Take a look at 2017 with our month by month flash back of an eventful year in Dubrovnik. From the warm, summer months when the city came alive to the sounds of a thousand languages to snow in the winter, laughter all year round, tragedy, comedy, surprises, sadness…a year to remember in more ways than one.
Here is our month by month guide – they are in no specific order or reason, just the stories that caught our eye in 2017.
The year, as ever, began with a bang, as the traditional fireworks display for the New Year celebrations lit the night sky. The Old City was packed to the rafters as revellers welcomed in 2017 with champagne and song.
Whilst most people were nursing a hangover some more athletic people were running in the DuRun 10K around the sun-kissed streets of Dubrovnik. The winner of the men’s race was Hillary Kiptum Maiyo Kimaiyo from Kenya, whilst Olivera Jeftic from Serbia won the ladies race. Seventy-three people took part in the race from all over the world.
Not something you see every day – snow in Dubrovnik. The city, no the whole region, came to a halt as a few inches stopped traffic. These unusual images of Dubrovnik went all over the world with the Australian publishes drone videos of the white blanket on the terracotta roofs. Temperatures dropped into the minuses with a north wind making the real feel up to, or down to, minus 19 degrees.
Dubrovnik Airport moved into the 21st century with the opening of the new terminal, Terminal C. With 16 check-in desks, a new splattering new outlets and restaurants the terminal worked to almost full capacity through the height of summer.
One of the highlights of the year was undoubtedly the filming of the latest Robin Hood movie in Dubrovnik. A-liners strolled the Stradun, Jamie Foxx, Taron Egerton and Eve Hewson, whilst Jamie Dornan (yes he is the guy from Fifty Shades of Grey) tried his best to keep himself to himself. Leonardo DiCaprio was one of the executive producers of Robin Hood and when asked if he would visit the city Otto Bathurst, the director, replied that “Leonardo is very busy but if he were to visit any of the film sets it would surely be Dubrovnik, who knows maybe you will have a pleasant surprise.” You guessed it he didn’t turn up.
One of the most important dates of the Dubrovnik calendar is the 3rd of February, or St. Blaise’s Day. The patron saint of the city is celebrated from the rooftops and this year was just as colourful as always.
D-Day in Dubrovnik – or J-Day – was when the star of Fifty Shades of Grey arrived for his first day of filming in Robin Hood: Origins. Dornan, who played Will Scarlet in the flick, basically did one day of filming in Dubrovnik, but it was probably one of the most interesting with explosions and fireballs on the main street though the ancient city.
Dense fog brought an eerie feel to Dubrovnik this March afternoon as freaky weather conditions meant the city was almost blacked out. The Adriatic Sea and the island of Lokrum were almost invisible as the “pea souper” covered the city. In fact this strange weather phenomenon isn’t classic fog it is known as advection fog and occurs when moist air passes over a cool surface by wind and is cooled.
Cruise ship season pretty much kicked off in March with the arrival of a few mega cruise ships. Throughout the year Dubrovnik would see just over 800,000 cruise ship passengers.
A mini heatwave hit Dubrovnik at the beginning of the season with temperatures hitting an unusually high 26 degrees at the start of April. Tourists took advantage of the warmer temperatures by diving into the Adriatic Sea, even though sea temperatures were around 16 degrees.
Easter Sunday was a stormy one in Dubrovnik with torrential rain, gale force winds and even hail stones. After two weeks of warm sunshine and temperatures in the mid twenties the heavens opened over Dubrovnik for Easter.
A tragedy occurred in the seas around Dubrovnik when a fast response boat from the Dubrovnik harbour master struck a smaller speedboat in the area of the Kolocep Channel. Reports directly after the incident revealed that nine people were onboard the smaller speedboat, two were killed at the scene, two injured and five lost at sea.
Dubrovnik was awash with strawberries in May as the “Day of Ston Strawberries” brought thousands of strawberries into the historic city centre. Punnets of ruby red strawberries were available for the promotional price of 10 Kuna and long queues formed as locals and tourists took advantage.
Gentlemen start your engines! Screeching tyres, mind blowing speeds and the thunder of engines could be heard at the Dubrovnik Airport in May but it had nothing to do with aviation. Millions of dollars worth of high end sports cars including Porsche, Aston Martin, Bentley, Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, McLaren sped over the runway of Dubrovnik Airport in an event organised by the Hoefnagels Grand Tour.
The seabed in the harbour of the island of Kolocep was cleaned in a special action organised by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board in May. Divers from the Dubrovnik Diving Club, assisted by volunteers from Kolocep, dragged rubbish from the Adriatic Sea that had collected over the winter months.
The Stradun and the cobbled side streets of the city were packed in May as a combination of locals, cruise ship passengers and tourists drank coffee al fresco, strolled the streets and even dived into the Adriatic Sea.
Famous football player Marcelo Vieira da Silva Júnior or just – Marcelo – spent a break with his family in Dubrovnik in June. It's no surprise that the photo with his wife, taken in the restaurant on the top of Srd with Dubrovnik in the background, got over 300 thousand likes in 2 hours and numerous comments. He also wrote a caption 'Awesome view'.
Ana Rucner welcomed in the first day of summer on the 21st of June with a spectacular concert on the Srd Mountain overlooking Dubrovnik. As the sun rose over the mountains in the distance and Dubrovnik was bathed in sunshine for the first time this summer Rucner along with friends performed a stunning concert.
