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Osijek

Osijek with its 114,000 inhabitants is the fourth largest city of Croatia. Benefitting from an outstanding location near the confluence of the Drava and Danube rivers, Osijek is the economic and cultural centre of Slavonia region.

The city was mentioned for the first time in historical sources as 'Essek' (the present Hungarian name is 'Eszék') in 1196. It belonged to the property of the Korogyi family for centuries. In 1526 the Ottoman Turks captured the city from the Hungarians and rebuilt it to suit their style. They consructed a 8 km-long wooden bridge between Osijek and Darda in order to enable the Ottoman army to invade further territories on the other side of the Drava. The Croatian-Hungarian nobleman, Nikola Subić Zrinski managed to stop the Turkish invasion for a while by burning down the bridge in 1664. A few years later the Habsburg army eventually drove out the Ottoman hordes and Osijek became one of the headquarters of the military frontier. The fortified old town called Tvrđa was built at that time. By the beginning of the 19th century Osijek became a thriving city: theatres, printing houses and a museum were built, the new road and the railway to Budapest gave a boost to the trade.

During World War II the Nazi Germany occupied Yugoslavia. The city was liberated by the partisans in 1945 and Osijek developed an industrial centre during the Yugoslavian decades. The Croat-Serb conflict caused serious damages. The city was under a 9-month siege and although it did not have to suffer so much than the neighbouring Vukovar, the periodic shelling claimed about 1200 lives. A few houses still bear the signs of the war.

Getting here & around

By car

Zagreb - exit Velika Kopanica (road 7) - Osijek.

Motorway toll: Zagreb - Osijek 116 kn
Osijek has two centres: the historical Tvrđa and the more modern centre around Trg A. Starčevića square. These two parts of the city are linked with Europska Avenija road and a long promenade along the Danube.

By train

Zagreb - Osijek (6 trains daily) 114,60 Kn

By bus

The bus station is situated next to the railway station. The Panturist bus company (www.panturist.hr) operates buses to the Croatian coast, Zagreb and the surrounding villages.
Osijek - Zagreb:   125 Kn

Osijek - Vukovar:   30 Kn

By plane

Osijek airport (www.airport-osijek.com) is located 20 km away from the city, along the road to Vukovar. The airport operates shuttle buses to the city (one-way ticket 25 Kn).

Tourist information

Županijska ulica 2.

Tel: +385 31 203 755
internet: www.tzosijek.hr
e-mail: grad-osijek@os.t-com.hr

Old town

Tvrđa (Citadel) is an 18th-century complex of cobbled streets, baroque buildings and a charming main square called Trg Svetog Trojstva (Holy Trinity Square). The Habsburgs built it as a defensive fortification which consisted of barakks, headquaters, churches and other buildings. The wall around the 'military town' was featured with bastions and gun positions.

The first name of the main square was Wine square - the fair hold in the weekends attracted wine merchants even from distant regions. Later the square was named after Franz Joseph, the Emperor of Austria and after World War II the Yugoslav partisans. The present name comes from the monument of the Holy Trinity standing in the middle of the square. It was made in 1729 as a monument to the plague.

The Secessionist Kuhač House is situated at Kuhačeva 14. It is named after Franjo Kuhač (1834–1911), the Croatian musicologist. Today it is the town's music school.


Museum of Slavonia

Trg Svetog Trojstva 6.
Opening hours: Tue-Fri 8.00-14.00, Sat-Sun 10.00-13.00. Closed on Monday.  

Admission charge: 15 Kn (children 10 Kn)

The former Magistrate building houses the museum, it is situated on the main square of Tvrđa, next to the Town Hall. Founded in 1877, this museum is one of the oldest in the country. On the ground floor archeological finds rule the hallway, upstairs old muskets and a coin collection await visitors.

Parish church of St. Peter and Paul

Trg Ante Starčevića

The neo-Gothic building with its multi-tiered 90-metre spire is the second tallest church in Croatia after the Zagreb cathedral. Due to its size the locals call it cathedral. The interior is decorated with frescoes illustrating episodes from the Old and the New Testament. The church was damaged in the Serbian bombardments.

Kopački rit Nature Park

www.kopacki-rit.com

The main entrance to the park is at the Visitors Centre, at the village of Kopačevo, beside Lake Sakadaško.

The nature park lies just 10 km northeast of Osijek, at the confluence of Drava and Danube rivers. This 23,000-hectare area of wetland, reeds and woodland is the home of around 260 various birds, 40-odd fish species and several plants. Mammals like deers, wild boars an foxes also live here. Visitors can explore the park on their own or can take a boat trip or a jeep tour with a local guide.

Entrance fee: on Sunday 40 Kn (children 20 Kn)

                   on weekdays 55-60 Kn (children 45 Kn)


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