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Vinkovci

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Vinkovci is a Croatian town in eastern Slavonia (or westernmost Srijem), with a population of 32,455 (2001) making it the largest town of the Vukovar-Srijem county. Vinkovci is located on the bank of the Bosut river, 19 km southwest of Vukovar, 24 km north of Županja and 43 km south of Osijek; elevation 90 m.

Its economy is primarily based on trade, transport and food and metal processing. Industries include foodstuff, building material, wood and timber, metal-processing, leather and textile. Due to the surrounding farmland, also notable are farming and livestock breeding, and the town hosts a Crop Improvement Centre.

Vinkovci is the main railway junction of eastern Croatia, of railroads leading from Bosnia and Herzegovina toward Hungary and from the capital Zagreb toward Belgrade. The large railway junction, after Zagreb the second largest in Croatia, underlies the importance of transit in Vinkovci. Vinkovci is also the meeting point of the Posavina and Podravina roads and the intersection of the main road (M1.7) Županja-Vinkovci-Vukovar and several regional roads.

The town features extremely rich cultural and historical heritage, the most interesting attraction being the pre-Romanesque church on Meraja from 1100, with the coats of arms of the kings Koloman and Ladislas, as one of the most important mediaeval cultural monuments in Croatia.

The most famous annual event, one of the biggest in Slavonia, is the folk music festival "Vinkovci Autumns" (Vinkovačke Jeseni), which includes the folklore show and the presentation of folk customs of Slavonia. It is characterized by a number of original folk music performances, beautiful traditional costumes, a beauty contest, competitions of the manufacturers of kulen (smoked paprika-flavoured sausage), plum brandy and other traditional foodstuffs, and especially by the magnificent closing parade.

The site of Vinkovci was inhabited since the Roman period. The town was known as Colonia Aurelia Cibalae (also Cibalis) and was the birthplace of Roman emperors Valentinian I and Valens. The Roman thermal bath is still preserved as are several other Roman buildings located near the center of today's Vinkovci. A local textile factory and football club still carry the name Cibalia, while a dance music trio from the city named themselves Colonia.

Vinkovci's music school is named after Josip Runjanin, author of the music of the national anthem of Croatia Lijepa nasa domovino. The Vinkovci gymnasium is named after Matija Antun Reljković, a Slavonian writer who lived in the city in the 18th century.

Numerous hunting grounds south of the town attract a number of domestic and foreign huntsmen. Organized hunting, partly also fishing, is accompanied by comfortable accommodation facilities (hunting lodges Merolino and Grabarje) and a selection of local specialities.hr:Vinkovci sr:Винковци

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