Dubrovnik marked International Kissing Day in July with a romantic treat on Porporela. The Dubrovnik Tourist Board organised a special treat for lovers in Dubrovnik in one of the most spots in the city. "Today we have come from Great Britain, and we have just walked through this beautiful city, and we came out of curiosity here because we saw something happening. This is fantastic, we're delighted, I kissed my girlfriend and it was a magic spell," commented David a tourist from England.
The 68th Dubrovnik Summer Festival was opened in July in front of the St. Blaise Church in the heart of the city with the raising of the Libertas Flag and the atmospheric “Freedom Hymn.” For the next 47 days Dubrovnik played host to numerous theatrical, ballet, opera, art and cultural events in the biggest and most renowned festival in the region.
This year's millionth passenger at the Dubrovnik Airport was Canadian Cameron Neil Smith, who was welcomed by the representatives of the Airport, the City of Dubrovnik, the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, the Tourist Board and the Municipality of Konavle, who congratulated him and gave him presents this morning in Cilipi.
Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the British Labour Party, has been spotted on his summer holidays in Dubrovnik in August. Looking relaxed and wearing casual the leader of the Labour Party was seen in a Dubrovnik side street. According to reports was enjoying a cycling holiday in Croatia, although as temperatures are around 35 degrees he will do well to avoid the midday sun.
The owner of a $250 million fashion empire, Tommy Hilfiger (66), dropped anchor in Dubrovnik in August. After visiting Greece and Montenegro with his family on his summer Mediterranean cruise he arrived in Cavtat. Hilfiger was on vacation with his wife Dee Ocleppo Hilfiger (50) and his eight-year-old son.
Ten Dubrovnik restaurants were awarded with the Michelin plate and taken their place on the world famous gastro guide of Michelin. The representatives of the Michelin Guide in Croatia, Ivana Verunica the director of Metro wholesale Split and Josip Dujmović the sales manager of Metro, presented the Michelin plaque to Mario Bunda, the head chef of Nautika restaurant, the last in the row of ten similar awards in Dubrovnik.
September saw more than its fair share of cruise crush days with over 7, 000 passengers arriving and causing havoc throughout the whole city. In total in September around 120,000 cruise passengers were expected to disembark on 84 cruise ships.
The Eclipse yacht owned by Roman Abramovich came to the Port of Gruz to fill up on fuel. It seems that around 750 tons were ordered, which is more than a half of the capacity of the fuel tank. The cost – around million euros. The super-long yacht of 163 meters worth 340 million euros was purchased by the Russian billionaire owner of Chelsea FC in 2010.
A touch of magic arrived in Dubrovnik in September as Rupert Grint, famous for his role as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter films, arrived in Dubrovnik for a quick vacation. The English actor was spotted in a number of cafe and restaurants in the city as well as a popular cafe bar in Orebic. He seemed to be more than happy to pose with fans and sign autographs and looked like he was enjoying his time in the city.
The Dubrovnik Foreign Circle (DFC) raised 62,800 kuna for charity at their 8th annual Second Hand Sale, held at the Lazareti complex in early October. All funds raised were donated to three local non-profit organizations which support local residents with health concerns. -Many thanks to everyone who participated in this event, whether as donors, shoppers or volunteers - said club president Christiane Mandukich.
One of the favourite parts of Dubrovnik Good Food Festival is surely Dubrovnik table, that goes across entire length of Stradun. This special event was reserved for the last day of the festival. Numerous Dubrovnik hotels and restaurants, bakers, confectioners, and caterers, as well as winemakers from Konavle and Pelješac presented their knowledge and skills.
- We have introduced the President of the Republic of Croatia with all the problems of the city of Dubrovnik and the program “Respect the City”, where we want to reduce the number of guests from cruise ships. We also brought up the problems with Croatia Airlines and asked for help because of the fact that we believe we are third-rate passengers of that company, and our citizens are unable to buy cheap air tickets - said the Mayor of Dubrovnik, Mato Frankovic, after talks with the Croatian President Kolinda Grabar Kitarović in Dubrovnik in October.
On the occasion of Remembrance for the victims of Vukovar in 1991 on Friday, November 17th candles will be lit in front of the Church of Saint Blaise and along Vukovar Street. The candles are lit in the memory of suffering of the hero city 26 years ago.
Located on the most frequented entrance into the Old City of Dubrovnik hundreds of thousands of people walk passed this iconic tree every day. A systematic inspection of the Plane tree on the Pile Gate in front of the Old City was held in October. The tree surgeons gave the Dubrovnik Plane tree the thumbs up and commented that it is in a good state of health.
The first day of November was mild and warm in Dubrovnik with the sea temperature and the air temperature equalising at 19 degrees.
Well that’s something you don’t see every day – a canon hanging from a helicopter. Hoovering over the Lovrijenac Fortress the Croatian Air Force helicopter slowly but surely lowered a canon down into its new home in December. The canon in question is a replica of a Jeronim Vicenco cannon, which was on Lovrijenac until 1816. The original is in the Military History Museum in Vienna.
The latest episode in the Star Wars franchise “The Last Jedi” hits the screens on December the 14th in Croatia and thanks to a new teaser trailer video released in December we got the first glimpses of Dubrovnik in the sci-fi thriller.
“It’s shocking. I can’t ever remember seeing the harbour like this,” commented a citizen of the Old City of Dubrovnik in December. Gale force southerly winds blew in the Dubrovnik region and brought with them a whole collection of floating waste into the Old City harbour. Far from the normal turquoise blue seas that feature on postcards the Adriatic looks like muddy gravy. Logs, plastic bottles, bamboo, children’s toys and much more is floating in the busy harbour.