Croatia / Dubrovnik / Srebreno
Croatia is at the same time a Central European, Mediterranean and Balkan country, and owing to both its geographical position and to its turbulent history, it is a genuine European cultural gem. Croats came to the Adriatic Sea fourteen centuries ago. Originally a Slavic people, they founded a new homeland where they met the Illyrians, the Romans and Greek colonists. The tradition and culture of these ancient people left significant traces in the history of our country. For many centuries, Croatia was surrounded and influenced by different cultures – Italian, German, Hungarian, and was partly exposed to Oriental influences through several centuries of Turkish presence in the neighbourhood.
With nine of its cultural phenomena Croatia has become the country with the most protected non-tangible heritage in the Europe. On the other hand, seven cultural, historical and natural beauties have been included on the UNESCO list of the world monumental heritage: the Palace of Diocletian in Split, the Euphrasius Basilica in Poreč, the Plitvice Lakes, the Romanesque town of Trogir, the Old Town of Dubrovnik, the Šibenik Cathedral and the Starogradsko Polje on the island of Hvar.
Croatia has seven state universities, the oldest and the largest being the University of Zagreb (founded in 1669), as well as numerous public institutes, among which the largest and most important, with its more than 500 scientists, is the Ruđer Bošković Institute, located in Zagreb. Educated people, men of letters and science in the spirit of their times first emerged in the Middle Ages in the Croatian towns along the Adriatic coast, under the influence of Venice and the Italian Renaissance. Of many towns in that age, one stands out in particular – the jewel of the Mediterranean, the city of Dubrovnik, which for many centuries was known as the Republic of Dubrovnik. The poet Marko Marulić of Split was a central figure of the period. His epic poem Judith (Judita), written in Croatian, marks the birth of the Croatian literature. Herman Dalmatin (astronomy, translation of important Arabic texts), active in Spain and France at the beginning of the twelfth century, is considered to be our first scientist. Ivan Česmički-Pannonius (a poet with interest in astronomy and astrology), Pietro Buono (a theoretical alchemist in Trogir), Gjin Gazulli-Gazulus (an astrologist, in Dubrovnik) also contributed to the sciences in the medieval period. In the seventeenth century Croatia gave several great scientists, such as Marin Getaldić (optics, in Dubrovnik), Marko Antun De Dominis (theory of the rainbow, the telescope, in Split) and Faust Vrančić (a famous constructor and engineer, in Šibenik and Padua).
Since 1 April 2013, the Republic of Croatia has been applying the European Union’s Common Visa Policy. All EU/EEA citizens can enter Croatia with a valid ID or passport. According to the decision of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, all aliens who are holders of valid Schengen documents, as well as national visas and residence permits of Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Romania do not require an additional (Croatian) visa for Croatia. Important official information on visa issues is given at the website of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affaires of the Republic of Croatia. For bona fide participants who need visa to enter Croatia, the Organizing Committee of the ISSFIT-15 will provide the necessary attestation to facilitate the application process. Any problems during the visa application process, after all documentation has been provided, can be reported to the Organizing Committee of the ISSFIT-15 for further assistance. Letter of invitation should be requested via MyISSFIT15. Further assistance can be requested by sending the email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The health care in Croatia, as well as the drugs supply is generally up to the western standards. There are no threats regarding the infectious diseases. The HIV/AIDS rate is among the lowest in EU.
The Organizing Committee of the ISSFIT-15 will make every effort to assist any participant in health care issues. However, we cannot pledge ourselves to any financial or legal consequence related to health accidents of any individual participant of the ISSFIT-15. To be on the safe side, please think of the health insurance before your trip. There are many insurance companies which provide suitable travel health policies valid in Croatia. If you opt for this, keep in mind that you might pay the medical services in Croatia, and get reimbursed upon your return.
Dubrovnik, the Pearl of Adriatic, embraced with ancient medieval stone walls and towers, located at the foot of the Mount Srđ and surrounded by the incredibly pristine waters of the mythic Adriatic Sea, is Croatia’s most popular tourist destination, and one of the shining tourist and cultural stars of the European Union. With more than 1000 years of history reflected in every stone of this genuinely breathtaking place, Dubrovnik provides a trip through the time to each of its visitors. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, Dubrovnik features a rich gastronomical and cultural scene.
Dubrovnik is administrative center of Dubrovnik-Neretva County, as well as one of the most famous tourist destinations on the Mediterranean. Located at the foot of the Mt Srđ and surrounded by the incredibly pristine waters of the calm Adriatic Sea. The Pelješac Bridge connects the city with the rest of the country despite its location in an exclave. The city is surrounded by unique medieval City Walls, which have been preserved in their original form and are open to visitors as the main attraction of the city. The 12th-century walls, which run uninterrupted for almost 2 km around the city encircle the limestone-blanketed small streets and landmarks of Old Town. There used to be four gates leading into the city of Dubrovnik: the Pile Gate, The Ploce Gate, the Peskarija Gate and the Ponta Gate. The walls of Dubrovnik have also been a popular filming location for the fictional city of King’s Landing in the most well-known HBO production, Game of Thrones.
Stroll through Pile Gate, one of three through-the-walls entrances, and stop at Onofrio’s Fountain, a large circular structure with faucets that served as the terminus for the 12-kilometer aqueduct that brought drinking water into Dubrovnik. Walk over to the nearby medieval Franciscan monastery, which is home to one of Europe’s oldest still-operational pharmacies, Friars Minor Pharmacy, which dates back to 1317. While walking down the Stradun, the main pedestrian thoroughfare of the Old Town, make a stop at the Renaissance-era Sponza Palace, which now houses the state archives. Saint Blaise is the patron saint of Dubrovnik, thus it’s difficult to miss his statues throughout the city and its surrounding. On the other hand, it is and unquestionable fact that Dubrovnik created and constructed the first quarantine and one of the first sewage systems in the world. When looking around the Old Town, it is hard not to notice the monumentality of the Ravelin, Lovrijenac, St John and Bokar forts, as well as interwoven network of protected monuments, sacred buildings, museums, and natural attractions that form the backbone of the world’s exceptional material and nonmaterial heritage.
The natural beauty surrounding Dubrovnik is worth seeing. Whether you visit the Trsteno Arboretum, a historical country estate with gardens, old olive groves and areas under natural vegetation spread over an area of 28 hectares, 25 km west of Dubrovnik, or the seaside monastery and botanic garden at Lokrum islet or just the shops, restaurants, and the most famous hotels at Lapad Peninsula, don’t forget to sample the region’s excellent gastronomy. A few days stay in Dubrovnik is certainly not enough time to visit the wonderful places and discover all the possibilities that this city has to offer, so you should visit it again. Who knows, maybe the list will include hidden caves on the Elaphite islands, the river Ombla (one of the shortest rivers in the world) near the 5 km long fjord Rijeka Dubrovačka or the tiny towns and small villages on the island of Šipan.