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"Mursa" redirects here. For the barbel species, see Luciobarbus mursa.
Osijek
City of Osijek/Essek/Eszék
Church of St. Peter and Paul
Osijek is located in Croatia
Osijek
Osijek within Croatia
Coordinates: 45°33′27.11″N 18°40′46.52″E / 45.5575306°N 18.6795889°E / 45.5575306; 18.6795889
Country Croatia
County Osijek-Baranja County
Government
 - Mayor Krešimir Bubalo (HDSSB)
Area
 - City 204 km2 (78.8 sq mi)
Elevation 94 m (308 ft)
Population (2001)
 - City 167,456
 Density 678/km2 (1,756/sq mi)
 Urban 193,187
 Metro 231,540
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 - Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Post code 31000
Area code(s) 31
Licence plate OS
Website OSIJEK.hr (English)

Osijek (Croatian pronunciation: [ˈɔsjɛk]) is the fourth largest city in Croatia with a population of 114,616 in 2001.[1] It is the largest city and the economic and cultural centre of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia, as well as the administrative centre of Osijek-Baranja county. Osijek is located on the right bank of the river Drava, 25 kilometres (16 mi) upstream of its confluence with the Danube, at an elevation of 94 metres (308 ft).

Contents

Name

The name was given to the city due to its position on elevated ground which prevented the city being flooded by the local swamp waters. Its name Osijek comes from the Croatian word "oseka" which means "ebb tide".

Due to its past and its history within the Habsburg Monarchy and briefly in the Ottoman Empire and also due to the presence of German and Hungarian minorities throughout its history, Osijek also has (or had) its names in other languages, notably Hungarian: Eszék, German: Esseg, Serbian: Осек or Осијек, Latin: Essec, Turkish: Ösek. All those names were adjusted variations to the original Croatian given name. In Roman times Osijek was called Mursa Maior.

History

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Origins

St. Michael's Church, in Osijek's Baroque Tvrđa

The origins of human habitation of Osijek dates back to Neolithic times, with the first known inhabitants belonging to the Illyrian tribes. Roman emperor Hadrian raised the old settlement of Mursa to a colony with special privileges in 131. After that, Mursa had a turbulent history, with several decisive battles taking place (among which the Battle of Mursa Major in 351 and the battle between Aureolus and Ingenuus in 260), deciding the destiny of the whole region. After their migration, the Croats made a settlement near the ruins of Mursa, giving it its present name, Osijek. Life was thriving here in the Middle Ages, but only traces of that life can be found today because the Turks destroyed everything they found and made a town to suit their style.

The earliest mentions of Osijek date to 1196. The town was a feudal property of the Korogyi family between 1353 and 1472. The city was sacked and destroyed by the Ottoman Empire on August 8, 1526. The Turks rebuilt it in oriental style and it was mentioned in the Turkish census of 1579. In 1566, Suleiman the Magnificent built a famous, 8 kilometer-long wooden bridge of boats in Osijek, considered to be one of the wonders of the world. The town was officially promoted to a city by the end of the 17th century. She was a sanjak of Budin Eyalet.

Habsburg Empire

Osijek was restored to western rule when on September 29, 1687 it was occupied by the Habsburg Empire. Between 1712 and 1721, new Austrian authorities built a new fortress (authored by the architect Maximilian de Gosseau), known as Tvrđa. It is a unique urban and military complex that lies in the heart of the town. Its main central Holy Trinity Square is closed on the north by the building of the Military Command, on the west there is the Main Guard building and on the east is the Magistrate building (presently Museum of Slavonia). In the middle there is a monument to the plague, erected in 1729 by general Petras' widow. The Gornji Grad (Upper Town) was founded in 1692 and Donji Grad (Lower Town) followed on 1698. Tvrđa, Gornji and Donji grad continued as separate municipalities until 1786. In late 18th century it took over from Virovitica as the centre of the Verőce county.

The Habsburg empire also facilitated the migration and settlement of German immigrants into the town and region.

Secessionist architecture

In 1809 Osijek was granted the title of a Free Royal City and during the early 19th century it was the largest city in Croatia. The city developed along the lines of other central European cities, with cultural, architectural and socio-economic influences filtering down from Vienna and Buda.

