Djakovo

The first thing you see when approaching Djakovo from either side is the brightness of the bricks of the two towers and cupolas of the most beautiful cathedral in the area from Venice to Istanbul. From this highest point in Djakovo, flaring with the heavenly flame, you can see the whole town, flowing from the ancient center in all directions and in to the fields, touching the skies. If you go lower than that, into the embrace of the squares, parks and streets, to the hearts of people, you will step into the new life which rests on the old trails.

Djakovo has written its history with both a pen and a sword. According to the old, yellowed charters, it began to be called a "town" in 1239, when it was first mentioned as an episcopal residence.

In the architecture of Djakovo, the preserved witnesses of the historical springs are the medieval Gothic walls that surrounded and protected the town in 14th century, the parochial church of All Saint's, the former mosque from 16th century and the old city nucleus from the 18th and 19th century, with the characteristics of baroque, secession and historicism. Completely unprecedented are the cathedral of the great Croatian patriot and the noble benefactor of art and education, Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, with the characteristics of Gothic and Romanic architecture, being the symbol of Djakovo.

The knowledge of many centuries is well kept in the Episcopal Museum, the Commemorative Museum of Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer and in the Museum of the Djakovo region, as well as in the Bishops Palace.

The name of Djakovo contains the national tradition of the peoples lives of this region, the wealth of folklore is preserved and nurtured as part of manifestation called "Djakovacki vezovi" (The Djakovo Embroideries).

The name of Djakovo symbolizes love for horses, the faithful companions of man, being reflected in the centennial tradition of breeding thoroughbred horses in the world famous Lipizzaner stud farm.

This town, resting on greatest natural wealth - the soil, which provides the abundance of food, and the forests, nurtures the deeply rooted tradition of viticulture and hunting. The town has spread to 173 square kilometers, and its 29,500 inhabitants devotedly care for the tradition, the historical sights, the verdure, the cleanliness and the equilibrium of all the town's functions. The landscaped park with baroque elements from the 19th century near the Bishops Palace is a horticultural monument enjoying special protection, as well as the nearby Small Park dating from the turn of the 19th century.

There are numerous sport and recreation facilities located in the town and its surroundings - tennis courts, hippodrome, multipurpose courts, fitness studio and pool. Sport fishing is available in lakes Josava, Mlinac, Borovik and in fish-ponds, rivers and channels.

Big and small game hunting is possible in the immediate vicinity or on the farther Dilj Mountain.

The traditional Slavonian cuisine famous for its meat specialties (kulen smoked pepper sausage, sausages, smoked ham), venison and freshwater fish dishes as well as exquisite wines of the Djakovo region (White Burgundy, Traminer, Riesling) are offered both in Djakovo and its surroundings.

More on Djakovo at www.tzdjakovo.eu.