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Castles

Category: Sights | Date: 24.06.2014.

Castles are part of the European culture, although today they are mostly tourist attractions. They are treasures and traditions, the beauties of nature and witnesses of the rough historical times and of the area, which they were built on between the Renaissance until the beginning of the 20th century. There are 50 Slavonic castles, some of them restructured, re-used, some have been neglected. For centuries they were political and cultural centers of Slavonia and Croatia. Important decisions were made within their walls, the discussions led to alliances, they were scenes of intrigues. They are important historical and architectural monuments, which are the foundations of our national identity.

The Slavonian Castles are unique in that, that we can find all of them near the south-eastern border of Croatia. These are the last European castles. This is where a long story ends. There are no such castles farther away to the east, which historians would classify on the basis of their historical and cultural characteristics as European castles.

Out of the fifty Slavonian castles a few well worth a visit:

The hunting lodge of Prince Eugene of Savoy in Bilje

After the victory over the Turks a baroque palace was built for Prince Eugene of Savoy in Bilje, which is the oldest castle in Slavonia and Croatia, it is a rare example of a moat embracing a castle. The structure of its armor refers to the Renaissance defense system which was characteristic of the late Middle Ages and of Renaissance Castles built on the plains. During the period between 1700 and 1712, in the first half of the 18th century it was built as a hunting lodge. Prince Eugene of Savoy, the famous Austrian commander received the castle in 1697 as an appreciation of his deeds demonstrated in the battles against the Turks. It is believed the castle was built by the Austrian architect, Johann von Hildebrandt, who at that time worked on another order in Vienna, the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. After Eugene's death, the ownership of the estate passed down to the Austrian court because Eugene died without an heir. The castle was last renovated in 1974. Today it houses the Main Department of the Kopacki meadow Nature Park Directorate.

Esterházy Castle in Darda

Darda was once an important strategic point on the traffic border of the Danube, which passed through Murs (Osijek) and Aqvinicum (Budapest). In 1848, Kázmér Esterházy built a castle in Darda, which is now a monument. In summer you can go from here to Lake Dola for a bath.

In the 18th century the estate in the center of Darda was donated by Maria Theresa to one of the noblest families in Darda, to the Esterházys. The Esterházy Palace combines the features of the baroque and classical style of architecture.

The castle's history and its development are quite unknown. The construction of the castle in 1812 ended at the time of Kázmér Eszterházy, but with reference to some records it is possible that it only happened at the end of the 18th century, at the time of Franz Esterházy.

The castle is located on the outskirts of the village, surrounded by gardens. On its Baroque and neo-Classical front particularly the neoclassical features are noticeable. Due to major changes in the 20th century, much of the castle has lost its original appearance.

In the castle, the famous composer's Joseph Haydn's Sonata was also heard, as the composer’s ‘Fourth Sonata' was about the Esterházys. In the castle, wonderful dishes, desserts were served, such as the 'Esterházy slice'. We are confident that this beautiful building is going to live better times again in the future.

Tikves Castle

Tikves Castle is a complex of buildings consisting of smaller buildings and a main hunting yard. From the 19th century, until the First World War in the spirit romance it served as a summer residence and hunting lodge. Tikves Castle was built in the thirties of the 20th century in neo-classical, art nouveau style. It was owned by the Karadzsordzsevics dynasty. After the Second World War, the castle was visited by the former Yugoslav president Josip Broz Tito, receiving and inviting the world's great leaders for hunting here.

The castle is surrounded by gardens and trails which were linked to the hinting life of the rural villa.

Prandau Castle in Mailath Donji-Miholjac

The building was built in late baroque style, with two lounges, 14 rooms and a few kitchens and pantries. The castle is surrounded by a park, a greenhouse with winter and tropical plants in it. The castle's construction began in 1903, several years after the Emperor Franz Joseph visited Miholjac. The Head of of Mihojlac, Count Laszlo Majláth built the castle in the English Tudor style. The Castle now houses the town municipality.

Prandau - Norman Castle in Valpovo

The Prandau-Norman castle is a building complex in the picturesque and stylish surroundings of Valpovo, with its medieval tower, the former bastions of the fortress, the chapel of the palace, the side wing of the yard, the inner courtyard, Baroque and neo-Classical facade of the palace and with the moat around the castle which provides protection.

The castle's spacious, south-facing, landscaped garden is one of the most valuable historical Croatian parks. The palace reflects the Croatian identity. What gives uniqueness to Valpovo is that the landscape of the park has retained its original English style, which is rare these days in Croatia.

Castle Eltz in Vukovar

Counts Eltz were members of the German "praplemstvo", the building became the property of Vukovar in 1736. The construction of the castle in Vukovar was started by the owner, Count Eltz Anselm Kázmér on his estate. The original form was reached during the period between 1749 and 1751, Simple Baroque mansion with classical features. In 1781 the first major expansion of the castle was made, it reached the final form by the end of the 19th century or the beginning of the 20th century. The sumptuous neo-baroque facade reflects the late age of historicism (1895-1907), which was built by the Viennese architect Viktor Siedel. The central part of the castle was renovated and became a three-storey building, highlighting its previous simple, solemn and dignified appearance. The castle is one of the most representative Baroque buildings in Croatia.

Odescalchi Mansion in Ilok

In the Odescalchi mansion of today the former prince arrived in the 18-19th century in order to build the medieval mansion, had been destroyed by the Turks. The Palace which was built in 1721 as we have previously mentioned, was the summer residence of Prince Odescalchi.

The castle was connected with Ilok by a garden in the 18th century, this garden became a park at the end of the 19th century. Since 1969, the castle has housed the Museum and Art Gallery of Ilok.

Pejačević Palace in Našice

Back in 1734, Count Pejačević bought the estate, which was owned by the family until 1945. The castle was built during the period from 1811 to 1812. Today, the castle houses the Našice Heritage Museum.

The park around the palace was designed in French style, from which the major roads lead to the large garden. In the large garden, the picturesque environment is likely to come up in a large renovation. In the second half of the 19th century, the park was expanded northward with a wooded area where the lake is regulated by the island. This creates romantic atmosphere in the park.