Friday, 21 July 2017

Three years ago in the strong international competition of many shipbuilders and manufacturers of steel structures, the Croatian shipyard Brodosplit was selected to participate in one of the largest construction projects in Italy's history.

The project ''Mose'' (Moses) worth more than 7 billion Euros is a project of protecting Venice from flooding. The Italian city usually floods fifty times a year, mostly in autumn and winter months, whilst every fifth year the entire city slightly sinks under the sea surface.

The Italian architectural and construction consortium Venezia Nuova selected the Croatian shipyard for construction of 63 steel gates in order to protect Venice from big problems caused by high tides.

venice floodgates

The project ''Mose'' envisaged the gates to be installed at the Malamocco, Chioggia and San Nicolo inlets situated between the sea and the Venice Lagoon. Thus, the main aim is to close all three canals just before the tide comes from the open sea.

The steel gates are constructed as special reservoirs filled with air, i.e. water. When filled with water the gates rest at the sea bottom, but when the tide approaches, they are filled with air and lifted towards the sea surface in order to close the entrances to the Venice Lagoon. When the danger passes, the air is pumped out of the gates, which are then filled with water again and placed on the seabed.

The immersion operations of the gates are very sensitive because the gates must reach depth of 14 metres thus they are lowered with a frame carrier installed at the installation site.

moses venice

The installation of the first gate was successfully carried out at the Malamocco inlet in February this year. It was a test that demonstrated the quality of the Brodosplit gates design and the validity of many systems developed in order to carry out all operations safely. It was also an opportunity to calibrate the systems in special conditions regarding the velocity of the current, the depth of the caisson, the weather and the sea conditions as well as the sea traffic in the Lagoon.

The process of installation of the tidal defensive system has been ongoing at the Malamocco inlet since February. The remaining gates are to be immersed in a row.
This big step forward in offshore projects is an important opportunity for Brodosplit for further positioning on the market that has a higher added value as well as for acquiring the necessary references for the next similar projects.

The Dubrovnik summer is about to get even hotter. After a period of instability that even saw a couple of thunderstorms the weather is about to stabilise and a mini heat wave is expected to roll over the region. From tomorrow the clouds will clear and the mercury will rise in thermometers, basically it is time to hit the beaches.

Thursday temperatures will reach 31 degrees whilst the hot spell will last for at least another ten days with constant temperatures in the low thirties and cloudless blue skies. This weekend will see temperatures at 33 degrees with high humidity expected. Experts are warning people to avoid the midday sun, from midday to 4.00pm, and to drink plenty of water.

Dubrovnik’s Ana Konjuh is into the third round of Wimbledon. After a mammoth match against the Romanian Irina Begu in the second round that lasted for 2 hours and 17 minutes. Konjuh, “the lioness of Lapad,” is now into the last 32 at Wimbledon 2017.

The first set was a long affair, finishing 7:6 for Ana, and then Konjuh lost the second set 2:6 before winning the match and the third set 6:3. The Dubrovnik tennis player will now play the Slovakian Dominika Cibulka in the fourth round.

The 19 year-old Konjuh, who is ranked at 27th in this year’s Wimbledon, will now play the eighth ranked Slovak Dominika Cibulka this Friday in the fourth round.

Ever since she married Prince William, Kate Middleton has been a regular guest in the Royal Box at Centre Court of the oldest and most prestigious tennis tournament in the world.

In the latest BBC documentary ''Sue Barker: Our Wimbledon'' Middleton has spoken about her great love for tennis. The documentary also tells a story about 90 years of BBC's coverage of this great tennis spectacle in the United Kingdom.

During the conversation with Sue Barker, a sports commentator and journalist, and a former coach, Middleton talked about her love for tennis and a brilliant influence it has on young people.

It is interesting to note that the most successful Croatian tennis player and a Wimbledon winner Goran Ivanisevic is among some of the Wimbledon winners who fascinated Princess Kate. ''I was really taken by Agassi and Sampras, Ivanisevic and Steffi Graf'', Middleton recalled of her early days. She also unveiled that Roger Federer has been her mother’s heartthrob for years.

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival will open for 68th time on Monday, July 10th, at 9 pm in front of Saint Blasius Church. This traditional festival always offers a lot to tourists and locals and was presented today at the press conference in Hotel Excelsior.

The speakers were the Mayor of Dubrovnik Mato Frankovic, the Deputy County Mayor Zaklina Marevic, the Executive Director Ivana Medo Bogdanovic and the Acting Artistic Director Mladen Tarbuk.

