Istria & Kvarner
Middle Croatia
Northern Croatia
Slavonia & Baranja

Croatia  Slavonia   Baranja  Cities and Sights

Image1Bizovac | Bizovac is a village in the region of Slavonia, 8 km south of Valpovo, population 2300. Tourism started to flourish in Bizovac in 1974 when Bizovacke Toplice Spa was built. The spa is the largest one in eastern Croatia and has a high visitor rate throughout the year. The spa Bizovacke Toplice frequently hosts seminars, conferences and athletes. As the best equipped spa in Croatia, Bizovacke Toplice deserves the title of the first Croatian thermal Riviera. Bizovacke Toplice developed as a consequence of search for oil and natural gas deposits. Water attaining 96 °C was found at the depth of 2,000 m. Hyper thermal water, the hottest in Croatia and rarely found elsewhere in Europe, has a salt content of 25 ‰, and is rich in various minerals (sodium, potassium, lithium, magnesium, barium, chlorine, strontium), and helps in treatment of a variety of diseases (rheumatism, psoriasis, respiratory diseases, gynaecological, neurological and other disorders).

Daruvar | Daruvar is a town in central Croatia, population 10.000. Daruvar is a spa town, located in the western part of the Croatian plains, on the foothills of the fruitful Papuk mountain, with wine tradition longer than 2200 years, and along the fertile Ilova river.
Archaeological findings here, could be traced back to the stone age. The history of Daruvar could be traced to the 4th century BC, when the first organized habitation emerged near the warm geothermal spas in today's Daruvar valley. Celtic - Pannonian tribes living here and familiar with water treatments benefiting health, were Iassi, so called by both Greek and Roman writers.

As allies of the Roman Empire, the tribes provided support to Emperor Augustus during the siege of Siscia, (today's Sisak), and in 35, Iassi were granted local autonomy know as Res Publica Iasorum. The centre of it was Aqua Balissae, meaning very strong springs. In the year 124, during the reign of Hadrian, the area gained additional autonomy as Municipium Iassorum. Stretching between the rivers Sava and Drava, on the roads which ran between Siscia-Mursa, (Sisak- Osijek), Salona-Aquincum, Sirmium-Poetovio, it was easy to access. Emperors Hadrian, Marcus Aurelius, Commodus, Septimius Severus and Constantine I the Great, all visited Aqua Balissae's thermal complex, its decorated temple, its forum and its, amphitheatre.

In the 11th century the region became part of a mightier entity, that of the rapidly growing and politically important city of Križevci. Within, it became part of the archdiocese of Zagreb mentioned by legislators for the first time in 1334. Since the city was on a busy crossroads, there were four trading points within the valley Èetvrtkovac, Dimièkovine, Podborje and Toplice, (toplice meaning spas in Croatian). And, as it was more than millennium ago, pleasant spas kept attracting people. The population in that period was exclusively Catholic.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, all that changed. Expansion of the (Ottoman Empire) disrupted the steady development and Turks occupied lands here in 1543. The Monastery of St King Ladislaus was degraded, becoming a Turkish defensive post looking into the Krajina, military zone created to protect the Habsburg Empire just west of the city. Local people fled while Orthodox people came as servants of the Turks. They were expelled in 1699 and the now ethnically mixed area came under the rule of Vienna in 1745.

Podborje, Siraè and Pakrac were bought by count Antun Jankoviæ who in 1771 renamed Podborje to Daruvar, (daru meaning crane in Hungarian), after one building of his own he already called the Crane's castle. In 1837 Daruvar was declared a free city by decree of king Ferdinand I. Still empty lands were soon repopulated by people skilled in crafts, trade, agriculture from around Croatia and beyond. Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Italians, (around so called Little Italy), others were invited to came.

Water treatments benefiting health were well known to mentioned Iassi tribes here almost 2500 years ago, later widely used by Romans and in the middle ages. In 1772 owner of the area Antun Jankoviæ started building around the springs, envisioning correctly that the town might become healing, leisure and recreation centre again as it was proven trough the course of history. He erected numerous buildings, many of them still functional -- (Anton's spa, Ivan's spa ). After 1897 newly opened railroad brought new visitors. Restaurant Teresa, Swiss villa, Villa Arcadia, Big Mud Spa with its prominent dome and today well known city mark were all built during the turn of 19 and 20th century.

Today, Daruvarske Toplice is a special hospital complex for rehabilitation specializing in treatment of female fertility (primary and secondary sterility), with two clinics for aesthetic surgery. Warm waters (33 to 47 °C) are also used in postoperative rehabilitation, treatment of inflammations, rheumatism, the trauma of bones, hips, head, spine, and locomotion. More spas are around Pakrac and Lipik where there is also a mineral water bottling plant.

