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četvrtak, 11. srpnja 2019.

70th Edition Of Croatia's Annual "Dubrovnik Summer Festival" Officially Opened

I'm sure most fans of the series Game of Thrones especially have already heard of Dubrovnik as it was one of the Croatian locations used for filming since season 2, and maybe even heard of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, but probably still lots of people haven't, so here's some interesting stuff to know. The 70th edition of the popular summer long Dubrovnik Summer Festival started up again just yesterday, but I covered this topic before so here's a repost from a few years ago with the basics.

Because the festival takes place during the entire summer right up to the end of August, there's too many events, performances and stuff going on to mention and because every year it's a different summer program schedule. Most of the various performances and events revolve around Croatian plays, films, dramas, literature and related theater groups, opera, ballet, folklore, cultural and various music production themes going right back to Renaissance times and up to the modern day. However, over the years foreign performances have also taken part, for instance, at one time or another famous symphony orchestras, ballet, singers or opera ensembles have taken part from Germany, Austria, Czechia, Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, Ukraine, England, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Hungary, Italy, Greece and others including some even from North America. Different arts programs choices to choose from throughout the whole summer, some at the larger venues and some at more intimate indoor and open air locations found throughout the old part of the city.

Behind the scenes highlights of some of the things that happened at last year's 69th Dubrovnik Summer Festival program.

And here's some just by coincidence trivia from my previous post since already on the topic, Hollywood actor Goran Višnjić actually got his acting career started when performing the title role in Shakespeare's Hamlet at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival in the 90's, example (for those huge Tom Jones fans out there, even he performed just last week as part of the opening 70th anniversary celebrations including singing his No 1 chart topping gospel-rap hit Delilah). And since on the topic of classical arts and music here's some more related trivia just for the hell of it, Eddie Van Halen's father was a classically trained musician which also had a major influence on his guitar playing, his middle name "Lodewijk" is the Dutch equivalent of "Ludwig" named after composer Ludwig van Beethoven, and he likewise named his son Wolfgang Van Halen after composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. There's actually tons of modern era musicians who said classical music was influential in their playing style and composing and many Hollywood actors got their start when performing in classical plays and theater, (of course the piano, and so the later synthesizers, directly came from classical music), I even read somewhere that some gospel-rap artists say that classical music played a factor in their musical compositions supposedly).

Anyway, this summer over 80 different music, plays, artists, theatre performances and other things are taking place at various venues over the next six weeks, so you'll have to click onto the links for more specific information. Below is the basics, related links and the festival's official website is

Related links:

*Repost from 2016.

Tonight the 67th edition of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival officially comes to an end with the closing ceremonies, and it was yet another successful conclusion to the numerous events that take place every summer from July 10th to August 25th. I've personally never been to Dubrovnik to check this summer festival out, yet. During my last tour along the coast I was in Split for a few days which is only about a 4 hour ride away, and was going to go for even just the one day, but I was on a tight schedule and couldn't squeeze it in. It's still on my list though because it'll still be around for quite some time anyway. Also the cool thing is, as just one example, if you decided to watch one of the outdoor plays/theatre groups that even come from Germany, Poland, Switzerland, Czechia, Italy, Hungary, Paris, London and elsewhere to perform, it's good to know that all the restaurants, bars, pubs and cafes are still all open with late hours so you can still go for drinks afterwards, or before, whatever.

