Friday, 22 September 2017

The Church of the Holy Annunciation is a Serbian Orthodox church that was constructed in 1887 in the very heart of the historic city core. Over 300 workers were involved in the construction of this church and its sheer size makes it one of the landmarks of the city centre. This impressive sacral object has a huge collection of icons dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries.

orthodox church dubrovnik

With its distinctive architectural features and soaring ceilings the church is located on the Od Puča Street and apart from the church there is also a museum of icons. During the Homeland War the church was badly damaged but in 2009 was repaired and brought back to its former glory.

There is also an extensive library in the church premises that contains over 12,000 editions. Admission to the church is free of charge.

In the National Museum of South Korea, "Haegeumgang Theme Museum", the third international exhibition dedicated to the preservation of the environment called "The Earth I Love" was opened on September 3rd. This exhibition gathered artists from 22 countries.
Croatian representative was Dubrovnik painter and captain Stjepko Mamic with his painting ‘’Spring Flowers’’ (‘’The first Flower’’). Like all the works of art presented at this international exhibition, this was also inspired by the poetry of the Japanese poet Taro Aizu. In Mamic's case, the image with the motif of flowers was inspired by the poem "Spring: First Flowers".

 Aizu's poems are dedicated to the restoration of life in ecologically destroyed Fukushima. It took a long time for the flowers and trees to re-emerge, like in Mamic’s painting that will remain in the holdings of National Museums of South Korea after the closing of the exhibition.

It’s interesting to know that one of the Mamic’s paintings is already a part of South Korea holdings – Nocturno. Thanks to this, Mamic has become a member of ICAF (International Culture and Arts Federation of Korea) in 2016.

The exhibition "The Earth I Love" at Haegeumgang Theme Museum and Yukyung Art Museum will be opened until October 22nd, and then can be seen at the Hwain Gallery in Yeosu City from October 26th to November 8th.

After these exhibitions, Mamic will join exhibitions as part of the new International Gogyoshi Art Project in Hanum and Seoul from October 2017 to January 2018. At the same time, Mamic exhibits at the Rosso Cinabro Roman Gallery at the September Contemporary exhibition from September 14th to 30th.

I have seen the future and it is electric! When I say electric I don’t mean like electrically exciting I just mean electric. Why this wasn’t thought about centuries ago I don’t understand but now it’s here we should embrace it and develop it to the maximum. Forget petrol – go green – go electric.

Just last week I tried something that I have never tried before, I rode an electric scooter.
“I need to go to the Old City today for an interview and I don’t want to take my car and end up spending hours finding a space, can anyone lend me a scooter,” I asked at the office. “Why not take the new bike?” came the reply. “Do you mean the electric one that nobody has ridden so far?” was my response. It turned out that was exactly the one they were talking about. Why not.

We grabbed a couple of helmets and set out to start the “mean machine.” I have never ridden or driven anything electric before apart from those bumper cars you get in the fairgrounds.

“How do you start the bloody thing?” I asked a colleague who was already in fits of laughter just looking at me sitting on the scooter. Yes, it isn’t really elegant, and is probably not going to pick up any awards for the best design in the near future. I held the brake with one hand, revved the gas with the other and then looked for a starter – I was thinking old school. Nothing happened, the laughter over my shoulder loudened. Actually something was happening I was blasting the horn, well blasting is too strong a word as the horn sounded like a goose laying an egg! And then, quite by mistake, I released the brake and the electric horse lurched forward. I was looking how to turn it on and in fact it had been on the whole time. Cue more laughter from my colleagues who had actually gathered at the offices windows wondering why a good was giving birth outside.

First lesson – electric vehicles are extremely quiet. My colleague jumped on the back and we staggered down the road looking as graceful as Bambi on an ice rink. I revved the hell out the scooter and nothing, complete silence. No vibrating under the seat, no cloud of smoke from the back and no sound.

Second lesson – when riding an electric scooter don’t invite someone on the back. If it was only me on the bike then I might have had half a chance of moving faster than a snail, but I wasn’t alone. Downhill no worries, uphill disaster. “Give it full gas,” commented my passenger. “This is flat out, top speed,” I replied. As we hit the top speed of 18 KPH a pensioner stepped out slightly into the road. Coming back to the first lesson this scooter was silent and the pensioner hadn’t heard us approaching. Fortunately we were moving so slow that the pensioner had time to react and move back. We were going so slow that she could have got out a crossword puzzle and finished it before we reached her. “Let’s make the noise of a scooter when we see people who don’t see us,” I advised my co-pilot. So I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all the pedestrians who witnessed two idiots screaming like a swarm of bees whilst bumping along on our ugly electric monster. So those are the downsides, its slow and it’s silent. But the positives far outweigh the negatives.

