Questions, comments or suggestions? email me at: croatianicitystuff@gmail.com
Don't miss out a chance to win in our monthly "Croatianicity" t-shirt draw!
As well as our monthly Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic fridge magnet give away!

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The 2016-17 Zagreb Holiday Fair Markets & Advent Winter Solstice Festivities Are Underway







From November 26th to January 8th the capital city of Zagreb will celebrate the annual Winter Solstice Advent & Market Fair festivities, (aka Hibernal solstice/Midwinter), a tradition with origins from at least medieval times.





Firstly I should make it clear that this is not any sort of tourism post, just a quick repost from last year for the benefit of the reader because it's interesting and good to know, and so I don't have to type or search for images, and because it's sort of a continuation of my previous post because it's all about continuing culture, progress and civilization. Coincidentally, this holiday season this event was once again voted 1st in the category of Best Christmas Market from among dozens of European cities. I don't particularly care much or follow various best or top whatever lists because most of them are bullshit anyway and mainly just used for television show filler-chatter between the Hollywood celeb gossip news and scandals gossip. (Jennifer Aniston the most beautiful and sexiest woman of all time now? really? well how about that? If they say so then it must be true) However this one was based on the votes of visitors, and besides there are worse things and lists to be voted at the top of these days I think. Just a few of the other Christmas Markets cities that were in the voting included Strasbourg, Lille, Colmar, Metz, Tallinn, Vilnius, Prague, Bratislava, Budapest, Brussels, Stockholm, Helsinki, Reykavik, Manchester, Aachen, Dresden, Berlin, Vienna, Graz and a number of others, it's traditional and a very popular year ending Winter Solstice holiday event for the countries involved.




A common scene during this time of year, a few of the other Christmas Advent Holiday Markets that took place again this year.





Like I said before, these holiday market/fair winter solstice traditions started in medieval times, and many of the traditions are from even well over 2,500 years ago, from pagan times well before the foreign Abrahamic religions and their offshoot cults and sects from the middle east appeared. (just like many folk Easter customs/characters, today's Djed Mraz/Djed Božićnjak/Santa Claus is actually originally the personification of a number of pagan ideas and popular folk characters from way back when we used to be located more north and known as the Veneti/Venedi/Venethi and even by other names, a sort of travelling magician during this time of year). They were temporarily interrupted at times during the peak Islamic and Serb Jihads of the Ottoman empire into Europe centuries ago, but continued again after their defeat when the Croatian crown lands were still poltically within the Habsburg monarchy and then Austria-Hungary. These days it's popular again in Croatia, as well as other former eastern bloc nations that discarded communism after free elections in 1990-91, although the festivities didn't really take off again until after 1995, as Serbs forces and Serb church supported paramilitaries were jubilantly bombing and shelling all kinds of markets throughout the whole year in many places up till then, and these days still celebrate them. (these and similar types of events were especially strictly forbidden and considered degenerate by the former Ex-Yugoslav communist state leadership and their Serb church and nationalist allies because it promoted a peoples history and culture before bullshit communism garbage, as well as state sponsored secret police and before the commie history and commie lingo terms were invented, but the lying commies are gone and dropping like flies now, just a few lingering deaf ones left who didn't  hear the death knell and they can go suck subversive one-worlder utopianist hairy communist camel ass anyway I say, (or just lead the cockroaches and other insects and vermin to their blissful promised land instead)...pass the cake and wine) And of course Djed Mraz (aka Grandfather Frost, Djed Božićnjak/Grandfather Christmas ie: Santa Claus) and his elves will be around giving all the rosy nosed and cheeked children visions of magical Christmas plum jam filled palačinke, sugar sprinked krafne, kolači, keksi and promises of an exciting new year, and probably new mittens and hats.




Also worth noting before continuing, is that the Croatian Red Nosed Clown Doctors will definitely still be spreading the holiday merriment for the less fortunate kids in the hospitals who can't enjoy the festivities in person, good to know. (More information about them at the link)





Of course there's plenty of the usual modern stuff to do and malls to shop at, however this is the time to experience the more rare side of the city, you know, spending time out in the open like they did before hoverboards, Pokemom, gender reassignments, selfie sticks, phone pixel-counting, fentanyl, mall/coffee shops shootings, crackhouse/meth labs and Uber became all the rage and the top of everyone's lists, as in actual real chestnuts roasting, festive baked goods and desserts, various awesome pork and smoked ham/bacons, sausages and other meats and drinks, (beers, wines, liquors, see this interesting related drinks post about another world list), historical reenactments and dressed entertainment, horse and carriage rides with actual real horses, that kind of stuff. Also, this year they added 10 more events throughout the Gornji Grad–Medveščak medieval core section so there will be plenty of things to see and do. There are actually similar holiday festivities going on in the other Croatian cities and towns also, but this one has lately become especially popular during the holiday and new year season, so it was worth mentioning again.

