The 27 Neighbourhoods flagship is part of the Rijeka – European Capital of Culture 2020 project. Over the past four years, this flagship has been developed intensively and its participants have prepared a rich programme throughout 2020, which will take place in Rijeka and many other locations throughout Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.

The Cultural Programme of 2020 – Neighbourhood Festivals

During 2020, when Rijeka, as the urban centre of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, holds the title of European Capital of Culture, Neighbourhood Festivals will be held in 27 neighbourhoods. These include various cultural and artistic programmes through which these neighbourhood communities will express various aspects of their daily lives, but also touch upon issues that are integral to their urban and rural environments, forests, islands, coasts, cities and villages.

Bell-Ringer’s Symphony, Čavle Neighbourhood

In the Čavle Neighbourhood, one of the 27 neighbourhoods of the European Capital of Culture, the first in a series of Neighbourhood Festivals will take place on 9 February – the Bell-Ringer’s Festival. In addition, the Grobnik bell-ringers and their European guests, various bell-ringing groups from all over the continent, will gather and socialize over the three days of the festival and its various programmes. In addition to the Bell-Ringer’s Symphony, the event includes the Bell-Ringer’s Parade and the masquerade tradition on Platak.

Pre-programme of the Bell-Ringer’s Symphony

Exhibition of Traditional Masks of Europe (3-9 February 2020)

As part of the pre-programme of the Bell-Ringer’s Symphony of the Čavle Neighbourhood, the Traditional Masks of Europe Exhibition, created by Nikola Kolja and Marina Vrančić, can be viewed at the Cultural Centre in Čavle until 9 February. Their collection is constantly growing and so far counts about 80 unique handmade figurines, representing about sixty groups from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Greece, Croatia, Ireland, Italy, Hungary, Macedonia, Germany, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Scotland, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.
The figurines are dressed in authentic bell-ringers’ dress from the place they originate and all the bells ring. Every figurine is handcrafted down to the smallest detail, which requires a great deal of time, effort and, most of all, love. Also, it is important to emphasize that every little bell-ringer is different, special, just like the people they were created after.
In addition to the Traditional Masks of Europe exhibition, the Čavle Cultural Centre will also be home to an exhibition of colourful works by the Čavlić Kindergarten and an exhibition of photographs by the Grobnik bell-ringers.
The exhibition space will be open from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Entrance is free.

Also, on Friday, 7 February, at 7:00 pm, the Čavle Cultural Centre will host a Ceremonial Assembly on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the Grobnik bell-ringers. The Assembly is not open to the public.


“European Artists in Grobnik” Exhibition (7 February)

The opening of the exhibition entitled “European Artists in Grobnik” will be held at the Grobnik Gallery of Contemporary Art on February 7 at 5:00 pm. The exhibition includes works by about 50 artists from Austria, France, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Spain and Switzerland, as well as BiH, Macedonia and Croatia who have stayed in Grobnik:

– Balind, Istvan, Hungary
– Barci, Gennaro, Italy
– Berger, Franz, Austria
– Bialas, Anita, Germany
– Borta, Gianni, Italy
– Bratuš, Lucian, Slovenia
– Busdon, Raffaella, Italy
– Cassetti, Marino, Italy
– Christin, Renate, Germany
– Cisco, Giorgio, Italy
– Conestabo, Piero, Italy
– De Locatelli, Alfredo, Italy
– Erzar, Metka, Slovenia
– Frotscher, Reinhard, Germany
– Galli, Giuseppe Pope, Italy
– Geiger, Erich, Germany
– Gon, Adriano, Italy
– Herbut, Melanka, Germany
– Hus, Zoltan, Hungary
– Jakša, Lado, Slovenia
– Karim, Azad, Slovenia
– Kleva, Luciano, Slovenia
– Konarzewski, Ida, Poland
– Kovač, Ljerka, IGRA, Slovenia
– Marsi, Enzo, Italy
– Matelič, Janez, Slovenia
– Messia, Manolo, Spain
– Mezzacapo, Renzo, Italy
– Mugnaioni, Raffaella, Italy
– Milani, Franco, Italy
– Palčič, Klavdij, Italy
– Patelli, Paolo, Italy
– Patelli, Paolo, Italy
– Pinchi, Dominique, France
– Primig, Robert, Austria
– Puddu, Salvatore, Italy
– Rapella, Luis, Spain
– Rey Katherine, France
– Rosibiewska, Ivona, Poland
– Schwarzenbach, Pierre, Switzerland
– Sich, Oliver, Germany
– Spanó, Franco, Italy
– Steiner, Claudia, Austria
– Trancanelli, Marco, Italy
– Trobec, Špela, Slovenia
– Tutta, Etko, Slovenia
– Tutta, Klavdij, Slovenia
– Van der Linden, Hetty, the Netherlands

