If you are visiting Osijek it is a recommendation to visit the ancient Fortress – Tvrđa Osijek and go through the Water Gate to the Drava. The Osijek Fortress complex was built in the 18th century with imposing city walls and the baroque buildings within it. Today there are still numerous cafes, schools, museums, galleries, so you can feel the vibrancy of the city. Actually, Osijek was the most important military, economic, administrative, and cultural center of Slavonia and still remains today. Unfortunately, the destruction of the war is still visible. However, every year more and more money is being invested in reconstruction. This is supported by the European Union, which finances most projects.
History of Tvrđa Osijek
At the beginning of the 18th century began the construction of the city walls of the Osijek Fortress – Tvrđa, in the form of a large, irregular star. Once completed, the Fortress became one of the largest and most modern military forts in Central Europe. The reason for the construction was as expected – primarily because of the defense against a possible new attack by the Ottoman Empire. There were four doors while only one was preserved today. Within the walls of all the buildings were the baroque style. Unfortunately, after the end of World War I, many parts of the walls were demolished to make way for new construction and to facilitate the economic development of this part of the city.
Holy Trinity Square (Trg Svetog Trojstva)
One of the most beautiful locations in Osijek. Holy Trinity Square is the main square in the old town, from where it is a pleasure enjoying the historical architecture of Osijek and watching the Votive monument of the Holy Trinity. About this statue, you can find out more below. There are several pubs or cafes and restaurants all around, so you can rest and enjoy this small but warm square. Also, there are 2 extremely important museums in this square for this part of Croatia – the Archaeological Department of the Museum of Slavonia and the Museum of Slavonia. Definitely, the most dominant building on the square is General Headquarters, while today it is used by the University of Osijek.
During various cultural events in the Fortress – Tvrđa Osijek, this square became a backdrop. Try to visit this square in the morning every first Saturday of the month. The reason? Try to visit this square in the morning every first Saturday of the month. The reason? A lot of people come in, nice to walk around and see something new or old and maybe buy. Interesting are small crafts with their own products such as honey, oils, baskets, lots of handmade products, etc.
Votive monument of the Holy Trinity
One of the sights of the city, the votive monument of the Holy Trinity was built in 1729. To understand its significance, you must go back to the time when the people of Osijek suffered many accidents and deadly diseases. The worst of all was the plague (Black Dead). After causing the death of General Maximilian Petrash, his wife placed this votive pillar in the center of the square. The aim was to “have mercy on God and push the plague out of Slavonia.” You can find similar plague memorials in other cities of the former Habsburg Monarchy.
Water Gates Tvrđa Osijek
The Water Gate of Tvrđa Osijek is the only one of the four originally built. Water Gate is a popular tourist attraction in Osijek, representing the entrance to the Fortress, as it once was. They were built in 1710 and named after the fact that they are facing the river Drava. In the evening, the doors were closed to ensure peace within the walls, and in the morning life would start again. Today’s appearance of the door in the form of a triumphal arch victory was defined in 1757. In front of the Water Gate, there is an orientation model of Tvrđa Osijek, benches and a beautiful view of the Drava.
Although it is wonderful to walk during the day, for the full atmosphere I recommend walking when night falls. You will be overwhelmed by the walls highlighted by ambient lighting. The space next door is often used for various cultural events. Also, they are certainly one of the better locations for photography in Osijek!