(also btw, Game of Thrones is back in Croatia filming for season 7, that's pretty cool holiday-ish news too. I'll do a post eventually when more pics and video becomes available)


More information about this holiday event at www.adventzagreb.com and www.infozagreb.hr and the other links or just Google around.




www.jutarnji.hr/life/advent-zagreb

licegrada.hr

www.facebook.com/Advent-u-Zagrebu

www.infozagreb.hr

www.adventzagreb.com

www.europeanbestdestinations.com/christmas-markets

Previous posts: 1.3-million-bulbs-used-in

farm-near-zagreb-lit-up-for-holidays

santa-clause-bikers-dubrovnik-rafters-windsurfing

ice-rink-opens-dubrovnik

xmas-advent-zagreb-2015-to-be-extended

zagreb-cafe-opens-smallest-ice-rink-in-europe

photos-of-day-outdoor-skating-zagreb





And Just What The Heck Is An "Advent In Zagreb" & "Holiday Market Fair" Anyway?.....





Advent in Zagreb 2014, more information and images HERE.





I was just browsing around the newly designed croatia.hr tourism site because I was curious about what they did with it besides changing the official slogan recently, just for curiousity's sake (I must say I like what they did so far though, they included more medieval castles, fortresses, mansions and events and winter scenes and events which they didn't really do all that much of before, example) and that's how I came across and was reminded of this annual event again)






What is Advent in Zagreb you may wonder? What's it all about? Well, like in a number of other cities and towns in Croatia also, and in other European cities, it's when the coming new year holiday season kicks into high gear. These holiday market/fair winter solstice traditions started in medieval times, and many of the traditions are from even well over 2,500 years ago, from pagan times well before the foreign Abrahamic religions and their offshoot cults and sects from the middle east appeared. They were temporarily interrupted at times during the peak Islamic and Serb Jihads of the Ottoman empire into Europe centuries ago, but continued again after their defeat when the Croatian crown lands were still poltically within the Habsburg monarchy and then Austria-Hungary. These days it's popular again in Croatia, as well as other former eastern bloc nations that discarded communism after free elections in 1990-91, although they didn't really take off again until after 1995 as Serbs forces and Serb church supported paramilitaries were jubilantly bombing and shelling all kinds of markets in many places throughout the whole year up till then, and these days still celebrate them. (these and similar types of events were especially strictly forbidden and considered degenerate by the former Ex-Yugoslav communist state leadership and their Serb church and nationalist allies because it promoted a peoples history and culture before bullshit communism garbage, as well as state sponsored secret police and before the commie history and commie lingo terms were invented, but the lying commies are gone and dropping like flies now, just a few lingering deaf ones left who can't hear the death knell and they can go suck subversive one-worlder utopianist hairy communist camel ass anyway I say, (or just lead the cockroaches and other insects and vermin to their blissful promised land instead)...pass the cake and wine) And of course Djed Mraz (aka Grandfather Frost, Djed Božićnjak/Grandfather Christmas ie: Santa Claus) and his elves will be around giving all the rosy nosed and cheeked children visions of magical Christmas plum jam filled palačinke, sugar sprinked krafne, kolači, keksi and promises of an exciting new year, and probably new mittens and hats.

This is the time of year when the city of Zagreb turns into a magical pixie dust filled land of wonder and magical awe, sleigh bells, delicacies and music just before the holidays and new year. With the coming of the holidays lots of stalls are set up at different locations throughout the city, the whole city downtown core and old medieval nucleus section gets lit up and decorated. Lots of decorated trees, streets and fountains, but that's not all, that's just the beginning.





Djed Mraz and his elves at the Ice Park during the Zagreb Advent Christmas Market Fair (Croatian: Advent i božićni sajmovi u Zagrebu)






Basically, starting from around November 28th, (and now until Jan 8th instead of just New Year's Eve) there will be tons of events also taking place. All kinds of free food festivals, music concerts (traditional and modern acts), fashion shows, various themed tours, (ghost tours, historical/medieval tours, museum and art gallery holiday events, etc)











Then there will be more sampling of wines, beers, soups, sausages, stews, meats, desserts (lots and lots o' pastries and desserts for sure) and other gastronomy related events, arts and crafts, the evening streets become filled with shoppers, the hungry, with the merry and those who are just curious, people visiting art galleries, theatres, museums, restaurants, sporting events and film festivals, then of course also outdoor ice skating, the nearby skiing events, (specifically the Zagreb Snow Queen FIS Ski World Cup, and don't worry there will more food, music and entertainment events there also) as well as even various children's events and activities. On the weekends all the city trams and buses are free throughout the whole city during the 40 days.