We reached Pile, parked up and later drove back to the office and how much did we spend on petrol – ZERO! I didn’t even have to plug it into the mains to charge up. Apart from losing some self esteem I hadn’t spent a penny. Not only that I hadn’t contributed in any way to global warming, pollution of any kind, including noise pollution. And as there are very few moving parts there is nothing to go wrong. In fact according to the manuals the first service the scooter needs is after 50,000 kilometres. Or put another way almost never. No oil, no petrol, no water, just an extension lead and an electric socket and you are away.

I was willing to overlook the fact that the designer was clearly having a bad day (or was blind drunk) when he created it. The fact that it has the acceleration of an overcrowded number 6 Libertas bus or that I had nearly run down a pensioner – this is the future. It might not have the good looks of a Tesla but it has the same ambition at heart. Think green – think electric!

Chinese investment is slowly but surely finding its way into Croatia, after news that a Chinese company has bid for the construction of the Pelješac Bridge comes investment into the Croatian car industry. The Chinese Camel Group has confirmed an investment of 30 million Euros in the Croatian electric car manufacturer Rimac Automobili.

Earlier this year in April, Camel Group signed an agreement on investing $27 million in Rimac Automobili and $3 million in Rimac’s Greyp Bikes. The Group opted for the Croatian company due to the Rimac technology which is ‘’at the top of the world level’’ and now has confirmed the investment.

The Chinese $4 billion corporation headquartered in Shenzhen is an integrated high-tech enterprise specialized for developing, manufacturing and sales of batteries in China, Europe, the United States, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

rimac invest camel group


The company produces almost 400 types of batteries that are used in automobiles, agricultural vehicles, ships, trucks, golf carts, electric cars, electric motors, electric bicycles, and for various special purposes.

The Goldman Sachs Group estimates that by 2025, the market for electric batteries will be worth more than $40 billion and it will be dominated by Chinese companies, obviously with a little help from one Croatian company.

Dubrovnik Dud Bowl, international tennis championship, came to an end yesterday with a grand finale. At the tennis tournament that connected children from all over the world the best were Aleksandra Simeva from Macedonia and Tobias Wallin from Sweden.

And what a great honour they got – they were congratulated and awarded by legendary Wimbledon 2001 winner and one of the most famous Croatian tennis players of all time – Goran Ivanisevic.

In the finals, Simeva got 2: 0 in the sets against Malwina Rowinsko from Poland. The boys made it to the third set where Wallin was better  than Alexander Martinov Nikolov from Bulgaria.

This was another great year that gathered children from France, Ukraine, Sweden, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Serbia, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Romania, Malta, the United Arab Emirates, Japan and of course from Croatia. And they all had fun!

dud bowl

      Photo by Tonci Vlasic


According to the latest official data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics (DSZ), the number of first graders in Croatia continues to drop year after year.

Due to the negative death rate and increased and massive migratory wave of Croatian population to other EU countries, the DSZ data show that in the last decade the country has lost almost 2,521 classes with 25 students. Last year Croatia recorded 1,375 first graders less in comparison to the school year 2015/2016. However, the beginning of the 2017/2018 school year has not brought new data yet, however, temporary enrollment data from June indicate that this year's situation is even more dramatic than last year and that Croatia has lost another 2,139 first graders.

Nevertheless, every cloud has a silver lining. Even though the total plus (+631) is three time less than the total minus (-1,804), it is surprising that there are 50 cities in Croatia that continue to defy this alarming trend and record an increase in the number of enrolled first graders.

According to the data obtained directly from cities, out of 128 cities in Croatia 16 of them have recorded a two-digit increase in the number of first graders this year such as Supetar, Mali Losinj and Oroslavje with ten first graders more than last year. The cities of Vukovar (+42) and Dubrovnik (+46) have the highest number of enrolled children this year. Other Croatian cities following this positive trend are Koprivnica (+33), Zabok (+35), Solin (+37), Samobor (+37) and Kastela (+39). Among the Top ten cities with the largest increase in absolute figures are Senj (+24), Karlovac (+22), Porec (+20), Daruvar (+17) and Krk (+17).

