Construction of the Largest Watermill in Croatia Completed

Total Croatia News

A new tourist attraction for Slavonia.

Osijek has a new tourist attraction – the largest watermill in Croatia, on the river Drava near the town centre. The almost two million kuna worth replica of a watermill is part of the Miller’s Path, a project financed under the IPA cross-border cooperation initiative between Croatia and Hungary, reports on December 20, 2015.

The European Union granted a million kuna for the construction, while 800,000 kuna was provided by the City of Osijek. The replica of a watermill on the river Drava was presented to the public on Friday, and in about two months it will open its doors for citizens, tourists and school trips.  “This will definitely be a great tourist venue, but also a reminder of the beginnings of the milling industry in Osijek. In the mid-19th century, during the golden age of mills, on the Drava river near Osijek there were more than 60 such mills”, said mayor of Osijek Ivica Vrkić.

The last mill in Osijek stopped its wheel in 1944, and this project revives the memory of that glorious era of milling during which Osijek became the centre of the milling industry, which can still be felt in the city which even today has some of the largest Croatian and regional producers and processors of grain – Žito, Mlinar, Karolina Biscuit Factory, etc. “This is a part of culture which we must present to our children in order to remember our roots, but also to continue to develop the industry based on our relationship with wheat, because that is what made Slavonia and Baranja what they are today”, Vrkić concluded.

The new Osijek mill is a work of its creator and designer, president of the Mills Association Stanislav Davidović, who said that the entire project was conceived in 2008. The initiative was presented to the city authorities, and last year the European Union approved the Miller’s Path project. The  watermill is primarily intended for educational purposes, because it will demonstrate how flour used to be produced, but it will also promote renewable energy sources and environmentally friendly products and various popular tourist activities in the wider region.

In addition to the watermill, the Miller’s Path project includes a cross-border tourist route that will connect locations, people and old crafts related to the milling industry from Osijek and Baranja to Hungarian cities of Pecs and Mohacs.

According to Karolina Mlinarević, head of the City Department for EU Programs and Economy, the main objectives of the project are preservation of old traditional crafts and their presentation, as well as strengthening and development of cultural tourism in the area of Osijek, Osijek-Baranja County in Croatia and the Baranja County in Hungary.


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