Secessionist façade of Osijek

During the 19th century, cultural life mostly revolved around the theatre, museums (the first museum was opened in 1877 by private donations), collections and printing houses (the Franciscans). City society, whose development was accompanied by a prosperous economy and developed trade relations, was related to religious festivals, public events (fairs), entertainment and sports. The Novi Grad (New Town) section of the city was built in the 19th century, as well as Retfala to the west.

20th century

The newest additions to the city include Sjenjak, Vijenac, Jug and Jug II, which were built in the 20th century. The city's geographical riverside location, and noted cultural and historical heritage — particularly the baroque Tvrđa, one of the most immediately recognizable structures in the region — facilitated the development of tourism. The Osijek oil refinery was a strategic bombing target of the Oil Campaign of World War II.

During the war in Croatia from 1991 to 1995 the city avoided heavy destruction (unlike nearby Vukovar, for example) and sustained moderate damage, especially to the centre and Co-cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul[2] and to the periphery. More than a thousand (over 1200) civilians also died in the daily bombarding of the town.[3] While some buildings still have mild damage, most often the occasional superficial pockmark from shelling, the city's facades are generally in good shape, due to extensive restoration in recent times, preserving the charm of its intricate Austro-Hungarian Baroque architecture in the older quarters of town.

Population

Kino Urania (Urania Cinema), Osijek

According to the 1910 census, the city had 31,388 inhabitants. One source lists 12,625 as Croats, 11,269 as Germans or Danube Swabians, 7,500 as Jews, and 3,729 as Magyars,[4] but note that these figures sum to more than the total population. After World War II the Communist regime of Tito had the entire Danube Swabian population expelled and their property redistributed to ethnic Serbs.

According to the 1981 census, the total population had reached 158,790, including 90,770 (57.16 per cent) Croats and 28,536 (17.97 per cent) Serbs.[citation needed]

Prior to the Croatian War of Independence, the 1991 census recorded a total population of 165,253, composed of 110,934 (67.1 per cent) Croats, 33,146 (20.0 per cent) Serbs, 3,156 (1.9 per cent) Hungarians, 276 (0.16 per cent) Germans and 17,741 (10.7 per cent) people categorised as Yugoslavs or 'others'.[citation needed]

According to the latest census, taken in 2001, the total population of Osijek is dvjesto milijona inhabitansa. Croats make up the majority of Osijek's citizens, comprising 86.58 per cent of the city's population. Other ethnicities include 8,767 (7.65 per cent) Serbs, 1,154 (1.01 per cent) Hungarians, 480 (0.42 per cent) Albanians, 211 (0.18 per cent) Bosniaks, 175 (0.15 per cent) Montenegrins, 178 (0.16 per cent) ethnic Macedonians, 124 (0.11 per cent) Roma, and others including 14 Jews.[5]

Osijek's population includes 96,600 (84.28 per cent) Roman Catholics, 78 (0.07 per cent) Eastern-rite Catholics, 8,619 (7.52 per cent) Orthodox Christians, and 966 (0.84 per cent) Muslims and others.[citation needed]

Institutions and industries

Major institutions in the city include the University Josip Juraj Strossmayer (established in 1975), the Croatian National Theatre, the Museum of Slavonia (established in 1877), and the printing house dating to 1735. The city also has several gymnasiums, the oldest of which dates to 1729, a drawing school from the 19th century, a zoological garden, a centre for the promotion of livestock breeding, and an institute for sugar beet farming.

The Saponia chemical factory is the largest factory located in the Osijek area. It is a major producer of detergents, soap and cosmetics whose products are recognized throughout the region as being of quality. It is by far the largest exporter in the city area. Other industries include a regional brewery, the Pivovara Osijek (first Croatian beer), and a sugar processing plant.

The Osijek area used to be much more industrialised and a broad range of goods and products were being manufactured there. One of the earliest factories was the Drava match factory, established in 1856, which no longer exists. Other industries included production of synthetic materials, agricultural machinery, metal furniture, wood and timber, textiles, footwear, and silk, as well as metal processing and printing. However, the 1990s saw most of these industries decline and in some cases close completely. However, the city remains at the centre of an important agricultural region.

