own boundaries. We always needs a good challenge. Find your goal and make it even stronger every day! So to put it: push to the end,â€� he said.  

Tomislav Lubenjak (Photo credit Saša Ćetković/Aviokarte.hr)

Breaking a Guinness World Record is not only a sporting challenge, but also a logistically serious project. Strict Guinness rules on breaking a world record do not allow for any omissions. “I gathered a whole team of experts, mostly volunteers, who help me in every way to realise this project in which I invested all my savings and to which I directed all my psycho-physical training.â€�   

Tomislav Lubenjak (Photo credit Saša Ćetković/Aviokarte.hr)

The former basketball player who graduated kinesiology at the University of Avila in the United States, has been engaged in sports for over seven years and is now a successful fitness coach. 

After serious injuries ended his basketball career, Tomislav shifted his discipline and knowledge to new challenges. 

“Most of my injuries were caused by the ignorance of coaches on physical preparation. That is why I continued my education in this direction: how to prevent injuries in professional and recreational sports.â€�  

Tomislav Lubenjak (Photo credit Saša Ćetković/Aviokarte.hr)

“Since we live in times when people are moving less and less, I would like this action to motivate people to get started. I hope my message will reach as many people as possible and that those who always have an “excuse” will decide to do some physical activity, even half an hour a day. If I can push a car for 24 hours, you can start with a small but persistent step. And once you go, push it all the way! “Tomislav concludes.

Best hiking destinations in Croatia in spring
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Petak, 19 Travanj 2019 10:26

Croatia has some great hiking destinations

by Tina Kova�i�ek

Finally, it’s springtime and for many Croatians that means spending a lot of time in nature.

Thankfully Croatia has beautiful nature sites with diverse sceneries. One of the most popular ones are the mountain areas where people often spend their weekends. Even if you are not much of a hiker these hiker trails are good and easy enough to try. Sometimes it might be tricky for the ones who are a bit afraid of the heights but the beauty is in breaking your personal boundaries, right?

Here are some great hiking trails in Croatia.

Seven Waterfalls trail, Istria

Seven Waterfalls trail

Water has always been an attractive nature part, so it is no surprise that every visitor will be mesmerized by the Istrian river Mirna and its numerous waterfalls. The roundabout that begins and ends in Buzet (near Istrian water supply) leads from Selca to Glistonia through Kuhari and Kotli, and is just ideal for beginners as well as those more active hikers who want to see the most beautiful part of this area. “Seven Waterfall Trails” will show you the mystical beauty of Istria in all seasons: in the summer; greenery and rich vegetation take breath away, in the fall; rain fills the river creating waterfalls that break over the huge rocks, in winter when the fallen droplets of water create unusual visions or the spring when first rays of the sun are inviting everyone to go outside, plants and animals.

Seven Waterfalls trail

The trail is 13.5 km long and its tour is 5 hours long. It begins beneath Buzet, on the bridge of Mirna near an Istrian watercourse. Some of its parts pass through the playful riverbed of Draga river and the Mirna river, where water forms little lakes, rapids and waterfalls.

Seven Waterfalls trail

But one of the most beautiful ornaments of the Mirna is so-called basins (kotli), unusual recesses in the form of small pools carved by the water in the ridge of the river.

Seven Waterfalls trail

Trails are much diverse and while walking you will pass by seven waterfalls, climb the highest point of 281m and finish where you started. With a tour of these natural phenomena, do not forget the interesting fact that along the trail there is an old Napoleon bridge from built at the beginning of the 19th century. Named, the Sv. Josef or what is still called the French Bridge was built for short Napoleon rule in central Istria.

Seven Waterfalls trail

Little Prince’s trail, South Velebit

Little Prince’s trail

The Little Prince’s trail is a famous hiking trail called even the Lesson of the Little Prince. It is located in the south part of Velebit, near the Crnopac mountain shelter (Tatek’s hut). It goes through the Velebit Nature Park and leads on top of Bili Kuk (1171 m.n.v.). The trail abounds in a miraculous visit to valuable stone formations; Dvori, Konoba, Niska vrata, Dvorska vrata, Zdenkova jama, Å uÅ¡njevac, Slipi klanac, Tisni klanac, Podkuk, Krivi klanac, Tonkina vrata, Stankina vrata, KiÄ�ma (secured by cable) and the last and most beautiful Nebeska vrata.

