from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
coat of arms
coat of arms
Osijek (Croatia)
Paris plan pointer b jms.svg
Coordinates: 45 ° 33 ′ 12 ″  N , 18 ° 41 ′ 27 ″  E
Basic data
State : Croatian flag Croatia
County : Flag of Osijek-Baranja County Osijek-Baranja
Height : 90  m. i. J.
Area : 170  km²
Residents : 108,048 (2011)
Population density : 636 inhabitants per km²
Telephone code : (+385) 031
Postal code : 31,000
License plate : OS
Structure and administration
(status: 2013, cf. )
Community type : city
Structure : 5 boroughs
Mayor : Ivan Vrkić (independent)
Postal address : Franje Kuhača 9
31 000 Osijek
Website :
City Festival : 2. December
Osijek panorama Gornji grad.jpg
Panorama of the city at night, September 2019

Osijek [ ˈɔsjɛk ] ( German Esseg , Essegg or Essek , Hungarian Eszék ) is the fourth largest city in Croatia . It is the administrative seat of the Osijek-Baranja County (Croatian Osječko-baranjska županija ) and the economic and cultural center of the historical Slavonia region . Osijek is located on the banks of the Drava in the east of Slavonia, around 20 kilometers from where the Drava flows into the Danube , and had 108,048 inhabitants at the 2011 census.

The city has several once independent centers: the old town or fortress (kr. Tvrđa ), the upper town ( Gornji grad ), today the actual center, and the lower town ( Donji grad ). In addition to many museums and theaters, Osijek also has a university , the Josip Juraj Strossmayer University Osijek . Osijek has a large number of parks. The Kopački rit Nature Park , one of the largest natural wetlands in Europe, and the wine towns of Erdut and Kneževi Vinogradi are nearby .



Archaeological finds confirm that at least since the 4th century BC There is a settlement in the area of ​​today's Osijek.


Finds from the Roman era from the early 1st century AD occur primarily in the district of Unterstadt to the east, directly on the Drau. In the early Roman phase, it is assumed that there was a military post ( Fort Mursa ) that guarded the Drau bridge, which was important for the later urban development. From the 2nd century AD under Emperor Trajan (98–117), the approximately 40,000 square meter, important Lower Pannonian capital, known as Colonia Aelia Mursa or Mursa major , was built on the site.

The battle of Mursa in September 351 AD, when Emperor Constantius II (337-360) successfully opposed the usurper Flavius ​​Magnus Magnentius , went down as one of the bloodiest clashes in Roman history.

Towards the end of the 4th century Mursa was devastated by the Germanic Goths during the migration of the peoples . At that time, the culture of the worst Roman enemy in the southern Pannonian region, the Sarmatian Jazyz , most likely disappeared . After the final withdrawal of the Roman troops from Pannonia in 433 AD, the Colonia remained unprotected from the attacks of the new masters in the country, the Huns , and was sacked by them in 441 AD. At the turn of the 5th to the 6th century AD, the ancient Mursa finally went under.

middle Ages

Only towards the end of the Middle Ages did the early modern Esseg develop - on the area of ​​the later fortress - around the castle of the Slavic family Kružić west of the ancient Colonia . As a result of the massive stone robbery of the large ancient buildings and civil facilities that began for centuries, “almost nothing was left” of the “remains of the old Mursa” until the 19th century , as the numismatist and archaeologically savvy scholar Friedrich von Kenner ( 1834–1922) wrote.

Slavonia was part of the Avar Empire for around two centuries until it was smashed by the Franks under Charlemagne . Osijek then becomes part of the Kingdom of Croatia, which in 1102 receives a Hungarian king through an agreement in personal union. However, this period has been particularly poorly researched.

Eszék was first mentioned in a document in 1196.

Early modern times

In 1526 Osijek is captured by the advancing Ottoman army and remains under Ottoman rule until 1687. The city is said to have been destroyed to its foundations both times, but will be rebuilt each time. In Ottoman times there was a well-known bridge that led across the Drava and the swamps behind it to Darda, 8 km away, and which was also completely destroyed.

After the conquest by Habsburg troops under Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736), the largely depopulated region is deliberately repopulated. In addition to Croats, many Germans, Ruthenians , Slovaks , Wallachians , Czechs, etc. are settled in this section of the military border. "Essekerisch" ("Osijeker German") is formed as a special form of language.

Osijek was the seat of Virovitica county at the time of the Kingdom of Hungary .