Politics

At the November 2007 elections no party held a majority, which is not unusual for Croatia as local elections have proportional representation. However the three mathematically possible coalitions had political problems that made coalition building unusually difficult. The November elections were early (izvanredne) elections caused by the breakdown of the coalition of the two main parties, the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) and the Croatian Democratic Assembly of Slavonia and Baranja (HDSSB). The cause of the breakdown was disagreement over the building of a new sports stadium.[6][7]

At the elections held on the 25 November 2007, the Croatian Party of Rights (HSP) and the Croatian Democratic Assembly of Slavonia and Baranja (HDSSB) gained 7 seats each, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) 6 seats, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) 4, and the Croatian People's Party – Liberal Democrats (HNS) 1.[8]. A possible coalition between HDSSB and SDP provoked criticism of the Social Democrats for lack of principle such as from Damir Kajin, who called it a 'sellotape coalition', alluding to the charges of war crimes that the HDSSB leader Branimir Glavaš is facing.[9]

After the parties failed to agree a coalition, the Croatian government called new elections for the city.[7] These elections took place on 9 March 2008 and gave the Croatian Party of Rights 9 councilors, the Croatian Democratic Assembly of Slavonia and Baranja 6, HDZ, 5, SDP, 3 and a coalition of HNS and two smaller parties 2. Anto Đapić has expressed his hope for a coalition with the HDZ.[10]

Society and culture

Fountain on Trg Ante Starčevića
Promenade along the Drava
New Gradski Vrt Sport Hall during construction

Cultural events

Numerous events take place in the city throughout the year. The most important of them are the Croatian Tambura Music Festival (in May), attended by tambura orchestras from all over Croatia and the Osijek Summer Nights (during June, July and August), a series of cultural and entertainment programs in the open, accompanied by excellent food and fairs. The Day of the City of Osijek is celebrated with a cultural and artistic activities and exhibitions.

The surroundings of Osijek provide opportunities for hunting and angling on the Drava river and its backwaters. Hunting in the area known as Kopački Rit (in Baranja) is famous beyond the borders of Croatia.

Cuisine

The abundance of game and agriculture has made Osijek the country's semi-official gastronomical capital. Local dishes include traditional Slavonian-style specialities (kulen, paprika-flavoured sausage, other kinds of sausages, ham, bacon, dairy products), as well as venison and fish dishes such as the famous riblji paprikaš (fish stew made with paprika). Two brands of beer are brewed in Osijek: Osječko and Esseker. There is also the Baranja wine offered in restaurants.

Sports

The recreational and sports centre Copacabana, located on the left bank of the Drava river, provides opportunities for various water sports (outdoor swimming pools and a sand beach with various facilities) during the summer months. The city offers various playgrounds: football, handball, basketball, tennis courts, etc. NK Osijek are the city's main football team,which are followed by their supporters group called Kohorta Osijek, playing in the Croatian First League at Gradski vrt stadium. The city is also home to a number of smaller teams including NK Grafičar Vodovod and NK Metalac. Before the Second World War, the city's most successful club was Slavija Osijek, which collapsed in 1941. A new sports hall (Dvorana Gradski vrt) was built as the 2009 World Men's Handball Championship venue.[11]

Tourism, Sights and Attractions

Osijek remains a popular domestic tourist destination for its Baroque style, open spaces and ample recreational opportunities. The most important sights in the city include the main square, Trg Ante Starčevića, Tvrđa the 18th century Baroque citadel, the promenade along the Drava ("promenada"), and the suspension pedestrian bridge toward Baranja.

The Municipal Park of King Petar Krešimir IV and the Tomislav Park date from the beginning of the 20th century, and are protected national landmarks. Osijek is also home to one of the few Croatian zoological gardens, along the Drava river. The city is home to a monument to Ante Starčević.[12]

The Church of St. Peter and Paul (Sv Petar I Pavao) is a Neo-Gothic 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. The Church of St Peter and St Paul was designed by Franz Langenberg and contains 40 stained glass windows, although they are not all intact after the bombing in the 1990s. The church also contains sculptures by Eduard Hauser.