There is also historical re-enactments, horse and carriage rides, lights and fireworks, carolling and various other performances. Just like in the markets of the other European cities, there 's plenty of brightly decorated huts and stalls selling traditional handicrafts: glassware, jewellery, embroidered lace, wooden toys, metalware, ceramics, scented candles, Christmas tree ornaments, handmade hats, gloves and scarves, puppets and dolls dressed in traditional costumes, and lots of other things related to the holiday season, as well as plenty of entertainment, foods and drinks to try out. Basically 40 days of transporting those in attendance back to the 18th and 19th century times like you just stepped into a classic novel or Disney cartoon. (which reminds me, see recent disney-on-ice-makes-another-stop-in-zagreb post)





Also don't forget your skates if you're going to be in the area, more info HERE.




Just for the heck of it, from a previous photos-of-day-outdoor-skating post, here's a cool rare photo from 1892 of the above Ice Park location today, viewed from the other side with the main train station in the background. 





Yep, the heat and sticky summer days are gone and so Zagreb during this time of year then quite literally transforms into a magical land, a dreamy chimes, candles, decorated trees and floating lanterns wintry kingdom of neverland and land of evermore, but which it really is because it's real. You'll actually come across similar scenes and events in many other cities, towns and municipalities in Croatia during this time of year, but since Zagreb is the capital and largest city, it's the most well known one.










Also, I noticed on some of the local ethnic television channels and programs that plenty of other countries in Europe have similar holiday and new year events in their capital cities also, so I'm not saying that this is the only one or best one, it's just the Croatian version, sometimes they even have local smaller versions take place in their ethnic communities around here. So you'll actually see similar holiday scenes and Advent Christmas Markets like this Advent in Zagreb going on in other cities in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Switzerland, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Slovenia, Italy, Spain, France and other countries.












It's basically all about celebrating the holidays and welcoming the new year in traditional ways like they did centuries ago, but also including modern day motifs, entertainment and events. And like I said, there's similar markets and fairs going on in the other cities and towns also, in Rijeka, Split, Osijek, Varaždīn, Karlovac, Vukovar, Dubrovnik, Zadar, all over the place. It's a jingly-jangly market vortex of merriment, enterainment, and foods and drinks basically.















There, that briefly just about sums it up, you can view and find out more HERE. The below short videos I came across pretty well explains also. 


More information at the official website: www.adventzagreb.com





Scenes from Advent in Zagreb 2014.



(WARNING: there are lots of jingle bells in the next few videos, they're not my videos so don't blame me). Advent festivities on the Main Square.




Advent on Zrinjevac.




Ice Park skating at King Tomislav Square during Advent.




Advent at EU Square in Zagreb.



Advent at the Zagreb Funicular near downtown.



Another recently made Zagreb Advent highlight video.






(Update: some cool related information that came out a month after doing this post, Zagreb was actually chosen as the Best Christmas Market in Europe by voting travellers. The Croatian capital was chosen from over 20 other nominated cities including London, Vienna, Berlin, Stockholm, Strasbourg, Brussels, Manchester, Nürnberg and others. A total of 101,703 votes from 176 countries were received. This is good to know because it just goes to show you that travellers appreciate efforts by the various cities to bring holiday magic at this time of year. See www.europeanbestdestinations.com for more information)




And lastly as an extra bonus, tipTravel magazine is a Croatian online travel magazine full of interesting features, travel ideas and stories from destinations in Croatia and even other places around the world. This latest edition will feature Winter in Croatia as the main topic, as well as stories on the Lucerne region in Switzerland, winter in Austria and Slovenia, tourism trends (Green travel trend), and many other topics. Just click onto issuu.com/tiptm/docs/tiptravelmagazine to check it out for free.





Sunday, 4 December 2016

Photos Of The Day Update: Kiowa Warrior Helicopters Arrival To Croatia Completed &...25th Croatian Navy Anniversary (+Video)







The last 11 of the 16 acquired Kiowa OH-58D Warrior Helicopters arrived at the Zemunik Air Base 93rd Combat Helicopter and Helicopter Training Squadron near Zadar yesterday morning. Three Kiowa simulators and a spare parts and armament package was also included.





