Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
The ambitious project of the Tourist Board of the city of Omis with the support of the City of Omis, the Split-Dalmatia County and the Tourist Board of the Split-Dalmatia County has developed over the years into a real tourist spectacle that gathers more than 10,000 visitors in the Port of Omis and in a spectacular way revives the proud history of the city on the Cetina river.
Interestingly, majority of visitors watch this event dressed as pirates thus participate directly in the event itself, which brings more authenticity to the historical spectacle.
This unique cultural and historical event in Croatian and English, takes places from the 17th till the 19th of August. It is the reconstruction of the historic battle of the 13th century between Omis pirates and Venetians. The famous pirates who ruled the coast and islands from the river Cetina to Neretva from 12th to 15th century won many victories at sea.
The event usually begins with a parade through the centre of Omis. The participation of many members of the historic forces armed to the teeth, contributes to the attractiveness of the event. There are the Chivalrous Society Kumpanjija from Blato on the island of Korcula, the Musketeers of Dubrovnik and the Deserters of Kils, who board the old wooden sailing ships and traditional boats and with brave and daring Omis pirates defend the city from the invasion of Venetians.
The whole event is broadcasted live directly to visitors in Croatian and English language.
At the invitation of Theatre Ulysess and its founder Rade Serbedzija the famous Almeida Theatre from London will perform Shakespeare's Richard III with Vanessa Redgrave and Ralph Fiennes in leading roles on Brijuni islands in Istria from the 11th to the 13th of August.
''Rade has invited me for years to come to Brijuni, but I've postponed my visit every time due to my business obligations. Last summer I finally came but only as a visitor. This year I've come back with great joy and it seems that I will come again next summer'', said the famous actor Ralph Fiennes who became world popular after leading roles in Shindler's List (1993) and The English Patient (1996).
Ralph Fiennes to perform in Richard III
From the 11th to the 13th of August he will perform with world famous actress Vanessa Redgrave in the play Richard III directed by Rupert Goold, the artistic director of London's Almeida Theatre.
Even though he is wearing a special athletic tape on his right arm due to his hand injury, Ralph is preparing a spectacle in the Fort Minor. ''On Saturday, after our last performance, I'll play a tennis match with Rade'', announced the actor.
With his colleague Redgrave and the rest of the cast he visited Mali Brijuni. A part of the day he spent working because they had a rehearsal, but after that he couldn't wait to go to a hidden beach and dip into the Adriatic.
Ralph Fiennes and Vanesa Redgrave had a premiere of Richard III in London in June, whilst the performance on Brijuni is one of their first guest performances on their world tour.
Telegraph.co.uk on Almeida Theatre's Richard III with Fiennes and Redgrave wrote:
“In short, this may prove as up-close-and-personal an encounter with these two acting giants in major classical roles as you’re ever going to get. The Almeida is an intense, intimate space: when eyes narrow, when nostrils flare, you can see it. Goold lets the venue supply a lot of the atmospherics, isn’t showy-tricksy with the text. Where his Vegas-set Merchant of Venice flaunted its modish invention, there’s a surprising restraint to this three-hour affair, performed in a mixture of modern and medieval dress; is British theatre’s young Turk mellowing?”
Ralph Fiennes and Rade Serbedzija
Photos - Goran Sebelic / CROPIX
The Edge and Adam Clayton had a blast messing around in the Adriatic in Cavtat, near Dubrovnik, today. The two members of the mega group U2 cruised into the bay of Cavtat on the luxury yacht Cyan after spending time celebrating David Howell Evans, or The Edge’s birthday.
Adam Clayton had already posted a photo of Cavtat onto the official Instagram account of U2 on Monday with the simple message “The night before Edge’s birthday.” It is believed that the U2 duo then sailed to the island of Hvar in Cyan before returning to Cavtat this afternoon.
Clayton waves goodbye to Cyan crew - Photo Tonci Plazibat
When news broke that Edge and Clayton were on holiday in the Dubrovnik region fans of the group waited patiently to meet their heroes. Both Edge and Clayton were more than happy to chat with the group of Croatian fans as well as sign copies of U2 albums.
At 2 o’clock Clayton and his wife Mariana Teixeira de Carvalho bid farewell to the crew of the luxury yacht and headed towards the Dubrovnik Airport. Cyan then continued down the Adriatic coastline towards the luxury resort Porto Montenegro.
Edge celebrated his 55th birthday on Monday the 8th of August in Cavtat and we hope that the band members will have fond memories of their special trip to Croatia.