The artworks are from the Grobnik Permanent Collection of Contemporary Art. The exhibition can be viewed until March 31st, every day from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.
Exhibition Design: Vlasta Juretić, Head of the Grobnik International Art Colony


Platak Masquerade (8 February 2020)

On Saturday, 8 February 2020, from 11:00 am, the traditional Platak Masquerade will be held.
The participants in this year’s Platak Masquerade are: The City of Grobnik Carnival Company, Just Married, Škrljevo Masqueraders, Gornji kraj – Crikvenica, the Pom-F-Ri Carnival Group, Pikići, Lahko ćemo, Prijatelji/Amici, the Grobnik bell-ringers and the German partners of the Čavle Neighbourhood, the bell-ringing group Vorstandschaft des Klausen and Bärbele Verein from Immenstad.

The groups will gather between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm in front of the Mali dom lodge in Platak, after which a parade towards the Veliki dom lodge starts at noon sharp. Once the procession is over, participants will enjoy activity games, such as a sausage-eating competition or a beer-drinking competition. After the activity games are concluded and medals are awarded to the winners, entertainment will be provided by the Frula Band at 6:00 pm.

After that, the fun is moving to the Čavle Cultural Centre, where, at 9:00 pm, the Masquerade Dance will begin to music by the Groovers Band. Entrance is free.


Grobnik International Masked Rally (8 February 2020)

For all enthusiasts of masked high-octane entertainment, the Čajvanske Maškare Association and the Grobnik Car and Motorcycle Racetrack are organizing, on Saturday, 8 February 2020, the Grobnik International Masked Rally, starting at 12:00 pm at the address Čavja 31 (Čavle Municipality).


Bell-Ringer’s Symphony and the opening of the Neighbourhood Festival (9 February 2020)

The roots of the bell-ringers date back to prehistoric times and are linked to livestock areas; their strongest stronghold in Croatia is in the Croatian Littoral, in villages in the hinterlands of Rijeka, Opatija and Kastav. Men dressed in sheepskin with stylized animal masks on their heads and livestock bells around their waists originally participated in the magical rites to drive away the evil spirits of winter and invoke the new spring cycle, which grew into a carnival custom that is cherished to this day. Although their basic characteristics are the same, each village has developed its own specific variety of bell equipment and traditions, and these are important details that at the same time make a difference and connect, and each community takes pride in them.

The central event of the Čavle Neighbourhood Festival will be the Bell-Ringer’s Symphony, which is also the opening of the 2020 Neighbourhood Festival. The Bell-Ringer’s Symphony will be held on 9 February 2020 in Čavle.

Led by the Karlovac drummers, a loud parade of 500 European and Croatian bell-ringers will start at 12:00 pm in front of the Čavle Elementary School (Čavja 47, Čavle), and will be accompanied by numerous spectators, as well as presenters on three stages. Upon arrival at their goal, the bell-ringers will perform the Bell-Ringer’s Symphony under the baton of conductor Zoran Majstorović.
Heading the magnificent parade will be the German partners of the Čavle Neighbourhood, the bell-ringing group Vorstandschaft des Klausen and Bärbele Verein from Immenstad, and the parade will be concluded by the Grobnik bell-ringers. They will be joined by representatives of the Rijeka Carnival, Master Toni and this year’s Queen Dora Pilepić.