This is some blessed good news on a Sunday morning worth throwing in here quickly I think. Just like an early Winter Solstice holiday present in a way, a magical feel good ending and completion of the topic and story just like that old Jimmy Stewart movie, but even better and more heartwarming because it's more like actual real angels you can see and touch sent from Djed Mraz (aka Grandfather Frost, Djed Božićnjak/Grandfather Christmas ie: Santa Claus) that will be protecting the presents and toys and people below and across the land (reminds me of when I found the Batman and Batcopter under the tree while a kid), as the last 11 of the recently acquired 16 Kiowa -OH- 58D Warrior Helicopters arrived and were unloaded in the early morning hours yesterday at Zemunik Air Base just outside the city of Zadar. (grounds of Zadar Airport). Really good news and just so jingly-bell holiday-ish merriment, an addition that will supplement current ground forces capabilities and future planned additions, but most importantly help ensure defence preparedeness and the staus quo, Croatia and that part of Europe, and even the whole world is a safer place now. (you won't even find an in-depth news report like this at Janes Defence Weekly)

Probably, or at least they should anyway, have helicopters hanging along with all the other season's decorations at the Zagreb Advent festivities, and at the Božić Advent masked balls, medieval cake, keksi & wine sleigh rides and holiday carnivals in Rijeka, Osijek, Karlovac,Varaždīn, Split, Dubrovnik, and in the other cities too. Floating and sparkly angel helicopters putting magical twinkles in the children's eyes and a gleam upon their rosy cheeks and nose, Heck, have even Djed Mraz arriving to his special events in one, 'tis the season after all...whooosh...zooom...whiiirl...look there goes Djed Mraz back to the North Pole children, but don't worry he'll be back...wow, what a magical sight that would be.

To save time from typing, below is just some excerpts from a previous croatia-to-accept-16-oh-58d-kiowas post which pretty well explains it all, fire up the yule log and you can read while eating some cake and sipping your eggnog.....




These Kiowa Warriors are to replace the Mil Mi-24 “Hind” attack helicopters that the Croatian Air Force already retired in 2002. They're flown by a crew of two and are equipped with, among other things, high-resolution cameras, lasers for marking targets, night vision and for when there's bad visibility. They're also armed with anti-tank and anti-aircraft guns and machine guns, the OH-58Ds will normally operate with speeds of about 110 knots (127 mph or 204 kmh) and have a range of 160 miles (555 km). Airborne for 2 hours at a time, the Kiowa Warriors can be armed on two points, one on each side of the chopper, with either a .50 or 12.7 mm machine gun, a LAU-68 rocket launcher for up to seven Hydra 70 rockets or 2 AGM-114 Hellfire missiles. Sources say that Croatia will also order the Hellfire anti-tank missiles along with this order, with estimates running from 160 to 500 Hellfires during the first order (I hope they also throw in some variable yield nuclear tipped missiles, 0.3, 5 or 1.7 kilotons would be good enough I think). They can also be used for search and rescue and other emergencies if required.

Apart from the Kiowa Warrior deal Croatia also hopes to be able to sell the remaining 12 to 14 Mil Mi-8-MTV transport helicopters flown by 93 Air Base Helicopter Transport Squadron out of the Divulje Barracks in Split, to free funds for the acquisition of 12 to 15 Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, which would then be added to this OH-58D fleet. Various sources say that a deal may be worked out where all the Croatian Mil Mi-8-MTV's could be given at no charge to Ukraine in exchange for a large discount deal on the Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk's.




 Early morning unloading yesterday at the 93rd Air Force Base Zemunik near Zadar Airport. Three Kiowa simulators and a spare parts and armament package was also included.









This is a great strategic addition to the Croatian Armed Forces, and this helicopter fleet will integrate with the current ground forces for a much more efficient and powerful mobile reaction force, especially with the recently acquired PzH 2000 HowitzersPatria AMV's, the current upgraded Mil Mi-8 and Mil-Mi-17 helicopters fleet and the newly upgraded and modernized MiG-21's and AN/FPS-117 Radar network across the country. (and the recently acquired various class MRAP armoured vehicles which were also donated) You can't go wrong with almost free either, and these flying harbingers of justice and freedom will be used efficiently also. It makes much more sense for them being in the Croatian Air Force than just gathering dust or just joyriding in Arizona and New Mexico. (Quite simply, you can't put a price on or not donate equipment when it comes to saving progress, freedom and civilization from civilization destroying subversives). Sure maybe a couple of them may have to be used down the road by the Croatian Army contingent in Afghanistan, but most will be based in Croatia and used exclusively as part of various joint military exercises or in a state of ready preparedness for any situation where they may be needed. (The Croatian Defence Ministry said recently that it had begun to set up a joint special air force with Slovenia, Hungary and Bulgaria, sponsored by NATO’s Special Operations Headquarters, a sort of regional highly trained elite quick reaction special ops force on top of regular Nato duties, as well as already being a member of Central European Nations Cooperation on Peacekeeping (CENCOOP), together with Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Switzerland, so maybe for those missions too)




The first 5 Kiowa helicopters that already arrived this past August.