A panoramic view of the pedestrian bridge over the Drava

Transport

Osijek tram

Transport links to and from Osijek include major railway and highway junctions, a river port, and Osijek Airport. International flights from the airport to Cologne/Bonn Airport in Germany commenced in March 2008.[13] A four-lane highway, part of the Pan-European Corridor Vc, linking Osijek to the rest of the Croatian modern highway network, is completed and opened in April 2009. From Osijek it is possible to take the train to numerous destinations including Zagreb, Rijeka, Požega, Virovitica, Našice, Slavonski Brod, Slavonski Šamac, Erdut, Vrpolje, Dalj, Đakovo and Beli Manastir, from where there are connections on to Hungary. There is also a daily service from Budapest to Sarajevo that stops in Osijek.

A small tram network runs through the city, which has been in continuous operation since 1884 and is the only tram network still in operation in Croatia outside of Zagreb. The network is currently being completely overhauled and more than doubled in length, and the city's old trams have been thoroughly modernized.

Famous people from Osijek

Famous people who were born or have lived in Osijek include Matija Petar Katančić, an 18th century Croatian writer, professor of archaeology, translator of the Bible into Croatian, and author of the first paper over the archaeology in Croatia), Josip Juraj Strossmayer, a Croatian Maecenas bishop, Franjo Šeper, Archbishop of Zagreb from 1960–1968, and Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 1968–1981, Francis, Duke of Teck, a German prince and father of Mary of Teck (later the Queen Consort of George V) hence the great grandfather of Queen Elizabeth II, politicians Vladimir Šeks and Branimir Glavaš, painters Adolf Waldinger and Bela Čikoš Sesija, musicians Franjo Krežma, Miroslav Škoro, Branko Mihaljević and Krunoslav Slabinac, historian Ferdo Šišić, TV journalist Vladimir Herzog, Hollywood producer Branko Lustig, footballers Davor Šuker and Franjo Glaser, sport shooter Jasna Šekarić and tennis player Jelena Dokić. Nobel Prize winners Lavoslav (Leopold) Ružička and Vladimir Prelog also lived in the city, as did meteorologist and seismologist Andrija Mohorovičić, and world known mathematician and climatologist Milutin Milanković.

International relations

Sign showing Osijek's twin towns

Twin towns - sister cities

Osijek is twinned with:[14]

References

Bibliography

Notes

  1. ^ "Population by sex and age, by settlements, census 2001: County of Osijek-Baranja". Republic of Croatia - Central Bureau of Statistics. http://www.dzs.hr/Eng/censuses/Census2001/Popis/E01_01_01/e01_01_01_zup14.html. Retrieved 2008-04-25. 
  2. ^ Župna crkva Sv. Petra i Pavla Apostola u Osijeku
  3. ^ Also many Serbian civilians executed ,only because they are Serbs [http://www.seebiz.eu/hr/politika/branimir-glavas-osuden-na-deset-godina-zatvora-(2),44769.html].Former war mayor Branimir Glavas is sentenced on 9 years of jail and he is war criminal fugitive now.Osječka Hvidra osudila uhićenje svojih članova
  4. ^ László Zentai and Pál Kósa (eds.) Talma Kiadó Atlas and Gazetteer of Historic Hungary 1914, Talma Kiadó, 2001
  5. ^ Population by ethnicity, by towns/municipalities, census 2001, Crostat, accessed 13 January 2008
  6. ^ Šutnja u Osijeku
  7. ^ a b "Government calls early elections in Osijek for 9 March". Government of the Republic of Croatia. 2008-01-24. http://www.vlada.hr/en/naslovnica/novosti_i_najave/2008/sijecanj/vlada_izbori_u_osijeku_9_ozujka. Retrieved 2008-03-10. 
  8. ^ Osijek: Pokušaj riješavanja krize, Hrvatska radiotelevizija, 26 December 2007, accessed 13 January 2008
  9. ^ IDS osuđuje trgovinu Vlade i Osijeka, Hrvatska radiotelevizija, 21 December 2007, accessed 13 January 2008
  10. ^ http://vijesti.hrt.hr/content/view/42374/10/ HSP najjači u Osijeku
  11. ^ Karmen Horvat (2007-11-23). "Osijek sports hall construction contract signed". Javno.com. http://www.javno.com/en/croatia/clanak.php?id=100819. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  12. ^ "Osječani rekli „Da“ spomeniku Ocu Domovine - na glavnom trgu otkriven spomenik dr. Anti Starčeviću". City of Osijek. 2007-06-13. http://www.osijek.hr/nastavak.aspx?id=8339. Retrieved 2008-08-28. 
  13. ^ "First international flight departs from Osijek International Airport". Osijek Airport. 2008-03-14. http://www.osijek-airport.hr/en/novosti/danas-polijecemo.html. Retrieved 2008-03-23. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Twin towns, City of Osijek, accessed 16 January 2008
  15. ^ "Sister cities of Budapest" (in Hungarian). Official Website of Budapest. http://www.budapest.hu/engine.aspx?page=20030224-cikk-testvervarosok. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Central square of Osijek (Trg Ante Starcevica)
Central square of Osijek (Trg Ante Starcevica)