As stated, out of 128 cities in Croatia, 50 of them are improving the average figures, whilst the remaining 78 cities continue the negative trend.  

However, the scale and the pressure of the ''minus'' situation depend on the size of each city. For example, this year Osijek has recorded 48 first graders less than the previous year, however, considering the trends in the country and the fact that Osijek has 20 schools and more than 800 first graders, the situation is not that gloomy. On the other hand, the city of Beli Manastir has recorded 30 first graders less than last year meaning almost one third less enrolled children in comparison to the previous year.


                  Number of first graders in Croatian towns last year, this year and their share per 1000 inhabitans

Two English tourists got lost yesterday night around 8 pm, somewhere in Babino Polje at Mljet in the woods – it was reported to emergency telephone number 112 Dubrovnik.

Croatian Mountain Rescue Service Dubrovnik was informed, so they contacted a public fire brigade Mljet and asked for assistance in search and rescue. Three firefighters immediately reacted and found two wandering tourists around 8:45 pm in the olive garden, close to the path to Odysseus cave.

For the happy ending they transported the tourists to the public fire brigade building. Great job!

One of the most prominent contemporary photographers, Ahmet Ertuğ, came to Dubrovnik because of the invitation of Museum of Modern Art Dubrovnik. During this week he will take photos that will be part of the exhibition that the MOMA Dubrovnik prepares in December. Locations of the photo shooting are still a secret.  

The Turkish photographer will present photographs of the interior design cycle of the most famous buildings such as Aja Sofia in Istanbul, Milan Scale, the famous Teatro Olimpico Theater in Vicenza, the Sammezzano Castle in Tuscany, the University Library in Turin and many others. For the upcoming exhibition in Dubrovnik, Ertuğ will provide a new perspective of the Old City, interior and exterior of the famous Dubrovnik buildings as well as the hidden corners.

The photo collection of the exhibition entitled "The Vanishing Point" will be presented in Dubrovnik in mid-December this year, and the same exhibition will be presented in 2018 and 2019 in France under the auspices of the "National Center for Monuments of the Republic of France"  (Center des monuments nationaux ").

ERTUG1 Miho Skvrce

Ahmet Ertuğ was born in 1949. After studying architecture in London, he trained in England, Iran and Turkey. Ertuğ discovered his photography love during his studies, by recording the street life of West and East London. His devotion to photography started after receiving the prestigious scholarship of the Japanese Foundation for Photography of Traditional Japanese Architecture.

ERTUG3 Miho Skvrce

Ertuğ’s photography projects of architectural heritage have been published in more than 30 of the most important art books and he had the most important solo exhibitions in Paris, London, New York, Vienna and Istanbul. He has photographed some of the most important opera houses, libraries and theatres.


Tonight there will be fireworks in front of the Port of Gruz between 9:30 and 10 pm because of private event. The light show will last around four minutes.

You don’t need to be a part of this event to see the fireworks, so grab your camera, find a perfect spot and just enjoy it.

A few days ago, the Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic went to the United States in order to participate at the 72nd Regular Session of the UN General Assembly, which is taking place at the UN Headquarters in New York from the 12th to the 25th of September 2017.

Upon arrival to New York, the Prime Minister Plenkovic, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs Marija Pejcinovic Buric, met with representatives of the Croatian Community in the US from New York, Los Angeles, Houston, Philadelphia and Washington.

‘’I am glad that during our visit to New York, organized by our Embassy, Consular Offices and the Permanent Mission to the UN, we have this opportunity to meet with representatives of Croats living in the US, not only here in New York but in other states. Even representatives from the Croatian World Congress from Los Angeles, Croats from Washington, Philadelphia, Houston and other cities came here to meet with us’’, commented Plenkovic.

On this occasion, Plenkovic emphasized the importance of gathering all of those who wanted to contribute to their homeland. He also reminded of the 25th anniversary of Croatia’s membership in the UN and the speech that was then held by the first Croatian President Franjo Tudjman. The Foreign Minister Pejcinovic Buric and the Croatian Ambassador to the United States Pjer Simunovic called Croats living in the US for cooperation.

Plenkovic also commented the first appearance of the US President Trump at the UN General Assembly by saying that Trump’s speech should point to the main guidelines of the US foreign policy. He added that it is notable that this year’s UN General Assembly will not be attended by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as by the Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Chinese President Xi Jinpin, thus, Plenkovic concluded that Trump’s speech would be a dominant topic for the next few days.  

The Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic is to address to the UN General Assembly on the 21st of September 2017.




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