Also, Croatia without a doubt deserves them, and this is why they had first choice on which ones to choose, first dibs not just because, just because they're in Nato, but because for years now they have been part of numerous international missions in Afghanistan and elsewhere and are an extremely strategic EU and Nato member nation and source of Croatian food and drinks. After all, there are numerous threats these days all around you, you see it on the news every day and even around you. Every time you turn on the television it's chaos and killings and kooks all over the place. All kinds of terrorists, extremists, televangelists, weird religious beliefs and creeds and just plain pointless irrational specimens migrating and hanging around all over the place. That's without even getting into what's directly going on in the Middle East and Africa right now at this very moment. These threats to security and civilization are coming from numerous sources and spreading like a virus, an absurd virus of chaos, terror and creeds based on imploding and destroying various things, using even non-military subversive means to destroy civilization and the future. This helicopter fleet will be perfect for those situations also because they're extremely maneuverable, they can fly low and fast, hide behind hills, buildings, trees and garbage bins, pop out of tunnels or caves, perfect for silent and quick responses, see the video examples below.

Regarding being used for military purposes and defence against any foreign country attacks or incursions, I'm not worried about that actually, Nato countries took care of the Serbs back in 1999 after their years of slaughtering and raping sprees and and they have their own problems with Albanians in Kosovo anyway, while still holding genocidal war criminals as holy heroes. I'm of the opinion that they will also come in handy against other less well known national armed thugs, criminals, subversive organizations and just plain ol' pointless scum, such as when Serbs recently came to Ukraine for vacations as just one recent example, we need to ensure there's no repeat of their killing and genocidal orgies in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo like in the 90's, or else these helicopters will be leading the charge, eyes in the sky helping to rain down glorious hot metal and plenty o' explosions of freedom on the specimens.

This new helicopter fleet will also help ensure that threats to Croatian territory from within our borders never happens from foreign subversives, including border surveillance. If some kind of illegal and suspicious populations decide to just saunter around disregarding borders, EU, national and international protocol, laws or territorial sovereignty, or if suspicious types decide to hold some kind of odd suspicious events or are dressed suspiciously or not and are chanting some wierd subversive slogans or initiating various conflicts, (or the first sign of some foreign televangelists and religious cult kooks trying to initiate a brainwashing event or mind control convention), then these helicopters will be ready to respond, same goes for even just the odd looking types with their weird and disturbed habits and traits going around being irrational and so a threat to the order of things, it's best to respond with rounds and rounds and missile strikes of freedom and justice. A few quick hellfire missile strikes after silently floating up from behind some trees or a building will take care of things pretty quickly, the helicopter machine guns can then clean up what's left over. The main thing is to contain the threat and prevent it from spreading and putting lives and civilization at risk, as well as protecting the children, it's very important to protect the children from the clutches of the various violent and non-violent subversive scum and suspicious foreign agitators/rabble-rousers. even foreign subversive mind control cults/sects have been a festering threat attempting to brainwash people and steal/warp identities with their fiction mumbo jumbo like I said, and sometimes only missiles can stop them. (they're really no different than the commie one-worlder utopianist identity destroying subversives, and based on the news these days even various Americans and Canadians obviously should be dealt with likewise, because you simply can't allow their foreign voodoo modus operandi to destroy nations and other people's cultures or mindfuck your kids with garbage). Like many of my posts in this blog have shown, or just by simply browsing around some images at the croatia.hr website which shows just a small glimpse of what we're protecting. The best part about it all is there's never any need to send or donate any soldiers whatsoever and there never has been, just the toys, bells and whistles and we take care of the rest, because we're good like that



An interesting collage themed around the Croatian Military and Special Forces.