Modern times

The heavily fortified fortress of Esseg in its expansion stage from 1861. The often contested complex was built in the Middle Ages west of the lower town. The fortress ring was only demolished in 1923.

A serious railway accident occurred in 1882. Between the world wars, Osijek, like all of Croatia, is part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (SHS state), and from 1927 of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1st Yugoslavia).

During World War II Osijek was on the demarcation line between the fascist " Independent State of Croatia " ( satellite state of Germany and Italy ) and Hungary . During this time, the city was the location of several German replacement troops of the Wehrmacht . In the immediate vicinity was the Tenja Ghetto , to which mainly Jews from the Osijek area were deported (see also: Synagogue (Osijek) ). It served mainly as a transit camp for the deportations to the Jasenovac concentration camp of the Ustascha or the Auschwitz concentration camp . After the Second World War and the victory of the partisans , most of the German-speaking residents ( Danube Swabians ) were expelled.

After the World War Osijek was part of the Republic of Croatia within the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia .

Former monastery

In the Croatian War 1991–1995 after Croatia's declaration of independence, the Yugoslav People's Army tried to conquer the city in the Battle of Osijek . Osijek was under heavy fire for months, killing around 800 civilians. However, the defenders of Osijek retained control of the city. Tensions were high, and many Serbian civilians had to flee the city in a hurry, and there were even isolated murders, some of which are still unsolved. In the 1990s, Osijek was one of the few major cities in Croatia to be ruled by the opposition Social Liberal Party (HSLS) . At the same time, Osijek was a refuge for displaced and fled non-Serbs from the surrounding areas.

Bridge over the Drava


In the 2011 census, Osijek had 108,048 inhabitants, 89.54% of the inhabitants described themselves as Croatians. According to the 1991 census, including the suburbs, there were 130,000 inhabitants.


At the 2011 census, 114,616 people identified themselves as:

  • Roman Catholic 96,600 (84.2%)
  • Serbian Orthodox 8,619 (7.52%)
  • Muslims 966 (0.84%)

The remaining 8% were part of other religions or no religion at all.

Economy, transport and infrastructure

Osijek International Airport is 20 kilometers southeast of the city . Domestic flights and connections with low-cost airlines etc. are mainly used in the summer months. a. offered by Germany. The municipal company GPP Osijek operates two tram and eight bus routes.

The Croatian national roads D2 and D7 ( E 73 ) cross in Osijek . For a long time was the city Osijek off motorways, the nearest highway exit was located about 60 km on the A 3 ( Autoput ). With the construction of the A 5 , which functions as part of the Pan-European Transport Corridor V c from Budapest to South Dalmatia and has already been partially completed, Osijek and its surroundings are better connected to the European trunk road network. To the north, the motorway will be connected to the Hungarian M6 to Budapest via an already completed Drau bridge.

Osijek is connected to the long-distance bus service . The bus station is in close proximity to the train station. From there there are connections to numerous larger cities in Croatia as well as international lines to Switzerland and Germany.

Important companies were traditionally "Saponia", hygiene articles, and MIO milk processing, as well as the closed silk factory Svilana. In 1997, a free economic zone with tax breaks was set up on the outskirts of the city to attract foreign investors and create cheap jobs. The largest company here is Benetton . However, there is high unemployment in the region.


Secession in Osijek

The installation Crveni fićo .

At the end of the 19th century, Osijek was one of the largest economic and cultural centers of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia. Under the influence of developments in cities such as Vienna , Budapest and Prague , a new style of secession developed in Osijek . The Osijek Secession began in 1900 and ended with the modern age .


The most important architects of the Secession in Osijek were: Willhelm Carl Hofbauer , Ante Slaviček , Viktor Axmann and Dionis Sunko . Some of the first secessionist buildings that Hofbauer designed in Osijek are: the Pejačević fountain , the Hofbauer house , the house of the Jewish community and the Schneller inn . Another important architect was Ante Slaviček, whose works: Baumgärtner , Josip Povischill s and Sauter are houses, all of which are on European Avenue. The houses Lucić and Horvat on Radić Street are also known. Viktor Axman designed the Sakuntala Park , the Socoler Home , two pavilions of the Osijek Hospital, the Urania cinema and other important objects of the Osijek Secession. The main characteristics of secessionist architecture in Osijek are: elegance, richness of the decor, numerous details, motifs from Slavonian flora and fauna (e.g. the oak, flowers), fences and decorations made of wrought iron and the frequent use of ceramics. The most beautiful row of secessionist buildings, which were built between 1904 and 1905, is located on Europaische Avenue. Particularly noteworthy is the representative Gillming-Hengl House, house number 24, in which the city library is located today. Other important buildings on European Avenue are: the Povischill House (it was built at the request of the timber manufacturer Josip Povischill), the Kästenbaum Korski House (which is now the Eye Clinic), the Sekulić and Šmit houses .

