The festivities of the patron saint of Dubrovnik, Saint Blaise, will take place on the 3rd of Dubrovnik. However the traditions connected with the festivities are already underway. Last night in the newly renovated St. Blaise Church in the heart of the Old City the blessing of the throat was held. For not only is Saint Blaise the protector of Dubrovnik but he is also the patron saint of throat illness.
For over a thousand years Dubrovnik has celebrated its patron saint with a grand procession on the 3rd of February. The day of St. Blaise represents the day in 971 when St. Blaise alerted the citizens of the city from a surprise attack by a Venetian fleet of warships. Statutes and images of the patron saint can be seen in many locations around the historic Old City and on the 3rd of February the whole city celebrates.
Candles crossed together to form a cross are placed around the necks of citizens whilst a blessing and a prayer is read. - Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, may God deliver you from illness of the throat and every other illness -. This very blessing was held in the newly refurbished St. Blaise Church last night.
Photos - Niksa Duper
Zagreb will have a new connection to Prague with the introduction, or reintroduction, of flights from the Czech national airline, Czech Airlines. From the 27th of April this year Czech Airlines will operate flights to Zagreb four times a week, a connection that was postponed four years ago.
Czech Airlines launched the new flights at a press conference in Zagreb on Wednesday this week and stated that they will operate four times a week from Prague. The airline will operate flights from Zagreb to Prague on Mondays and Thursdays and from Prague to Zagreb on Wednesdays and Sundays. This opens the opportunity for tourists from the Czech Republic to visit Zagreb for a long weekend and is sure to increase the number of visitors to the Croatian capital.
Fancy a long weekend on the banks of the Bosporus, this year it will be easier than ever after news that Turkish Airlines are to introduce a direct connection between Dubrovnik and Istanbul. Dubrovnik Airport has announced that Turkish Airlines, Turkey's national airline, are to start flights between Istanbul and Dubrovnik for this summer season. From the 27th of June to the 29th of October Turkish Airlines will link the two cities with four flights a week, on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
Reports on the specialised business website seebiz.eu confirm that Turkish Airlines will introduce their second regular service to Croatia after flights from Zagreb to Istanbul. This will be the first time that Turkish Airlines has operated to a coastal destination in Croatia and is sure to attract many Turkish tourists to Dubrovnik this summer season. As yet the price of the tickets is unknown as ticket sales have yet to go online.
In 2014 a total of 26,220 Turkish tourists visited Croatia, of which 17,398 stayed on the Croatian coastline. And as Dubrovnik already has three Turkish owned and operated hotels, Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik, The Pucic Palace and Villa Dubrovnik, the city should benefit from the introduction of these new flights. Discussions into the introduction of these flights began a few years ago, however due to the problem of Turkish nationals requiring a visa to enter the country the negotiations were placed on hold.
With the Day of Saint Blaise just around the corner our friends at LMT Studio have created a rather special video in honour of the patron saint of Dubrovnik.
This year is the 1700th anniversary of the martyrdom of Dubrovnik's patron saint and in his honour the City Council of Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Diocese have declared 2016 the Year of Saint Blaise.
Check out this video and experience a taste of the atmosphere for Dubrovnik most important day, the 3rd of February, the Day of St. Blaise.
After the restoration of the interior, which started in the November 2014, the Church of St. Blaise was opened to the public last night. On the eve of the festival of Dubrovnik's patron saint, St. Blaise, the church now has a fully renovated interior and looks spectacular. The restored St. Blaise Church will be blessed on Saturday by the bishop of Dubrovnik, Mate Uzinic.
The restoration of the church’s interior, in an investment worth around 14 million Kuna, was carried out under the supervision of the Institute for Restoration of Dubrovnik and was largely financed by the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities.
Dubrovnik’s most important church is now ready for the biggest day in the Dubrovnik calendar, the Festival of St. Blaise on the 3rd of February.
Photos - Niksa Duper
Croatia has been ranked as the 15 most ecological friendly country in the world. According to a report compiled by the Yale University Croatia is listed in 15th out of 180 countries in the Environmental Performance Index.
The best ranked country on the list was Finland, followed by Iceland and Sweden. The Environmental Performance Index ranks countries performance on environmental issues. The study looks at health care, water quality, air quality, water resources, forests and energy amongst others.
Croatia was awarded 86.98 points, whilst Finland at the top of the list had 90.68. All of the countries in the top ten were European with New Zealand ranked in 11th and Australia in 13th position. Yale University commented that whilst progress has been made in some areas, such as access to drinking water, there is still much room for improvement. One of the biggest problems was seen as air pollution, especially in countries undergoing an economic boom.
Somalia, Eritrea, Madagascar and Niger were placed at the bottom of the list. In fact the lower reaches of the Environmental Performance Index was dominated by countries from Africa and Asia. The lowest placed European country was Bosnia and Herzegovina in 121st place with only 63.28 points.
The number of tourists to Croatia in 2015 choosing to stay in an Airbnb rental property increased by a massive 122 percent compared to 2014. Airbnb has exploded on the rental accommodation scene, outgrowing many of the other traditional platforms for tourist accommodation. This very explosion has arrived on Croatian shores and last year saw the number of guests using Airbnb rise by an impressive 122 percent.
And of course it isn’t only the number of guests that has risen, as of January 2016 there were around 51,000 rental units listed on the Croatian Airbnb website. This is an increase of 81 percent compared to the same period from 2014.
The Airbnb platform is believed to be worth $24 billion and has around 2 million accommodation units for rent around the world. According to a statement from the company the average Airbnb renter earns around $5,000 a year from their service.
The Force is indeed coming to Dubrovnik! Rumours were flying around yesterday that the eighth episode of Star Wars was planned to be partly recorded in Dubrovnik. And now The Dubrovnik Times can confirm that the rumours are actually TRUE.
The website makingstarwars.net quoted yesterday that “A few different people have dropped this same piece of news that Star Wars: Episode VIII will film in an interesting location. The location was used for HBO’s Game of Thrones as the King’s Landing locations. Apparently the location is really pleasant at which to shoot and offers tax breaks and incentives to new productions. The gist: Star Wars: Episode VIII will film in Dubrovnik, Croatia later in the year.”
And The Dubrovnik Times has learned from more than one reliable inside source that the rumours are true, Star Wars will indeed be filmed in Dubrovnik this year. The City of Dubrovnik and the Mayor of Dubrovnik met with the film producers at the end of 2015 and, according to our source, the city can look forward to being the host of yet another major film production.