Erdut | a town in Slavonia, 40 km east of Osijek, population 1500. First mentioned in 1335 as Erdod or Erdewd. Being situated upon the Danube (road and railway border crossings), Erdut plays an important role in transit tourism. The beauty and attractiveness of the wine-growing district and the hilly landscape above the Danube have made Erdut a popular excursion destination of the Osijek and Vukovar citizens. The picturesque elevations rising above the Danube, between Aljmas and Erdut, are protected as an important landscape. The loess deposits on the remains of old elevations have already grown, and the slopes toward the Danube are cut sharply and rise 70 m above the river. Hunting and angling opportunities in the immediate vicinity. The supreme quality wines of the Erdut wine-cellars and large wooden casks are well-known. The largest cask, made of 150-year old oak-wood, with a content of 75,000 l, was included in the Guinness Book of Records.

Image2 Ernestinovo | Already a lot of years well-known sculptors present annually their work in Ernestinovo .The first exposition was organised in 1976, by the sculptor Petar Smajic. The place has been damaged heavily in the last war but is rebuilt. It has been since the Roman time a famous wine area. In the late Roman time the city increased in importance and will has been called Cuccium.

Image3Kutjevo |a town at the north-western edge of the Pozeska Valley, on the slopes of Krndija Mountain, in the region of Slavonia, 25 km northeast of Pozega, population 2500.
This famous wine-growing district at the foot of Krndija Mountain is distinguished by its valuable monuments, the church of the Blessed Virgin Mary with the former monastery. There is a beautiful park, protected as a horticultural monument. The famous Kutjevo wine cellar holds a wine collection. It was built by the Cistercians in 1232 and parts of it have been preserved in their original form, when the famous leader of the Slavonian policemen, Baron Franjo Trenk, even the most renowned Habsburg empress Maria Theresa, used to dwell there. A beautiful manor, connected with the cellars by an underground corridor, is near the cellar complex.

Lipik | Lipik is a town and a health resort in the valley of the Pakra river, on the slopes of Papuk and Psunj Mountains in western Slavonia, southwest of Pakrac, population 4000.

Lipik is a famous health resort at the foot of the western slopes of Psunj Mountain. Thermal water springs underlie the development of health tourism. Water temperature at the source reaches up to 60 °C and the daily capacity is 15,000 hectolitres. This alkaline water is rich in fluorine, sodium and calcium, and suitable for treatment of locomotors system disorders, heart diseases, vascular diseases, sciatica, lumbago, multiple sclerosis. Medicinal mud is also used in treatment. Mineral water is used for drinking, and offered on the market under the brand name "Lipicki Studenac". The region of Lipik is famous for breeding of beautiful and prized horses, the Lippizaner, in nearby Izidorovac, where Izidor Jankovic initiated breeding of these horses at the beginning of the 19th century.

Image4Nasice |a town on the northern slopes of Krndija Mountain in eastern Slavonia, population 8500. First mentioned in 1229 under the name of Nekche. Major industries include metal processing, foodstuffs, textiles, cement , wood processing, printing and stone excavation. This economic and cultural centre is famous for its valuable cultural and historical heritage, the Gothic church, two manors, exhibitions of the art colony "Hinko Juhn". Nasice plays an important role in business and excursionist tourism. The nice park by both of the Pejacevic manors (horticultural monument), the private zoo of the Bizik family in nearby Markovac as well as the interesting surroundings at the foot of Krndija Mountain emphasize the importance of natural beauty.

Image5 Nature Park Kopacki Rit | Nature Park Kopacki rit is one of the largest natural marshlands in Europe situated in the north-east of Croatia in the corner made by the mouths of the Drava River into the Danube River. The basic ecological feature of Kopacki rit is given by the flood-dynamics so that the landscape of the whole region depends on the flood intensity. The parts of the swamp land and water, arranged mosaically, change its size, form and function depending on the quantity of the risen water, namely from the Danube River and less from the Drava River.

In spite of the monotonous flat-land sight, the micro-relief structure of Kopacki rit is very complex. Very significant are the lakes (large sagging permanently filled up with water), as well as periodically flooded areas and waterways. The largest lake is the Kopacevo Lake and the deepest one is the Sakadas Lake. The channels are a link between the Danube and the Drava and here is a network of the channels which make water links within marshland.
Due to its state of preservation as the rare marshland ecosystem, great biological diversity and exceptional scientific and ecological values, Kopacki rit was protected in 1967 through the status of the Managed Natural Reserve on the area of 17,730 ha. In 1976, the proper reserve area of 7,220 ha received the status of the Special Zoological Reserve and the wide area of 10,510 ha received the status of the Nature Park. The international significance of Kopacki rit was confirmed in 1993 by its registration in the list of internationally significant marshlands in accordance with the Ramsar Convention.