We've been a bulwark for many centuries protecting not only Croatian lands, progress, freedom and civilization, but also the civilization of Europe also, it's a fact. There's just too many examples and historical events to add here, but a few of the more well known and very important victories and battles are touched upon at croatiancastlehistory.blogspot.ca. Time and time again since the middle ages stopping various westward advancing hordes and armies and even from the sea at times, from Saracens to Moors to Ottoman muslim and later Serb jihads, victories that have been critical in ensuring the continuation of civilization. Even sailing across the Adriatic to Italy in the 10th and 11th century and do the same. A strong, independent and free Croatia ensures a free and safer continent, and without it a domino effect would be the repurcussions, a domino effect extending all across Europe and then across the Atlantic and eventually all around the world. If Croatia was to fall, you know what the ugly repercussions and scenarios would happen next in Ljubiljana, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Warsaw and many other capitals. Croatian ports, in Split and Rijeka especially, have been an extremely important access point and European hub for Nato over the years. (Croatia has received numerous Nato praises since joining for their role and commitment of the territorial integrity and security of member nations as well for their foreign missions). The Croatian Defence Ministry said recently that it had begun to set up a joint special air force with Slovenia, Hungary and Bulgaria, sponsored by NATO’s Special Operations Headquarters also, a sort of regional highly trained elite quick reaction special ops force on top of regular Nato duties, as well as already being a member of the Central European Nations Cooperation on Peacekeeping (CENCOOP), together with Austria, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, and Switzerland. Then it's a great holy mission actually, all and any explosions and body limbs flying around will really be about ensuring peace, civilization, progress and the future and that's the main thing.




OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopters with armament options.







Yep, a great deal I say, practically brand new helicopters and expected to last at least the next 20 years with lots of spare parts and weapons options. Next year is when an official decision will be made on the purchase of the next generation jet fighters for after the MiG's are decommissioned. (F-16's, Saab Gripen, Eurofighter Typhoon, French Mirage, South Korean FA-50, the Israeli Kfir and some other possibilities are still on the table, more on that HERE). I'll update this post after the helicopters arrive in Croatia next year, get their new paint jobs and have the Croatian military emblems and insignia added. (I think maybe they should even get a special new painted on insignia on the helicopters and patches designed specifically for these helicopter fleet pilot uniforms. Maybe a flying wolf or bear with dragon wings, or a bear with a flaming human skull head and wolf ears and dragon wings holding a sword and a bloody dripping heart in the other clawed paw, or a fanged mermaid with dragon wings flying around with arrows or olive branches or lightning bolts between her teeth and holding a bunch of missiles or a machine gun with a snake wrapped around it, even a mermaid smoking a cigar with cool white zombie eyes and horns and a winged snake spitting fire wrapped around her like a scarf. That would look pretty cool and should be the next major topic of discussions at the Nato meetings, I'll keep you up to date on that very important subject)

Coincidentally, in just a couple of days on December 6th will be the 25th anniversary since the seige attacks and indiscriminate bombing of Dubrovnik by the former JNA (Serbian: Југословенска народна армија, ie: the remaining Serb only controlled Yugoslav Army).The aim of the Seige, just as in Vukovar at the same time, sought to quickly pummel the globally recognized historic Old Town and UNESCO World Heritage Site to the ground and then evict any remaining civilians, the likes of which we recently saw in Palmyra at the hands of ISIS. Some of these helicopters sure would have came in handy then, to at least help evacuate the civilians.

Also, to quote what I said before at my photos-of-day-zagreb-airport-terminal-2 post..."stationing one of the new fully loaded Croatian Kiowa helicopters nearby wouldn't be a bad idea. (I can't stress enough the importance of having at least one nearby fully fuelled and loaded helicopter on standby at all times, even the first sign of someone taking out a lighter out of their pocket for anything other than lighting a cigarette, cigar or to burn off a loose thread, well then that's plenty reason enough for a red alert and all systems go...ASM, grenade launcher and machine gun away at the potentially dangerous subversive and suspicious target infiltrator. We simply can't take any chances of ripped and torn to shreds Hugo Boss suits, various jeans, shirts, boutique soaps, plates and condiments, luggage and especially duty free items being destroyed or put in peril)..."




Behind the scenes footage from unloading yesterday morning, and below that from the official presentation of the first 5 helicopters this past August with some good close-up views of the interior and weaponry.





And lastly a few images showing the regular Croatian Air Force paint, roundels and finflash emblems as well as a new Owl insignia specific for this helicopter fleet. (they can add a flying wolf or bear with dragon wings, or a bear with a flaming human skull head and wolf ears and dragon wings I was talking about, later on) 








Related: croatian-navy-exercise_harpun14

croatian-forces-take-part-of-exercise-jackal-stone

croatian-army-orders-german-howitzers

basic-training-battalion-for-special-forces

www.morh.hr

women-of-croatian-armed-forces

sneak-peek-of-upgraded-redesigned-croatian-mig

croatia-signs-mig-21-upgrade-purchase

basic-training-battalion-for-special-commandos

women-of-croatian-armed-forces

wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_Operations_Battalion _Croatia

wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_of_Croatia

unique-croatian-helmet-wins-invention-award

www.defender.hr

www.hrvatski-vojnik.hr




 Croatian Navy Celebrated Its 25th Anniversary (Modern Era) On September 12th, 2016