The Mayor of Dubrovnik congratulated all that were involved in making of this year’s festival.

- This year’s program shows the real Dubrovnik Summer Festival. It’s a combination of old and new, traditional and modern, national and international – said Frankovic and added that the City of Dubrovnik supports the festival.

The Dubrovnik Neretva County is also a great supporter of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, so the Deputy County Mayor wished a great success to this year’s festival.

Ivana Medo Bogdanovic exposed the financial plan, which goes to 12 million and 250 thousand kuna this year. She thanked the City of Dubrovnik for giving an extra 200 thousand kuna because that shows that the City government sees the idea behind the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

- The Dubrovnik Summer Festival is more than a manifestation, we wish to be a main partner to the City of Dubrovnik in organizing many other events – said Medo Bogdanovic.

Mladen Tarbuk presented this year’s program and the idea behind it.

- When it comes to the program, freedom is the main topic. What is freedom, are we free, can freedom be sold – that are the questions in today’s world and the art is here to answer – explained Tarbuk.

He also emphasized that there are 47 days of intense events – every day offers a lot to choose from. If you are interested in this year’s program of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival click here.

For the third day in a row the forest fires near Dubrovnik are continuing to burn. Two special fire-fighting planes from the Croatian armed forces have once again been sent to help with the situation. The fires broke out three days ago in the Dubrovnik hinterland around the villages of Trnovica, Cepikuce and Viscani around 45 minutes from Dubrovnik.

These special fire-fighting planes have already been in the skies over the region fighting the fires which are mainly in remote and hard to reach areas. So far it is estimated that the planes have dropped around 1,300 tonnes of water on the fires and over the past two days they have achieved around 40 hours of flying time.

Around 350 hectares of land have been affected by the fires and over 80 fire-fighters from ten different brigades have been involved.

fire fighting dubrovnik

Dubrovnik has once again proved to be one of the most romantic destinations in the world. And when you throw in a pinch of Shakespeare and the stunning ambience of the Lovrijenac Fortress the romance is turned up to the maximum.

During the pause of the penultimate performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Midsummer Scene Festival a young man took the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend. He went down on one knee with the Old City of Dubrovnik shining in the moonlight and proposed his everlasting love took out a ring and she said.....yes!

A Croatian manufacturer of automotive parts has reported on signing a new lucrative agreement with an American multinational car manufacturer.

The largest Croatian manufacturer of plastic parts for the automotive industry AD Plastik from Solin near Split won the nominations for the production of two exterior sets for the new Ford Focus Active car. The sets will consist of a variety of bumper positions and decorative coating for the protection of mudguards and vehicle thresholds.

The parts will be manufactured in Solin, whilst the start of the serial production is planned for the last quarter of 2018.

According to AD Plastik the estimated duration of the project is six years, whilst the expected total revenues are 7.8 million Euros, or 1.3 million Euros a year.

The British daily newspaper The Guardian has listed ten Croatia's islands that enthralled their journalists with their beauty.

The list entitled ''10 of the best small islands in Croatia'' describes Croatian islands that are poorly populated and intact and are not popular tourist hot spots.

''These Adriatic islets, many sparsely populated and little visited, are perfect for boat rides, great walking trails, lovely beaches and the odd bit of culture'', wrote The Guardian.
Here is the list of the Ten Croatian Islands chosen by The Guardian:

1. Lopud near Dubrovnik

2. Sveti Nikola near Porec

3. Veliki Brijun (the Brijuni islands)

4. Susak (northern Adriatic)

5. Silba near Zadar

6. Kornat (the Kornati Archipelago)

7. Solta near Split

8. Sveti Klement (the island of Hvar)

9. Bisevo (near the island of Vis)

10. Proizd (near the island of Korcula)

If you’re thinking about visiting Dubrovnik, Croatia’s largest tourist destination and the city credited by Lord Byron as being ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic,’ you’ll most likely come armed with the latest Fodor’s guidebook or a recent review of the top Game of Thrones film site locations that you absolutely cannot miss. You will probably also notice that prices in the city centre and old city, are similar to what you can expect to pay in the tourist capitals of neighbouring European countries, and Dubrovnik is no exception. However, if you’re worried that the price hikes mean you’ll have to go low budget while in Paris, relax, we have you covered. Below we’ve compiled a list of five fun and free things that you can easily do in Dubrovnik while still living large and ensuring your friends back home are every bit as envious as they should be:

King’s Landing - Game of Thrones Filming Locations

When it comes to the GOT franchise, you don’t have to worry. The entire city of Dubrovnik, or “King’s Landing” is an open-air GOT museum and just walking around you are likely to recognize many sites you will likely recall from seasons past. If in doubt we are here to remind you of the Big Three. The most memorable scene in Season 5: Episode 10 entitled ‘Mother’s Mercy’ was noted for the famous “Walk of Shame”, in which Cersei Lannister was forced to walk naked through the streets of King's Landing. Cersei’s walk began at the top of the Jesuit Staircase, an elegant Baroque structure located immediately south of Gundulic Square. The steps lead up to the ‘Uz Jezuite Ulica’ (Uz Jezuite Street), and end at the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius right next to the Collegium Ragusinum and the Jesuit College. If you can’t find them, just ask the locals for the ‘Spanish Steps’ (Skale Spanjola’ as Croatians call them).The second most recognizable GOT site to see? The narrow strip of beach between Lovrijenac castle and the tower ramparts flanking the left side of Pile Gate. If you look down over the platz-like terrace between the two cafes situated on opposite ends of the square, you will notice that the rock like boulder upon which Lovrijenac castle stands has some rather medieval looking wooden doors built right into it. This is where the Battle of Blackwater Bay (Season 2: Episode 9) took place (the beach is also noted for the scene where Cersei, Tyrion, Joffrey and Tommen saw Myrcella off to Dorne in Season 2: Episode 6).

game of films filming dubrovnik

Game of Thrones filming in Dubrovnik 

Finally, the scene where everyone’s beloved bad boy, Oberyon Martell (The Red Viper), finally bit the dust at the hands of The Mountain (Season 5: Episode 8) takes place just outside Dubrovnik at the abandoned Hotel Belvedere (located approx. 2km out of the old town on a steep beach). The hotel was built in the 1980s and destroyed during the Croatian War of Independence. Today it is abandoned and demolished and while you are not allowed to enter the building itself, you can still see the set’s amphitheatre floorvisible from the outside (the only thing that is different is that the Lannister coat-of-arms was replaced after filming with the large checkerboard shield on the Hajduk Split soccer team emblem.

Luza – The ‘Game of Film’ Exhibit

If you still can’t get enough of the Game of Thrones film sites, calm down, we’ve got you covered better than Coppertone on a baby. Located right next to the Sponza Palace, and under the arched gateway of the Bell Tower off of Luza Square, the Dubrovnik Cinema now hosts the ‘Game of Films’ exhibit. Opened in February 2017, the exhibit showcases photographs of the films and series that were shot on location since Game of Thrones transformed the city into King’s Landing. While the exhibit is free, rest assured that the GOT franchise has done for Dubrovnik what Lord of the Rings did for New Zealand - turned the city into a tourism mecca worthy of the moniker, ‘Hollywood of the Adriatic.’

game of films exhibition

Hollywood on the Adriatic 

The exhibit also showcases the other franchise about to make the city a global tourism magnet, Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, which will open to much hype in December 2017. Another recently shot blockbuster is the Leonardo DiCaprio directed version of Robin Hood starring Jamie Foxx, Jamie Dornan, Taron Egerton and other Hollywood big names rumoured to premiere in 2018.

Fjaka – The Art of Dalmatian Chill

What Hygge is to the Danes, so Fjaka is to the Dalmatians. ‘Fjaka’ (pronounced: ‘Fyaka’) is essentially the zen-like art of doing nothing or engaging in very little but doing it with a flair and panache which predates chill. Fjaka can literally be described as an uber-relaxed form of living. Over the centuries, the people of Dalmatia have perfected the art of Fjaka and taken it to the next level. Thus, whether they are simply strolling about aimlessly (emphasis on ‘slowly’), relaxing in chaises’ or cafes, or sitting with their head back facing the sun, Fjaka is emulated and absorbed by young and old alike. It’s truly a disciplined and inherited way of life in every Dalmatian town, and perhaps nowhere is it better displayed or observed than in Dubrovnik. Please do not for a second mistake Fjaka with laziness, as it’s not even remotely close. Fjaka is actually a psychophysical state of the mind where there is a momentary aspiration to do absolutely nothing. Except the moment never evaporates, and before you know it Fjaka has taken over your day. When this happens and Fjaka engulfs you, do not resist it and try to engage in work, rather slow down the Dalmatian way (‘polako’) and you will notice that any and all desire to engage in unnecessary physical labour of any sort shall pass.