Dubrovnik has a rich, eventful and interesting history, playing an important role in Croatian literature, culture, arts and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Croatian version name of Dubrovnik comes from the very dense forest of oak trees called Dubrava that used to surround the old town in the Middle Ages. During the times of the medieval Croatian Kingdom, King Michael Krešimir II (reign 949-969) and King Stephen Držislav (reign 969–997) and their powerful Bans/Viceroys Pribina and Godemir, Croatian navy ships were known to have frequently sailed from and porting at Dubrovnik, as they were in conflict with the fleets of Saracens and Muslim Arabs attempting to cross and invade for women and children sex slaves and dancers from the Italian peninsula of Gargano in 968-969. Croatian King Stephen I in 1050 made a land grant along the coast that extended the boundaries of Dubrovnik to Zaton, including the harbour of Gruž which is now the commercial port for Dubrovnik, with economic treaties following. In 1084 during the reign of Croatian King Dmitar Zvonimir, he made an alliance and gave aid to Robert Guiscard and the Normans who after conquering and freeing southern Italy and Sicily from the Saracens continued to attack other Byzantine possessions, King Zvonimir let them freely port in Dubrovnik and along the coastal Croatian Dalmatian cities as well as the use of ships and sending troops. Dubrovnik nobles and citizenry in the 13th-14th century defended against Serb siege attacks from the northeast and later from a growing colonial Venetian presence in the Adriatic (but they paid tribute to the common Croato-Hungarian state during the reigns of Croatian Bans/Viceroys and other aristocratic high officer nobles...Frankopan, Hrvatinić, Kačić, Lacković, Kurjaković, Karlović, Gusić, Šubić, Zrinski et al), for centuries Ottoman empire jihads were repulsed thanks to Croatian-Habsburg aid, with the final fall of the Dubrovnik Republic after the Russian siege of 1806, came the arrival of Napoleon's army led by Napoleon Bonaparte himself, then decades of Austrian rule, then once again part of the Croatian Triune Kingdom. (ie; the free royal and historical Croatian lands in the 19th century united, even if still administratively a part of the larger Habsburg Austro-Hungarian Empire), finally again in the 20th-21st century, and especially after the unsuccessful 7 month Serb-Yugoslav forces Siege of Dubrovnik, today it is back once again as the most southeastern extent of Croatia's geographically coterminous Central European culture and heritage as well as a center of Croatian and European arts and culture as well. Basically an interesting modern day and view to the past as a part of an independent and free Croatia.

Probably many people have never heard of this annual summer long festival so that's why I'm doing this one, there's just too many events and happenings to cover though so this is just basically a repost from the 63rd edition a few years ago, You can click onto the links, Google around or just visit the official website to find out more information...

A scene from the opening fireworks ceremonies earlier this summer.

*repost from 2013

There's lots of happenings that go on every summer in Dubrovnik, various music festivals, arts and film festivals. The six week long "Dubrovnik Summer Festival" is the one that has been grabbing peoples attention the most over the years. Enough so that even many distinguished high profile people have been reserving their seats and hotel rooms to enjoy the festivities, artists, musicians, dancers or even just coming for the awesome scenery, beaches, history, restaurants, boating etc. More than 70 open-air venues in the Gothic and Renaissance-Baroque city of Dubrovnik present a a rich programme of not only classical music, but also numerous theatre, ballet, opera, plays, open air cinemas, dance and other performances during July and August every summer.

The idea of founding the Dubrovnik Summer Festival since it's beginning was to harmonize the renaissance and baroque atmosphere of Dubrovnik and the eternal living spirit of drama and music, the intellectual way of life and living creative tradition, which has played a major part in Croatian cultural and scholarly history through the centuries, especially in theatre and literature. Many great names and works continually kept it in touch with contemporary currents of not only Zagreb, Split, Osijek, Zadar, Rijeka and the rest of Croatia through the centuries, but extending to central and western Europe also.

It's only the 63rd edition of this festival, but the histories involved in the production of the various events reach back centuries. Dubrovnik is the birthplace of Ivan Gundulic, who was a major figure of the rich literary tradition of the Croatian Baroque in Dubrovnik and Croatian-Dalmatia. He's also an important part of the festival itself, as his famous poem "Dubravka" is used on opening night to officially start the festival. This 63rd edition starts up in a month. More info at the links or at the official website at

Official website:





Sit back, relax, and enjoy the shows, concerts, and performances


Each summer, more than 2000 dancers, actors, musicians, writers and artists flock to the city of Dubrovnik to indulge the art-loving world in over 70 performances at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Also known as the Dubrovnik Summer Games, the main events include theatre, dance and folklore, showcased in six weeks of culture and performance.

Since 1950, the charming and whimsical city of Dubrovnik has set a beautiful backdrop to the numerous world-renowned exhibitions. An element in its own right, the city boasts performances in the streets, arenas and plazas for audiences to enjoy the festival in the evening summer air. This combination of setting and talent is precisely what makes the festival Croatia’s premier cultural event and attracts international attention and eager guests to the city.