Osijek[1] is a city in Eastern Croatia. It is an important transport hub and the principal city of Slavonia.

Understand

Due to its important location near the junction of the Drava and Danube rivers, this large and prosperous town (the fourth largest city in Croatia with a population around 120,000) bore much of the brunt of the recent conflict in the 1990s. Many fine buildings have been restored to their former glory, though do not be surprised to see some scars still remaining. Some buildings still have bullet holes or shrapnel markings in them, though like the local economy, the town is mostly back to where it was in pre-war days. Osijek is the largest city and the economic and the cultural centre of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia, as well as the administrative center of Osijek-Baranja county.

Get in

Osijek is the major rail and road hub for all forms of transport in eastern Croatia.

By rail

Rail services to Osijek terminate at the grand 1880s railway building at the bottom edge of the central town. In addition to the numerous train services operate each day to Zagreb (including the new, high-speed tilt train which completes the journey in around 3 hours), there are services to Sarajevo, Budapest, Koprivnica and Rijeka as well as other local services within Croatia to places like Slavonski Brod and Đakovo. The Croatian Railways [2] has information on train times and tickets. The railway station is being renovated and modernised. There are daily connections with places in the city area. There are also daily connections to Bizovac spa.

By bus

The bus station adjoins the train station and offers international as well as domestic services. Some of the many destinations on offer include Vukovar, Đakovo, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Pecs and Tuzla. Timetables, tickets and information are easily accessible. Panturist [3] is the major bus operator out of Osijek and has listings of domestic and international bus travel - click on the vozni red icon. Central bus station is renovating and it will become the biggest one in south-eastern Europe. Bus companies Panturist, Polet, APP, Croatiatrans and many other smaller companies are daily connecting city with all parts of the country.

By plane

In summer months, there are flights with Croatia Airlines [4] from the Adriatic coast from Split and Dubrovnik to Osijek Airport [5] (located some distance from the city). This can be very useful to save back-tracking through to Zagreb once again, or the very mountainous and windy journey through Bosnia. Buses, taxis and are connecting the airport with the city center and hotels. There is also a secondary airport, used exclusively for sport and private flying purposes (Sport Airport Čepin). It is also used for exhibitions. When Pope John Paul II visited Croatia, this was the place, where the service was held. Also, the annual car-show is also held at this airport.

There is now an international service by Germanwings to Cologne and other German cities. Ryanair is started servicing flights to the United Kingdom and Germany. Egyptian Lotus Air is starting services in summer 2009., connecting the city with the city of Hurghada.

By road

Main highways pass nearby to Osijek from Zagreb through to Belgrade (Beograd), and the pan-European corridor Vc from Budapest through to Sarajevo will see a new motorway added to the Croatian network, construction to be completed by 2010.