The Bell-Ringer’s Symphony will be performed jointly by the bell-ringers, Karlovac drummers and under the direction of Zoran Majstorović, and represents a unique blend of music, rhythm and the bells of the Grobnik bell-ringers. This is a unique and bold event, just as unique and bold as their jazz improvisations that, over and over, in the wildest possible combinations, create new musical worlds. It is an audio-visual experience that takes music into the dimension of a sacral ritual, where the bell fuses with the human being, becoming a part of the body, an extremity that simultaneously encumbers and liberates.
Just like the ringers carrying the bells around their waist and chest, each bell is different from the other, with different weights and a different frequency spectrum that it produces. This is where the skill of the bell-ringers comes into play, who bring the bells in harmony with the pulsation of their own bodies, producing – all together – a rhythmic clamour!

We should add that on the eve of the procession, the European Capital of Culture Neighbourhood Festival will be inaugurated on the main stage, presenting a diverse cultural and artistic program in each of the 27 neighbourhoods throughout 2020.

Programme Schedule on Sunday, February 9, 2020

10:45 amArrival of the Groups in Front of the Čavle Elementary School (Čavja 47, Čavle)

11:00 amReception of Group Leaders at the Čavle Cultural Centre

12:00 pmCeremonial Opening of the Neighbourhood Festival (main stage – Hrvatski Branitelji Square, Čavle)

12.00 pmCeremonial Presentation of the bell-ringers – Bell-Ringers’ Parade (Čavle Elementary School parking lot – Čavja Street – Hrvatski Branitelji Square)

4:00 pm – Bell-Ringer’s Symphony – Finale (Hrvatski Branitelji Square, Čavle)


Free transportation from Rijeka to Čavle and back

On the day of the Bell-Ringer’s Symphony, 9 February 2020, RIJEKA 2020 is organising free transportation from Rijeka to Čavle, with one bus providing two tours. The bus departs from the Jelačić Square in Rijeka at 10:20 and 11:20 am, and the return from the Čavle Cultural Centre to Rijeka is at 17:15 and 18:15 am.

The number of available seats is limited and anyone interested can book their seat by Friday, 7 February 2020, 4:00 pm, by sending an e-mail to:

Notification of Changes in Traffic Regulation and Parking

On Sunday, 9 February 2020, the Bell-Ringer’s Symphony will be held on sections of the roads D3 and Ž5055, so these sections of the roads will be closed to traffic between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm, and traffic will be diverted to alternative routes.
The section of the road from the INA Čavle Petrol Station to the Čavlić Kindergarten will be closed.
During this period, drivers on the D3 state road who are coming from and departing to more distant cities and towns will be redirected to alternative routes (primarily the Rijeka – Zagreb motorway).
Visitor parking will be available at the Cernik Cemetery and under the Cernik Bridge.

 (Enclosed: Temporary Traffic Regulation Map)


Participants in the Bell-Ringer’s Symphony

KLAUSEN und Bärbele Verein (Immenstadt im Allgäu, GERMANY) – 25 participants– European neighbours of the Čavle Neighbourhood

The “Klausentreiben” custom is about 1,000 years old and dates back to ancient Celtic customs.
In the past, people used the custom to drive away demons, in an attempt to look scarier than them. The costumes weigh up to 25 kilograms and are made by the participants themselves, which takes them two to three weeks. Each association has its own guidelines for costume design. The basic concept is to cover oneself in fur from head to toe, place a large cowbell around the waist and horns on the head. Only men who are members of the association and who are at least 16 years old can participate in the “Klausentreiben”.
Women are not excluded from this winter custom, but participate as the so-called “Bärbele”. The principle of “Bärbeletreiben” is very similar and their costumes are mainly based on the appearance of a witch.
All those who do not keep away from the fence during the procession can end up being flogged with twigs. Among the younger people, a popular test of courage is to challenge the “Klausen” and “Bärbele”. However, it is not always so easy to differentiate between those who want to participate from those who just want to watch, so everyone should expect an occasional swipe.

