Adolf Waldinger

Adolf Waldinger - famous painter from Osijek, Croatia

Adolf 'Ignjo' Waldinger is the most famous painter of the 19th century Osijek. He was born in Osijek and received first artistic training in the same city. He was taught by Hugo Conrad von Hötzendorf in Osijek's Bürgerliche Zeichenschule drawing school from 1855 to 1861. From Hugo he learned to paint in pencil and watercolor (aquarelle) techniques.

Red Fiat - "Crveni Fićo"

Osijek Coat of ArmsWhat is "Red Fiat", or "Crveni Fićo", and what it has to do with Osijek?

First of all, "Fićo" (FEE-cho) is nickname for ultra-mini car "Zastava 750", made in Yugoslavia under license from Italian manufacturer FIAT. It was a copy of Fiat 600 and only 130 inches in length. It was mass produced from 1955 to 1985 and had sorts of cult status.

Osijek Twin Towns

Twin towns or sister cities are a form of legal or social agreement between towns, cities, counties, provinces, regions and even countries in geographically and politically different areas to promote cultural and possibly commercial connections. The City of Osijek has signed Charters of Friendship with several cities and established firm and friendly relations with them. 

Osijek elephant

There is a statue of elephant on the corner building of the main Osijek square (Ante Starčević Square), on the north-western corner of Ribarska ("Fishermen Street") and J.J Strossmayera Street. Many of Osijek inhabitants surely don't know why that statue is positioned there. As always when "old times" are considered, there are many variants and urban legends (and even myths) about the simplest things in the city. So, it doesn't come as surprise that elephant in the city far away from Africa can create many interesting stories.

Osijek after World War I

After dissolution of Austro-Hungarian Empire Osijek found itself at a disadvantage due to the new narrowed borders within the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and later Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Due to the unfavorable tax and customs policy, economic strength of Osijek weakens, as well as leading role in river transport on the Drava. Development of the city has since lagged, but still managed to retain position of the second largest industrial center of the Croatia.

Free royal city

Between years 1687 and 1783 Osijek was the center of military headquarters for the whole of the Slavonia. Moreover, with the state reorganization in 1745 Osijek became center of Virovitica County. Again, favorable geographical location of the city facilitated further economic development, so the shops and crafts are the main characteristics of Osijek in 18th century. Economic strengthening was accompanied by the expansion of the city and increase in population, quality of education, culture, sports and health care.

Three municipalities

Austrian authorities, planning to build a full-scale military fortress, cleared the area west, east and south of the fortress walls and in 1692 moved former provincial community approximately 1 mile west of the city walls. This action created new village on the right river bank - Gornji grad ("Upper Town").

After Ottomans Left

Defeat of the Ottoman army at Vienna in 1683 announced imminent collapse of Ottoman rule in this region. Osijek was liberated from the Ottoman Empire on September 26th 1687, after 161 years of Ottoman rule. Ottoman army was engulfed with panic and great fear when they heard about approaching Christian imperial army led by General Hans Dünnewald and Count Ivan Drašković. They started running away from Osijek to nearby towns Đakovo and Vukovar. To prevent people from fleeing, Ottoman commander Jafar Bey ordered closing of the city gates.

Ottoman rule

The fate of Osijek was sealed when Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent decided to attack Hungary in 1525. When preparations for a military campaign were completed, Suleiman left Istanbul in April 1526. With a huge army and great speed he attacked Hungary and won every battle. Out of fear that city would be ruined and its inhabitants killed, Osijek delegation went on the 8th of August 1526. to meet the Ottomans. They gave the keys to the city Vizier Mustafa Pasha in hope that city and its inhabitants would be spared.

Post Romans and Beginnings of Osijek

In the 7th century, to the west of the ruins of Roman Mursa and on the elevated grounds near the river Drava, Slavic settlement was created. Slavic and ancient Croatian settlers called their settlement Osijek (Osek, Osik). This was the nucleus of the future city, whose name contained notion of something very suitable for crossing the river Drava, or suitable place for people and safe from flooding due to the swampy surroundings.


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