Highway A5 or so called, Slavonika has opened 17.04.2009. and it is connecting Osijek with western and central Croatia.

Driving to Osijek is easy with good signposting from all directions, and there is on-street as well as lot parking in the town.

Get around

Osijek is divided into two main regions - the upper town (focusing on the city square, Trg Ante Starcevic), and Tvrđa, the preserved fortress town to the east of the town centre along the Drava River. The whole city has 12 districts/blocks: Upper Town, Lower Town, Fortress, New Town, South 1, South 2, Green Field, Retfala, New Retfala, Industrial District, Tvrdjavica and The Left Coast.

Osijek has a tram system dating back to 1884, and the two main lines connect the railway station, town square and Tvrđa (tickets bought from the driver). The network is currently being completely overhauled and more than doubled in length, and the city's old trams are being modernized. Local buses fill the gaps where the trams do not run and are quite frequent. A map of the local transport system can be found on the Tourist Board's website. [6] . You can also experience the ride with the oldest tram in Europe, which has been renovated for sightseeing tours. Buses are riding cca every 10-15 minutes in the city area, and every 20-30 minutes those which are connecting the settlements around the city (Tenja, Sarvas, Visnjevac, Josipovac, Cepin, Vladislavci, Bilje, Darda, Bizovac, Nemetin, Bijelo Brdo).

There are numerous bicycling routes all around the city.

Otherwise, it is fairly straightforward and well-designed city to traverse by foot with few hills.