BUSÓJÁRÁS (Mohač, HUNGARY) – 50 participants

The Walk of the Busós (Busójárás in Hungarian) is an annual carnival festival in the Town of Mohács (Hungarian Baranya) commemorating the end of winter. It is named after the frightening men, the busós, who wear large wooden masks and woollen cloaks. The Šokci Croats brought the carnival custom here from the Croatian territories from which they immigrated at the beginning of the 17th century, and it was first mentioned by church sources in 1783.

The original masks were made using materials available to peasants, willow wood and cow blood. Today, the Walk of the Busós is a recognizable symbol of the city and a way of commemorating major historical events. The arts and crafts that accompany the custom have been preserved by numerous groups of Busós of diverse cultural backgrounds, who have imparted mask carving and ritual celebration techniques to generations of followers. This is why the Busójárás was included in UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009.

SURVAKARI (Pernik, BULGARIA) – 50 participants

The group of the masked Survakari represents a custom of chasing away evil spirits, diseases and the winter on the first day of the new year – 1 January or 14 January according to the old calendar. In the villages of the Pernisi region of Bulgaria, the Survakari perform on 14 January, when the Old New Year is celebrated. At this time, in almost every village in the region, a group of masked men and young men gather, and visit every house, chasing away evil spirits, diseases, the winter and bless everyone to be healthy. They perform various magical rituals, which have lost their symbolism today but are still played out because they represent tradition.
Each participant in the group creates his own mask and clothing. The mask must be frightening, “horned” and “toothy” in order to frighten all the negative spirits and diseases. The Survakari carry bells (canovi) around their waist, which make a terrible noise.
These customs are lived and maintained each year with great joy and pleasure.

GROBNIK BELL-RINGERS (Grobnik) – 80 participants – hosts

Unlike the other bell-ringers who represent the folklore of their home regions, the Grobnik bell-ringers (Dondolaši) were peasants who were paid for their “work”. Later, young men, dressing in sheepskin and frightening masks on their heads, would tour the villages of Grobnišćina. Years passed, the traditions fell into oblivion, the bell-ringers disappeared, until the only one commemorating them was Ranko Čabrijan and the late Diža, who brought the memories to life by ringing bells. According to interviews with the elderly locals from the Grobinšćina area, a preliminary sketch for the mask and clothing of the bell-ringers was made, leather and bells were purchased, masks were made, and the tradition was brought back to life.  Today, this Association includes about one hundred members, including fifteen children between the ages of two and twelve.

GRIŽANE KRABUNOSI (Grižane, Croatia) – 20 participants

The Grižane Krabunosi come from Grižane, a small town in the heart of the Vinodol Valley, known for good people, good wine and the best festivities in the area. Their group consists of 25 members and is called “Zbrda zdola i ozgora” (“helter-skelter and down we go”). They try to preserve the ways of masking that they learned from their ancestors and to pass it on to the younger generations, under the motto “Ča grđi to lipši” (“the uglier, the better”).
They say they have not succumbed to commercialization, so each member is different. They mask themselves using what they can find in the taverns, as the people of this area used to. The clothes they wear consist of: a hat, a rug, parts of old military equipment, a bell, and on their heads they have a helmet with the horns of a ram or a bull; they also must have a horn which they blow to chase away evil spirits and the winter and to summon the spring. They are often accompanied by music, with the obligatory greeting: “muzika i bubanj složno udaraj” (“music and drums, play as one”).

