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From the school in Osijek to world-wide fame

Category: Sights | Date: 25.06.2014.


Milutin Milankovica Daly was born in 1879, near Osijek. The so-called "Milankovica cycle" is well known in scientific circles, under which he stated that the ice age may be due to the Earth's astronomical movements. Milankovic's works have an important role in paleo climatolology and modelling of the climate changes. He elaborated on his theses quite interestingly. The basic calculations he carried out about the cycles he recorded in pencil in a booklet. Even during the First World War as a soldier he was taking his notes in the trenches.

Milankovica's relationship to Osijek is in connection with the years of his secondary studies, when he finished the high school by the Drava. In Dálya, in his birth house a scientific and cultural center has been established in the memory of his work. An approximately 15-meter-high pine decorates the courtyard that was planted, when Milankovica was born.

Milutin Milankovica's successfully tried himself in writing as well. His work, the "Memories, experiences, knowledge," is a lyrical commemoration of the parental house, of Dálya and of its environment.


The first Croatian Nobel prize winner was Lavoslav Ružička. He was born into an Artisan family in Vukovar in 1887. Since he was four he lived in Osijek, where he finished elementary school and classic high school.

After graduation, he decided to study art. His life led him to technical college in Germany Karlsruhe, where he completed his studies in chemistry and obtained his doctorate in organic chemistry. He completely dedicated his life to chemistry. In 1910, he moved to Switzerland, where first he became an assistant then a professor at the Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich.

What he was mostly interested in chemistry was the natural plant compounds, to which drew the attention of chemists with his analysis. Having successfully synthesized the sex hormones (testosterone, androsterone) he became the head of the organic chemistry laboratory. In 1939 he won the Nobel Prize. A few years after the Second World War, he was an assistant in Zurich, when he was already an experienced chemist, similarly to Vladimir Prelog in Osijek.

In addition to winning the Nobel Prize Lavoslav Ružička was a holder of eight honorary doctorate titles. His Nobel Prize is preserved in the museum established in Ružička's house in Vukovar.

By analyzing them, he drew attention to the active ingredients of the Dalmatian pyrethrum extract, which were of interest from a pharmaceutical point of view.


Vladimir Prelog was born in 1906 in Sarajevo. After staying in Sarajevo and Zagreb he completed his high school studies in Osijek. Here he first met the chemistry and that defined the rest of his life. In Osijek he wrote his first scientific research.

He completed his studies in chemistry in Prague. In 1828, he graduated from the College of Engineering, and a year later graduated with his doctorate. In Zagreb, in the period 1934-1941 he taught organic chemistry at the Faculty of Engineering, Department of Chemistry. Then at the invitation of Lavoslav Ruzic he taught organic chemistry in Switzerland in 1941.

He is a professor at the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, and then he became head of the chemistry department after the retirement of Ruzic. His main research areas were on the spatial structure of the molecules, stereochemistry of organic compounds. In 1975, he received the Nobel Prize. Greatly contributed to synthesise steroids, quinine, strychnine, and other alkaloids, and the structure of many other compounds. He was an honorary doctor at a number of European universities, became an honorary citizen of Sarajevo, Zagreb and Osijek. In 1998, he died in Zurich. His urn was moved to Zagreb, and has been laid to rest in the tomb of the academy.


Josip Juraj Strossmayer was a prominent theologian, politician, cultural worker, writer, and certainly one of the most important and influential Croatian people of the 19th century. He was born on the 4th February in 1818, in Osijek. He began his studies in his hometown and completed the high school here, too.

In 1849 he was appointed to be the bishop of Đakovo. Bishop Strossmayer inherited a huge in the estate of Đakovo diocese, which he used for patronal purposes in the educational and arts and cultural sectors. He also helped to build the Đakovo Cathedral and the Zagreb Academy. Aided the Croatian schools, libraries, reading rooms work, set up a working dictionary of Croatia-Slavonia with the support of the Academic Edition. His suggestions have served the interests of the nation. He was the founder of the Central Croatian Cultural and Scientific Institution.

He died In Osijek on the 8th April, 1905. Osijek University and one of the main streets were named after him. The Đakovo square in front of the cathedral Đakovo also bear his name. On the square there is a statue of him and on the next street the Strossmayer Museum can be found.

By the entrance of Osijek, in front of Rondel High School the "great ones" are located: Josip Juraj Strossmayer, Lavoslav Ruzic and Vladimir Prelog.


Sigmund Romberg was born in the same year like the Nobel Prize winner Ružička. Sigmund Romberg, Hungarian composer of Jewish descent, spent his youth in BELISCE and in Osijek, where he completed high school. After his studies in Hungary and Austria, he went to the USA, where he composed musicals and operetta music.

After finishing the operetta 'Maytime' (1917), Romberg sent the musical score to his father in Belisce. Who was rehearsing the wlatz "Sweet Heart" (White lilac) from the operetta Maytime with Romberg's childhood friend, Eliz Hlavacs.

Romberg had a 60person band in Hollywood, with whom he worked with in the film industry. Lived in a mansion in Beverlly Hills, which is now a museum. His songs were sung and performed by Bryan Ferry, Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra. Deep in my heart is a book about the life of Sigmund Romberg, Belišće is mentioned in it several times. Belišće's musical events have been organized in honor of Romberg's works since 1970, In Osijek Romberg festivities have been held since 1995.