Osijek is the fourth largest city in Croatia with a population of 108,000. It is the largest city in Slavonia (eastern Croatia), as well as the county of Osijek-Baranja.
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Presentation of Osijek
Osijek is located on the right bank of the Drava river, 25 km upstream from its junction with the Danube, at an altitude of only 94 m. The city has an important communication and public transport network. It can be reached through the railway system, highways, a river port and a regional airport. A highway connects the city to other important destinations in Croatia as well as to the neighboring countries of Hungary and Serbia.
The city is located on slightly higher grounds, preventing it from being flooded by the waters of the surrounding marshes. Osijek owes its name to the term “oseka” which means low tide. This land was therefore suitable for settlement, especially at ebb tide.
Osijek has other names because of its past and its history within the Habsburg monarchy and then briefly within the Ottoman Empire, but also because of the presence of German and Hungarian minorities. In Hungarian: Eszék, in German: Esseg, in Latin: Essec, in Turkish: Ösek… In Roman times, Osijek was called Mursa.
Osijek: activities and tourism
Osijek is a popular destination for domestic tourists. They mostly come to admire its baroque architecture and to enjoy its large green spaces which are very suitable for sports and leisure activities. The city’s most important monuments include the main square, Trg Ante Starčevića, the cathedrals of St. Paul and St. Peter and the 18th century Fort (a Baroque citadel). You can also add to this the promenade along the Drava River and the pedestrian suspension bridge leading to the Baranja River. The Municipal Park of King Petar Kresimir IV and the Park of King Tomislav, which date from the beginning of the 20th century, are protected sites and classified as national monuments.
Osijek is also home to one of Croatia’s few zoological gardens, located along the Drava River. Further east, visitors can enjoy a walk in the Kopački Rit nature park.
Many events take place in the city throughout the year. The Tambura Music Festival in May with orchestras from all over Croatia and the Osijek Summer Nights (June, July and August) are among the most important. You can enjoy a series of cultural programs and open-air entertainment during these events. There is also a fair with traditional dishes. The Osijek City Day is celebrated with cultural and artistic activities and exhibitions.
The Copacabana sports recreation center is located on the left bank of the Drava River and allows you to practice various water sports. It has outdoor swimming pools and a sandy beach with different facilities where you can cool off in summer. The city also has several soccer fields, as well as handball, basketball, and tennis courts, etc.