Andrićgrad attracts domestic and foreign visitors
The youngest, but the biggest attraction in Republic of Srpska
No place in RS (Republic of Srpska), in such a short time, has drawn so much interest of foreign media, officials and celebrities with them is also expected even more number of tourists. The popularity of its creator, Emir Kusturica, together with the unique ambience and building, in this small town have drawn around 200,000 visitors last year.
“According to our estimates, number of people that have visited Andrićgrad this year, is 30 – 40 percent more than the year before. Compared to last year, and it is noticeable that there are about 300,000 more entries of cars on the local border with Serbia, which is also an indication on the number of visits,” says manager of Andrićgrad, Đorđije Šipčić.
Arrival of celebrities from the whole world, such as Novak Đoković, French actress Audrey Tautou and singer Zaz, spiced visits with a special touch of glamor in this year, but the most loyal visitors are still people in RS and Serbia. At the celebration of Vidovdan (St. Vitus) 15,000 visitors filled every inch of Andrićgrad and all the accommodation in this part of RS. Many people from the surrounding places come here just to drink coffee or watch a movie in the modern theater.
“It is interesting that visit of Novak Đoković was not announced at all, but we had heard only half an hour before he came, however for that short time a lot of people gathered in the streets so they ‘flooded’ Andrićgrad. Children left their school to see him, ” says Šipčić smiling.
Those who walk through Andrićgrad often, he says, can meet Emir Kusturica who talks with the guests, and is also photographed with them . His vision, says Šipčić, is to Andrićgrad shall be primarily a cultural and after that tourist center.
“An important role in this complex has the Andrić Institute, where there is always set an exhibition, and throughout the year we have different events and happenings related to literature, history, film, Orient and similar. Here have come our most famous writers, such as Matija Bećković. People do not have habit of visiting these events, but we believe it will change with the opening of the theater in 2015. It will be a theater with the biggest stage in the Balkans, and there will be premiera of opera “The Bridge on the Drina” by the Venetian opera. The premiera should be on Vidovdan,” says Šipčić.
Gastro offer is diverse – from Sarajevo’s ćevap and Italian pizzas to Czech beer, domestic wine and brandy. For 13 January is planned opening of a restaurant of national cuisine.
“We plan that for tourist connect the Šargan Eight in Mokra Gora, National Park Tara and Andrićgrad, to make a complete tourist offer, so people would have something to do for seven days. We hope that this will be finished in two or three years,” says Đorđije Šipčić.