Little Prince’s trail
Little Prince’s trail

This educational trail is amongst the most demanding climbing hiking trails in comparison with other routes in Croatia although it has a diameter of only 600 m and it takes no more than 3-4 hours to tour.

Little Prince’s trail
Little Prince’s trail

The track has built-in ladders, wings, tens of meters of cables, and staircases and footpaths on a 30-meter-long section. So, although the path is full of ups and downs, and steep moments, you will be safe. And when you reach all the peeks on your way, you will be glad you did it.

Little Prince’s trail

Tulove grede, South Velebit

Tulove grede

Tulove grede is a group of tall rocks of unusual shapes that emerge from karst on southern Velebit. They are located right next to Obrovac-Sveti Rok and are easily accessible. The road is macadamia but of very good quality, so it is easy to go with ordinary personal vehicles. Just by the road, while driving from Obrovac to the beginning of the trail, there is the beautiful church of St. Francis, built in the 19th century by the Austrian emperor Franjo I. in a memorial to the newly constructed road that merged north and south of Croatia.

Tulove grede

Many memorials to the defendants along the road remind us of the war events and the great strategic importance of Velebit in the Homeland War. The climb to Tulove grede begins with a large stone burobran which protects the road from the impact of the Velebit’s bura. When climbing, one should be very careful because there are still parts that are not completely cleared from the mine. It is advisable for everyone to keep only crowded and marked paths.

Tulove grede

The hiking trail is well-marked and well-groomed, which means it is often used. Gradually climbs on the grassy part and scattered rocks, to the left of the base of Tula. Below the trail steeply rises up to the entrance to the rocks, and comes on the slope and two smaller plows surrounded by triangles of tall rocky and smooth rocks.

Tulove grede

From this passage (where you will see preserved remains of bunkers from the Homeland War) grassy meadows are beautifully and seen from beneath. 

Tulove grede

This first part of the trail is not difficult, but easy and unpretentious. The second part of the track that leads from the cross to the top of the Tulove grede is more demanding and requires hiking experience and a few climbing skills. On the road to the top for an easier traverse of the track, a cable is laid, and the track is traversed through narrow slopes where the backpack cannot pass.

Tulove grede

This part of the climb should be avoided for rainy weather, resulting in wet and slippery rocks. But the top view is phenomenal! You can see Novigrad and Karinsko more, Maslenica Bridge, a multitude of Adriatic islands and a particularly beautiful view of one of the most beautiful peaks of Velebit, the Holy Mountain.

Tulove grede

Vagan’s Peak, South Velebit

Vagan’s peak

The Vagan’s peak of 1,757 m is the highest point of Velebit. It is located in the south-eastern part of the mountain and belongs to the summit of South Velebit, near the peaks Badanj (1,638 m), Malovan (1,709 m) and Sveto brdo (1,752 m).  The top of the peak looks like a plateau covered with grass but the view towards Lika is amazing while the view towards the sea is somewhat weaker because of the plateau on the sea side of Velebit.

Vagan’s peak
Vagan’s peak
Vagan’s peak

It takes around 20 minutes of easy hiking to reach the littoral edge of the peak, and this walk is worth taking for the view down the vertical rocks into the area of Velika Paklenica.

Vagan’s peak
Vagan’s peak

You can reach the Vagan’s peak from the seaside through Velika Rujna and from the Paklenica canyon. From the landside by the ridge of Velebit (northwest), Visocica or from the side of Medak.

Vagan’s peak
Vagan’s peak

The top is marked with a bunch of rocks, and on a larger inscription with the name and altitude of the top. If you decide to be a summiter in Croatia, you can even spend two days in the mountains since there is a couple of hiking homes and shelters on the way to the top where you can spend a night.

