Osijek Fort nominated for UNESCO list as a regional project

organiser: UNESCO
Historical-Town Planning Ensemble Tvrda (Fort) in Osijek has been nominated for the UNESCO tentative list as a part of the regional initiative jointly with Petrovaradin Fortress in Novi Sad (Serbia), and Arad Fort in Romania.

The history of Osijek Fort: The area round the confluence of the Drava and the Danube abounds in major natural resources. It is also an intersection of major transport routes and a key strategic point. This is the reason why it has always been an interesting site for settlement and why everybody sought control over it. The right bank of the Drava, some twenty kilometres from its confluence with the Danube, was of particular importance because of the easy crossing at that point. The communication route ran from the pre-Alpine region along the right bank of the Drava and the Danube towards southeastern Europe, with a branching to central Europe at the same point. T

herefore, not surprisingly settlements were established in the area already in prehistoric times. With minor interruptions, their continuity has been sustained to the present day. The oldest so far discovered traces of settlements in the area of present-day Osijek date from the Neolithic. Urban-type settlements proper in the area date from the Roman period. Ancient Mursa was granted the status of colony during the rule of Emperor Hadrian by 133 A.D. According to preserved sources, because of its advantageous position Mursa was a harmonious blend of military and civil structures. Its strategic importance was reflected in the military features of the town, and together with security promoted crafts and trade. The resulting prosperity promoted the development of culture and the arts, and further growth of the town.

Mursa was devastated round 380 by the Goths and definitively destroyed by the Huns in 441. The centre of Roman Mursa was about 1.5 km downstream (eastwards) of the later Baroque Fort, on the site of the present-day main square in the Lower Town. As the great movement of peoples gradually came to an end, the Croats settled close to the ruins of ancient Mursa. According to discovered traces, the early mediaeval settlement developed upstream of the ruins of Mursa in the immediate vicinity of the later Baroque Fort. As crafts and trade began to flourish again in Europe in the High Middle Ages, urban life was also revived.

Many old towns, Osijek included, were rebuilt in the period. The new name of Osijek first appeared in 1196. As of the mid-twelfth century Osijek became an important and well-known market town on an important route. The centre of mediaeval Osijek was situated at the most advantageous point – the site of the later Baroque Fort. Testimonies to the mediaeval town include the excavated remains of the Romanesque church of the Holy Trinity, found on the site of the present-day Franciscan church. During the rule of the Korogyi family after the second half of the twelfth century Osijek was a major traffic, business and administrative centre. The Turks took Osijek in 1526 and ruled it until 1687. (Read more:

(Source: UNESCO)

(D.H., 18.01.2012)