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Osijek

From Academic Kids

Osijek (Hungarian: Eszk; German: Esseg) is the fourth largest city in Croatia with population 114,616 in 2001. It is the largest city and the economic and cultural centre of Slavonia (eastern Croatia) and the administrative center of the Osijek-Baranja county.

Osijek is located on the right bank of the Drava river, 25 km upstream of its confluence into the mighty Danube; its elevation is 94 m. Transportation links include major railway and highway junctions, a river port, and a regional airport.

Contents

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), the printing company dating to 1735.

It also has a gymnasium from 1729, a drawing school from the 19th century, a zoological garden, a centre for the promotion of livestock breeding, and the Institute for sugar beet farming.

Osijek is a major industrial centre that manufactures a broad range of goods and products. Factory producing matches (Drava) was established here in 1856. The factory Saponia is an important chemical refinery.

Other industries include production of synthetic materials metal processing (agricultural machinery, metal furniture), wood and timber, textile, footwear, silk, printing industry. The local agricultural economy is strong, based upon farming, livestock breeding and fishing, with mills, sugar processing plant, brewery.

History

The earliest mentions of Osijek date to 1196. The town was a feudal property of the Korog family between 1353 and 1472. The city was sacked and destroyed by the Ottoman Empire on 8 August, 1526. The Turks rebuilt it in oriental style and it was mentioned in the Turkish census of 1579. The town was officially promoted to a city by the end of the 17th century.

Osijek was restored to western rule when on 29 September 1687 it was occupied by the Habsburg Empire. The central town fort created in 1753 is known as Tvrđa. 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 center of the Verőce county.

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 Budapest.

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 town was built in the 19th century, as well as Retfala to the east.

The city's geographical riverside location, and noted cultural and historical heritage — particularly the Baroque Tvrđa, one of the most attractive structures in the region — facilitated the development of tourism.

Sights and events

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, Trg sv. Roka, Tvrđa, the promenade along the Drava ("promenada"), and the suspension pedestrian bridge toward Baranja.

The Municipal Park of King Petar Krešimir IV and the King 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.

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, 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 recreational and sports centre Copacabana, located on the left bank of the Drava river, provides opportunities for various water sports (outdoor swimming pools, a sand beach with various facilities) during the summer months. The city offers various playgrounds: football, handball, basketball, tennis courts, etc.

Surroundings

The surroundings of Osijek provide excellent 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.

The abundance of game and agriculture has made Osijek the country's semi-official gastronomical capital. Local dishes include traditional Slavonia-style specialities (kulen, paprika-flavoured sausage, other kinds of sausages, ham, bacon, dairy products), as well as venison and fish dishes (the famous fish paprika stew).

The Osijek beer (Eseker) and Baranja wines are offered in restaurants in the town and its surroundings.

External link

  • Osijek (http://www.osijek.hr/)

de:Osijek cs:Osijek hr:Osijek hu:Eszk ro:Osijek sv:Osijek sr:Осијек

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