THE DIDI FROM KAMEŠNICA (Gljev and Kamešnica, Croatia) – 50 participants

The annual carnival processions in the villages beneath the Kamešnica, from the towns of Sinj and Trilj and the Municipality of Otok, have a long tradition and its participants are the best guardians of carnival customs in their area. With the invasion of noisy, colourful, defiant rams, known as the Didi, they begin the day of the carnival procession in Gljev, a village in the Dalmatian hinterlands, not far from the border with Bosnia. This long tradition of carnival customs, related the preservation of local identity, is nurtured and promoted by the Association Didi s Kamešnice (Didi from Kamešnica) in Gljev.
The carnival procession is arranged according to strict rules based on tradition. The first in the procession is a mock-wedding party, dressed in white, which includes a flag bearer and other mock-wedding guests, followed by a group of comedians and finally, at a distance, by masqueraders dressed in black. The wedding party, which symbolizes the spring, used to be led by the first dida and is now led by the flag bearer. A somewhat masculine pregnant bride, accompanied by a groomsman, is looking for a groom, which is the main task of the procession. The wedding party also includes married and unmarried women and other figures dressed in formal clothing (traditional folk costumes). The carnival procession is commanded by the Turk, who makes sure that the white and black members of the wedding party do not mix as they may not be in the same place at the same time. We associate the character of the Turks with the long presence of Turks in this region.
The white wedding party is followed by the comedians, masqueraders who criticize current social and political affairs. The black wedding party is led by the baba and did, who, in connection with the fertility cult, simulate sexual intercourse and thus call for a better yield. The procession also includes the mourners, who express joking slogans through wailing. The didi represent the most attractive part of the procession.
They carry sheep waterskins on their heads up to 1.5 m high, and bells around their waists. They are dressed in old clothes with colourful fringes sewn onto them. They embody the ritualistic struggle of good spirits against the winter, which they drive away by making noise and jumping.
Despite the development of civilization, men are still the exclusive bearers of this carnival custom, whose main characteristic is dressing up in animal characters (rams) and transvestism (simulated sex change).

KUKULJANOVO BELL-RINGERS (Kukuljanovo, Hrvatska) – 30 participants

The association was officially established in 2007, although bell-ringers existed in this area before. There were 4-5 of them and they would ring their bells all over Kukuljanovo and the surrounding villages, together with disguised carnival participants.  The most well-known bell-ringer was Andrej Kopajtić “Tičan”, whose family would bury the bell before the carnival, but he would always find it or make a new one. He would dress up as a bell-ringer and go to Hartera (the Rijeka Paper Factory) to work, where he would ring the bell until his boss gave him vacation days for two or three weeks. He would often spend the night in the Via Roma (the Rijeka Prison). Along with him, other bell-ringers included Pindek, Krešo and Augustin Perić, who taught others how to make their ‘uniform’.

CRNI LUG PESNIKI (Crni Lug, Croatia) – 20 participants

The Pesniki (bell-ringers) is a 300-year old tradition from Crni Lug, a village in Gorski Kotar. The group traditionally consists of unmarried men from the village of Crni Lug and their carnival falls on Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday and begins at dawn when the bell-ringers accompanied by accordion players visit every household in their area, ringing their bells and singing to drive away evil and announce a new beginning – that is, to drive away winter and to herald the coming spring. The Pesniki have long wooden sticks and throw them, striking the floor.
To dance with the poets means to enter the spring with a new positive and happy energy. They also have a special custom called “šicanje”, which consists of throwing a person into the air and catching them, and sometimes they have a habit of throwing a person into the snow to “cleanse” them of last year’s negativities. Rather than resenting them for these mischiefs, the locals welcome them with joy, offering them refreshments and drinks. Today, they will be joined by numerous tourists who will accompany them at the carnival. The street party continues until far into the night, with live music performances and dancing.

