Two cities in Eastern Croatia important for the cultural development of the region Slavonia & Baranja. Both were candidates for the European Capital of Culture because of their long history, rich in tradition, and their tangible and intangible heritage. Each of them has its own specific features.
About OSIJEK – River city with an impressive Art Nouveau heritage
Osijek is the fourth largest city in Croatia with a population of about 100.000. It is the largest city and the economic and cultural centre of the Croatian eastern lowland region Slavonia & Baranja, also called "capital city of Slavonia". The river city is located on the Drava River, 25 km (16 mi) upstream of its confluence with the Danube. Osijek has a well-earned reputation for being the most relaxing of Croatian cities. It also hosts an extreme sports contest called the "Pannonian challenge“.
About DJAKOVO – The heart of Eastern Slavonia
Djakovo is with the population of almost 28.000 inhabitants the second largest town in the Osijek-Baranja county. It is also called "the heart of Eastern Slavonia". In the architecture of Djakovo, must-see sightseeings are the medieval Gothic walls that surrounded and protected the town in 14th century, the parochial church of All Saint's, the former mosque from 16th century and the old city nucleus from the 18th and 19th century, with the characteristics of baroque, secession and historicism. The wealth of folklore is preserved and nurtured as part of well-known manifestation called "Djakovacki vezovi" (The Djakovo Embroideries).
Starting point for this day-trip is in Osijek, “the capital of Slavonia“, where you will meet your guide. There is a possibility to pick you up at your accommodation place. This option is on request. The city tour of Osijek includes visit to Upper Town which is a true historical treasure trove, including Neo-Gothic church of Sts. Peter and Paul. Walking through European Avenue – one of the most beautiful Art Noveau streets in this part of Europe – is another highlight of this tour. On the central square you will get to know the modern face of Osijek and its lively cultural activity. After that we continue to the Tvrdja - the old baroque citadel, a complex built in the 18th century with impressive defensive walls and town gates, and Baroque circular pillar of the Holy Trinity on the main square. During a city tour, not just the history of the city will be illuminated, but also you can watch how gingerbread hearts being made and decorated in the active workshops. After that we will take a half an hour for coffee time. Tvrdja is one of the locations where people of Osijek spend time chatting while enjoying their coffee.
After the sightseeing tour of Osijek's most beautiful parts, the journey continues towards Djakovo. After a 45 min drive, we arrive in Djakovo just in time for having lunch in a local restaurant with traditional Slavonian cuisine. After lunch we will visit representative Djakovo State Stud Farm with Lipizzaner horses founded by Bosnia-Sirmia bishops in 1506. It is the oldest institution for breeding and selection in the Republic of Croatia. The Stud Farm was known throughout the Austria-Hungary Monarchy. We continue our visit in Djakovo with the city tour. The first thing you see when approaching Djakovo is the brightness of the bricks of the two towers and cupolas of the most beautiful cathedral in the area from Venice to Istanbul. Completely unprecedented Cathedral of St. Peter, with the characteristics of Gothic and Romanic architecture, is the symbol of Djakovo.
Description: This very special excursion ends in Osijek from where we started our day-trip. Return time in Osijek around 17:30 pm.
- Wine tasting - Visit to the Museum of Slavonia - Visit to the Museum of shells - Visit to the Museum of the Djakovo region - Guided tour and sales of folk costumes
Departures 2019: March - December
Dates: on request
Price: from 38 € per person
NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE / Additional costs:
Highlights of OSIJEK
Tvrdja is a Baroque military complex of buildings built in the 18th century with impressive defensive walls and town gates, Romanic nucleus and rectangular main square. Tvrdja was originally built to protect against the Ottomans, now it’s a centre of Osijek’s nightlife. Some of important buildings preserved in Tvrđa are: Holy Trinity Square (1729-1730), fountain, old gymnasium, Museum of Slavonia building, many beautiful aristocratic and citizen buildings. There is also the Church of St. Michael with valuable inventory and accessories.
Franciscan monastery which was founded in 1699 was the place of the first faculty in Slavonia in 1735 (philosophy and theology studies). In the same year the first printing house in Slavonia was established here.
The Neo-Gothic Co-cathedral of St. Peter and Paul built in 1894 is a structure with the second highest tower in Croatia after the Zagreb Cathedral. The tower measure 90 m (295.28 ft) and can be seen from throughout Osijek. Because of its size most locals refer to it as the cathedral but it is only a parish church.
European Avenue located in the Lower Town. The most beautiful Art Nouveau street in Osijek. The beauty of this avenue makes a series of majestic and charming secessionist buildings.
Highlights of DJAKOVO
The Cathedral of St. Peter - the symbol of Djakovo and the most important cultural monument of the town, built in 1866 in the Romanesque-Gothic style. A masterpiece of the architecture. The Pope John XIII called it the most beautiful cathedral between Venice and Istanbul. The merits for the construction of the cathedral, which lasted from 1866 to 1882, belongs to the Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, the great Croatian patriot and the noble benefactor of art and education.
State Stud Farm of Lipizzaner horses - world famous for the centennial tradition of breeding thoroughbred horses. The breeding of Lipizzaner horses started in the early 19th century. In addition to breeding and selection of horses, stud farm is also famous for the horse dressages whose quality is confirmed by taking a notable places in the equestrian competitions. After enthusiastic performance of Đakovo Lipizzaners at the opening of the Olympic Games, Queen Elizabeth II., an expert in these precious animals, was so impressed that she visited the stud farm in 1972.
Recommendation: Visiting the well-known traditional manifestation Djakovo Embroidery in June 2019 – an event of the original ethnic folklore.