Osijek, Croatia - The Traveller


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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Osijek, Croatia


Osijek – Biggest Economic/Cultural Centre of Eastern Croatian

Osijek is the biggest city as well as the economic and the cultural centre of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia. It is also the administrative centre of Osijek-Baranja County. Owing to its important location towards the junction of the Drava and Danube rivers, this huge and once a prosperous town, is the fourth largest city in Croatia having a population of about 101,000 inhabitants, which bore most of the impact of the 1990s conflict. Several fine buildings have been restored to its previous glory though some scars tend to remain where some of the building bore the marks of bullet holes or shrapnel markings on them.

Osijek has been divided into two main regions, the upper town focusing on the city square, Trg Ante Starcevic and Tyrda, the preserved fortress town towards the east of the town centre besides the Drava River.

Attractions comprise of a fortified centre – The Tyrda which dates back to the 18th century, the impressive neo-Gothic Church of St. Peter and St. Paul as well as the grand Europska Avenija along which one can see some wonderful examples of the Art Nouveau architecture that was famous in this area of the world in the late 19th century together with a somewhat unnerving statue entitled Soldier in the Throes of Death.

Tyrda – Oldest preserved Baroque Centre

Tyrda which is the oldest part is a preserved Baroque centre where the central square is controlled by Kuzni’s pillar and it is here that one will find the Museum of Slavonia and the Archaeological Museum, together with galleries, besides the impressive churches. The entire city tends to have 12 districts or blocks, Upper Town, Lower Town, Fortress, New Town, South 1, South 2, Green Field, Industrial District, Retfala, New Retfala, Tvrdjavica and The Left Coast.

Besides being an administrative centre of Osijek-Baranja County, it is also and industrial centre and its rich history have left behind an abundance of cultural and artistic heritage. Asides from the concathedral towards the centre, one will find a Capuchin church with a series of art nouveau building in European Avenue, the National Theatre. Osijek tends to have a tram system which dates back to 1884 where the three main line link the railway station, town square, Tyrda, industrial district and all city borders.

Well-Designed City to Negotiate by Foot

Presently the network is in the process of being completely renovated and more than doubled in length, together with the old trams of the city being modernized. The local buses tend to compensate where the trams do not seem to reach and are fairly regular.

 Map of the local transport system is available on the Tourist Boards’ website. Tourists can experience the ride on the oldest tram in Europe which have been reconditioned for the purpose of sightseeing tours while buses are made available every 10-15 minutes in the city area and every 20-25 minutes which are linking the settlements around the city. There are various bicycling routes all across the city like Donji grad-Biljie, Jug II – Industrijska cetvrt and much more.

Taxis tend to serve within the main railway station/airport to the city centre. Overall, it is a straightforward and well-designed city to negotiate by foot with some hills. This destination is an amazing part of the continent with intriguing stories together with deep histories and very interesting to explore.

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