Vagan’s peak
Vagan’s peak
Vagan’s peak
Vagan’s peak

(Photos: Tina Kova�i�ek)

Croatian player in both the UEFA Champions League & Europa League finals
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Petak, 19 Travanj 2019 00:36

Ante Rebić & Mateo Kova�ić (Photo: HNS)

19 April 2019 – Croatia will have a representative in both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League finals. 

Tonight’s quarter-final results in the UEFA Europa League means either Ante Rebić or Mateo Kova�ić will be playing in the final. 

Rebić was impressive tonight in Eintract’s 2-0 victory over Benfica. A 4-2 away loss in the first leg meant the German side went through on away goals. 

Whilst he did not get on the scoresheet himself, Rebić played a hand in both his team’s goals and was a constant threat up front. 

Rebić (HNS)

Eintracht will meet KovaÄ�ić’s Chelsea side in the semi-final on 2 & 9 May after Chelsea beat Slavia Praha 4-3 at Stanford Bridge to give them the tie 5-3 on aggregate. The Croatian midfielder played the full 90 mins for the Blues. 

Mateo Kova�ić (HNS)

In the other semi-final, Arsenal will meet Valencia. The final will be played in Baku on 29 May. 

Croatia will have a player in the UEFA Champions League final for the 8th year in a row after Liverpool and Barcelona set up a semi-final fixture. 

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitić or defender Dejan Lovren will be involved in the Champions League final in Madrid on 1 June after Barcelona and Liverpool successfully negotiated their quarter-final ties. 

(Photo: HNS)

2019 will be the 8th year in a row a Croatian has been in the final. Only Brazil, France, Germany and Spain have players in the last seven in a row. 

2012 – Ivica Olić
2013 – Mario Mandžukić
2014 – Luka Modrić
2015 – Ivan Rakitić
2016 – Luka Modrić, Mateo Kova�ić
2017 – Luka Modrić, Mateo Kova�ić, Mario Mandžukić
2018 – Luka Modrić, Mateo Kova�ić, Dejan Lovren
2019 – Ivan Rakitić or Dejan Lovren?

Croatia’s Vis Archipelago wins UNESCO Geopark label
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Četvrtak, 18 Travanj 2019 15:22

Vis’s surrounding island (photo credit: Ante Babic)

18 April 2019 – The Vis Archipelago has officially been given the UNESCO Global Geopark label after an application by the Croatian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Energy was accepted, Jutarnji list reported. 

The news was announced on the Facebook page of the Komiža Tourist Board.

“UNESCO’s Executive Board today approved the designation of eight new sites demonstrating the diversity of the planet’s geology as new Geoparks and also approved the extension of three existing Geoparks,” the Global Geopark Label of United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), said in a statement on Wednesday.

The area of the Vis archipelago is a significant area of the Adriatic Sea, within which, in the geological past, 220 million years ago, great changes occurred through the propagation of the slides, the mass of burning deep water, which broke through the surface by raising sediment panels formed by petrifying sand and shelling organisms.

The summits of this magmatic penetration are today the islands of Jabuka, Brusnik, Biševo, and Palagruža as the geologically oldest island of the Adriatic, which, like the island of Brusnik, is constantly growing under the influence of tectonic activity.

Jabuka island (photo credit: Fbundalo under CC)

The Vis archipelago also covers seven areas protected by Croatia’s Nature Protection Act. Brusnik and Jabuka Islands are protected in the category of nature monuments (geological), Blue cave, Medvidina cave and caves on the island of Ravnik in the category of nature monuments (geomorphological), while Stiniva and Ravnik bays are protected in the category of significant landscape.

The archipelago also has great geoturistic potential, great biodiversity and landscape diversity, rich cultural and historical heritage, and above all, a varied and extremely valuable geological and geomorphological heritage recognized by the Ministry.

