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Slavonija ( Croatian )
CoA Slavonia.svg
Coat of arms of Slavonia
The Slavonia region (dark purple) in Croatia used to include areas further to the west.
The Slavonia region (dark purple) in Croatia used to include areas further to the west.
Basic data
State (s) Croatia (historically also smaller parts of Serbia and Hungary )
Official language (s) Croatian
Slavonija - panoramio.jpg

Slavonia (also Slavonia ; Croatian Slavonija , Latin Slavonia , Hungarian Szlavónia ; the " Slavonic Land ") is a historical region in eastern Croatia and is considered its granary . It extends in an east-west direction about 150 km between southern Hungary and Bosnia. A large part of the area of ​​Slavonia is taken up by the plains between the great Danube tributaries Sava and Drava . In the east it extends to the Danube and the Serbian border.


Map of Eastern Slavonia

In the north, south and east of Slavonia, Slavonia consists mainly of the flatlands of the Pannonian Plain ; in the west and the middle there is an isolated low mountain range with the peaks Papuk (953 m), Dilj (461 m) and Psunj (984 m). The region extends east-west between the Drava (northern border with Hungary ) and the Save (southern border with Bosnia-Herzegovina ) and extends in the east to the Danube , the border with Serbia . The western border of Slavonia is not clearly defined geographically.

Population and nationalities

The vast majority of the population of Slavonia are ethnic Croats . The largest national minority are Serbs . There are also a large number of smaller nationalities, including a German-speaking minority of around 3,000 people in Eastern Slavonia .

Population by Croatian county

2011 census data for the counties in Slavonia:

County Population
(2011 census)
including Croatians other ethnic groups
Flag of Virovitica-Podravina County.png Virovitica-Podravina County
(Virovitičko-podravska županija)
84,836 (100.00%) 77,897 (91.82%) 6,939 (8.18%): thereof 5,144 Serbs (6.06%)
Zastava Osječko-baranjske županije.png Osijek-Baranja County
(Osječko-baranjska županija)
305,032 (100.00%) 262,004 (85.89%) 43,028 (14.11%): of which 23,657 Serbs (10.53%) and 8,249 Magyars (2.70%)
Flag of Požega-Slavonia County.png Požega-Slavonia County
(Požeško-slavonska županija)
78,034 (100.00%) 70,529 (90.38%) 7,505 (9.62%): of which 4,680 Serbs (6.00%)
Flag of Brod-Posavina County.svg Brod-Posavina County
(Brodsko-posavska županija)
158,575 (100.00%) 150,632 (94.99%) 7,943 (5.01%): of which 4,124 Serbs (2.60%) and 1,178 Roma (0.74%)
Flag of Vukovar-Syrmia County.svg Vukovar-Syrmia County
(Vukovarsko-srijemska županija)
179,521 (100.00%) 142,135 (79.17%) 37,386 (20.83%): of which 27,824 Serbs (15.50%), 1,746 Bosniaks (0.97%), 1,427 Russians (0.79%) and 1,185 Slovaks (0.66%)

Biggest cities

The largest cities in Slavonia are (population according to the 2001 census):

  1. Osijek 114,616
  2. Slavonski Brod 64,612
  3. Vinkovci 35,912
  4. Vukovar 31,670
  5. Đakovo 30.092
  6. Požega 28,201
  7. Virovitica 22,618
  8. Našice 17,320
  9. Županja 16,383
  10. Nova Gradiška 15,833

Political structure

The area of ​​Slavonia is today administratively divided into five counties (Croatian županije ). These are:

flag coat of arms Croatian name
( Županija )
German name map Area (km²) Population (2001) Administrative headquarters geographical location
Flag of Virovitica-Podravina County.png Virovitica and Podravina County.png Virovitičko-podravska županija Virovitica-Podravina County Virovitičko-podravska županija in Croatia.svg 2,021 93,389 Virovitica along the Drava on the border with Hungary
Zastava Osječko-baranjske županije.png Osijek and Baranya County.svg Osječko-baranjska županija Osijek-Baranja County Osječko-baranjska županija in Croatia.svg 4.149 330.506 Osijek includes north-eastern Slavonia around the city of Osijek and the Croatian part of the Baranja (north of the Drava )
Flag of Požega-Slavonia County.png Požega-Slavonia County.png Požeško-slavonska županija Požega-Slavonia County Požeško-slavonska županija in Croatia.svg 1,821 85.831 Požega in central Slavonia between the Virovitica-Podravina County and the Brod-Posavina County
Flag of Brod-Posavina County.svg Brod-Posavina County.svg Brodsko-posavska županija Brod-Posavina County Brodsko-posavska županija in Croatia.svg 2,027 176.765 Slavonski Brod along the Save on the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina
Flag of Vukovar-Syrmia County.svg Coat of Arms of Vukovar-Syrmia County.svg Vukovarsko-srijemska županija Vukovar-Syrmia County Vukovarsko-srijemska županija in Croatia.svg 2,448 204,768 Vukovar includes the easternmost part of Slavonia around Vukovar on the border with Serbia


In Slavonia the first known inhabitants were the Skordiskers , later the Pannonians , who were conquered by Emperor Augustus . The land then belonged to " Pannonia inferior " , but also had the name "Pannonia Savia" . At the end of the great migration, Slavic tribes under Avar sovereignty filled the land between the Drava and Sava (see for this the conquest of the Slavs in the Balkans ) and, as Pannonian Slavs mixed with Croats , came under Frankish rule, of which later the subsequent Sirmia , the former Gau the Roman city of Sirmium , which was called "Frankochorion" by the Byzantines.

