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Osijek

Country
Croatia
State
Slavonia
City
Osijek
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

Osijek became a city when the three districts of Fort (Tvrda), Lower Town (Donji Grad), and Upper Town (Gornji Grad) merged into one. Osijek was bombed for over a year following the declaration of independence in 1991. Consequently many buildings were damaged. The town has a thriving city center, and numerous attractions such as churches, a Fine Arts Gallery, and museum.

The fort (Fvrda) was one of the areas that escaped much of the destruction in the 1990s. Many Baroque buildings from the 18th Century can be seen, although the architecture is quite simple and uninspiring due to the fact that the area was intended to house workers and soldiers. In the Upper Town (Gornji Grad), the main square, Trg Sv Trojstva is the city center, with shops and restaurants, and where most visitors spend their time while in Osijek. Europe Avenue (Europska Avenija) is the main road that runs between the fort and Upper Town.



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How to Reach

By Plane

In summer months, there are flights with Croatia Airlines (http://www.croatiaairlines.hr) from the Adriatic coast from Split and Dubrovnik to Osijek Airport (http://www.osijek-airport.hr/) (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 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 (http://www.hznet.hr) 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 (http://www.panturist.hr) 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 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.

Key places to visit
Gallery of Fine Arts, Church of St Peter and St Paul, Kopacki Rit Nature Park, Darda


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Places to Visit

Gallery of Fine Arts

The Gallery of Fine Arts (Galerija likovnih umjetnosti), which also goes by the names Gallery of Visual Arts, displays a variety of 18th and 19th Century paintings. The 19th Century artists are divided into two sections, one for foreign painters and one for Osijeck and area painters. In the 20th Century artworks collection are works by the Zagreb Mottled School founder Vlaho Bukovac and other followers. There are also a small number of sculptures on display by such artists as Mestrovic and other noteworthy Croatian sculptors. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum also hosts a variety of exhibitions. The building which houses the Gallery of Fine Arts is a 19th Century mansion.

Church of St Peter and St Paul

The Church of St Peter and St Paul (Sv Petar I Pavao) is a Neo-Gothic structure with the second highest tower in Croatia after the Zagreb Cathedral. The tower measure 90m / 295ft 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.

Kopacki Rit Nature Park

The Kopacki Rit Nature Park is a huge marshland between the River Drava and the River Danube. Throughout the year the area is sometimes grassland and at other times flooded by the overflow of the Danube. It provides a home to a wide variety of migratory birds including, storks, herons, ducks, gulls, terns, and a host of others depending on the time of the year. Most visitors who come to the Kopacki Rit Nature Park are interested in birds but there are many other animals which inhabit the park. Martens, weasels, wild boar, wild cats, and deer are some of the wildlife that may be spotted in the park. Tours are by guided visit only which can be booked in advance. Some areas of the park are restricted due to the war that left areas heavily mined.

Darda

The town of Darda, once a fortified city, was crushed by the Turks in the 17th Century. Almost nothing of significance remains of the city from before this time. Following the departure of the Turks the town was rebuilt and boasted some impressive architecture. Unfortunately much of that was lost during the 1990s Patriotic War, including a Catholic and a Baptist church. Today the Town Hall, built in the 18th Century and originally a mansion, is one of the few attractions in Darda.

Darda can be used as a base for exploring nearby Kopacki Rit Nature Park. The information center for the park is in the town of Bilje, 4km / 2.5mi from Darda.

Right Time to Visit

May - November

Temperature

June - August -> 28(°C) - Summer
December - February -> 0(°C) - Spring


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