I decided to update this post with these below images I came across from September because they were scenic looking photos and too interesting to just leave floating around the internet universe, mixed in with all the other orbiting internet space junk, and besides I haven't added any Croatian Navy photos in a while (Croatian: Hrvatska ratna mornarica). These few images are from this past September during the 25th anniversary since the founding of the modern day Croatian Navy on 12th September, 1991, as well as to honor those who died during the defence of the city of Šibenik. (although I should add this is just the anniversary of today's modern era navy, as the history of the Croatian Navy is documented and can be traced from the Middle Ages, even from the 7th century to a more organized and successful ship building tradition and maritime fleet during the time of Duke Branimir in the 870's to the later Croatian Kingdom and Kings, and then the Croatian Naval tradition still continued forward through the Republic of Dubrovnik and as an important element in the make up of the later Austro-Hungarian Navy also)

Šibenik was heavily attacked by the remaining Serb-controlled Yugoslav National Army (Serbian: Југословенска народна армија, ЈНА) and arriving Serbian paramilitary troops in 1991. Although extremely under-armed and even unarmed at first, the new nascent Croatian army and the people of Šibenik managed to defend the city. The battle lasted for six days (16–22 September), often referred to as the "September battle" (Croatian: Rujanski rat). The bombings and heavy artillery damaged numerous buildings and monuments, including the historic 15th century dome of the Cathedral of St. James and the 1870-built Croatian National Theatre building. After the new Croatian Army defeated the Serb forces and freed the cleansed occupied areas in 1995, damaged areas of the city have been fully restored again.

Interestingly for those not in the know, this coastal port historic city of Šibenik was mentioned for the first time under its present name in 1066 in a Charter of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV, and for a period of time it was a seat and royal residence of this Croatian King. (For that reason Šibenik is also called "Krešimirov grad" - "Krešimir's city"). From his time the Croatian Navy was still an integral part of the overall Croatian military force, during King Petar Krešimir's reign there was a duke Rusin mentioned who assisted with the coordination and activities of the Croatian Navy, some other dukes and admirals before and after from 835 to 1089 were Družac, Božidar, Berigoj, Jakov, and the fact that the very title of Duke could be borne only by governmental dignitaries and bestowed by the King is proof of the navy importance. Croatia's early political and so maritime history also, has particularly been influenced by its geographical location along the Adriatic sea, a strategically and economically important placement between the Franks, Venice and Carolingian empire to the west and the Byzantine and Bulgarian empires to the east during the Middle Ages, and so the center of mutual struggles for control of the eastern shores of the Adriatic sea. In 1069, when he donated the island of Maun to the city of Zadar, in the surviving royal charter document King Krešimir did not fail to point out that ancient Dalmatia was rightfully part of the Croatian Kingdom and that it was "...our own island that lies on our Dalmatian sea...". (Latin: nostram propriam insulam in nostro Dalmatico mari sitam) ie: the eastern Adriatic of the Croatian Kingdom, even the Byzantine empire recognized him, along with his maritime naval fleet, as the supreme ruler of the coastal areas and eastern Adriatic Sea. Already from the year 642 the early Croats are recorded by the Longobard historian Paul the Deacon as having many ships at the city of Siponto across the Adriatic Sea. The same sources speak about Croats as successful ship builders. At the time of Duke Vladislav (821- 835) sources mention a strong navy. Thanks to the Croatian maritime power of Duke Mislav (835-845), he signed a treaty with Pietro Tradonico, doge of the Venetian Republic in 839, which led to the growth of Croatian sea power and control of the eastern Adriatic. During the rule of Duke Trpimir (845-864) Croats broke through to Furlania and in front of Venice itself. In 871 as an ally of the Frankish Carolingian Emperor and King of Italy Louis II, the Croatian Navy under Duke Domagoj distinguished itself in the liberation of Bari, Taranto and southern Italy from the Arab Saracens occupation. Interestingly, during the reign of Duke Branimir (879-892) the Venetians were defeated and were even obligated to pay tribute to the Croatians for the freedom of sailing on the eastern Adriatic, the taxes ensured a safe passage preventing attacks or conflict from the Croatian ships, (so besides being independent of not only the Frankish Empire but also the Byzantine Empire and Venice as well, then it also shows that a well organized under command royal maritime naval force existed). In the work of the domestic and foreign policy manual De Administrando Imperio by eastern Roman Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus VII from circa. the year 950, he wrote that after King Tomislav secured peace with the Bulgarian Empire who bordered the Croatian Kingdom to the east, and the Frankish Empire to our west, we had a military of 60,000 cavalry, 100,000 foot soldiers as well as 80 galleys (larger ships with 40 sailors) and 100 cutters (konduras - smaller ships with 10 to 20 sailors), this would then amount to over 5000 sailors counting even just the oarsmen alone. Later during the times of Croatian Kings Michael Krešimir II (reign 949-969) and Stephen Držislav (reign 969–997) as well as their powerful Bans/Viceroys Pribina and Godemir, Croatian navy ships were victorious when in conflict with the fleets of Saracens and Muslim Arabs attempting to cross and invade from the Italian peninsula of Gargano in 968-969. A number of Croatian Navy conflicts during these centuries successfully repelled Muslim Saracen and Moorish pirate raids arriving from Italy whose primary aim was to attempt to carry off women and children as sex slaves. Later the era of King Stjepan Držislav (969-996) was also marked with successful maritime trade and safekeeping of maritime routes and domination of Croatia on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. King Stephen I Krešimirović (988-1058) is known in sources for solidifying the Croatian Kingdom domains of the formerly named Pannonia and Dalmatia, but also for strengthening the military and especially ensuring the coastal defence and rule with the aid of his Croatian Navy fleet, with trade and commerce flourishing afterwards. Later in 1084, when the Normans under Robert Guiscard Duke of Apulia and Calabria conquered southern Italy and Sicily, he invaded the Adriatic Sea and western Balkan provinces of the Byzantine empire, and King Dmitar Zvonimir (1074-1089) even helped by sending troops as well as ships from the Croatian fleet to his aid. It is even precisely for these reasons that the medieval Croatian Kings with their royal courts, Viceroys/Bans and many of their nobility kept their seats and official royal residences near the strategic coastal areas, to much easier personally oversee and direct their maritime fleets. (Nin, Šibenik, Zadar, Biograd, Split, Klis, Knin, Trogir, Solin, Kaštela etc). In 1885, when the Croatian crown lands were a part of the Habsburg crown, 45% of sailors and NCOs and 10-15% of naval officers were ethnically Croatian. Between 1857 and 1918 an Austro-Hungarian naval officer academy was located in Rijeka with an NCO training school in Šibenik. Without getting into the maritime tradition and history including Dubrovnik, events after union with Hungary and the Habsburg Empire, the thousands of Croat sailors who took part in the epic historic Battle of Leponto defeating the Ottoman Empire fleet etc, these are just a few examples of the early Croatian Navy presence and maritime naval history from well over a thousand years ago. Basically in a nutshell, the Croatian Navy and maritime tradition and history is then actually much, much longer than just 25 years, which is good to know.

