Did you know that the city of Đakovo contains one of the the largest church squares and one of the biggest riding halls in Europe? After visiting the cathedral of St. Peter, the Archbishop’s House, the Manor houses, the Strossmayer Park, the Theological Seminary, the Church of All Saints, Medieval Wall, the old town and the State Stud Farm with a tradition of horse-breeding going back 5 centuries, you will understand why the city of Đakovo, along with the Gorjani Municipality, was chosen as the finalist for the Croatian pick for the European Destinations of Excellence project (EDEN), under the theme “cultural tourism”.
Monumental St Peter’s Cathedral in Đakovo remains a sort of “beacon of faith” on the skyline of the City of Đakovo and the whole of Slavonia. The most important cultural monument in Đakovo and the most beautiful cathedral between Venice and Istanbul, as Pope XXIII described it, is located at Strossmayer Square. It is rare to find a place so influenced by one person as much as Đakovo was influenced by Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, the founder of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Đakovo was his life-long project, a capital achievement of Croatian culture, and the widely known Slavonian hospitality, authentic local cuisine and excellent wines, among them the prized wines of the Archdiocese of Đakovo-Osijek, are all the more reason to visit this city. Its beauty had not gone unnoticed by Queen Elizabeth II who visited it in 1972, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, was left equally impressed during her visit 40 years later.
Not far from Đakovo lies the municipality of Gorjani, known for the spring procession of Ljelje (queens), a unique tradition protected by UNESCO. Every year on Whitsunday, a dozen women dressed in rich folk costumes gather at mass in Gorjani, and then dance the circle dance ''kolo'' at the village centre and head door-to-door where they are greeted and treated by the hosts.
Top things to do
Visit the St. Peter's Cathedral
Monumental St Peter’s Cathedral in Đakovo remains a sort of “beacon of faith” on the skyline of the City of Đakovo and the whole of Slavonia. The most important cultural monument in Đakovo and the most beautiful cathedral between Venice and Istanbul, as Pope XXIII described it, is located at Strossmayer Square. The cathedral was built in a successful blending of Romanesque and Gothic styles to the design made by Viennese architects Carl Roesner and Friedrich Schmidt.
Ride the closest thing to Unicorns
The majestic horse from fantasy stories with white hair and a horn may not exist in real life but the horse that inspired storytellers to invent unicorns is very real. It is the royal breed called Lipizzaner and you can ride it in the town of Đakovo in the Croatian region of Slavonia.
Get to know UNESCO heritage - Spring Procession of kraljice (queens) or ljelje from Gorjani
Every year on Whitsunday the Spring Procession of kraljice (queens) or ljelje from Gorjani takes place in Gorjani near Đakovo, a protected intangible heritage inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Every year on Whitsunday, a dozen women dressed in rich folk costumes gather at mass in Gorjani, and then dance the circle dance kolo at the village centre and head door-to-door where they are greeted and treated by the hosts.
See all the cultural wealth of the Slavonia and Croatia on the one place! Visit Đakovo Embroidery festival!
The first Đakovački vezovi Festival was held on 2 and 3 July 1967 as a touristic and cultural event marking the International Tourist Year. The Festival Đakovački vezovi is held annually in July. Its main focus is original folklore of Slavonia, Baranja and western Syrmia as well as other parts of Croatia and the accompanying events –various exhibitions, equestrian shows and other cultural and tourist events. The Festival is international with participants from around the world. Every summer the Đakovački vezovi Festival gathers tens of thousands of participants, making it the most important Croatian folklore pageant.
Taste old specialties
A special gastronomic tradition is nurtured in Đakovo as well as the whole region of Slavonia. For years, the inhabitants of this region have preserved traditional dishes, in which they take great pride nowadays. Kulen, ham, sausages, bacon and čvarci became brands and a gastronomic delight, which every guest should experience. The traditional manufacturing method of these delicacies contributes to their originality and distinguishes Đakovo and the Đakovština area as gastronomic jewels. Wine connoisseurs have enjoyed the wines of the Đakovo wine region for more than two thousand years. The story about viticulture of this area has been developing ever since. The beginnings of the winemaking and viticulture tradition of the Diocese Đakovo-Osijek can be traced back to the Pre-Ottoman period.