Typical architecture in Osijek

The Urania Cinema, which was created under the influence of J. Hoffmann, the Budapest Secession and Art Deco , should also be highlighted. It was designed by Viktor Axmann. The opening ceremony took place on September 19, 1912. The Urania cinema was the most modern building and the most ambitious project of the time. It is also important to mention the Sakuntala Park (designed by Viktor Axmann and Ivan Domes ), which is located next to the Urania cinema. It got its name after the statue of the girl with a palm branch in her hand, which the Osijekers called Sakuntala. This park is now located on the Petar Preradović Promenade. The Pejačević Fountain is also a prominent example of secessionist architecture. It was a gift from Count Pavao Pejačević and was designed and built by WC Hofbauer in 1903. The Pejačević fountain used to be in what was then the city garden, but today it is located on Cardinal Šeper promenade. Other well-known secessionist buildings in Osijek are: the main post office building, the Reisner Villa , which is next to the Philosophical Faculty, the house at Radić Street 31 and the Baumgartner House at August Cesarec Street 8.


The main characteristics of secessionist painting in Osijek are: an interest in mysticism , allegory , melancholy and longing . Floral motifs with sunflowers, vine leaves, butterflies and women as symbols were also popular. Bela Csikos Sessia , the proponent of European secession and symbolism, is considered the most important painter . His works are u. a .: Two border guards , The Mirko Herman portrait , Saloma and Träumerei . Dragan Melkus was not only a painter, but also a contributor to the following magazines: Fliegende Blätter and Simplicissimus . His best-known works are: The peasant house next to the water and path , The avenue next to the Drau and other landscapes. Other secessionist painters from Osijek are: Guido Jeny , Rudolf Marčić , Vladimir Filakovac , Josip Leović ( Osijeker Platz ) and Rene Stengl ( Der Acker ).

The Croatian National Theater in Osijek

The Croatian National Theater in Osijek

The city of Osijek has a long and rich theater tradition. The first performance was performed in Latin in 1735 in the Jesuit grammar school. In the middle of the next decade, various traveling troops came to Osijek. Its activity lasted until 1907 when the Croatian National Theater was founded. It was the second professional theater in Croatia . Plays in both Croatian and German were performed on the Osijek theater stage. At the beginning only individual poems were performed and then various performances followed .

The theater building of the Croatian National Theater was built in 1866, making it the oldest theater building in the interior of Croatia. This theater building is the work of the architect Karlo Klausner . The style is a mixture of historicism with elements of Moorish architecture . The floor plan of the auditorium has the shape of a horseshoe, as in Italian and Austrian theaters, and has three levels. In 1991 the building was bombed and the Osijek theater became homeless for its 85th season. In 1994 the building was renovated and it shone in full splendor.

The Croatian National Theater in Osijek can advertise itself today with an interesting dramatic and musical-scenic program and the newly founded ballet . The repertoire includes more than 20 performances. Open theater days , Krležas days, New Year's concerts and Opera Night in June are organized. In addition to the performances in Osijek, the theater also gives guest performances in other cities in the country and abroad. The Croatian National Theater in Osijek currently has 16 actors , 36 members of the choir , 15 opera soloists, 15 members of the dance group and 48 musicians . It also has a large audience that enjoys the theater's rich repertoire.

The Branko Mihaljević Children's Theater in Osijek

On the east side of Josip Jelačić Square in Donji grad (Lower Town) is one of the most famous Osijek buildings, which the young and old townspeople have been visiting for 150 years. The contents and purposes of this building have changed many times and today it is the “ Branko Mihaljević Children's Theater ”, the main aim of which is to meet the entertainment needs of Osijek residents.

historical overview

The building was probably built as a private home in the mid-19th century, as indicated by the layout of the interior rooms. It was an L-shaped house on the ground floor thirty meters long . On the street side were two spacious rooms and a corridor connecting the street and the courtyard. The building initially served as a coffee house, which was located in the northern half of the no longer existing house. At the place where this building stood, a multi-storey building was built about 20 years ago. At the end of the 19th century, the Hrvatski dom (Croatian House) joint stock company bought the house and the rooms of the house were used for public purposes. Today's children's theater was the only public building with multi-purpose rooms for various municipal institutions that were used to entertain the citizens. There the residents of the lower town could relax in the pleasant atmosphere of the coffee house and read books in the reading room. There was also a shooting range , the “Lipa” choir and the most modern casino at the time. In 1912 the casino was transformed into the Urania underground cinema. The great hall has been redesigned. New seats and other necessary equipment were installed. This made the Urania cinema one of the most popular cinemas in Osijek, having only been operating there for nine years.

