UNESCO Culture in Croatia: Lepoglava Lace Festival This Week

Total Croatia News

Image by Trash Film Festival

Part of Croatia’s rich intangible UNESCO heritage will be celebrated in northern Croatia this week at the annual Lepoglava Lace Festival. 

As the beaches of the Adriatic slowly begin to empty after yet one more busy summer season, tourism in continental Croatia seems to be gearing up for a very busy autumn, in some parts at least. 

Varazdin County, just north of Zagreb is a case in point. Arguably the highlight of the cultural calendar each year is the annual Spancirfest, probably Croatia’s number one creative street festival, which takes place in the latter half of August. It is followed by the annual Varazdin Baroque Evenings, now in its 46th year, which starts later this week, and the city will inaugurate the first international guitar festival and Hall of Fame next month with the Flying Guitars Festival, as previously reported on TCN


Outside the city, there is plenty going on as well, and this week sees the annual lace festival in Lepoglava. Along with the islands of Hvar and Pag, Lepoglava is one of three lace-making centres in Croatia whose rich lace tradition has been recognised as intangible heritage. Interestingly, the methods of all three locations vary, as do their origins, only coming together with the UNESCO recognition. More detail on that story from the official UNESCO video at the bottom of this article. See also below a separate explanation on Lepoglava lace in the other video below. 

Lepoglava is the only one of the three to have an annual lace festival, and it is quite an international affair, as this year also promises to be, with a special focus on another famous European lace making centre, Belgium. There were some truly incredible exhibits on show when I last visited a couple of years ago, including the lace tent in the photo above, made by a Japanese artist. Here is how it was done – 35 days work compressed into a timelapse of under 5 minutes:

This year’s programme is as follows:

THURSDAY, 22nd September 2016

7.00 p.m. – The Ivančica Restaurant Terrace

8.00 p.m. – Exhibition viewing

9.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m. – Courtyard of the Paulist Convent

Magic play interaction of Lepoglava lace and light

FRIDAY, 23rd September 2016

10.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. – Cultural Centre – lecture room

Days of European Heritage 2016.: Heritage and Communities, lectures and UNESCO workshop

12.00 – Sport center

Šime Strikoman Millennium Photography: “Lace Sun”

7.00 p.m. to 9.00 p.m. – The Ivančica Restaurant Terrace

Croatian National Theatre Varaždin – “Cabaret Singerica” by Jagoda Kralj Novak

SATURDAY, 24th September 2016

Belgium Day in Lepoglava: “LACE AND A TASTE OF BELGIUM”

10.00 a.m. to 20.00 p.m. – The Ivančica Restaurant Terrace – 7th Traditional Handicraft and Old Crafts Fair

Everyday Life of the Traditional Family in Lepoglava – a presentation by the ‘Lepoglava Pušlek’ Culture Society

11.00 a.m. – Cultural Centre – Town Library

11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. – The Ivančica Restaurant Terrace

Program presented by kindergartens and children lacemaking games

4.00 p.m. – The Ivančica Restaurant Terrace

Opening of the 7th Traditional Handicraft and Traditional Crafts Fair – entertainment

5.00 p.m. to 5.30 p.m. – The Ivančica Restaurant Terrace

Fashion event: Contemporary Belgian fashion by designer Elise Kopec 



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