A pedestrian bridge dominates the Drava River. It is one of the most notable symbols of Osijek.The bridge was opened in 1981. It was designed by Mostgradnja, a Belgrade-based company. From 1981 to 1991, the bridge was named “Youth Bridge” (Croatian: Most mladosti). In 1991, the bridge was renamed to current name. It was damaged in the Croatian War of Independence, during the Battle of Osijek, and underwent repair in 1993. In 2007, the bridge was completely renovated.
Old Town Tvrđa & City Walls
The Old Town Tvrđa
It’s the most popular monumental display that attracts many tourists. Tvrđa has its own history which dates since the 17th century. It was owned by the Habsburgs, Ottomans, Slavonians, and Hungarians. Tvrđa is a complex of historical buildings, and you can visit 2 of 3 museums of Osijek there. Two are located on the main square of Tvrđa (Trg Svetog Trojstva), Museum of Slavoniaand Archaeological Museum.
The City Walls
At the far end of Tvrđa, alongside the river Drava, are the old city walls of Osijek. This Hapsburg fort, which was the largest and most advanced on the border with the Ottoman Empire, is an extremely impressive sight from the banks of the river.
Swept up into the turmoil of war, Osijek became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1526. However the town was liberated on Friday, November 29th 1687, at 11 a.m and In the early 18th century, the newly rebuilt churches started ringing their bells in memory of the happy moment, and they still do today, on friday’s at 11 as if it was noon.
Wine Tasting in Tvrdja
From all sides the city of Osijek is surrounded by vast vineyards on the Danube river and on the slopes of Papuk mountain, where some of the most famous, largest and oldest (13th, 15th and 16th century) Croatian and even regional wineries produce their golden wine drops. But on the other hand, there are only two wine tasting bars in Osijek. The reason for this is the proximity of vintners and their wine cellars. If you want to taste the wine at the place where it’s produced, we have several suggestions. You can visit Baranja wine road that’s located north of the city, the wine route of Erdut county to the east along the river Danube, the wine road of Đakovo county on the slopes of the mountain Dilj and the wine route around Našice and Feričanci on the slopes of mountains Krndija and Papuk. Not too far away from them there are mountain vineyards near Požega and Kutjevo but also in Vukovar and Ilok.
Osijek is most famous for its beer, but it is surrounded by vineyards, try the wines of Danube region vineyards in the Osijek’s old town Regional Wine Cellar. The local wine varieties include Pinot, Chardonnay, Merlot, Blaufränkisch, Zweigelt delicious as the Marasca cherry and the pride of local winemakers – Golden Welschriesling (Graševina).
We tasted 2 wines from the Central Danube region, white Graševina (Italian/Welsch Riesling by Kolar Winery) and red (Cuvee by Josic Winery), made by wine producers from Osijek, in the Regional wine cellar located right next to the Watergates and the city walls and we listened to some a medley of traditional music from Slavonia region on the typical traditional instrument in eastern Croatia (Slavonia), a mandolin like instrument “tamburica”. ( show pics of the wine )
Vodenica na Dravi (The Watermill on the Drava)
A very interesting vessel, mill-boat, stands near the ferry “Kompa”, old Water-plant and the viewpoint over the river Drava .Tradition of mills on the river Drava dates back to the Middle Ages and their golden age was in the mid-19th century. At that point there was 60 of them in Osijek on the river Drava. By the mid-20th century on the great Slavonian rivers Drava, Sava and Danube there were hundreds of mills and the last one in Osijek stopped working in 1944. Miller’s craft was one of the most respected crafts there was.
The Mill’s restoration was part of the ‘Miller’s Road project’ the main goals of which are the revival of old traditional crafts and their presentation, the strengthening and development of cultural tourism in the cross-border area and Osijek, Osijek-Baranja County and the Hungarian County of Baranja.
Osijek Green Market
At the Green Market, locally grown fruits and vegetables are displayed on tables under umbrellas. Items are weighed using traditional balance scales and weights. Fresh-made cheeses and meats are sold from glass cases indoors and small shops surrounding the market sell fish – some so fresh they are still swimming.
Enjoy fresh river fish and other regional and national delicacies from Croatia’s central Danube region on a river-ship with the stunning views of the Drava river and the city waterfront. From the restaurant-ship’s main deck you can even board the Danube river cruiser and explore this mighty European river from Osijek up north to Vienna or to the southeast towards the Black Sea Coast…
The dishes Catherine tasted:
- pate made of freshwater fish with spices, cottage cheese with red paprika as added typical spice
- the fish entree was smoked and marinated bream (in Croatian it’s Deverika)
- grilled pike/perch (zander) which was filleted or in Croatian “Smudj, or Smuđ” – Smudj is considered to be the best quality river fish, it is a very aggressive species in water but very delicate outside as it dies instantly once out of the water, it is known as “the knight of the fresh waters because it’s fearlessness and appearance as if wearing a silver knights armour. It lives in clean unpolluted waters)
- Osijek’s crème pie ( krempita ) a typical egg custard cream known thru ought former Austro-Hungarian Empire, especially in Croatia, Slovenia and Serbia. It is a very popular cake made at special occasions at home and served in almost all patisseries in Croatia. The one from the restaurant Galia is made by their partner patisserie Sunčana (the Sunny patisserie) which has protected their wide known recipe from 1950’s as the Osijek’s Creampie. Other famous Croatian crème pies come from cities of Samobor and Zagreb.
Restaurant Didin Konak
This restaurant is located in Kopačevo (Kopački rit/Baranja).
Enjoy the wild game roasts, many varieties of goulash and the regionally famous fish-paprikash or a typical breakfast from Croatia’s Danube region. The restaurant is located in a typical house from Croatia’s eastern region of Baranja and in their Pension you can relax after exploring the nearby green marshlands of Kopački rit Nature park.
The dishes Catherine tasted:
Kulen sausage and fresh cottage cheese with tomato salad as cold entrée,
catfish pörkölt as warm entrée (Perkelt od soma),
fish-paprikash as main course and fresh veggies from their own garden.
Desserts were Mađarica cake, Poppy seed roll, homemade elderflower juice, baked pastry “kiflice”, cheese and apple strudel, fruit jams and knedla sa šljivama = plum knoedl (plum dumplings made of potatoes dough filled with cooked plums)
Kopački rit Nature Park
Kopački Rit (Kopački Tršćak), is a nature park in eastern Croatia in the municipalities of Bilje and
Kneževi Vinogradi. It is located northwest of the confluence of the Drava and the Danube, situated at
the border with Serbia. It comprises many backwaters and ponds along the Danube. It is one of the
most important, largest and most attractive preserved intact wetlands in Europe.
Bridges of Osijek are not the only ones that connect river Drava shores. The cable ferry over the Drava river has been operating in Osijek for quite a long time, all the way back to 1916. Using Kompa to cross the Drava river is a definitely one of those things you must do when in Osijek.