Lindjo folklore ensemble

Dance to the rhythm of Dubrovnik

With the cry into the night air, the first tunes from the Lijerica, the twist and twirl of the colourful dancers, this is Lindjo.

One of the absolute points on your “must do” list whilst in Dubrovnik is to attend a performance by the folklore ensemble Lindjo. With over fifty years of tradition the Lindjo ensemble is one of the columns of culture on which Dubrovnik is founded.

An explosion of song and dance and the Lindjo begins. The energy is overflowing, the passion incredible and the moves enthralling. The Lijerica plucks away its monotonous tone, the dance leader cries instructions to the circle of dancers, the harmony is outstanding.

Formed in 1965 the Lindjo dance ensemble performs traditional songs and dances from the Dubrovnik region. It is like watching history come to life. Dances passed down from generations, costumes created over hundreds of years and lyrics aimed to shock and amuse. History and traditions respected in a single dance.

The audience around me fall into silence, a silent awe, as the young dancers perform…”they are really unbelievable and so nice to see so many young people dancing,” I hear the English couple next to me.

Traditional dance of Dubrovnik

Dance to the rhythm​ of Dubrovnik

Through the summer months the Lindjo dancers are kept very busy. Apart from performing in the Dubrovnik Summer Festival they also dance three times a week in the Lazaretto complex. They also take this little piece of Dubrovnik on tour all over the world, great ambassadors for the city. They are accompanied by the traditional instrument, the Lijerica, a pear-shaped, three-stringed instrument which is played with a bow. It might look easy to get a tune from, but believe me it isn’t, far from it.

“And I can, thank God, raise my leg high in the air,” echoes out in the Dubrovnik evening sky, the dance leader has a firm grip on his troupe, his booming lyrics continue unabated.

In times when the authenticity of many world destinations is under question the Lindjo performers are without doubt as authentic as the City Walls themselves. To understand the society, the culture and the very spirit of Dubrovnik, the city that you have chosen to holiday in an evening with the Lindjo Folklore Ensemble is an evening that will create memories for a lifetime. This is the soul, the heartbeat of the city in a dance.

The crescendo of applause as the whole ensemble takes a bow is deafening, cries of “bravo” ring around, once again Lindjo has found a new group of fans.

Dubrovnik style Easter eggs

Easter in Dubrovnik – values that live on

“No, don’t break it…it’s beautiful,” I gasped in amazement at the scene in front of me. Easter in Dubrovnik is a time of traditions, a time of family and a time of fresh beginnings. It feels like a new chapter, a page has been turned, and yet the culture of the past is respected. Value is the key word. It is also a great time to visit Dubrovnik; it really feels like you are at the start of something special.

Easter isn’t really just a day, although Easter Sunday is the height of the celebrations, there is a week of events to experience. Which is how I came to be feeling sorry for an egg? One of the many traditions of Easter in Dubrovnik is painted eggs. Now I am not talking about whitewashed eggs in one colour, no far from it, these are tiny masterpieces. Incredibly decorated eggs with pictures, scenes and even messages displayed on them, pure miniature works of art.

Children at school, grandparents at home and even companies produce their own hand-decorated eggs. Some carry messages like, “Bless you this Easter,” and all of them are glorious. After so much time and effort has been put into painting them they are broken, egg on egg in a kind of conker competition. However if you are lucky enough to be in Dubrovnik for the Easter period then it is your job to save a few, what a perfect and unique souvenir. I have a few tucked away.

Easter at the Kazbek, Dubrovnik

Easter atmosphere at Boutique Hotel Kazbek

You have to try some of the delicacies at Easter time, such as the special cake that is made, Pinca, we love it. And don’t be surprised if you see palm decorations everywhere, on Palm Sunday it is traditional to take plaited palm leaves to church. But it isn’t only in church that you’ll see these plaited palm leaves, every home and shop will proudly have palm decorations on show.

Often tourists will ask about the special celebrations and traditions in Dubrovnik for Easter, they are fascinated that these customs are still alive and kicking. The idea of just giving out chocolate Easter eggs still hasn’t invaded Dubrovnik’s culture. And as the weather breaks, the sun stays longer in the blue sky and the nature can almost be heard awakening it is truly an inspirational time to visit Dubrovnik.

