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Osijek - CroatiaOsijek

A city and port on the right bank of the Drava river, 25 km upstream of its confluence into the Danube in eastern Slavonia; elevation 94 m; population 104,761. Economic, traffic and cultural centre of Slavonia. Osijek consists of Gornji Grad (Upper Town), Tvrda, Donji Grad (Lower Town) and Novi Grad (New Town) (19th c.), as well as of Retfala. Major institutions in the city are: the University (established in 1975), the Croatian National Theatre, the Museum of Slavonia (established in 1877), the printing house from 1735, the gymnasium (grammar school) from 1729, the drawing school (19th c.), the Zoological Garden, the Centre for the Promotion of Livestock Breeding, the Institute for Sugar Beet Farming, etc. Osijek is a powerful industrial centre: matches factory (established in 1856), foodstuffs (mills, sugar processing plant, brewery), chemical (Saponia), textile, wood and timber, metal-processing (agricultural machinery) industries; production of footwear, synthetic material, metal furniture, silk, brushes; printing industry. Economy is based on farming (grains, industrial plants), livestock breeding and fishing. The railway junction and intersection of Podravina and Posavina traffic communications with the connections to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Hungary. International river port (since 1975) and airport.

The largest city in eastern Croatia Osijek had the town statues towards the end of the 17th century. Since then, its administration has been developing according to the standards of all developed central European cities. The cultural life was mainly related to the theatres first the appearances of various theatre ensembles, the museums (the first museum was opened in 1877 by private donations), collections and printing houses (the Franciscans), and the social life, whose development was accompanied by prosperous economy and developed trade relations, was related to religious festivities, public events (fairs), entertainment and sports. The development of tourism was facilitated by the notable cultural and historical heritage (the Baroque-style Tvrda, one of the most attractive structures of the entire Slavonia), and the geographical location of the town on the Drava river.

The river port on the Drava, especially the winter port (Zimska Luka) with a number of boats, renders a special atmosphere to the largest town of Slavonia. The most important sights in the city include the main square, Trg Ante Starcevica, Trg sv. Roka, the promenade along the Drava ("promenada"), the suspension pedestrian bridge toward Baranja; the Municipal Park of King Petar Kresimir IV and the King Tomislav Park both from the beginning of the 20th century, are protected as horticultural monuments. One of the few Croatian zoological gardens is located in Osijek, along the Drava river.

Numerous events take place in the city throughout the year. The most important of them are the Croatian Tambura Music Festival (in May), attended by tambura orchestras from the entire Croatia, the Osijek Summer Nights (during June, July and August) a series of cultural and entertainment programs in the open, accompanied by excellent food and fairs. The Day of the City of Osijek is celebrated with a cultural and artistic program and thematic exhibitions.

The recreational and sports centre Copacabana, located on the left bank of the Drava river, provides opportunities for various water sports (outdoor swimming pools, a sand beach with various facilities) during the summer months. The city offers various playgrounds: football, handball, basketball, tennis courts, etc.

The surroundings of Osijek provide excellent opportunities for hunting and angling on the Drava river and its backwaters. Hunting in the area known as Kopacki Rit (in Baranja) is famous beyond the Croatian borders. The exquisite gastronomic offer includes traditional Slavonia-style specialities (kulen, paprika-flavoured sausage, other kinds of sausages, ham, bacon, dairy products, etc.), venison and fish dishes (the famous fish paprika stew), making Osijek a kind of gastronomic metropolis of Croatia. The Osijek beer (Eseker) and Baranja wines are offered in restaurants in the town and its surroundings.