On the eve of the opening of the Revelin 2016 Festival we caught up with the headliner, and one of the most recognisable DJs in the world, the Dutchman Fedde Le Grand. Fedde is no stranger to the city; in fact he has even played at the Culture Club in Dubrovnik before.
The Dutch DJ performs around two hundred concerts a year all over the world, although he admitted in this candid interview that before the big night in Dubrovnik he has a little stage fright. Tonight, the 11th of August, is the opening night of the Revelin Festival 2016, it will be a wild night in Culture Club with Fedde Le Grand.
“It is not always easy to come back and perform more than once in the same city or club. You feel much better, if in the meantime, you spend some time in the studio and record some new material. You always want the audience to get a good balance between what they expect the biggest hits, and plenty of new things that you are doing. It wouldn’t be nice that the audience make their way out of the club and have the feeling that everything was the same as last time,” commented the Dutch DJ before his Dubrovnik performance.
Fedde is always calm and polite, always happy to speak to the media, however when it comes to work he is dedicated and studious. And this very work ethic has catapulted Fedde to the very top of his profession; he is without doubt one of the most sought after DJs in the world. He travels the world in a private plane, performs in front of thousands of people on a regular basis and gets to visit some amazing countries; however there is another dimension to the jet-set lifestyle.
“In some segments of this business the lifestyle is very glamorous. I have the good fortune that the organizers of festivals take very good care of me. I stay in some great hotels and expensive cars come to pick me up from airports. However people are not always aware of how much I am actually giving up. I almost never get to see my family and my friends have to travel with me or I wouldn’t see them either. This isn’t a job that you only work on the weekends and sleep for the rest of the week. I run a record label and the paperwork that goes with that is very unglamorous and extremely tedious. I go to meetings and have plenty of other obligations around the business. Although I don’t have to go to the recording studio every day, I do, because I have a desire to create new and fresh music. Luckily I am a workaholic so I am quite happy to work hard all day every day,” concluded the Dutch ace.
Through his rich and varied career Fedde has received numerous awards and has worked with some of the biggest names in the business, such as Coldplay, Madonna, Robbie Williams and Fat Boy Slim. However, Fedde admits that, like most musicians, he is terribly nervous when playing a new track on stage for the first time.
“In the studio you are a little isolated, but then comes that moment when all the love, effort and time that you have invested into a new project, it has to be presented to the public. And, of course, they have the privilege to criticize, or simply not to respond to what they hear. And you thought it was awesome! The worst is when the audience doesn’t react at all when they hear a new track for the first time, although thankfully that rarely happens,” concluded Fedde.
Fedde is a self-confessed Dubrovnik fan. He has played in the Culture Club before and over the years has proved to be a great ambassador for the city.
“Whenever I come to Dubrovnik I feel at home. You know, I just can’t describe in words why I'm so in love with this city. At this time of night, and we are talking at 1 o’clock in the morning, the streets are immersed in a strange peace. The city is so quiet and so mysterious at the same time. I'll keep coming back, ever when I am 80 years old,” smiled Fedde. We believe him.
Dubrovnik got the title of the champion of tourism by the national newspapers Vecernji list. They have their tourism patrol from 1975, in which they circle around the touristic towns and places in Croatia.
Vecernji has written:
- The champion of tourism in 2016 is like George Clooney, different and better in everything – and unique. That's the town that makes trends, has Game of Thrones and Star Wars, soon will have Robin Hood... And it will always be like that: the town that everybody knows about and the only one that hits right in the heart.
Dubrovnik Tourist Board is thankful for this kind of recognition, which came while Dubrovnik is having 2millionth stay four days earlier than 2015.
- In the successful tourist Croatia this summer, where Dubrovnik is the most visited tourist destination, standing out with the quality of the offer too, this award really makes us happy and proud - commented the good news Romana Vlasic, the director of Dubrovnik Tourist Board.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Here are our top ten photo reasons why you must visit Dubrovnik.
The crystal clear Adriatic Sea, go on dive in
The unique Dubrovnik City Walls that run unbroken for almost 2 kilometres
Trsteno and its fascinating arboretum, one of the oldest in Europe
Lokrum, the green oasis within a stone’s throw of Dubrovnik
Seafood, fish, anything and everything from the sea, packed with Omega 5
Island-hopping around the Elaphite archipelago
Stone facades everywhere, the architecture of this medieval city will leave you lost for words...so take a photo
Running straight as an arrow through the heart of Dubrovnik, the Stradun is the place to see and be seen
Whiz to the top of the Srd Mountain in under four minutes with the cable car...don’t forget your camera the views are spectacular
In vino veritas, the whites and reds are gorgeous...our tips – for reds try Dingač, for whites try Pošip
Make your own memories in Dubrovnik...and don’t forget to share them with us!
