Slavonia

Echoes of Tradition

Slavonia is a land of legends, with its myths and secrets proudly passed down through the generations. Here the locals fiercely uphold their traditions, such as harvest festivals, traditional dresses and the popular local music.

They are also generous hosts, always ready to engage in a heart-to-heart over a glass of one of the many quality wines produced by the area’s fertile lowlands and some of the spicy local dishes such as čobanac (stew) or fiš paprikaš (fish soup).

Davor Rostuhar

Where the horizon is always golden

Where to go

Trails of the Pannonian Sea

Once an endless blue expanse of sea, today it glistens in gold and its islands are green mountains. All that is left of the great waters are tiny shells in the fertile plains of Slavonia. Yet the waters are still here – three great rivers, the Sava, the Drava and the Danube hold this region in their embrace. People knew that in this area, to which nature was so generous, they would have a good home. However, the long gone Pannonian Sea did leave its trace: a single saltwater spring in Bizovec. Its temperature (96°C) is unique in Europe. This alluring natural environment was greatly appreciated by the nobility, so much so that they built their castles here, indulged in hunting, fishing and, of course, the wines – which were also much appreciated in the courts of Europe and savoured at coronation ceremonies. The wine cellars of Ilok, Kutjevo and Belje are world famous. Now we can all enjoy the magic of times gone by. Following the Trails of the Pannonian Sea, discover the lovely songs of the area accompanied by tambouritzas, and enjoy the parades of people dressed in their colourful and festive folk costumes, men with their ‘šokački’ hats and young women with their gold ducat necklaces. The city of Vinkovci – the oldest continuously inhabited city in Europe.

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Cathedral in Đakovo

The largest sacral building in Slavonia is the cathedral in Đakovo, dedicated to St. Peter, and described by Pope John XXIII as the most beautiful church between Venice and Tsargrad.

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Karanac – Ethno village

In Karanac visitors can experience the feeling of far gone, past times, where each household had a story that was slowly carried on from generation to generation, keeping its authenticity and lifestyle far from the hustle and bustle of an urban area.

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Kutjevo

Kutjevo is the capital of wine in continental Croatia. The town is situated in the fertile Požega 'golden' valley, on the southern slopes of Krndija and Papuk in a narrow valley of the small river Kutjevčanka.

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The archaeological site Vučedol

The archaeological site Vučedol is located along the bank of Dunav, 5 km downstream from Vukovar and it is one of the most important sites of Eneolithic period.

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Vinkovci – The Capital of Šokadija

The city of rich history, culture, architecture, folklore, traditions and customs. The continuity of settlement over more than 7000 years is very rare even in European terms.

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Kopački rit

Kopački Rit Nature Park is a unique wetlands reserve with one of the largest fish spawning grounds in Central Europe, and an area of high ornithological interest.

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Papuk

The unique character of its geology, biology and authentic cultural characteristics have made Papuk Nature Park the only UNESCO geo-park in Croatia.

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Odescalchi Castle and Medieval Walls in the Town of Ilok

Above the Danube rise the walls of the fortress and castle of the Odescalchi princes, with its Renaissance park architecture, church and monastery of St. John of Capistrano. They are all part of the well-preserved urban complex in Croatia’s easternmost town of Ilok.

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Osijek Fortress

The romantic old centre of the town gained its basic contours at the beginning of the eighteenth (Baroque) century, combining a military fortification and organised civic life.

Sergio Gobbo

Shaped by the force of the mighty rivers Drava, Danube, Sava and Ilova, Slavonia is a mythical region that for centuries has guarded its treasures.

With its wide, endless expanse of the golden Pannonia plains, strong river flows, areas that provide an ideal habitat for the now centuries-old forests of common oak (Quercus robur), as well as for more than 2000 biological species, Slavonia is a fertile land tilled by human hand for over 8,000 years. Ever since this part of the continent rose from the Pannonian Sea in the Pleistocene, once island, Papuk became mountain that discovers the oldest rocks of this part of Europe – granite and metamorphic rocks from the Paleozoic era – ful of witnesses, that today tell the geological history of Earth. The fertile Slavonian plains have emerged from the Panonian sea after have been sea bottom for more that 10 million years, and have been since a promised land.

The Golden Valley celebrated through history

Having become a part of the Roman Empire in the first centuries AD, boasting two major roads - one leading from Osijek to the eastern provinces and the other linking the Aque Balissae (today known as Daruvar) with the fertile agricultural and winegrowing country around Požega, Đakovo and Vinkovci, Slavonia gave two Roman emperors - the eminently capable and courageous Valentinian I and his brother Valens.

 

Treasuring the area as both wheat growing and winegrowing country with the Kutjevo winegrowing district, home to one of the oldest wine cellars in Europe, the Romans named it Vallis Aurea (the Golden Valley).
Domagoj Blažević
If it is peace you seek in the matchless primeval dawns when the earth awakens from darkness shrouded in the haze hovering above the wide river valleys, then come and discover the land of Slavonia.
Davor Rostuhar

Moments to treasure in the towns of Slavonia and Baranja

This is a place where people have a deep respect for Mother Earth and whose faces reflect the pride they take in their Slavonian origins.

Waste no time, set off down roads that will take you past mighty medieval fortifications, monasteries, Baroque castles and the manor houses of Osijek, Vinkovci, Požega, Slavonski Brod, all the way to Vukovar and Ilok, where the indigenous Lipizzaner horses proudly strut their stuff, where rare birds nest and flock, and wild geese rise from the famous Kopački rit Nature Park. Come and discover the monastery of Ilok, where the Italian Franciscan St. John of Capistrano is buried, the Baroque fortifications of Slavonski Brod and Osijek, true urban and cultural Pannonian metropolis whose university and scientific environment has produced two Croatian Nobel Prize winners.

Ivo Biočina
Last, but by no means least, stroll along the wide lanes of a Slavonian village where clothing is adorned with especially sumptuous traditional weave and gold thread embroidery, while mouth-watering aromas of delectable home cured hams and heavenly kulen waft from tables, and the famous fish-paprikash gently bubbles in the pots. Welcome to Slavonia!

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