Due to the specific quality of the micro relief and permanent flooding, different types of vegetation exist in the Kopacki rit region. On one hand, these are different types of forests and on the other, the marshland and water vegetation, while the higher concentration of the game and anthropogenic influence are connected with the nitrphilous and grassland vegetation. Regarding the forest associations, the largest areas in the marshland are covered with the forests of white willow (Galio­Salicetum albae) which can stand high level and long-lasting floods. On a little higher grounds, with short flooding time, there are white willow and black poplar forests (Salici­Populetum nigrae) and on the more raised places there are the forests of white and black poplar (Populetum nigro­albae). On the extended Kopacki rit region there are also oak forests - on the lower grounds there are common oak forests and green weeds (Genisto elatae­Quercetum roboris) and on the drier areas there are common oak forests and yoke elm forests (Carpino betuli­roboris).

The largest water areas within the marshland are covered by the water and swamp vegetation with numerous communities. Here are mixed the communities of great duckweed out of which the most frequent is Lemno­Spirodetelum polyrhizae. In the mosaic with the other water communities there also appear the ones of frog lily (Potamogetonetum lucentis and Potamogetonetum graminei), community of water­milfoil (Myriophyllo­Nupharetum). But the largest areas are covered by the fringed buck bean communities (Nymphoidetum peltatae). Along the margins of the lakes and channels and on the occasionally flooded areas, the most extended are the reeds (Scirpo­Phragmitetum) and the communities of the tall senegrass (Caricetum elatae, Caricetum vesicariae, Caricetum gracilis). They occupy large marshland areas and give to it a characteristic picture. All together, some forty plant communities and more than three hundred flora species indicate great vegetation diversity of Kopacki rit.

The autochthonous flora and the Kopacki rit vegetation offer favourable living conditions to various representatives of the invertebrates. Until today, more than 400 species of invertebrates were registered including a new form of shell species, Unio tumidus kopaciensis. According to some archeological finds, even from the Stone Age, it is evident that the Kopacki rit region was exceptionally rich in fish from the ancient times. According to the catch data, 44 species of fish were registered, among which the most represented were: carp (Cyprinous carpio), pike-perch (Esox lucius), sheat-fish (Silurus glanis) and perch (Stizostedion lucioperca).

The immense reeds, forests and ponds of Kopacki rit and the surrounding pasture-lands offer the ideal living conditions to many mammals: red deer (Cervus elaphus) population, roe (Capreolus capreolus), boar (Sus scrofa), hare (Lepus europeus), red fox (Vulpes vulpes) and other species. Kopacki rit is one of the best-known habitat regions of the red deer whose numerousness is three times as much as in the best European habitats.

The bird fauna makes the basic ecological reconcilability of Kopacki rit. Even 285 bird species are recorded in Kopacki rit out of which 141 species are the birds that nest regularly or occasionally in the marshland. Some of these bird species nest in big colonies ­ herons (Ardea cinerea, Ardea purpurea), lapwing gull (Larus ridibundus), tern (Chlidonias hybrida), cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo) and others. In the Kopacki rit region, 20 pairs of white tailed sea eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla) also nest , a species endangered on the world scale level. Among the other endangered species which regularly nest here are 5 pairs of black stork (Ciconia nigra), 4 to 5 pairs of falcon (Falco cherrug), 40 pairs of egret (Egretta garzetta) and about 100 pairs of wild geese (Anser anser). Several hundred pairs of duck (Aythya nyroca) nest in Kopacki rit and they are among the most endangered species. During the spring and autumn migrations, Kopacki rit represents a very significant resting place for many marshland species and there are several hundred thousands of birds in the marshland at that time.

Nova Gradiska | Nova Gradiška is situated in eastern part of Croatia. It is town with 16.000 citizens and centre of area with approximately 60.000 inhabitants. The town is situated in plain area with mountain background. Climate is continental. Nova Gradiška is positioned on main European motorway (E-70) and railway directions, which connect West Europe with South-east Europe and Asia, and North Europe with Mediterranean. Nova Gradiska is important industrial centre with developed wood-processing, metal-processing, electro-technical, textile and food-processing industry. The features of a planned town of the Military Border District (the square, the Baroque church) reveal the geo strategic and cultural importance of the area that connected Slavonia with Bosnia. There are two special forest reserves in the primeval forest stage Muski Bunar on Psunj Mountain, an area covered with mountain forests of beech and sessile oak, and Prasnik, a common oak and hornbeam forest and a mixed forest of common oak and broom.

