Slavonia and Baranja

Slavonia and Baranja

On the east of Croatia among rivers Danube, Drava and Sava, lies fertile Slavonia and Baranja. The second largest historical region of Croatia, famous for its wide fields, oak forests, picturesque vineyards, ancient vine cellars, baroque palaces and churches. There are well-preserved original Croatian folk heritage with ornate carriages, picturesque national costumes, the sounds of the tamburitza and unique culinary specialities.

Exceptionally favourable geographic position on the River Drava and alongside Danube, which is one of the most important European waterways, then natural resources based upon the structure of soil and the climate suitable for agricultural production, thermal waters, preserved environment and the unique Kopacki Rit area are just a part of favourable conditions offered by this region. The largest city is Osijek, which is not only economic but the cultural and educational center.

Tourism

Development of County's tourism is based on health, recreational, hunting and fishing, and rural tourism. Standing out among the tourist facilities is the "Bizovacke Toplice" spa with a hotel and capacities offering sport recreational services, rehabilitation and medical treatment in physical medicine with use of medicinal thermal water. 

Unique ecological oasis of the Kopacki Rit Nature Park represents an exceptional place of continental tourism. Foundation for that are its unique landscapes, rich and specific plant life, abundance of animals and rare bird species, rich fishing grounds and widely acknowledged quality game stock.

History

Area of Slavonia and Baranja has been populated since the Neolithic period, the oldest known people from that period being the Illyrians. Celts penetrated the area in the 4th century BC, and erected the mighty Roman fort and town Mursa at the location of today's Osijek, which has been elevated to the status of a Roman colony by Emperor Hadrian in year 133. After many years of devastation of this Roman settlement and numerous barbaric tribes passing through this area, Croats settled here in the 7th century.

In 1526 Osijek and the entire surrounding area were conquered by Suleiman II and his Turkish army, and they remained here until 1687 when they were expelled by the Austrian army. As a part of the Austria-Hungary state since the 18th century, this area has achieved intensive economic development and expansion.

After the World War One, in 1918, this area became united into State of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and since 1945 it was a part of the so-called New Yugoslavia.

In 1991 Osijek-Baranja County was the first to suffer the aggression of Serbian paramilitary forces and Yugoslav Army, and almost half of the county territory was not under control of the Croatian state. Through the process of peaceful integration, Osijek-Baranja County has been returned to constitutional and legal system of the Republic of Croatia in its entirety on January 15, 1998.

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