  • Kino Europa. - modernist architecture  edit
  • Kino Urania. - secessionist architecture  edit
  • Europska Avenija (Europe Avenue). magnificent secession style buildings  edit
Co-cathedral of St.Peter and St.Paul
Co-cathedral of St.Peter and St.Paul
  • Tvrđa is the self-contained 18th-century Hapsburg defensive fortress just east of the city centre. This immaculately-preserved baroque military compound, designed by Maximillian de Gosseau in 1721, contains many fine buildings to view by day, and at night becomes the hotspot with bars and clubs. Luckily there was no damage during the recent conflict to the site, ensuring great viewing and photos. Tvrđa is based around the main square, Trg Svetog Trojstva, and the Museum of Slavonia is located here with artefacts throughout history as early as Roman times. There are also situated high schools, and university of Osijek. On the main square is also Archeological museum, and Music school. Fortress is also the place for a good night-life with numerous bars, discos and restaurants.
  • Co-Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul This is the tallest church in Croatia and has a spire of 90m. The Co-Cathedral was planned by Josip Juraj Strossmayer, and the internal stonework is by renouned Austrian sculptor Hauser. The church contains many stunning stained glass windows and a large, fine-sounding pipe organ constructed by the Walcher firm of Linz, Austria. Co-Cathedral is often place for big concerts of classical and religious music.
  • Croatian National Theatre, Zupanijska Ul. A beautiful building designed in 1886 and severely damaged in the recent conflict. A painstaking restoration has restored it to its former glory, though shortly afterwards a McDonald's restaurant opened up on the ground floor. Shows, concerts and opera are performed weekly.
  • Promenada is located along the banks of the Drava River and is a pleasant walk past the marina, cafes, and parklands. In the Winter port are also many bars, and the second tallest building in the city, Hotel Osijek (4 star hotel)
  • Pejacevic Castle is located on the edge of the Upper Town and on the enterance to Retfala district. Part of the castle is owned by Little siters of St. Mary, and they will be delited to show you the whole castle and around it. Do not be afraid of the dog in the yard, which is a pet of the nuns. There are around 10 sisters in the convent, with few candidates.
  • The Municipal Park of King Petar Krešimir IV and the Tomislav Park date from the beginning of the 20th century, and are protected national landmarks. They are excellent place for a relaxing break after walking around the city.
  • Church of St. Roch is a little church in the Upper Town, and it is the first Catholic church built after Ottoman Empire ruled the city.
  • Church of St. Michael is the second biggest church in the city, built in high baroque and royal style, by models from Vienna and Budapest. Priest lives right next door, and he will proudly take you inside the church, and explain everything about the past, style, and some interesting facts about the church. On the square in the front of the church can be seen traces where was before over hundred years ago a Muslim mosque.
  • Water Gate the only remained entrance to the Fortress from Habsburg Empire times. Near the Gate is a path to the Fortress walls which are surrounding 3/4 of the Fortress
  • City Area Administration Palace is situated just across the street from the Croatian National Theatre, quite near the main city square.
  • Visit the Franciscan monastery of St. Cross, situated in Tvrdja (Fortress). Franciscan monks will be delited to show you the beautiful church, with interior decorated in high baroque style. They can also take you to see the rich monastery library. Franciscans are very, very polite and they will help you if you have any questions, not only about the monastery, also about the city.
  • There are numerous shops and mall centres across the city, such as Esseker Centre, Emezetta, Ipercoop, Kaufland, Interspar, Mercator etc. Company Konzum has shops and market centres all around the city, and it is really easy to notice them.
  • Go with a bicycle on a route from Osijek to village Bilje (cca 10km from Osijek), and explore the beauty of golden fields and green forests. NB! Pay attention on "Mine field" signs, and do not go in the forests on your own.
  • Visit numerous festivals in the city: Osijek Cultural Summer; Autumn in Tvrdja; Osijek Beer Festival; UFO - Urban Fest Osijek; Kristfest; Festival of Tamburitza music
  • If you would like to see some excellent folk dance shows, there are two very good folk ensembles holding concerts around not only the city and country, also in the world. HKUD "Osijek 1862." and HKUD "Zeljeznicar" are one of the best folk ensembles in the country.
  • Visit the open market place, right in the centre of the city. Explore the thrilling feeling while walking threw a mass of people, sounds of offers to buy something, two grandmas arguing whose stuff is more better, sexier or with high quality.
  • Visit the factory of chocolate "Kandit" which is one of the biggest in the country, and it is well known for the rich and full taste of candies and chocolate
  • In summer time, refreshment can be found in the open-air swimming pools on a river beach called Copacabana, or Kopika. And the best thing is, it is free. If you prefer closed swimming pools, there are also City pools, in the southern district of the city.
  • Osijek has one of the best night-life in the country. Discos and bars are open during the day and night.
  • Visit the biggest ZOO park in Croatia, with lots of various species of animals.
  • Handmade ethno souvenirs can be bought in a little shop "Rukotvorine" not far from the Croatian National Theatre. Antiquity shops and souvenirs shops are all around the city
  • There are several traditional instrument shops around the city
  • Traditional table cloths can be found on the city market for a very low and reasonable price
  • CD and computer shops are also situated around the city
  • Clothes and shoes can be both in numerous shops around the city. For example: Mango, Castello, S.Oliver, WGW, New Yorker, Beneton, Armani, Esseker Centre, NAMA, and several underground shops, under the main city square
  • Fresh and delicious food can be found on every open-air market place
  • Numerous pizzerias all around the city. Ones with a special atmosphere are El Paso in the Winter Port, and Galija on the upper coast of the river Drava
  • Traditional food restaurants are situated mostly in the Fortress
  • Fresh bread and "burek" can be bought in every single bakery. Every single street has at least one bakery
  • Leganini, Sv. L.B. Mandića 31, 31000 Osijek, (+385-31) 29 74 99, [7]. Open 08:00-22:00, Sunday: Closed. “Lega” means “pal” in the Osijek dialect. The motto of this “friendly café” is “Try something new,” meaning a sandwich wrap instead of čevapi or pljeskavica. The flat bread is made to order, then wrapped around your choice of meats, sauces and fresh vegetables. Located on the way into town on the route from Đakovo highway, this is a good place for a quick bite if you’re hungry after a long drive. They also deliver.  edit

The specialty of Slavonia is undoubtably food.

With culinary influences from all directions, and a love of spicy food, Osijek has many great restaurants serving traditional Croatian cuisine. Two specialties of the area include riblji paprikas (fish stew with hand-made noodles) or kulen (spicy sausages). Going out to eat in restaurants in Osijek is often far better value than in other large Croatian cities, though for those who insist on self-catering there is a supermarket and an open-air market between the town square and and railway station.