ĆIĆARIJA ZGONČARI (Ćićarija, Croatia) – group of 30 people

Shrouded in sheepskin, with two large bells weighing a total of eight kilograms, accompanied by the sounds of the accordion, noisy bells and an archaic ox horn, the zgončari tour the entire Ćićarija, the only area in Istria to nurture this type of carnival tradition. As a rule, they visit the northern part on two occasions: Vodice, Jelovice, Brest, Slum, Račja Vas and other towns, and separately the southern part: Lanišće, Prapoće, Podgaće, Brgudac…

ZAMET BELL-RINGERS (Zamet – Rijeka, Croatia) – 50 participants

The Zamet bell-ringers have existed in their present form since 1971. As they are the closest to the sea of all the bell-ringer groups, they took on the appearance of the Vikings as the basis for their masks. They dress in a sailor’s T-shirt and white trousers with a red stripe. They have a black handkerchief around their neck, and on their feet they wear woollen socks and heavy shoes. Their backs are covered with sheepskin and a large bell is tied over their shoulders. They carry a bludgeon, and on their head they carry a hat covered in sheepskin with two large horns.
The bell-ringers follow their flag and follow the orders of their captain. In the procession, they walk one by one or in a cross shape, bashing their bells together.
The procession ends with the bell-ringers forming two concentric circles and, turning their backs to each other, ring their bells.

ŽEJANE BELL-RINGERS (Žejane, Croatia) – 40 participants

Residents of Žejane are descendants of Vlach shepherds, who still use some archaic Romanian words. The bell-ringers of Žejane have preserved their customs throughout the centuries. They always ring their bells in pairs and their ringing must be in unison and pleasant to the ear, because it is believed that if the ringing isn’t in harmony, the coming year will not be either. They wear a hat on their head, the “Kumarak”, which is decorated with handmade crepe paper cut into thin ribbons, the “Bajere” that fall from the brim of their hats all the way to their legs.
The top of the hat is decorated with love-themed motifs and lined with paper onto which coloured flowers are sewn – the “fjokići”. They wear white trousers and a sailor’s shirt with two white scarves. The sheepskin or “Šuba” is made of two parts – one on their torso and the other around their waist, which also has three bells, “Klopote”, attached. On their feet, they wear black shoes and carry a bottle in their hands.
The procession is led by the captain (“Kapo”), who wears a white officer’s uniform. Both men and women accompany the procession.

ČRNA SRAKA (Sračinec, Croatia) – 9 participants

The non-profit carnival association “Črna Sraka” from Sračinec was established with the aim of gathering citizens from the area of Varaždin County to participate in organized activities related to carnival parades and other cultural and entertainment events, and to nurture the traditions and customs of the Varaždin County.

(Texts and accompanying photographs: Masks of Europe –, Glas Istre and Carnival Association Črna Sraka –

Zoran Majstorović

Jazz musician, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and composer. Majstorović’s enduring fascination is to connect jazz with various forms of ethno music and, through his collaboration with the Porto Etno Festival of the European Capital of Culture, he formed the fluid Porto Etno Orchestra, which, in turn, was the basis for the idea of the Bell-Ringer’s Symphony.

Majstorović was awarded a master’s degree, with the maximum grade, by the Jazz Department of the Giuseppe Tartini Conservatory in Trieste (Italy), and besides Croatian jazz and ethno musicians, he has had the opportunity to record or perform with many world-famous jazz and ethno musicians. He is also an experienced arranger in the field of jazz, ethno and improvised music and has written music for many Croatian and foreign orchestras and smaller ensembles, as well as for his own ensembles “Atma Mundi Ensemble” and “ZM Loose Trio”. He has been awarded numerous prestigious awards: the “Status” award for the most prominent Croatian ethno instrumentalist, the “Damir Dičić” award for the most prominent Croatian jazz guitarist, the “Miroslav Sedak Benčić” award for the most prominent Croatian jazz composer. He is also a recipient of the Porin Award and a member of the Croatian Freelance Artists Association.

Karlovac Drummers Association – Carolosboom

Karlovac Drummers is an association that has been active since 2009 and counts about 25 members. They have performed at various events across Croatia, from the Beer Day in Karlovac and various re-enactments of historical battles, such as the battle of the Vrana knights near Pakošten, to processions and masquerades. In August of 2019, at the Playing and Warming Up for the Porto Etno Festival event, held as part of the European Capital of Culture project, they joined forces with the Grobnik bell-ringers in Čavle in an interesting experiment of movement and sound.

