Historically, Erdut has been a calm small town where cultures intertwined. It was first mentioned in 1335 as Erdöd, and with the status of a town in 1472 as Castellum Erdeed. The name originates from a Hungarian word denoting a forest path or road. From the 15th century until World War II, it was passed from hand to hand between noble families. Among them were the Adamović Cseh family, whose 19th-century manor still stands in the centre of town. The manor is not the only piece of architecture worth visiting.
A mysterious medieval-looking castle stands on the bank of the Danube. There is no written information on its origins, but there are a few legends surrounding it. Each generation probably comes up with its own stories. Nada Bućkalović wrote about one of them where fairies would keep destroying at night whatever the builders would build during the day. To get them to stop doing that, they had to sacrifice a breastfeeding mother by building her into one of the pillars of the castle. According to Nada, the memories of the legend were refreshed when the grave in the basement was robbed. The pillar at the entrance was damaged, revealing a 180 cm tall skeleton, with a 150 cm long braid. Nowadays, the castle is a zero-category monument standing on top of a hill right next to the Danube. Local rock climbing associations like using it for practice, but you don’t have to be an expert to climb up the hill and explore its old walls. The Stairway of Health in the park right next to the castle will also take you up and down for a refreshing walk by the Danube.
Having touched on movement, this is the perfect opportunity to remind you of Erdut’s traditional Wine & Bike Tour. Usually taking place right in the middle of autumn grape harvests, this event attracts hundreds of visitors each year, all looking for good fun, healthy competition, and, of course, excellent local wine. Thanks to its geographical position, the Erdut municipality is famous for its vineyards, which stretch as far as the eye can see.
Erdut alone is home to multiple wineries, harvesting the famous Traminac, Graševina, Chardonnay, Riesling, etc. Graševina is the trademark wine of Erdut, and there is so much of it there that they had to build the world’s largest barrel to keep it all.
An incredible 2,5 tonnes of iron keeps the wooden construction in place. It has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records, and it can keep 75 thousand litres of wine, equaling 100 thousand bottles! It was made in 1989 by DIK Đurđenovac, using the traditional method of construction with a total of 109 oak trunks which were by that point over 100 years old. The motifs of the traditional Croatian interlace and the Last Supper were carved by Naïve sculptors Tijardović and Fodor. The barrel has been kept full of Graševina ever since its construction. Not that its integrity is ever to be doubted, but it has been placed over a specially constructed pool that would salvage the gold-coloured nectar of life in case the barrel ever started leaking.
A day of sightseeing, cycling, walking, and wine tasting will surely make you quite hungry. Worry not! Though there is no restaurant in Erdut, the locals will be more than happy to feed you homegrown and homemade local food full of flavour, protein and healthy* fat, vitamins, and all the other nutrients your body and soul might need. One of them is teta Zlatica.
She is the perfect representative of what happens when you’re born and raised in a place like Erdut. Like many others in Slavonia, her family has faced all kinds of adversity during the Homeland war, and was left without a penny or a house. After going off into the world and becoming and successfully running a couple of businesses, her heart eventually took her back to Erdut to rebuild her family home and live off the land on the picturesque hills. She has decided to leave everything else and do what she does best and enjoys the most – open her home, her kitchen, and her heart to the curious wanderers who come to explore and experience Erdut. She is one of the residents in Erdut whose happiness is contagious. They all work together, driving change and inspiring progress. It is this synergy (along with their wine) that we believe will get them far and make you feel right at home.
She runs Etno Kuća Stari Dud, where she provides accommodation and freshly cooked meals. If you visit at the right time, live traditional music nights might spontaneously happen. So far, she has hosted team buildings, theatre groups, and events like birthdays and christenings. If you would like to give her a visit, e-mail [email protected] and we’ll sort you out in no time.
*might not always be extremely healthy
Photos: Steve Tsentserentsky
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