Region

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Slavonia and Baranja is a geographical and historical region in eastern Croatia. Slavonia consists of five counties—Brod-Posavina, Osijek-Baranja, Požega-Slavonia, Virovitica-Podravina and Vukovar-Srijem. The five counties comprise territory of 12,556 square kilometres (4,848 square miles) and a population of 806,192. The largest city in the region iOsijek, followed by Slavonski Brod, Vinkovci, Vukovar and Požega

Slavonia has sustained considerable demographic changes, reflecting the course of its political history and conquests. It is located in the Pannonian Basin, largely bordered by the Danube, Drava and Sava rivers. The western part of the region consists of the Sava and Drava valleys, and the mountains and hills surrounding the Požega valley; the tallest among them is 984-metre (3,228 ft) Psunj. The eastern part of the region largely consists of plains. Slavonia enjoys a moderately warm and rainy continental climate, with relatively low precipitation.

 

Population

According to 2011 census, the total population of the five counties of Slavonia is 806,192. The largest proportion of the total population lives in the Osijek-Baranja County, followed by the Vukovar-Srijem County. 

The Požega-Slavonia County is the least populous county of Slavonia. Overall population density stands at 64.2 persons per square kilometre. The population density ranges from 77.6 to 40.9 persons per square kilometre, with the highest density recorded in Brod-Posavina County and the lowest in the Virovitica-Podravina County. Osijek is the largest city in Slavonia, followed by Slavonski Brod, Vinkovci and Vukovar.

Other cities in Slavonia have populations below 20,000. According to 2001 census, Croats account for 85.6 percent of population of Slavonia, and the most significant ethnic minorities are Serbs and Hungarians, comprising 8.8 percent and 1.4 percent of the population respectively. The largest proportion of the Serb minority was recorded in the Vukovar-Syrmia County (15.5 percent), while the largest Hungarian minority in both relative and absolute terms was observed in Osijek-Baranja county.

 

 

Tourism

The area of Baranja has the national park of Kopački rit, a large swamp with an incredible variety of fauna and birds. It is one of the most important, largest and most attractive preserved intact wetlands in Europe, hosting about 260 various bird species such as (wild geese and ducks, Great White Egret, White Stork, Black Stork, White-tailed Eagle, crows, coots, gulls, terns, kingfishers, and European Green Woodpecker. Guided tourist visits by panoramic ships, boats, team of horses or on foot are available, with some packages offering the possibility of photographing or video-recording animals, birds in particular.

The cultural center is the historical city of Osijek, with its baroque style buildings, such as the Church of St. Peter and Paul, a neo-Gothic structure with the second highest tower in Croatia after the Zagreb Cathedral. The city of Đakovo boasts of the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul in Đakovo is the town's most famous landmark and the most important sacral object, not only in Đakovo but also throughout the whole region of Slavonia.

 


There are three major yearly events celebrating folklore in Slavonia and Baranja: Đakovački vezovi, Vinkovačke jeseni and Brodsko kolo.They present traditional folk costumes, folklore dancing and singing groups, customs, with a parade of horses and wedding wagons as a special part of the program. During the Đakovački vezovi, the Đakovo Cathedral hosts choirs, opera artists, and art exhibitions are organized in the exhibition salon, and during the sports program, pure-bred white Lipizzaner horses can be seen on the racecourse. Ilok and the war-torn city of Vukovar are also points of interest in the area.

Slavonian gastronomy specialties are popular, with traditional Slavonian wines and cuisine being a unique part of the region. The traditional Slavonian cuisine, famous for its meat specialties (kulen smoked sausage, kobasica sausages, smoked ham), venison and freshwater fish dishes are popular, along with the wines: Weissburgunder, Traminer and Riesling.

Economy 

The economy of Slavonia is largely based on processing industry, trade, as well as transport and civil engineering sectors. Another significant component of the economy is agriculture: Slavonia contains 45% of Croatia's agricultural land and accounts for a significant proportion of Croatia's livestock farming and production of permanent crops. Gross domestic product (GDP) of the five counties of Slavonia is worth 6,454 million euro or 8,005 euro per capita—27.5% below Croatia's national average. The GDP of the five counties represents 13.6% of Croatia's GDP.

 

Culture

The cultural heritage of Slavonia is a blend of influences through its history, especially those since the end of the 17th century and traditional culture. Particular impact was made by the 18th century Baroque, when Slavonia started developing once stability was restored after the Ottoman wars. Slavonia contributed to culture of Croatia as a whole, both through works of artists, especially writers and poets, and through patrons of arts.

Slavonia is a distinct region of Croatia in traditional music, and traditional culture is preserved through folklore festivals, giving prominence to tamburica music and bećarac—a form of traditional song, recognized as an intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO. Cuisine of Slavonia reflects culture on the region through diversity of its culinary influences, representing a blend of traditional and foreign elements. Slavonia is one of Croatian winemaking areas, where grapes were first grown in the region of Ilok, as early as the 3rd century, while the oldest wine cellar in continuous winemaking use, built in 1232, is located in Kutjevo. 

 

History

To read more about the history of our region please visit this web site : www.bastina-slavonija.info

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