Conference Celebrates Dubrovnik Old City and Festivity of Saint Blaise

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ZAGREB, February 1, 2019 – A conference on the synergy of World Heritage properties and the Intangible Cultural Heritage took place at Dubrovnik University on Friday on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the inscription of the Old City of Dubrovnik to the UNESCO World Heritage List and the 10th anniversary since the Festivity of Saint Blaise, the patron-saint of Dubrovnik, was added to UNESCO’S Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Addressing the conference, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said that being a Mediterranean and Central European country, Croatia can boast of a versatile cultural and natural heritage. “Dubrovnik and its great people have their niche in Croatia’s history,” he added, underscoring the significance of Dubrovnik’s Old City as well as of the local festivity in tribute to Saint Blaise that takes place in Dubrovnik every February since the 10th century.

The Old City of Dubrovnik was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage properties’ list in 1979. “The ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’, situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean Sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. Damaged again in the 1990s by armed conflict, it is now the focus of a major restoration programme co-ordinated by UNESCO,” reads information on UNESCO’s website.

The Festivity on the day of the city’s patron-saint on 3 February draws not only its residents but all those who honour tradition and the right to one’s freedom and peace. “On the third of February, the official day of both saint and city, parish banner bearers flow into the city in folk costume for the centrepiece of the festival, a procession attended by bishops, ambassadors, civic leaders, visiting notables and the people of Dubrovnik. The festivity embodies many aspects of human creativity, from rituals to folk songs, from performance to traditional crafts (including the making of the historical weapons fired in celebration),” according to information on UNESCO’s website.

Prime Minister Plenković also commented on Croatia’s contribution to UNESCO’s efforts to preserve the world heritage, and recalled that Croatia financially supported efforts to restore the war-damaged heritage in Mali.

The prime minister announced that Croatia would participate in UNESCO’s efforts to reconstruct Mosul, Iraq.

More news on Dubrovnik can be found in the special section.


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