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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.

On December 2nd 1786 three separate municipalities - Upper Town, Fortress with New Town and Lower Town were united in one municipality. By this foundations were laid for the designation of Osijek Free Royal City, which happened 23 years later, on August 28th 1809.

In the 18th and 19th century Osijek is a multiethnic city in which lived mostly Croatians, but also many immigrants from Styria, Carniola, Bavaria, Moravia, Italy, France, Hungary and Bulgaria. The settlers learned to speak Croatian, but Latin was still the official language. German was spoken in many wealthy families, but one could hear Italian, French and even Modern Greek being spoken.

In the construction boom during the 19th and early 20th century many buildings and whole new streets were built that significantly altered the appearance of the city. At that time Osijek is Croatian economically most developed city, just after Zagreb. In 1870 first railroad was built and 18 years later horse tram united this spacious city, which started operating in year 1884. Horse tram was the first one in Southeast Europe. New railway bridge over the river was built in 1884 and new road bridge was built on brick pillars in 1911.