Master Toni and the Queen of the Rijeka Carnival

The Queen of the Rijeka Carnival pageant is traditionally the opening event of the Carnival, when the carnival-goers choose from among themselves the most charming female representative who will participate in all public presentations of the Rijeka Carnival. Every year, this event presents a challenge to the numerous carnival groups, which nominate their representatives for the “Golden Cloak” and the flattering title of the Queen of the Carnival. In addition to knowing the carnival tradition well, the girls must prove that they have charm and wit, dancing and music skills, and in this case – beauty is not an advantage. After the proclamation of the new Queen of the Rijeka Carnival, thousands of masked people eagerly await the handing over of the “key to the city”. The Mayor of Rijeka hands the key over to the Master of the Carnival – Master Toni, and the buffoonery can begin. From this moment on, the masqueraders rule the city and all problems fall into oblivion. The reign of the masks begins, which, rather than hiding, reveal our joy of life, songs and love.
This year’s Queen of the Rijeka Carnival is Dora Pilepić from the Carnival Group Full and Drunk.


The implementing bodies of the Čavle Neighbourhood initiative are: The tourist Board of the Čavle Municipality, the Grobnik bell-ringers Association, the Palentar Association and the Čavle Municipality.


Name of the 27 Neighbourhoods flagship

The name of the flagship – 27 Neighbourhoods – is a symbolic reference to the 27 countries of the European Union that form the European neighbourhood of Croatia.

The Croatian neighbourhoods are as follows: Lovran, Opatija, Matulji, Kastav, Pehlin, Drenova, Škurinje, Turnić and Mlaka, Student Campus in Trsat, Jelenje, Čavle, Praputnjak, Kostrena, Crikvenica, Novi Vinodolski, the Island of Rab, the Island of Unije, the Town of Cres, the Town of Krk, Malinska, Vrbnik, Gomirje, Mrkopalj, Fužine, Delnice, Brod na Kupi and Gornji Kuti.

These towns and villages will connect with 27 organisations, cities or towns from the European Union:
Vorstandschaft des Klausen and the Bärbele Verein (Immenstad, Germany), the Academy of Performing Arts (Prague, Czech Republic), Trieste International Foundation for Scientific Progress and Freedom (Trieste, Italy), Ružomberok (Zilina Region, Slovakia), Selnica ob Dravi Municipality (Slovenia), National Museum of Archaeology (Malta), the Urban Gorillas Collective (Cyprus), Temišvar 2021 (Romania), the Camp Institution (France), the Ubiqa Platform (Bilbao, Spain) the Riga Folk-Dancing Club (Latvia), the Estonian Museum of Natural History (Estonia), Kaunas 2022 (Lithuania), Kinvara (Ireland), the Gornje Bele Rečke & Goatmilk Festival (Bulgaria), the GreenWise People Organization (Great Britain), Oulu 2026 (Finland) the Lydenskab Music Collective (Denmark), Development Foundation Nidzicka (Pomerania Region, Poland), the Disorder Collective (Sweden), the Stichting Bewegend Beeld organization (Rotterdam, the Netherlands), Global Water Partnership Mediterranean (Athens, Greece), the Centre for Environmental Studies and the National Museum of Natural History (Luxembourg), 4iS (Portugal) and the Academy of Applied Arts (Vienna, Austria), Pécs 2010 (Hungary), Mondeanum Institute (Mons, Belgium), City of Vienna (Austria).


The values of the European citizens connecting and cooperating

By presenting and getting to know the cultural differences of the countries that make up the total wealth of Europe, the European Capital of Culture project basically connects European citizens and integrates culture into the long-term development of European cities.

This flagship was designed with this in mind, offering much more than just an interesting performance programme to the residents of Rijeka and the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the participants and the programme audience in 2020.