The establishment of the geopark Vis Archipelago, the second UNESCO geopark in Croatia, will contribute primarily to raising awareness of the importance of protecting geological and geomorphological heritage and recognizing geotourism as a unique tourist offer.

Blue Cave on Biševo island (Photo credit: Zoran Jelaca/CNTB)

Papuk Geopark, located in eastern Croatia, was the first UNESCO Geopark in Croatia which gained its status due to the extraordinary geological and biological diversity and valuable cultural heritage of the Papuk and Krndija mountains.

Among other sites given the label on Wednesday were Colca  y  Volcanes  de  Andagua in Peru, Courel Mountains in Spain, Funiushan in China, Imbabura in Ecuador, Trollfjell in Norway, and Yimengshan in China.

More details about the Vis Archipelago Geopark on the official website here.

Hvar island ready to celebrate unique 500-year-old Easter tradition
Izvor:  Croatia Week
Četvrtak, 18 Travanj 2019 11:51

Following the Cross is a tradition which has been going on for 500 years on Hvar (Photo: E, Mil Mil, under CC)

by Miki Bratanić

18 April 2019 – The Croatian island of Hvar is ready once again to celebrate a unique religious tradition that has taken place uninterrupted before Easter for nearly 500 hundred years.

Za Križen (Following the Cross), which has UNESCO protection, has been maintained by believers in the small towns and villages of the central part of the island, from children to the oldest residents, for 500 years.

After mass on Maundy Thursday before Easter, six villages on Hvar – Vrboska, Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik, SvirÄ�e and Vrbanj – send out a group that will proceed through the other villages in a circle, covering twenty-five kilometres in eight hours before returning home. Each party in the procession is led by a cross-bearer who walks barefoot or in socks, never resting. 

It is a long-established and inalienable part of Hvar’s religious and cultural identity and the procession connects communities of the island to each other and to the world Catholic community.

Following the cross map (Photo: Miki Bratanić)

On the night of the Maundy Thursday, when the moon shines in its full splendour on bell-towers, churches, vineyards and olive groves; from each of the aforementioned places, around 10 pm, the procession for their cross begins. In a clockwise direction, the procession passes through the places, stopping in the churches.

In the procession participates the cross-bearer, who has the honour to carry the cross, his personal chosen accompaniment; singers and those who carry various candles, and other faithful people. 

The procession lasts all night and returns to its home church in the morning. It is perhaps the most prominent part of the procession, as locals gather in front of the church to welcome the sacred cross and the physically tired, but spiritually rejuvenated people who, carried by a divine energy, sing from their throats. 

In Jelsa at the end of the procession, the cross bearer throws himself in the full race with the cross in the embrace of the priest, who is waiting there with the locals. 

(Photo: Miki Bratanić)

Particularly interesting is the encounter with the deceased i.e. the custom to return to the cemetery (custom in Vrbanje), and pay tribute to all the deceased, who can no longer participate in the procession. 

At this point, the entire village is united in song at one place, both physically and spiritually. After the song, it is customary for the cross-bearer to bless the gathered people with the sacred cross he bore all night. This is where the procession ‘Following the Cross’ is completed.

As Good Friday is a fasting day, traditionally Bakalar (dried cod) is prepared. Before one goes to bed, it is customary to drop by the cross-bearers’ house for a portion of that hearty delicacy.

During the German occupation of the island of Hvar in 1944, the procession was forbidden. In order to keep the tradition alive, Hvarans who were in the camp Ell Shatt in Sinai improvised their churches, the “graves of Godâ€�, the cross and candles, and in a strange world, away from their homes, in the eyes of many foreigners, held the procession and once again proved their unwavering faith. 

Dujko Stipisic 1956 – Miki’s grandfather carried the cross

Following the Cross has been listed on the UNESCO list of protected non-material heritage, which is a great acknowledgment for the island of Hvar, which has a total of three sights on this list, and for the whole of Croatia.

The greatest acknowledgment is deservedly devoted to the self-sacrificing people, the faithful and the devotees who have protected their procession, leaving another of our values worthy of pride.

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