Discover the beauties and the values that make Dubrovnik a unique city to be in, and these very values are highlighted the most at Easter time. Make your own Easter memories in Dubrovnik…and save a few eggs as a memento.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Discover the beauties and the values that make Dubrovnik a unique city to be in

St. Blaise's Procession through Dubrovnik Old City

Feel the soul of Dubrovnik on the Day of Saint Blaise

Christmas, Easter, New Year…yes they are all important and rightly have their place on the Dubrovnik calendar. However, there is one day in Dubrovnik that puts all these in the shadow, the Day of St. Blaise. To start to explain the significance of St. Blaise for Dubrovnik and its citizens would…well let’s just say that you could fill a novel. Here is a brief story on why the people of Dubrovnik love their patron saint. You will often hear that St. Blaise, or St. Vlaho as he is locally known, is known as the protector of Dubrovnik, there is a reason behind that.

Dubrovnik by night, st. Blaise church

St. Blaise church in Dubrovnik Old City

The year was 971 and Venetian war galleons had dropped anchor near Dubrovnik and requested to stock up their ships with water and supplies. It looked harmless but was the cover for a cunning plan to capture the city. The Venetians used the opportunity to spy on the city’s defences for an upcoming attack. This is where the hero of the story, St. Blaise, enters. Realising the Venetians plan St. Blaise warned the priests of St. Stephens Church who rang their bells to alert the city of the attack. The plan, almost a Trojan Horse style plan, had failed, Dubrovnik was a still a free independent state. Since that time the day of St. Blaise, the 3rd of February, has been marked in Dubrovnik, to remember the saint who saved the city.

St. Blaise procession takes place through streets of Dubrovnik Old City, Croatia

St. Blaise Feast

To be in Dubrovnik for the Day of St. Blaise is indeed an honour. It is a time that Dubrovnik and its citizens treasure traditions and join together in a spirit of celebration. Banners, flags, sacral decorations and costumes fill the Old City, Dubrovnik pulls out all the stops when the Day of St. Blaise come around. It is a time that you can feel the true soul of the city. Once you have experienced on the Day of St. Blaise you will never look at Dubrovnik with the same eyes ever again. Traditional meals are served and whole families make the pilgrimage to the Stradun in the heart of the Old City dressed in their “Sunday best,” this is a time to show respect to Dubrovnik’s protector.

Although it is not a national state holiday it certainly is a holiday in Dubrovnik, and rightly so. It is truly a privilege to be in Dubrovnik on the 3rd of February, away from the summer sunshine, and yet bathed in a warm glow.

 

St. Blaise church, Dubrovnik Old City

Stained glass windows on St. Blaise church (photo source Flickr

 

Aerial Dubrovnik

A memento of your time in Dubrovnik – the perfect souvenir

Wherever you visit a foreign destination, especially for the first time, a keepsake of your visit in the form of a souvenir is a must. Faced with a plethora of choices, and yet wanting to find that certain special memory of Dubrovnik, souvenir hunting is no easy matter. You might be looking for the right gift for a loved one or a suitable memento to bring back happy memories of your holiday. Whatever your reason it is always a dilemma, and of course you want to find something that is authentic and representative of Dubrovnik…now the choice becomes even harder. Dubrovnik and Croatia have many traditional souvenirs that are of a high quality and indigenous to the area. To help you along the way we have searched through the current souvenir offer and have come up with our list of recommendations…here they are.

Fine local wines

Croatian wines certainly belong to some of the best wines in the world. Croatia boasts more than 300 geographically-defined wine regions which produce 67 percent white, 32 percent red and the remaining 1 percent rose wines. Why not pick up a local bottle of fine wine as a great souvenir. Famous wines include Dingac and Postup from the Peljesac Peninsula, then there are Posip and Grk from Korcula; Marastina from the island of Lastovo or a nice Malvasija Dubrovacka from Konavle.

Red and white wine

Wines of Dubrovnik region

Embroidery from Konavle  

The embroidery from Konavle is certainly an authentic gift from this region. It is a skill and an art that has been handed down from generation to generation; there is love and history in this embroidery. The design is strictly symmetric and tends to feature red, black, yellow and dark green colours, in fact these colours are all natural, they are dyed using the land and all it offers. Why not take a trip out to Konavle to find the perfect piece, a great day out and a unique souvenir.

Traditional souvenirs

Traditional Konavle embroidery

Olive oil

The growth of the region, the successes and battles over the centuries has all been closing connected to the olive tree. Olive oil is quite simply a vital part of all meals in Dubrovnik, a meal without wine and olive oil just isn’t a meal! From larger concerns to small family businesses there are plenty of choices. And once you have tasted olive oil from Dubrovnik there is no going back.