By bringing together 27 Neighbourhoods throughout Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and connecting each of them with a neighbourhood from one of the 27 member states of the EU, residents of islands, the coast, the hinterland, the mountain region, the City of Rijeka and Europe will be connected through cooperation and the sharing of experiences, customs and everyday lives. Informal connections and networks of cooperation will be the foundation for future cultural activities that will last beyond 2020.

The process of developing programmes for 2020 as part of this flagship for the participants and the neighbourhoods in which they live and operate adds a specific dimension of growth and empowerment in culture and in social activism that addresses individually important issues. Local communities in remote urban and rural areas will become venues for cultural events and their cooperation with one another, as well as with European partner organisations and civic associations, will develop the value of good interpersonal relations, the sharing of experiences and create an atmosphere for enjoying and learning from diversity.

The European Union is a unique community of European countries created as a result of the process of cooperation and integration. Today it has 27 member countries.

The EU member states are united in pursuing the same goals of promoting peace, and the values and well-being of their citizens, guaranteeing freedom, security and justice without internal borders.  It encourages sustainable development, a competitive market with full employment and social progress.  It protects the environment and fights against social exclusion and discrimination. The EU Member States are committed to promoting science and technology, strengthening economic, social and territorial cohesion, as well as solidarity between member states. All member states respect the rich cultural and linguistic diversity of Europe.

This is the context and these are the values under which the 2020 programme of the 27 Neighbourhoods flagship of the European Capital of Culture was created.


Čavle Neighbourhood

The Municipality of Čavle lies on the border between the coastal and the mountainous part of Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, and it is precisely this location and the corresponding transport connection that gives this area its great potential. The trend of the expansion and suburbanisation of Rijeka enhances the development possibilities of the Municipality of Čavle. The Zagreb-Rijeka state road, one of the most important roads when it comes to connecting Croatia and Central Europe, passes through the Grobnik Field and much of the Municipality.

The great potential of the cultural and historical heritage is evident in the preserved archaeological sites, the Grobnik Castle, cultural monuments, sacral objects, preserved ethnographic material and the Grobnik Chakavian dialect. Various traditional values have gained their significance thanks to the events held in their honour (the Polenta and Cheese Festival, the Grobnik bell-ringers). The neighbourhood’s potential for sports is also great, with its numerous sports facilities and clubs. The potential of Čavle also lies in two specific resources: the Platak Sports and Recreation Centre and the Grobnik car and motorcycle racetrack, as well as a small airport.

The area of the neighbourhood is distinguished by its rich history, as evidenced by remains from prehistoric times found at the sites Cernički vrh and the Town of Grobnik (436 AD). The Town of Grobnik lies above the Grobnik Field, with its old town centre and the Frankopan Castle. The Town of Grobnik, a coastal town overlooking the Gulf of Rijeka, where the Adriatic Sea reaches the deepest into the European mainland, and the Roman limes to the northwest. The legendary Grobnik Field extends to the north and the east, where in 1242 the Croats stopped the breakthrough of the Tatars to the west.  Grobnik was first mentioned in 1288 as one of the 9 creators of the Vinodol Statute.

The area of the Čavle Municipality consists of ten neighbourhoods and has a population of about 7,000, and due to its proximity to the City of Rijeka, good transport connections, infrastructure and favourable climate, it has recorded a population growth in the last several years. Cultural and sports events take place throughout the year, beginning in January with the gastronomic event “Sausage Open”, and continuing during the carnival events on Platak; in the second half of the year, a walk to the Town of Grobnik is held, when the Filipja event and the Wine Day are held in Grobnik Castle. A theatre programme is held in February, March, April, October and November at the Cultural Centre.

The Gallery of Contemporary Art is located in Grobnik Castle and was opened to the public on 30 May 1999. A number of scientific, cultural, entertainment and other programmes are held throughout the year at the Gallery, as well as in other areas of the Castle. Over the past 15 years, the Gallery of Contemporary Art has hosted a series of group and solo exhibitions of works by numerous local and foreign art