The festival season hosts a wide range of events from classical ballets and operas to film exhibitions and poetry readings for a lineup that is sure to satisfy every artistic craving. Spectators may be entertained at the theatre by the Festival Drama Ensemble of famous Croatian actors, or be captivated by the Lindo group performing traditional folk dances from Croatian villages.

Also not to be missed are the classical music performances held in the Ducal Palace atrium, known for its acoustics and the world-famous composers and orchestras it attracts each season. Ensconced in ancient city walls, curious visitors and elite artists are together swept up in the inspiration and romanticism of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and its featured exhibitions.

Essentials: A love of European culture and an appreciation for the performing arts are all you need to bring

Local Attractions:

Take a walk atop the 2km circuit of the medieval city walls to get a bird’s eye view of the red roofs and beautiful vistas of the fortified city. Also, look for battle wounds along the walls, as Dubrovnik was hit in the former Yugoslavian war in 1991.

Dubrovnik Festival, Croatia's biggest cultural bash


Having recently celebrated its 60th anniversary, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival (Dubrovačke ljetne igre) is one of Europe's most established celebrations of the classical arts. For 47 days and nights, from July 10 to August 25, the streets, churches, squares and famous buildings of Dubrovnik's Old Town host the big names in classical music, theatre, opera and dance.

Numerous and various types of outdoor theatre groups, plays and performance artists also take part in the summer long festival. Above is performance artist Sung-Im-Her at the 57th Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

Shows bring Dubrovnik's historic jewels to life. Shakespeare is performed open-air at the Lovrijenac fortress, orchestras play at the Sponza Palace, piano soloists at the Cathedral, ballet takes place after dark outside St Blaise's Church and all kinds of events have the moonlit City Walls as a backdrop. Some 70 venues are used - even Lokrum island. In recent years audiences can count on 2,000 artists from some two dozen countries to perform plays, concerts, folk shows and perhaps even some ballet.

Croatia: Dubrovnik Summer Festival Opening in 2010.

The festival has taken place every year since 1950. In the war of 1992, in place of an opening ceremony, locals lit candles in the windows while Ivan Gundulić's Anthem to Freedom played on the radio to a deserted main street of Stradun.

In peacetime, the festival has expanded its schedule and its scope, inviting big names; Derek Jacobi and Daniel Day Lewis have appeared as Hamlet, a festival mainstay. The core programme remains the classical arts but modernity has widened the remit. Experimental works, puppet theatre, and contemporary writers now share the stage with local heavyweight playwright Marin Držić, Goethe, Molière and the Greek tragedies.

 The Croatian National Dance Ensemble "LADO" performing at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival and below in 2011. The Lindjo Folk Ensemble also take part during the festival. If you notice the musician to the far left on the stage your eyes do not deceive you...yes that's a bagpipe. Find out more about the interesting history of Croatian bagpipes at a previous post HERE.

Book ahead ( for the biggest events - for others you can pay on the door. There will also be book launches, art exhibitions and other dos that have sprung up to take advantage of the increased number of visitors in town. Hotels and restaurants fill - book early in all cases. For the most prestigious events, smart dress, although not obligatory, is expected. Also remember that there will be a number of free performances around the streets of the Old Town throughout festival time - you needn't have to pay through the nose, or pay at all, to get swept up in the whole event.

Part 3 of 4, a Russian crew's behind the scenes look at the opening ceremonies from 2011.

The Dubrovnik Summer Festival is very much like that show Carnival Eats or a flea market, except instead of stalls it's theatre groups, plays, musicians, orchestras, open air cinemas, symposiums and other entertainment spread throughout the old quarter sections of the renaissance-baroque city. The viewer can choose which event to attend from many simultaneous events going on and there's no need or requirement to dress it up either, because it's summer (you can even wear a medieval or renaissance-baroque era costume if you want, feel like you're really back in time). A few highlights from the 64th edition below.

This is just footage of typical Dubrovnik nights using that timelapse effect that I thought looked cool.


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