Orahovica a town on the northern slopes of Krndija Mountain, 20 km northwest of Nasice, population 4500. First mentioned in 1228 as a feudal estate. Manufactures include wood processing (panel-parquet), building material (bricks), ceramics (tiles) and metal processing.
The historical references connect this city with the city of Rulica, which is first mentioned in 1228 in a land-registry, and in 1357 it is already a royal possession. The remains of the city of Ružica, near Orahovica, are a priceless historic monument. In size, it is also the second biggest fortress (after Medvedgrad) in the continental part of Croatia. In 1420 Orahovica becomes part of inheritance of a mighty Slavonic family Gorjanski, and after the death of the last male descendant of the Gorjanskis, Orahovica becomes part of the possession of Lovre Ilièki. In June 1543 the city, the whole possession and the territory of Orahovica are in possession of Turks, and the city is centre of a rich sanjak and remains so until 1687. After the liberation of the Turks the territory of Orahovica comes under the rule of the Royal Chamber. In 1733 the Counts Pejaèeviæ sold Orahovica to a rich man from Macedonia, Demetar Mihaloviæ, in whose family's possession it remain until the 19th century.

Except the priceless city of Ružica dating in the Middle Ages, a cultural-historic monument is also the complex of St. Nicholas, built in place of the Roman-Catholic monastery of a hermitical order of St. Augustine. The parochial church of the Act of finding of St Cross was built in 1756 and the holiday of the Act of finding of St Cross, May 3rd is celebrated as the day of the city of Orahovica.

The lake of Orahovica stands out for its natural beauty, together with the mountain and holiday resort Jankovac with a natural waterfall approximately 20 m high.

Except for the agricultural production, i.e. processing fruit and vegetables, Orahovica is also known for its ceramic and parquet industry.
A lot of cultural institutions function in Orahovica, and there are also some traditional tourist manifestations like, the Spring of Orahovica, the Viticulture and wine-selling fair, etc.

Osijek | see link cities Osijek

Image6Pozega | A town in the south-western part of the Pozeska Valley in the region of Slavonia, population 22.000

An attractive location of the town in the middle of the fertile Pozeska Valley, 800-years old cultural and historical heritage and carefully cherished traditions underlie the tourist development of Pozega. The importance of this region may also be seen in its Roman name, Vallis Aurea the Golden Valley.

The central town square with a number of nice buildings, the church of the Holy Spirit, the Franciscan monastery, the Town House and a plague column is one of the most beautiful squares in Croatia. Pozega hosts a number of traditional cultural events and performances. Grgurevo (St. Gregory's Day) is the traditional show of canons and mortars, exhibited on the central square (12th of March). The event includes the mortar fire in Pozega vineyards, which symbolizes chasing of the Ottomans from the region and commemorates the victory over the Turks on the Sokolovac hill in 1688. The festival of Croatian one-minute films and the national dog show are held in May. The events in June include St. John's Bonfire (21st of June) and "Kulenijada", a special event dedicated to presentation and tasting of the very best Slavonian paprika-flavoured sausages (kulen), served with local wines (end of June, beginning of July).

Slavonski Brod | see link cities Slavonsk Brod

Valpovo |Valpovo is a town in Slavonia, Croatia. It is close to the Drava river in the region of Podravina, 25 km northwest with population of 8400. Economy is based on farming, livestock breeding, forestry, wood and timber and foodstuffs industries; close to the town are oil and natural gas deposits.

Located close to the banks of the Drava river (5 km), Valpovo was an ancient dwelling of feudal families. Major attraction include important cultural and historical heritage, remains of a mediaeval fortification, the old brickwork bridge, churches and a landscaped park, protected as a horticultural monument. The most important annual event is the Valpovo Summer, attended by a number of cultural clubs with folklore, music, theatrical and other performances.

Vinkovci | Welcome to Vinkovci, the town lying on the banks of the Bosut in the gorgeously rich and green Slavonian plain The town of rich heritage in history and culture spreading over seven millennia, the town which has kept in memory the glory and decline of the greatest civilisations, the most atrocious wars and climate shocks.

The town core is still within the walls of the Roman settlement of "Colonia Aurelia Cibalae". Vinkovci was the birth of two Roman emperors - Valens and Valentinian. In the 3rd century the town was the seat of an early Christian bishopric. The two local saints, St. Eusebius and St. Polion, belong to this period.