The interstate of the Drava and Sava came under their rule since the rise of the Croatian princes and was called in Hungarian "Tótország" , "Slavonia" in Latin, "windy" land in German, in contrast to the adjoining South of Old Croatia (Hungarian "Horvátország" ) . Only after repeated battles with the Byzantine Empire did the area finally remain in Hungarian possession from 1165. It was not until Vladislav II. 1491-1516 that Beisatz et Slavoniae joined the Hungarian royal title rex Dalmatiae et Croatiae ( Dalmatia and Upper Croatia) .

The boundaries of the historical territory to which the name Slavonia refers have shifted significantly over time. In the Middle Ages , the entire part of the then kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia , located in the Danube and Savo Plains , was called Slavonia (Latin Regnum Slavoniae ). The political center of medieval Slavonia was today's Croatian capital, Zagreb .

After most of the kingdom of Dalmatia, Croatia and Slavonia, with the exception of the area around Zagreb , had been conquered by the Ottoman Empire as a result of the Turkish conquests in the 16th century , Croatia was distinguished from Slavonia in the narrower sense ( Virovitica , Požega and Sirmia ). As a result, Zagreb became the political center of the rest of the area, i.e. the western part of medieval Slavonia. Since then the name Slavonia only refers to the eastern part of this area.

Under Emperor Leopold I all of Slavonia was recaptured and ceded to Austria in the Karlowitz Peace of 1699 , and the Kingdom of S (c) Lawonia was formed. While the south of Slavonia was established as a military border with the Ottoman Empire, the north came largely as a reward into the possession of generals and nobles who had participated in the Turkish wars .

In order to stabilize the fertile, but largely depopulated land in the border area to the Ottoman Empire, fortified farmers and settlers from the entire Habsburg Monarchy , but also from southwest Germany ( Danube Swabia ) and parts of southeast Europe controlled by the Ottomans were brought into the country. As a result, Slavonia has had a very mixed ethnic makeup for centuries.

In 1849 the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia was formed, which after 1867 became part of the Hungarian half of the empire as an autonomous country , while Dalmatia became Cisleithanien and thus remained with Austria. As part of the Hungarian-Croatian Compromise , the triune kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia received historical status; Both entities were allowed a common flag and symbols. Contrary to the wishes of the Croatian majority, the Kingdom of Croatia and Slavonia was not formally united with Dalmatia.

After the First World War , the Yugoslav state emerged from the previously independent kingdoms of Serbia and Montenegro as well as the Kingdom of Croatia and from Slavonia and Dalmatia. The eastern part of Srijem was separated from Slavonia and is now part of Vojvodina .

The east and west of Slavonia, which had been assigned to the Yugoslav state of Croatia, were fought over during the Croatian war and were reintegrated into Croatia as part of the UNTAES mission (United Nations Transitional Administration for Eastern Slavonia, Baranya and Western Sirmium).

Čigoć was declared a European stork village in 1994.

Economy and tourism

Famous specialties of Slavonia are the kulen (a spicy hard sausage) and the white wines from Kutjevo , Ilok and Đakovo .

In the Kopački rit Nature Park there are floodplain and oak forests. The Slavonian oak , which is exported worldwide, is also known.

The wide plains, the floodplains of the Save and the wooded slopes of the Papuk and the Bilogora provide a habitat for large and small game and are visited by numerous hunting tourists.

Famous Slavons

Monument in front of the hospital in Vukovar


  • Andreas Helmedach: Slavonia . In: Konrad Clewing, Holm Sundhaussen (Ed.): Lexicon for the history of Southeast Europe . Böhlau, Vienna et al. 2016, ISBN 978-3-205-78667-2 , p. 861-863 .

Historical monograph

Web links

Commons : Slavonia  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c 2011 census by citizenship, ethnic groups and mother tongue - Virovitica-Podravina County (PDF) pages 36 to 37, Croatian State Statistics Office ,, accessed on February 16, 2020
  2. a b c 2011 census by citizenship, ethnicity and mother tongue - Osijek-Baranja County (PDF) pages 42 to 43, Croatian State Statistical Office ,, accessed on February 16, 2020
  3. a b c 2011 census by citizenship, ethnic group and mother tongue - Požega-Slavonia County (PDF) pages 38 to 39, Croatian State Statistical Office ,, accessed on February 16, 2020
  4. a b c 2011 census by citizenship, ethnic group and mother tongue - Brod-Posavina County (PDF) pages 38 to 39, Croatian State Statistics Office ,, accessed on February 16, 2020
  5. a b c 2011 census by citizenship, ethnic group and mother tongue - Vukovar-Syrmia County (PDF) pages 46 to 47, Croatian State Statistical Office ,, accessed on February 16, 2020

Coordinates: 45 ° 27 ′ 0 ″  N , 17 ° 55 ′ 0 ″  E