Astrotourism: Jelsa is the first in Croatia to join the International Dark Sky Community

Astronomy Days were organized in Jelsa, which is another step of Jelsa towards the development of astrotourism. As part of the program, primary school children learned how to observe the sun with telescopes, but also everything ...
jelsa dark sky
Photo: TZ Jelsa

They are organized in Jelsa Astronomy Days which are another step of Jelsa towards the development of astrotourism. As part of the program, primary school children learned how to observe the sun with telescopes, but also everything about the stars and light pollution. The workshops introduced the children to the most important constellations and the brightest stars currently seen in the sky, as well as the problem of light pollution and why we are missing stars.

Jelsa should gain status by the end of the year The International Dark Sky Community and become the first municipality / city in Croatia to proudly bear that title. This title confirms Jelsa as a destination that has an exceptional quality of the night sky and respects high environmental standards in terms of light pollution, which together make a big step towards creating an astro-tourist offer in the area of ​​Jelsa.

/// DARK SKY PARK ON THE ISLAND OF HVAR AS A TOURIST PRODUCT? ABSOLUTELY

The Dark Sky Park is defined by the strict criteria of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), the only non-profit organization in the world whose task is to preserve and protect the night environment and the heritage of the night sky through quality exterior lighting. , with the aim of preserving the natural treasures and great potential of the unpolluted night landscape and almost untouched nature.

The designation of the International Dark Sky Park is a unique way of promoting the protection of the night sky in the world, and thus also a special recognition of the protected landscape which provides added value and attractiveness not only in terms of nature protection but also in tourism. The label is awarded to protected areas of nature that have extremely dark skies full of stars and implement programs to popularize astronomy, educate the public on the issue of light pollution and actively promote and preserve the night sky for present and future generations. 

Milky Way from the mound
Photo: HCroatian Astronomical Union
Jelsa was the first to develop astrotourism

Secretary General of the Croatian Astronomical Union Dorian Božičević in Jelsa, he serviced the cameras of the Croatian Meteor Network located in the Eco-ethno village Humac and continued with the measurements of light pollution in the area of ​​the Municipality of Jelsa, which is soon preparing to submit an application to the International Dark Sky Association (IDA) for status The International Dark Sky Community, reported from the Croatian Astronomical Association, announcing that they expect to receive the status by the end of the year.

Unlike the park, the dark sky community is a village, town, municipality and other legally recognized communities that have shown exceptional commitment to preserving the dark sky through the implementation of quality outdoor lighting and raising awareness of light pollution. Namely, International Dark Sky Organization In 2001, it launched the "International Dark Sky Locations" program. The program recognizes and aims to protect areas around the world with preserved and natural dark skies, ie without or with a minimum amount of light pollution.

The Dark Sky Park in Jelsa is a quality and different tourist product because seeing the sky full of stars, without light pollution, as well as the Milky Way, is definitely something that everyone should experience. Not only through tourists who are already on the island of Hvar in the context of additional offers, but also for some new tourists who are just attracted by the black sky parks and for various students and scientists who study the sky and through education and workshops know how to stay for weeks. the story is there, now it needs to be nicely packaged and presented and sold.

When was the last time, or even ever, you saw a sky full of stars and no light pollution? A very rare opportunity and a unique experience.

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