On July 8, 1950, the work of Pionirsko kazalište ( Pioneer Theater ) began in this hall with the performance of Spašeno svjetlo ( The Saved Light ), directed by Ivan Marton . From 1958 to 1991 the theater was named after Ognjen Prica , after which it was renamed the “Children's Theater in Osijek”. The first puppet show was staged in 1962 and in 1972 the theater hosted the Susret Lutkara Hrvatske ( Croatian Puppeteers Meeting ). The late 1970s and early 1980s are considered a golden period for theater. The most famous puppet show was Postolar i vrag ( The Carpenter and the Devil ), which was adapted for the scene by the director Borislav Mrkšić . The performance received numerous prizes and recognition at festivals in Germany and abroad. The other most popular performances are: Djevojčica sa žigicama ( The Girl with Matches ), Kresivo ( The Lighter ), Botafogo , Blago babe Mrzulje . The theater has borne his name since the death of Branko Mihaljević (children's composer) in 2006. Branko Mihaljević wrote the most famous performance of this theater, Zeko, Zriko i Janje . This performance and the song Zeko i potočić are a symbol of children's theater.

movie theater

Urania cinema in Osijek

In 1901 the first films were shown in the “Zrinjevac” inn. In 1910 the first cinematograph "Royal Bio" was founded. The “Urania” cinema was built in 1912 based on a design by Viktor Axmann . This building is a small masterpiece of secessionist architecture . Together with Sakuntala Park , it forms a unique urban-architectural unit. In 1921 the "Apolo kino" was opened in an inn on Strossmayerstrasse. In 1939 the Fleisig brothers built the “Korzo” cinema (later “Crvena zvijezda”, today “Europe”). Ljudevit Pelzer, the most important modern architect from Osijek, designed the cinema. It is an expression of the architecture of the new era and contemporary demands of society, yet is in harmony with the nearby buildings that belong to previous styles. In 1946 the Municipal People's Committee founded the company “Prosvjeta”, which consisted of two cinemas, the “Zvecevo” and the “Korzo”. When the municipality of Retfala was attached to the city, “Prosvjeta” also took over the “Narodni” cinema in Retfala. In 1951 the “Urania” cinema took over the company. The “Slavija” cinema in the lower town was confiscated and attached to the company. The company was in operation until 1992. During the Croatian-Serbian War, the cinemas were closed and could not make a profit. After the war, the company went bankrupt. It was transformed into Kinematographen Osijek AG and privatized. "Narodni" has been closed since 1986 and "Slavija" since 1989. The “Narodni” cinema was destroyed during the war. "Zvecevo" is now part of the "Royal" hotel business.

"Hrvatski sokol" (= Croatian falcon), a reconstructed historical military unit from Osijek


The zoological garden and aquarium is one of the largest zoos in Croatia and is home to over 100 animal species.


Osijek was one of the venues for the 2009 men's handball world championship . The multi-purpose hall Dvorana Gradski vrt was built for this purpose in 2008 . The soccer club NK Osijek plays in the first Croatian soccer league and won the Croatian soccer cup in 1999 . In the summer of 2019, the construction of a new stadium directly on the Drau began.

In Osijek there was also a speedway stadium, in which qualifying runs for world championships were held in the 1970s and 1980s.

City partnerships and friendships

Osijek maintains the following cities a twinning :

  • HungaryHungary Pécs (Hungary), since 1973
  • GermanyGermany Pforzheim (Germany), since 1994
  • SloveniaSlovenia Maribor (Slovenia), since 1995
  • Bosnia and HerzegovinaBosnia and Herzegovina Tuzla (Bosnia-Herzegovina), since 1996
  • SwitzerlandSwitzerland Lausanne (Switzerland), since 1997
  • SlovakiaSlovakia Nitra (Slovakia), since 1997
  • HungaryHungary Budapest XIII. District (Hungary), since 2001
  • KosovoKosovo Prizren , since 2010

sons and daughters of the town

(The following personalities were born in Osijek. They are listed chronologically according to year of birth. Whether or not they later had their sphere of activity in Osijek is irrelevant.)

