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Croatia  Slavonski Brod

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Image1 Slavonski Brod is the sixth largest city in Croatia, with a population of 64,612 in 2001. The city was known as Marsonia in the Roman Empire, and as Brod na Savi between 1244–1934. Located in the region of Slavonia, it is the centre of the Brod-Posavina county, and a river port on the Sava river, 197 km southeast of Zagreb; with elevation of 96 m above sea level.

Slavonski Brod has a temperate continental climate, with dry hot summers, and cold winters, with little snow.

The economy is based on farming, viticulture, fruit growing, metal-processing (locomotives, wagons, bridge structures), timber and (furniture wood, parquetry), textiles (ready-made), leather, foodstuffs (brewery), building material, (lime), printing industries.

The city developed at the strategically important crossing over the Sava river towards Bosanski Brod in Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is an important intersection of the Posavina part of the highway and a railway junction, since located on the highway (E70, A3) Zagreb–Lipovac–Belgrade and the railroad Zagreb–Vinkovci–Belgrade.

The city has important cultural heritage: a fortress, a military and spiritual centre (the Franciscan monastery with a rich library). The most important annual cultural event in the town is the children's festival "In the World of the Fairy Tales of writer Ivana Brlic Mazuranic" (in April and May).
It consists of performances for children, theatre performances, etc. The Brod Round Dance, an annual show of original folklore, is held in mid-June, while the Festival of Patriotic Folk Songs takes place in May. The artistic "Sava" colony cherishes the tradition of watercolour painting.

The city also hosts the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Osijek University.

In the immediate surroundings of the town there are interesting hunting grounds (Migalovci), fishponds (Jelas Polje), a lake (Petnja). There are pleasant orchards and vineyards, Dilj,(Gora), mountain, swimming opportunities. Tourists and visitors are offered a number of sports grounds within the city as well its surroundings.

Slavonski Brod is and was a birth or living town of a few well known poets and writers:

Ivana Brliæ-Mažuraniæ (childrens poems), Dragutin Tadijanoviæ, Krunoslav Kern, Zdravko, Æosiæ , Predrag Goll , Josip Majiæ, Vilim Buk, Branka Kijuk, Stjepan Dujmoviæ.

Places worth seeing

The Franciscan Monastery | In 1694, a timber Franciscan monastery (baroque) was built to serve the needs of communal monastic life. The foundations of the new monastery, built of stone, out of the range of the of the fortress guns, were laid in 1727 by the baron Trenk, commander of Brod.
The west wing and the garden wall were finished by the end of that year. By 1732, the south wing was completed, followed by the east wing (1768-1770). Above the monastery north passage a clock was sited, which, together with the sundial, was made by A.Schotz. The Franciscan friars of Brod were not only spiritual leaders but also had a significant educational role.

By opening a school in 1709, they were the first educators, and, in 1720, they opened the Faculty of Philosophy. To this day the Franciscans have continued their work in the Sava region round Brod, and the Franciscan monastery is one of the most significant Baroque buildings in Slavonia, having the finest monastery cloister in northern Croatia.

The Brod Fortress | The Fortress Brod represents a remarkable monument of the Baroque architecture of the 18th century. In the European history of Baroque fortifications it played significant role as part of the system of fortified towns on the frontier towards Turkish Empire. Prince Eugene of Savoy designed it at the beginning of the 18th century.

Although uniform in architecture the Fortress was built in three different construction stages during 18th century. The original form was characteristic square - like form of Vauban type of fortification built according to designs of engineers Willer and Perette from 1715. The final form of fortification complex was star like form as designed by the main designer of the Military Frontier the Swiss engineer, educated in tradition of Netherlands fortification school Nicolaus Doxat de Demoret.

Building of the fortress was finished at the time of queen Maria Theresia in seventies of the l8th century, when greater part of edifices within the fortress were finished, including a unique structure of Cavalier the greatest building of this type in fortification architecture in general. Cavalier surrounded the central square of the whole fortress on three sides, giving the whole structure the appearance of single "bastion". Its expressive Baroque fortification form was completed with the building of the central fort chapel of St. Ann, and the characteristic vertical structure of bell tower with watch, located in the central axle of the fort complex. The vast area of the fortress stood opposite to the town settlement which existed in the shadow of the fortress, separated from it and subordinated; mutual relation which decisively determined development of the urban area.

As independent military fortification and garrison within the defensive system of the Military Frontier, the fortress demonstrates inherent similarity to the Roman military camp, but adapted to the modern use of artillery of the new age By its enormous and monumental structure the Fortress Brod represents a monument in the Croatian cultural heritage comparable to Diokletian Palace in Split. The fortress consisting of earthen ramparts and brick built structures, with deep ditches of regular geometrical form filled with water dramatically symbolizes the region of Slavonia, and its whole turbulent history The long-term efforts of magistrate to join the complex of devastated and heavily neglected fortress, lying in the very centre of town, to the town area was successful after the Homeland War. In 1994 the concept of integral reconstruction of the Fortress has been accepted, which decision was supported by the well-preserved original documentation and the practice in other European countries.

The concept predominated that only through reconstruction of the fortress. Slavonski Brod could turn back its full ambient, historical, and urban value. Since 1995, in the reconstructed edifice of Slavonian garrison, Franciscans lead the Brod Classical Gymnasium, St. Mihovil's and St. Eugen's Bastions as well as the Edifice of Officer's Pavillion, the seat of the city administration, are renovated at all, while in casemates of the west cavalier there is the building of the Gallery Ruzic with notable collection from the Donation of Branko Ruzic (Slavonski Brod, 1919 - Zagreb, 1997), world famous and respectable contemporary Croatioan sculptor and other Croatian sculptors and painters, his friends and associates. Nowdays, the Fortress Brod belongs to town of Brod, which took decisive steps towards reconstruction and protection of this valuable cultural monument, built two and half centuries by diligent and industrious hands of Slavonian rangers.

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