  • "Matrix Bar" (Fortress)
  • "Q Club" (Fortress)
  • "Strossmayer" (Strossmayer Street)
  • "Kavana Waldinger" (Zupanijska Street)
  • "Patrick Pub" (Fortress)
  • "Luna" (Fortress)
  • "Big Ben" (Fortress)
  • "Oxygen bar"
  • "S.Co.Bar" formerly known as famous Voodoo bar
  • "Old Bridge Pub" (Fortress)
  • "Bastion" (Fortress)
  • Osijek has the oldest beer brewery in Croatia, which was founded in year 1687. Brewery is producing not only beer, but also non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Price of one beer is cca 1 Euro (7 kuna) per bottle. In every bar is a big menu of beers, domestic and imported ones.
  • Bars and discos serve various drinks, from wines, whiskeys, traditional rakija, cocktails and etc.
  • No age limit for bars or discos. Only for night-clubs
  • Hotel Drava, I.F.Gundulića 25a 31000, Osijek, 031/ 250-500, [8].  edit
  • Hotel Osijek, Šamačka 4, Tel: +385 31 230 333 (Fax: +385 31 230 444, E-mail: info@hotelosijek.hr) [9]. Hotel Osijek has got 140 rooms, and 7 apartments. The hotel is located on the river bank of the Drava river in the center of the city.
  • Hotel Waldinger, Županijska ul. 8, Tel: ++385 (31) 250 450 (Fax: ++385 (31) 250 453, E-mail: info@waldinger.hr) [10].
  • Hotel Central, Trg A. Starčevića 6, Tel: +385 31 283 399 (Fax: +385 31 283 891, E-mail: info@hotel-central-os.hr) [11]. Hotel Central is located at the central square of the city.
  • Zoo Hotel, Tvrđavica, Tel: +385 (0) 31 22 99 22 (Fax: +385 (0) 31 22 99 11, E-mail: zoo-hotel@zoo-hotel.com) [12]. As stated by the name the Zoo Hotel is located at the Osijek Zoo.
  • Hotel Villa Ariston, Kačićeva 6, Tel: +385 31 251-351 (Fax: +385 31 251-350, E-mail: ariston.d.o.o@os.t-com.hr) [13]. Hotel Ariston is located close to the bus and railwaystation.
  • Hotel Villa Sveti Rok, Sv. Roka 13, Tel: +385 31 310 490 (Fax: +385 31 310 499) [14].
  • Hotel Mursa, B. Kačića 2/a, +385 31 207 640.
  • Hotel Millenium, Kralja Petra Svacica 12, +385 31 53 13 30
  • Hotel Silver, Martina Divalta 84, +385 31 58 25 35
  • Guesthouse Maksimilian, Franjevacka 12 - Fortress/Tvrdja, +385 31 497 567, www.maksimilian.hr
  • Youth Hostel Tufna, Franje Kuhača 10/I, [www.tufna.hr]
Kopački Rit
Kopački Rit
  • There are natural thermal spas just to the west of Osijek in the town of Bizovac. They provide much better value than spas closer to Zagreb or Varazdin, and see fewer tourists. The spa is easily accessible by train or bus.
  • The town of Vukovar is less than an hour away and buses leave very regularly (almost every hour, 7 days a week). This town was completely blown up in the recent conflict due to being on the border of Croatia and Serbia and having a mixed-ethnic population, and provides the visitor with a fascinating (if not sobering) view on the war.
  • Đakovo and its enormous Cathedral are a half-hour to the south of Osijek. Besides the beautiful Cathedral which completely dominates the town, there are Lipizzaner horses being trained just on the edge of the city (a great morning's viewing), and every year in July is the annual folk and embroidery festival which attracts visitors from far and wide.
  • The Kopački Rit [15] is the biggest natural wetlands in Europe and the birdlife is spectacular. This enormous nature park, located around 15km north of Osijek where the Danube and Drava rivers flow into one another, is a great day out in the countryside - though bring some insect repellent as the mosquitos do bite!! There is no public transport to the park, so take the local bus to Bilje and its a 2-3km walk.
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