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Saturday, 9 February 2013

187th Samobor Festival (Fašnik) Taking Place

I was originally going to add some really cute and amusing pics I came across from today's "Children's Carnival" that took place at the 30th annual "International Rijeka Carnival", but I already did a post about that just a few days ago Here. There I mentioned  how around this time there are many different carnivals, events and festivals taking place in other Croatian towns and cities.  However, I never really touched upon the medieval town of Samobor before either,  so I figure this would be a good opportunity to introduce the topic of the 187th annual Samobor Fašnik (Festival) and add something about the city itself, at the article below. Firstly, Samobor is an old historical Croatian town, first mentioned as a royal free city in the year 1242.  It's not particularly big, about 38,000 only, but it is a very picturesque town surrounded by beautiful scenery. They do have a professional football team in the 3rd division of the Croatian Football League though.

Jelena Rozga (above) who I posted about earlier HERE performed last night.

Anyway, the images below are just a few pics from the concert last night, nothing special.  Instead of choosing between sifting through pics to add here though, I cheated and added video footage from last years Samobor Festival, it gives a good idea what it's about and saves me lots of time. Sure, there's plenty of the historical stuff, (It's a very historical town, the ruins of Samobor Castle is nearby) re-enactments, museums, galleries, arts, crafts, etc, but so much more too. Concerts, food from the region, (which makes my mouth water in the video. I'm big on the foods topic because I grew up on alot of this stuff)....children's events and parade, more food, rides, zaniness, plays, drinks, costumes, clowns, and more food, etc. (Did I mention there's lots of drinks and food?) There's something for everyone, young and old.

Even though I'm not there, It's still cool to do this post and see the images of what's going on, enjoy it vicariously, share it with world, show the readership maybe something they didn't know about Croatia before. Maybe something they had no clue about before. The whole concept of the town and community getting together and celebrating their heritage and history in various ways, mixing in medieval history and events with new music and events makes for a cool and inviting atmosphere. Something to forget about economics and that it's the month of February. The residents look forward all year to putting on the festival and last night the 30 millionth person to attend the festival was recorded since keeping records.

I like how different towns and cities have annual events like this, where they can showcase their particular area and/or history. This is kind of thing you can find in countries all over Europe, and it helps bring awareness of some places that maybe nobody has ever heard of before. Like I mentioned on my previous "Rijeka Carnival" post, economics and unemployment rates aside, there are plenty of things to make up for it. Events and festivals like this are almost like another Hallowe'en in February across Croatia. (There's no Tim Hortons coffee shops in Samobor unfortunately, they might open one up there in the near future though. I'll keep you updated, you'll have to be stuck with eating Croatian food and songs unfortunately, I'll have a word with the organizers and maybe next time they'll add some world music and gospel-rap) Samobor is also very well known for their desserts like  kremšnita and palacinke. Hopefully the reader checking out this post will at least learn something new about Croatia, about the town of Samobor, and what they do there in February and stuff like that. Much more at the links.....

For more images and information about what goes on at the Samobor festival, click onto the photogalleries Here and Here or at the official Samobor Festival website Here.




More vids at

Scenes from this years opening night. Not as big or popular as the Rijeka Carnival but it's still a pretty good gig. Fun fun fun.

Children's activities and events.

Trying out the local food. (Samobor is also very well known for their local cuisine, wines, hooch and especially for their pastries.)

More foods to sample.

A stroll during the Samobor Festival.

Samobor scenes during Fašnik

Meanwhile in Serbia....

There's even side events going on simultaneously, the local biker club put on the 11th annual "Fašnički Winter Party" with free admission and free food. "Moto klub Fugitives" also takes part of various fund raising charity events throughout the year, stuff like that.

Samobor- A Glimpse of Medieval Croatia



Best time to visit: during the town’s legendary carnival
Don’t leave without trying: Samoborska kremsnita
Be sure to see: Samobor Castle

Samobor is an ancient town located only twenty-five kilometers away from Zagreb. It recently celebrated its 770th birthday, as King Bela IV of Hungary proclaimed its independence in 1242. Medieval to the core, surrounded by astounding nature and history sites, it is among the most popular sites to visit in inland Croatia.

Many Croatian artists retreated to Samobor seeking inspiration and peace of mind, including August Gustav Matos, who called it “One of the most Croatian towns in the world.” The streets of Samobor  are blooming with stores of old crafts, such as herbalists, crystal glaziers, vintners and honey makers. It’s also known for bermet (a strong alcoholic beverage) and mustarda (a piquant sauc – the equivalent of mustard, but made from grapes). These can be obtained here. Samobor is also a home to numerous art galleries, such as Marton, Prica, Lang, Dujmovic and Otvorena.

Like every medieval town,  Samobor features a lot of sacral architecture. Virtually every surrounding hill has a chapel built upon it. The one dedicated to St. Mary is the oldest building in town, considered to have witnessed the settlement’s founding in the 13th century. This chapel is now an internal part of the Franciscan Church of Mary’s Assumption, as it serves as this church’s eighth altar. The Church of St. Anastasia was built in the 17th century and is one of few early baroque constructions in Croatia, while St. Michael’s is at least 500 years old, as it was mentioned in a historical document dating from 1536.

Apart from churches and chapels, Samobor’s urban setting includes a number of 19th century buildings and romantic bridges crossing over Gradna Stream. The town’s tourist board established several walking tours you can follow on your own to discover places such as Samobor Museum (filled with exhibits from the town’s history), Liberation Park (dedicated to Croatian defenders who died in the Croatian War for Independence) or Anindol Promenade (a pretty walkway on the slopes of Tepec Mountain).

One third of the settlement’s territory is covered with dense forest, interspersed with paths and mountaineer’s roads. Samobor thus proves to be a fantastic spot for picnic-goers, as well as those with fishing rods and photo cameras. Songs can be heard in late summer, as residents visit lush vineyards to pick grapes, while winter provides a thick layer of white snow over the surrounding hills. Skis, sleds and snowmen are nothing but expected.

Samobor is known for its large carnival, organized every year in February, when thousands of masks flood the town’s streets. This is also an occasion when fašnik is burned on the main square (fašnik being a huge ragged doll, blamed for every misfortune which happened during the previous year). Another notable event is the Samobor Salami Festival, which takes place in March and April, when dozens of sausage makers have their day in the sun, as do their consumers.

Those willing to try local cuisine have nothing to worry about. The town’s Café Livadic serves the best Samoborske kremsnite, while K Gabreku Restaurant is known nationwide for its palacinke (Croatian crepes) (in wine chateau? Two please!) and other traditional delicacies. Hotel & restaurant Lavica is also a good place to dine and stay.

Samobor’s immediate surroundings are as impressive as the town itself. Spreading towards the Slovenian border lies beautiful Zumberak Nature Park, while atop Tepec hill there’s an abandoned defence tower waiting for its masters. It’s called Samobor’s Old Town, and was constructed in 1270 by supporters of Czech King Otokar. However, it was abandoned in the 18th century and remained as such up to the present day.

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