Sweet delights

Candied almonds, candied orange peel and quince cheese are quite possibly three sweet delights that you have never come across before, they are however quintessentially Dubrovnik! All are handmade and all have their special place on the tables of Dubrovnik during special occasions. You can find decorative arrangements of these delicacies in better souvenir shops of the city. And as they keep well you can plan your own “Dubrovnik Christmas” with an array of traditional sweets.

Sweet delight from Croatia

Candied orange peels

Something special for the culture vultures

A piece of fine art by a local artist, there are many interesting art galleries inside the ancient city walls. Or a hand crafted stone article from the few remaining stone masons in the Dubrovnik region…although nothing to heavy, you’ll have to carry it home. Or maybe a delicate piece of jewellery from one of the goldsmiths…we would recommend earrings from Konavle. There is something for everyone, just make sure that it is authentic.

These are a few of our recommendations, we haven’t included all of the souvenirs from Dubrovnik just the ones that are close to our hearts. If you want to know which stores offer authentic Dubrovnik souvenirs then look for the sign “Authentic Croatian” on the shop window.

Hotel Kazbek wine cellar

Wines of the Dubrovnik region – bottled poetry

A day without wine is like a day without sunshine. The story of wine in Dubrovnik and the surrounding regions is one very much entwined with the passage of the society, the development of the economy and the fortunes of the civilisation.

The Republic of Dubrovnik placed great importance on the production and distribution of wine. As early as 1272 the Statute of the city included an amazing 56 laws relating to growing grapes and wine making. One such law read that the sale of wine in open-air markets was prohibited; another stated that only 27 taverns inside the historic city walls were given a licence to sell wine. The production and export of wine were of high importance for the economy of the then Dubrovnik Republic, which flourished in the 16th and 17th centuries. Wine has continued to flow through Dubrovnik to this day; it is an integral part of most meals, a source of celebration and an accompaniment to friends and family.

Try a glass of red in Dubrovnik

Red and white wines of Dubrovnik

With the soaring mountains plummeting down to the turquoise Adriatic Sea combined with the bucket loads of annual sunshine it is probably hardly surprising that the Dubrovnik region excelled with its wine production. You need a few conditions in your favour to produce top quality wines. Sunshine, well we have plenty of that, south facing slopes, another box ticked, poor soil, because vines like to struggle and lots of tender loving care. It also helps if you have an indigenous grape variety, just to give you the upper hand on the competition. Out of 1200 world-known grape varieties one hundred are grown in Croatia, the majority of which are indigenous. Yes, Dubrovnik even has its own indigenous grapes; we have all the boxes ticked.

On the red side we have the renowned Plavac Mali, or literally translated into English “small blue.” It makes some of the grandmasters of the region. Take a trip across the Pelješac Peninsular and you’ll be greeted with a cornucopia of vineyards, many specializing in the heavy red wines born from the Plavac Mali. Every year this picturesque peninsular produces around 8 million litres of wine…we haven’t tried them all…yet!

And closer to Dubrovnik is the stunning countryside of Konavle, a province that supplied the tables of the aristocracy of the Republic in times gone by. Once again this region is blessed with all the attributes for glorious grape production. And the king of Konavle is the white grape variety Malvasija Dubrovacka. One of the oldest grape varieties in the world the Malvasija Dubrovacka was mentioned indeed cherished, by the Republic of Dubrovnik, so much so that it was mentioned in 14th century documents. Fresh and sweet the Malvasija wines tend to be dessert wines with honey tones and full-bodied aromas. Why not start your lunch with a Plavac Mali red and enjoy your dessert with a typical golden Malvasija.

In Dubrovnik you will be spoilt for choice, take your time, ask for assistance, and discover the regions of Dubrovnik and how their contrasts match the diversity of the wines. And never forget a day without wine is like a day without sunshine…who would want to live without sunshine!

Wines of Croatia

Plavac Mali in Dubrovnik

Celenga Apartments – World’s Second Best

We’ve just been informed that our Celenga Apartments are ranked as World’s Second-Best hotel and Europe’s number one by Expedia.com travellers.

Read more on this LINK

Congratulations to our entire Pervanovo team.

SAM_0095MSK_0173MSK_0788 2MSK_0459ph3penth (21) 2

Discovering Dubrovnik region

One of the activities not to be missed during your stay in Dubrovnik is to discover Elafite islands. It is a group of 13 islands and islets in Dubrovnik surrounding of which only 3 are inhabited.

Amazingly intact nature, crystal clear sea, picturesque villages, hidden bays, incredible sunsets – the photos below show it all.

16424185162IMG-20130727-00048IMG_2206FullSizeRender5 - Speed boat_IGP0424_IGP0446