“I want to go where the locals go” - is one of the more popular sentences uttered by travellers to Dubrovnik when inquiring about how to spend their holiday. The problem with Dubrovnik's historical district is that the places where locals go to are becoming less and less – local.
You see, the question posed by our guests isn't “Where do locals eat/drink/have fun/relax?“, it is “How do I avoid tourist traps?“. Guests are wondering about what is authentic, what is not overpriced, and what is generally worth seeing or doing here. In Dubrovnik, as in any other established destination, one can find plenty of overpriced goods and services aimed at tourists, but there are also great places that offer good value for money. However, the real problem here comes with that “authentic” part of the definition. This is turning out to be our Achilles’ heel.
Not everything tied to local culture can be exploited commercially. This is why so many business owners choose to shy away from trying to implement local character into their tourism and hospitality products. Instead they opt for “bells and whistles” over substance, or they simply copy ideas that have worked elsewhere. This is not just lazy, but is in fact the opposite of what promoting your destination really means. In fact, this is a way of diminishing our local culture in general, making it less and less important as it becomes slowly forgotten over time. One day we might wake up with no more local culture...or locals...or culture. We might end up with nothing more than a glorified parking lot where a great city once stood.
It’s not all that bad, though. There still are young, honest working people who recognize the need to re-imagine Dubrovnik and they are doing it. Little by little, we are seeing more interesting spots to go out to, wonderful new restaurants, cool shops, and even some new activities and entertainment festivals that are not only attractive to our foreign guests, but also to us – perpetually sceptic locals. Pretty much all of us have at least one friend or family member who is trying to make a difference. Some have excellent ideas, some only dreams, but there are also those who have already put their financial security on the line and invested their savings or signed for a bank loan in order to make their ideas a reality. Those people deserve our support and help, not just criticism. So, if you care about this city and its people, don't think you need to save it yourself. Not everyone is cut out to start and operate businesses. What you can do is to raise your voice when small businesses and young entrepreneurs need better laws and regulation, you can take an interest in these new businesses and perhaps become their client, and if you have no other options, you can at least promote them on your social networks.
If we, the citizens of Dubrovnik, don't stand together, we will not put up much of a fight when faced with large national and international business interests that care little about what remains after the summer season is over and our guests have flown home.
Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.
Croatian theatre festival Midsummer Scene boasts a large international recognition. After finishing the third season, during which the festival marked the four hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare's death by staging Hamlet, Midsummer Scene is recognized around the world and moves on international guest performances. Last year's success, the play Twelfth Night directed by Helen Tennison, was included in the main repertoire of the Vienna English Theatre in prime Advent period where it will be running daily from 7 November to 22 December.
Vienna's English Theatre is the oldest and most prestigious theatre with a repertoire in English in continental Europe. Since its founding to the present on the stage of this theatre performed Linda Gray, Larry Hagman, Princess Grace of Monaco, Leslie Nielsen, Anthony Quinn, Benedict Cumberbatch and Judi Dench.
Eight members of the cast that have originally played this show at the Fort of St. Lawrence will play it in Vienna too, including Croatian actor with a London address Philip Krenus, who participates in the transfer of production to Vienna with the Festival Producers Darija Mikulandra and Jelena Marzic. Rehearlsals to rebuild part of the show will partly take place in London, again under the auspices of the Croatian Embassy and Ambassador Ivan Grdesic. Set designer Marin Gozze joins the creative team and with the lighting engineer Sasa Mondecar he will try to transfer the charm of the original performances from Lovrijenac to Vienna with visual identity.
After Vienna the play is moving to guest performance on the Bermuda Festival from 23 to 26 January 2017, where they will perform the play at the Earl Cameron Theatre in the centre of Hamilton, capital of Bermuda. Theatre is located in the old complex of City Hall and the Art Centre. For that occasion, Marin Gozze and Sasa Mondecar will also join the creative team.
These guest performances are a big step forward for the Croatian theatre festival and the only English festival in this part of Europe. This is a confirmation of the quality and the start of the spreading of the Midsummer Scene festival, which from the beginning has distinguished international character.