Climate table

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: Meteorological and Hydrological Service Croatia
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Osijek
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) 2.6 5.5 11.7 17.3 22.4 25.6 28.0 27.6 23.5 17.3 9.8 4.4 O 16.4
Min. Temperature (° C) −4.2 −2.9 1.2 5.7 10.4 13.5 15.0 14.4 10.9 6.2 2.2 −1.5 O 6th
Precipitation ( mm ) 45.5 41.8 45.3 59.8 69.2 81.8 60.8 57.6 54.3 60.1 61.3 54.7 Σ 692.2
Rainy days ( d ) 12.2 11.1 11.5 12.6 13.2 12.6 10.2 9.4 8.9 10.4 12.7 14.0 Σ 138.8
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Web links

Commons : Osijek  - collection of images, videos and audio files


  1. Location of the bridge according to: Zsolt Mráv: Hadrian's bridge building inscription from Poetovio. In: Communicationes archaeologicae Hungariae 29, 2002. Budapest 2002. pp. 15–57; here: 45. 45 ° 33 '41.92 "  N , 18 ° 43' 1.57"  O .
  2. fortress Esseg 45 ° 33 '37.78 "  N , 18 ° 41' 43.87"  O .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Zsolt Mráv: Hadrian's bridge building inscription from Poetovio. In: Communicationes archaeologicae Hungariae 29, 2002. Budapest 2002. pp. 15–57; here: p. 45.
  2. a b Mirjana Sanader: Ancient Greek and Roman cities in Croatia. Školska Knjiga, Zagreb 2004. ISBN 953-061907-3 . P. 47.
  3. Sarmatians. In: Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde (RGA). 2nd Edition. Volume 26, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2004, ISBN 3-11-017734 X , p. 511.
  4. ^ Josef Bösendorfer: The orthodox element as a secondary factor in the development of the bourgeois class in Essegg. In: Osječki zbornik 2-3. Esseg 1948. pp. 48-133; here p. 127.
  5. ^ Friedrich von Kenner: Noricum and Pannoina. An investigation into the development, importance and the system of the Roman defense institutions in the central Danube countries. In: Reports and communications from the Alterthums-Verein zu Wien. Volume XI. Vienna 1870. pp. 1–176; here: p. 110.
  6. Max Vasmer : Eastern European place names . Dorpat 1921 (= Acta et commentationes Universitatis Dorpatensis . Dept. B: Humaniora , vol. 13), p. 10.
  7. Manfred Michael Glauninger: Essekerisch and Budapest Josef cities Risch. "Kakan" slang in the Habsburg Transleithanien . In: Gabriele Leupold , Eveline Passet (Ed.): In the mine of language. A history of German in episodes . Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen 2012, pp. 269–285.
  8. Hans Gehl : The German city languages ​​in Timisoara and Esseg . In: Velimir Petrović (ed.): Essekerisch. The Osijek German . Edition Praesens, Vienna 2001, pp. 127–144.
  9. ^ Snježana Kordić : Germanisms in the spoken language of Osijek today . In: Marin Andrijašević, Yvonne Vrhovac (eds.): Prožimanje kultura i jezika . Hrvatsko društvo za primijenjenu lingvistiku, Zagreb 1991, OCLC 443222199 , p. 89–97 ( irb.hr [PDF; 800 kB ; accessed on September 4, 2015] Croatian: Germanizmi u osječkom govoru danas .).
  10. Osijek on arriva.com.hr. Retrieved October 3, 2019.
  11. Secesija slobodnog i kraljevskog grada Osijeka, zbornik radova, HAZU, Osijek, 2001
    Živaković-Kerže, Zlata, Svaštice iz staroga Osijeka, Grafika, Osijek, 2001
  12. Dragan Damjanović: Osječka secesija u tekstovima Tihomira Stojčića, Anali Zavoda za znanstveni i Umjetnički rad u Osijeku . 2006.
  13. Dječje kazaliište Branka Mihaljevića u Osijeku, October 25, 2008, djecje-kazaliste.hr
  14. Božo Plevnik: Stari Osijek . Radnicko sveuciliste "Bozidar Masleric", 1987
    Izvjesce o obavljenoj reviziji pretvorbe i privatizacije, October 27, 2007, revizija.hr (PDF; 123 kB)
  15. Croatia: Osijek stadium rising from the ground - StadiumDB.com. Retrieved December 29, 2019 .
  16. Osijek Speedway 1987, accessed on YouTube on December 29, 2013.