Take it easy you are in Dubrovnik 

If you feel bad about doing nothing for hours, simply calm down and Fjaka on, and know that even the well-dressed and sociable engage in Fjaka. Notice the way the women carry themselves and dress, you’d think they had planned that outfit for hours. Not so. They are masters of their own Fjaka domain and you can be too. The best places to engage in Fjaka include the Stradun where you must walk slowly (snail’s pace will do) and stare straight ahead, pretending not to be irritated by the throngs of tourists. Get that gelato, enjoy that cup of espresso, and do it all with the same Fjaka-like-laissez-faire attitude displayed by the locals. Fjaka can also be experienced at any of Dubrovnik’s side streets where you not only lounge about aimlessly for hours on end enjoying coffee after coffee (at a minimal cost, we promise!), but you do it sitting side by side with your bestie while carrying on a silent conversation. Fjaka usually goes hand-in-hand with people watching, but it’s done in a way so that only certain muscles of your neck are used. In this manner, you are exerting minimal energy and conveying a Fjaka-like performance worthy of an Academy Award. Had enough of Stradun and side street Fjaka? Head over to Buza outside the southern city walls, pick a rock, lay back next to the sea, bask in the sun or go for a topless swim. There is no better way to graduate from Fjaka 101 than to don the birthday suit and throw your cares and worries to the Adriatic. If you’ve made it this far you’ve earned the Fjaka black belt and will get a pat on the back from the locals…once they are done Fjaka-ing.

Church Gazing: Off the Beaten Path

Most guide books will tell you that the Church of Saint Blaise (Crkva Svetog Blaza), the Cathedral and the Dominican and Franciscan Monasteries are must see’s, and I am not going to debate that. These four structures are surely among Dubrovnik’s finest and oldest and best of all they are easily to be seen as three of them are located right on the Stradun (the Franciscan Monastery, the Cathedral and the Church of Saint Blaise) while the other (the Dominican Monastery) is next to the Revelin Fortress gate. Dubrovnik is a church and chapel lovers Nirvana, and no matter which street you happen to stumble upon, there is sure to be at least one church, chapel, cloister or religious building located on it or next to it (and not all are Christian either).

dubrovnik cathedral

The Dubrovnik Cathedral dominates the skyline 

While the Church of Saint Blaise (the city’s patron saint who was born an Armenian native) boasts baroque facades and has visitors gasping, die-hard enthusiasts will want to explore and discover others. My favourites include the tiny Chapel of Saint Nicholas located on Prijeko street in the Jewish quarter, Saint Ignatius church which is ornate and majestic and located right atop the Spanish Steps, and the Serbian Orthodox church (‘Crkva Svijeti Blagovijesti’) which is resplendent with stunning Byzantine icons and fantastic acoustics. Be sure not to miss out on the second oldest Jewish synagogue in Europe located on a side alley on Zudioska Street (Jewish Street) right off the Stradun. The Synagogue is located next to a small art gallery with lovely paintings and etchings displaying Jewish life in Dubrovnik as it once was.

Stroll and Window-Shop

Others would tell you to climb Mount Srd (Mount Sergej) which hovers above the city and boasts a fortress built by Napoleonic forces, but I won’t do that as that would involve activity and motion which breaks the cardinal rules embodied in Fjaka (number 3 in this article). Instead, replenish your water bottle in any of Dubrovnik’s perfectly safe public fountains and discover the hawkers and vendors doing a bustling trade at the fruit and vegetable market on Gundulić Square. Every morning Dalmatian locals from the vicinity of Dubrovnik set up their stalls of fresh produce and flowers and throw in traditional cottage craftwork. You can barter, strike up a conversation, or simply admire the statue of the square's namesake, a 17th century Croatian poet named Ivan Gundulić (he’s a great writer and considered something of a Croatian Shakespeare).

window shopping stradun

Window shopping on the Stradun 

The free buck does not stop there however, you can stroll onwards and enjoy endless hours of window shopping on the Stradun (the Croatian version of the Plaka district), on Luza square, or on any of the hundreds of narrow side streets which give Dubrovnik its old-world character. My favourites include the silver and gold filigree shops that line the narrow street called ‘Ulica od Puca’ (Public Street). Here you will find hipster art galleries and jewellery stores, vying with the best in Italian brand name apparel and local Croatian designers. A sure-fire favourite and best of all you never have to actually open your wallet.

By Mirella-Marie Katarina Radman




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The Voice of Dubrovnik


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