Croatian photo Gajeta becomes official postcard of the European Union

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European Union postcard Andrina Luić / HINA

October 28, 2021 – A Falkuša gajeta from Komiža on the island of Vis and a Betina gajeta from Murter are featured in an award-winning Croatian photograph which will now become an official postcard of the European Union

If you are reading this, chances are you already know that Croatia is very often “pretty postcard”. Well, it looks like you’re not the only one thinking so.

The work of a Croatian photographer won over the judges of a competition to find an official postcard of the European Union. The photograph (main photo), taken by Hina journalist Andrina Luić, shows two sailboats – a Falkuša gajeta and a Betina gajeta. Both are traditional wooden vessels commonly seen in Croatian waters. In the background, the Betina gajeta is immediately recognizable as Croatian because its sail features a red and white checkerboard pattern.

European Union postcard competition

71299576_928242307537251_4078243795999653888_n.jpg© Dani u Vali

The ‘Greetings from the Islands’ photo competition was published in September by the Clean Energy Secretariat for EU Islands of the European Commission (here). Andrina, from Lukoran on the island of Ugljan, took her winning photo two years ago in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar. The sailboats were photographed during the ‘Days in Vala’ festival of ships, seas and sailors (here). The event is organized by Cronaves from Split, of which Andrina is a member. It is a company whose aim is to promote the Croatian maritime heritage.

Andrina’s photography will now help promote Croatian maritime heritage across the continent. Thousands of people will see the traditional wooden boats and their sails when the image is transformed into an official postcard of the European Union. The photo triumphed over other photos of islands in Italy, Spain, Germany, Portugal and elsewhere in Croatia. The evaluation criteria were originality, creativity, overall artistic feel and composition, and visual appeal. Each competitor was only allowed to enter one photo in the competition. It seems that Andrea – who has been photographing for many years – made exactly the right choice.

Falkuša gajeta from Komiža on the island of Vis and Betina gajeta from the island of Murter

Neven_Jović.jpgTraditional Betina gajeta ships during a regatta around Murter Island © Neven Jović

A Falkuša gajeta is a thinner and faster version of the Murter style gajeta. Falkuša boats have been used for fishing in the Vis and Korcula Islands region since at least the 16th century. They were adapted to the needs of the fishermen of Komiža on the island of Vis, who regularly traveled offshore – as far west as the Palagruža archipelago – to hunt their catch.

The model for these boat designs was taken to Betina on the island of Murter by the Korcula shipbuilder Paško Filippi in the first half of the 18th century. There he founded a shipyard and began to build his boats, adapting them to the slightly different climate and the very different needs of the locals.

The people of Murter and the surrounding area needed a boat as much for transporting goods as for fishing. Therefore, the Betina gajeta was made stronger, wider, taller and more load-bearing, with a bridge at the bow and at the stern. They were commonly used to transport goods between Murter and the areas of the Kornati Islands.

Today you can visit an award-winning museum (here) dedicated to the history of this wooden boat building in Betina, on the island of Murter. Or, if you can’t get there anytime soon, now you can settle for one of Andrea’s postcards until you can.


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