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Slavonia and Baranja

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Slavonia’s wine roads

This region is gastronomically and oenologically unique due to its rich and fertile soil. The most famous of the local wines is Graševina, this very popular wine so common in Croatia that many consider it indigenous. Its origins are still something of a mystery but a new theory places the point of its origin in the northeast of what is today France’s historical region of Champagne from where it spread into Germany and then the other lands of the Austro-Hungarian Mon...

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Slavonia’s wine roads

This region is gastronomically and oenologically unique due to its rich and fertile soil. The most famous of the local wines is Graševina, this very popular wine so common in Croatia that many consider it indigenous. Its origins are still something of a mystery but a new theory places the point of its origin in the northeast of what is today France’s historical region of Champagne from where it spread into Germany and then the other lands of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. But Graševina is far from the only wine on offer in this region’s many wine cellars. Chardonnay, White and Grey Pinot, Rhine Riesling, Gewürztraminer (Cro. traminac), Sylvaner (Cro. silvanac), Blaufränkisch (Cro. frankovka), Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are just part of this region's rich offer. The most famous winemaker in Baranja is Belje, but we must also mention the Erdut vineyards. The Ilok Cellars supplied wine for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II while Kutjevo possesses the largest wine archive in Croatia.

Slavonia's gastronomy

A sumptuous banquet and a good appetite are some of the main motifs of this region. Slavonian cuisine will arouse all your senses and offer a challenge to even the most gastronomically experienced adventurers. Even the most delicate palate will enjoy local delicacies such as Kulen, stew, pork scratchings, grilled carp or fish stew – of course, with a healthy helping of excellent Slavonian wines – and the uniqueness of this cuisine is further complimented by the centuries old tradition and experience of local cooks. The influence of Hungarian, Turkish, Bosnian and Vojvodinian cuisine is significant, most evident in the use of hot spices, especially red pepper and hot pepper as well as walnuts and almonds that go into many cakes and rolls. In Slavonia you eat for pleasure and not just because you have to. The unrivalled local hospitality will ensure that every passenger gets a full share of fine and delicious food.

A paradise for fishermen and hunters

If you are in search of a place of solitude and peace where you can recharge your batteries surrounded by beautiful nature far away from the bustle of the city, the Slavonia and Baranja region is the place for you. Lovers of nature and sport fishing will find many attractive fishing locations rich in freshwater fish, such as Blanje, Grudnja (part of Orahovica Nature Park) or Miholjac, in the middle of the town of Donji Miholjac. This region also has a rich hunting tradition, especially big game such as deer or wild boar. Pheasant, quail, wild goose and rabbit are among the most popular small game hunted here. The most attractive hunting grounds are Kunjevci near the town of Vinkovci, Podunavlje-Podravlje, Papuk or Zvečevo while the 40 000 hectare large Spačva Basin hunting ground is well known to hunters all over Europe.

The Lipizzaner stables in Lipik and Đakovo

A proud Slavonian spirit, hard work, modesty and loyalty are virtues that are embodied in the Lipizzaner horse, the unofficial symbol of this region. They are a special breed of horse known for endurance, hard work and quick learning. Their white hair is actually the result of a transformation since they are foaled completely black. They are at home in the Lipik and Đakovo stables. Founded in the 16th century the Đakovo Stables are among the oldest in Europe while the Lipik Stables were founded in the 19th century. The centuries old tradition of breeding Lipizzaner horses is evidence of the historical development of this region as well as the longevity of this breed. They were once used in victorious battles as well as everyday farming chores but today they are bred first and foremost for sports races.

Local cultural events

The region of Slavonia and Baranja is the home to the biggest festival of folklore in this part of Europe –Vinkovačke jeseni (Vinkovci Autumn Festival). The almost half a century old festival gathers over a hundred thousand visitors who come together to enjoy the traditional music, folk dances and dresses and the local delicacies that feed both body and soul. Another popular festival takes place in Đakovo – Đakovački vezovi (Đakovo Embroidery) traditionally takes place in July. It is a display of folk dress, song and mementoes of old times intertwined with the sounds of organ music and the clatter of horse hooves, as well as best local wines and food. The Osijek Cultural Summer has been the most significant cultural event in the eastern part of Croatia since 2001 while the Children’s Festival U svijetu bajki Ivane Brlić Mažuranić (In Ivana Brlić Mažuranić’s Fairytale World) has been held regularly in Slavonski Brod for over forty years. Every May Požega hosts the Croatian One Minute Film Festival while poetry has been taking centre stage since 2003 in the Dani Dobriše Cesarića, (Days of Dobriša Cesarić), named after a most beloved and very famous Croatian poet.

Slavonia’s castles

Slavonia and Baranja is a part of Croatia that is perhaps most intertwined with its tumultuous history, which is readily visible in the preserved architecture. The entire region is dotted with castles, forts and beautiful edifices, some of which have regrettably fallen into ruin. One of the oldest and biggest castles in Slavonia is the Medieval-Baroque Prandau-Normann Castle in Valpovo. It is one of the most treasured examples of non-sacral architecture in the northern parts of Croatia. Many famous castles of the region were built in the baroque style – from the Kulmer Castle in Cernik, built in the 16th century, and the Esterhazy Castle in Darda, built in the 17th and 18th century, to the Janković Castle in Suhopolje, built in the 18th century. Among the most representative examples of Croatian Baroque are the 18th century Eltz Castle in Vukovar and the Hunter’s Castle in Bilje, built by the Austrian military leader, Prince Eugene of Savoy. The castle in Bilje is a rare example of a castle with a defensive ditch. The representative Neo-baroque castle of the Pejačević Noble family in the middle of Našice is one of the families many Slavonian castles, while the title of one of the most beautiful Croatian castles falls to the Hilleprand Castle in Donji Miholjac, an edifice with many neo-Gothic and late Roman elements in the English style of Tudor, built in the 20th century.

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