These days in addition to mobile coastal missile launchers, the navy operates over 30 vessels, divided into Navy Flotilla for traditional naval duties and the Croatian Coast Guard. Five missile boats. Končar, Helsinki and Kralj class, and coastal defence missile batteries form the Croatian fleet's main offensive capability, along with armed Coast Guard patrol boats, landing craft, mine layers and other auxilliary support ships, another 10-15 Croatian made armed patrol boats are also planned over the next decade. Anyway, here's some interesting pics from the event this past September.


Images and more photogalleries: www.morh.hr

www.jutarnji.hr

sibenskiportal.rtl.hr

sibenik.hr

mok.hr

slobodnadalmacija.hr



Interstingly, Šibenik was mentioned for the first time under its present name in 1066 in a Charter of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV and for a period of time it was a seat of this Croatian King. For this reason Šibenik is also called "Krešimirov grad/Krešimir's city", and because of its important connection to the Medieval Croatian Monarchs, early Croatian Navy and to the very Adriatic Sea itself, it is also at times regarded as a Croatian Holy City, sort of like the Croatian Mecca or Croatian Jerusalem.












This related interesting footage is from the city of Split in 2013, during an open house day for the general public to board and look around on some of the ships after the 23rd anniversary ceremonies. Besides territorial maritme securtiy and taking part in European Union and Nato exercises and missions, I should add that the Croatian Navy has also been doing it's part in saving lives during the dolphins humanitarian crisis.



Interviews from the day before the 25th anniversary ceremonies.



A synopsis of the day's events. Video source: vijesti.hrt.hr














This photo has a cool view of Šibenik's 14th century Mihovil Fortress in the background overlooking the old town below. (Croatian: Tvrđava svetog Mihovila/St. Michael's Fortress or just usually called Šibenik Fortress). More information about the fortress at croatiancastlehistory.blogspot.ca.








Featured post

And The Croatian City To Be A European Capital of Culture In 2020 Will Be...(Drum Roll).....Rijeka

Yep, I know it's still 2 years away and I already covered this topic last year when it was announced, but I added a few extra ima...