Upon the end of the Middle Age the name of the town of Sveti Ilija was suppressed by its present secular name of Vinkovci, thus witnessing its Croatian inhabitants that had settled in the ruins of the ancient "Cibalae". Owing to the fact that Vinkovci became the military centre of the region in the Hapsburg Monarchy, it developed very fast and actually acquired its present baroque outlook.
The town is proud of its celebrities, such as Josip Šokèeviæ, Croatian viceroy, Josip Runjanin, composer of the Croatian anthem, writers M. A. Relkoviæ, Ivan and Josip Kozarac, Vladimir Kovaèiæ, Joza Ivakiæ, artists Vanja Radauš, Slavko Kopaè, Albert Kinert, and many others.

Virovitica | a town on the northern slopes of Bilogora Mountain in the region of Podravina, 45 km southeast of Koprivnica, population 16.000. Economy is based on farming, livestock breeding, forestry, foodstuffs (sugar refinery, production of vinegar, ethyl alcohol, alcoholic drinks, animal fodder), wood and timber (furniture, moulds), metal-processing (fittings, tools, casts), leather (footwear), building material, tobacco processing and printing industries. Virovitica is an important place in transit tourism because of the intersection of several roads and the railway junction.

The town is dominated by the Pejacevic castle, the Baroque-style park next to the castle, arranged at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, is a horticultural monument. There are several attractive excursion destinations in the immediate vicinity of Virovitica, the most interesting of them being large fishponds in Razbojiste at the foot of Bilogora Mountain and Milanovac on the wine-growing hills of Bilogora. This mountain also provides excellent hunting grounds (high and small game), while small game hunting and angling are possible along the Drava river.

Vrpolje | a village in the region of Slavonia, 10 km south of Dakovo, population 2200. Vrpolje is visited by numerous tourists and lovers of Mestrovic's art. Mestrovic was born here because Vrpolje was a temporary residence of his family (his father was involved in the construction of the railroad Dakovo Samac); later on the family returned to Otavice near Drnis.

Vukovar | A town and river port at the confluence of the Vuka river into the Danube, 19 km east of Vinkovci, 36 km southeast of Osijek, population 45000. Economy is based on farming, viticulture, livestock breeding, textile and food-processing industry. Vukovar is located on the main road (M7) Osijek Vukovar Ilok and on the railroad Vinkovci Vukovar. The largest Croatian town and river port on the Danube is famous for the heroic battle in the Patriotic War and, unfortunately, unprecedented devastation to which the town was exposed over the months. Among a number of attractive buildings, severely damaged in the recent war, the most interesting are the castle of the Eltz family (18th c.), Baroque buildings in the centre of the town, the Franciscan monastery, the parish church of St. James, the Orthodox church of St. Nicholas, etc. Outside the town, on the banks of the Danube toward Ilok, is the famous archaeological site, Vucedol. The ritual vessel called Vucedol Dove is considered the symbol of Vukovar. Vucedol is also a well-known excursion destination, frequented by anglers and bathers, especially the beautiful sand beach on Orlov Otok (Eagle's Island). Sports and recreational opportunities are provided at the attractive confluence of the Vuka river into the Danube, on the promenades along the Danube and maintained beaches. This city in Croatian Eastern Slavonia was the site of the worst destruction in Croatian-Serbian war in 1991/92. For four months Serbian artillery pounding with 2-5000 shells a day destroyed every single dwelling in the city reducing it to rubble. Once rich multi-ethnic city of 50,000 became a home to a few Serb refugees who lived in its ruins under the UN protection. Vukovar was not re-captured in Operation Storm. Instead, the entire Eastern Slavonia region was peacefully reunited with Croatia in two years following the Dayton Peace Agreement.

Zupanja a town on the left bank of the Sava river, at the contact between the region of Posavina and the region of Spacva in Slavonia; 34 km southwest of Vinkovci,population 12000. Economy is based on farming, livestock breeding, foodstuffs (sugar refinery, powder milk factory, grain processing) and metal-processing (agricultural machinery) industries. The border-crossing town on the Sava river, opposite of Bosnia and Herzegovina. A special tourist attraction is the old border-crossing watch-tower (Cardak) on the Sava river. The central square is dominated by the monument dedicated to football and tennis, which commemorates the distant year of 1880, when football and tennis were introduced in Zupanja (mediated by the English). Archaeological finds from the Bronze Age and the Early Croatian Period . The parish church of St. John the Head-Cutter (1800) features mostly preserved altars from the period of its construction. Among stylistic houses from the period of the Military Border, the wooden watchtower (border-crossing watch-tower from the 19th c.) is the major attraction.