History of Osijek

History of the town where Pannonian Challenge was founded, grew and evolved

My Osijek is full of sunshine, near Drava, peaceful and quite.

The verse in the title is from a song, a song that every real resident of Osijek knows! And what a rich history Osijek has, we are not sure that all our fellow-citizens know about it, so let us refresh our memory.

The first mention of our town goes back as far as the 7th century when the Slavic tribe named one of their settlements: Osik, Osek, Osijek, i.e. something cut off, the safest place to get across Drava, a great place to live (as it is today 🙂 )!

In 16th century, under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, for the first time there was mention of uniting the town, more exactly uniting the left and the right side of Drava, with a bridge 8 kilometers long and it was named Sultan’s bridge. That kind of bridge was never seen before in Europe during that time, that’s why many historians are calling it the 8th world wonder.

Osijek under the reign of Austria got new proportions. New part of town was founded, named Gornji grad. At the same time residents from the left side of Drava were moving east of the bastille and that’s how Donji grad was founded. After those two parts of town were finished building, next on the list was a military stronghold, today known as Tvrđa, which underwent planned construction from 1712. till 1722.

Uniting the parts of town– Gornji grad, Tvrđa with Novi grad and Donji grad, the foundation was set to pronounce Osijek an unoccupied royal town on August 28th 1809.

After that, Osijek became the second most advanced city in Croatia, got its first railroad track and a horse-drawn tram, first of its kind in Southeast Europe.

Still, it’s important to mention that the city was subject to a lot of mischief during war (World War I, World War II and the Croatian War of Independence), but it always rose from the ashes and kept going.

Today Osijek is becoming a well-known city with its culture in Croatia, and Europe also. It’s turning into a city full of modern and urban culture, which is getting stronger day after day!

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