Osijek Featured as Tourist Destination in UK Daily Telegraph

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Far from the more fashionable Dalmatian coast, the Slavonian city of Osijek is growing slowly as a tourist destination.

The eastern region of Slavonia does not traditionally take up many international column inches on the subject of Croatian tourism, but the situation is changing slowly with more international interest in the region, the latest being the inclusion of the main city Osijek in a Daily Telegraph feature on November 4, 2015, entitled “European cities you never thought to visit – but probably should.”

Here is what the Telegraph had to say:

“Osijek, Croatia

“Ryanair added the rather obscure Croatian city of Osijek to its route map last year. Adrian Bridge describes it as a “modestly-sized city (pop 114,000), picturesquely positioned on the river Drava. Attractions include a fortified centre (the Tvrda) dating back to the 18th century, the splendid neo-Gothic Church of St Peter and St Paul and the grand Europska Avenija, along which can be seen some excellent examples of the Art Nouveau architecture popular in this part of the world in the late 19th century.”

“Visitors should consider day trips north, to the immaculately preserved traditional village of Karanac; west, to the Djakovo stud farm, in which the world famous white Lipizzaner horses are bred; or south to Vukovar, the city on the Danube that became a symbol of the Yugoslav wars.”

The arrival of Ryanair has been followed by a new start-up airline called Sea Air which is based at Osijek Airport. After numerous delays and issues, Sea Air finally took to the skies this summer, and now connects Osijek with Munich, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Basel, London Stansted and Mostar. The rise in air traffic has also been mirrored by an increase in river cruise tourism. Located on the River Drava, Osijek is becoming a more popular stopover on the busy Danube cruising route. 

The improved access is great news for nature lovers, as one of Croatia’s most important nature reserves – Kopacki Rit – is located to the north of the city, in the fascinating region of Baranja, close to the Hungarian border, a delightful mix of Croatian and Hungarian cuisine and culture. 

A modest and more unusual growth in tourism to Osijek, however, has been the steady arrival of libertarian enthusiasts wanting to visit the self-proclaimed country of Liberland, a small territory of 7km on the Croatian side of the Danube and close to Croatia. Unclaimed by either Croatia or Serbia due to different use of maps in their ongoing border territorial dispute, the land was claimed by Czech national Vit Jedlicka in April this year under ‘terra nullius’. The Croatian authorities have taken a dim view of this and have been patrol the border and preventing entry and even arresting people trying to enter Liberland, thereby – in the eyes of Jedlicka – acknowledging his state by the recognition of borders. Click here for an interview with the self-proclaimed President of Liberland.

SlowCity – Osijek – Timelapse from Romulic & Stojcic on Vimeo.


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