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ponedjeljak, 7. veljače 2011.


Daruvar's main street

Daruvar (Latin: Aqua Balissae) is a town in central Croatia, population 9,815 (2001), total municipality population 13,243 (2001).

Daruvar is a spa town, located in the western part of the Croatian plains, on the foothills of the fruitful Papuk mountain, with wine tradition longer than 2200 years, and along the fertile Toplica river. It is the main political and cultural centre of the Czech national minority in Croatia.

Archaeological findings here, (stone axes), could be traced back to the stone age. The history of Daruvar could be traced to the 4th century BC, when the first organized habitation emerged near the warm geothermal spas in today's Daruvar valley. Celtic - Pannonian tribes living here and familiar with water treatments benefiting health, were Iassi, (meaning healers), so called by both Greek and Roman writers.

As allies of the Roman Empire, the tribes provided support to Emperor Augustus during the siege of Siscia, (today's Sisak), and in year 35, Iassi were granted local autonomy know as Res Publica Iasorum. The center of it was Aqua Balissae, meaning very strong springs. In the year 124, during the reign of Hadrian, the area gained additional autonomy as Municipium Iassorum. Stretching between the rivers Sava and Drava, on the roads which ran between Siscia-Mursa, (Sisak- Osijek), Salona–Aquincum, Sirmium–Poetovio, it was easy to access. As did Hadrian, emperors Marcus Aurelius, Commodus, Septimius Severus and Constantine I, all visited Aqua Balissae's thermal complex, its decorated temple, its forum and its, (though not as big as the one in Pula), amphitheatre .

In the 11th century the region became part of a mightier entity, that of the rapidly growing and politically important city of Križevci. Within, it became part of the archdiocese of Zagreb mentioned by legislators for the first time in 1334. Since the city was on a busy crossroads, there were four trading points within the valley — Četvrtkovac, Dimičkovine, Podborje and Toplice, (toplice=spas in Croatian). And, as it was more than millennium ago, pleasant spas kept attracting people. The population in that period was exclusively Catholic.

In the 15th and 16th centuries, all that changed. Expansion of the Ottoman Empire disrupted the steady development and Turks occupied lands here in 1543. The Monastery of St King Ladislaus was degraded, becoming a Turkish defensive post looking into the Krajina, military zone created to protect the Habsburg Empire just west of the city. Local people fled from Turks. Turks were expelled in 1699 and the now ethnically mixed area came under the rule of Vienna in 1745.

Podborje, Sirač and Pakrac were bought by count Antun Janković who in 1771 renamed Podborje to Daruvar, (daru=crane in Hungarian), after one building of his own he already called the Crane's castle. In 1837 Daruvar was declared a free city by decree of king Ferdinand I. Still empty lands were soon repopulated by people skilled in crafts, trade, agriculture from around Croatia and beyond. Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Italians, (around so called Little Italy), others were invited to came.

Before the Croatian War of Independence, Daruvar's municipality had a Croatian majority. Daruvar was briefly captured by militants from the Serbian Autonomous Oblast of Western Slavonia during the war.

According to the census of 2001, the population of the Daruvar municipality (township) was 13,243. In ethnic terms, 58,36% are Croats, 18,91% Czechs, 14,07% Serbs and 1,05% Hungarians. As for the religion, 74.5% are Catholics, 12.7 % Orthodox, 10.5 % agnostics and atheist while the rest belong to Baptism, Islam, Calvinism and other.

The Czech population is of significant size having its own newspaper, schools, societies and clubs, (Česká beseda or Czech word, Jednota - Unity in Czech language), publishing company. The entire area, (Veliki Zdenci, Grubišno Polje, Končanica), is actually bilingual with Czech being the second official language.

Since mixed, there are numerous local ethnic festivities celebrating important points in different cultures — youth, harvest etc. with most interesting and picturesque that of the Czech minority. The food is reflecting full range of tastes ranging from baklava and sarma to stuffed pepper, mlinci, knedlichke and kolach(i)y (biscuits in both Croatian and Czech language).

Water treatments benefiting health were well known to mentioned Iassi tribes here almost 2500 years ago, later widely used by Romans and in the Middle Ages. In 1772 owner of the area Antun Janković started building around the springs, envisioning correctly that the town might become healing, leisure and recreation center again as it was proven through the course of history. He erected numerous buildings, many of them still functional -- (Anton's spa, Ivan's spa ). After 1897 newly opened railroad brought new visitors. Restaurant Teresa, Swiss villa, Villa Arcadia, Big Mud Spa with its prominent dome and today well known city mark were all built during the turn of 19 and 20th century.

Today, Daruvarske Toplice is a special hospital complex for rehabilitation specializing in treatment of female fertility (primary and secondary sterility), with two clinics for esthetic surgery. Warm waters (33 to 47 °C) are also used in postoperative rehabilitation, treatment of inflammations, rheumatism, the trauma of bones, hips, head, spine, and locomotion. More spas are around Pakrac and Lipik where there is also a mineral water bottling plant.

The park within the complex is positioned containing 65 different kind of trees like 250 years old Ginkgo tree from China, Variegatum from Arizona and others. Pleasant Hotel Termal renovated and extended in 1996 is also here. The smaller one, Balisse is just few minutes walking distance from here in the traffic friendly downtown.

The Area is rich in monuments. Historic Kistalovac, Pavlovina, Sirač, Bagenovać, Dobra Kuća, Stupčanica are examples of numerous local castles belonging to the Croatian nobility of the times passed by. Franciscan monasteries like that ones of St. Margareth, St. Ana, St. three kings, Church of Holy Trinity are witnesses of the rich religious culture.

German people who came here in the 18th century as well Czechs in the 19th were the keystone of the revival participating in agriculture, food processing plants, culture and education. The development was accelerated on the turn of the centuries by being connected to the railroad track from Banova Jaruga to Barcs in Hungary. Important historic moment was in 1897 witnessed by the emperor Franz Joseph himself.

Since 1840 a brewery is operating here producing today more than 250,000 hectoliters of beer based upon old and famous Czech recipes, with Old Bohemian, (Staročeško pivo), brand being the most known. Zdenka of Veliki Zdenci is well known for its milk and melted cheese processing plant. Also, fish is cultivated in artificial lakes around Končanica and processed within Irida. Here are local high quality vines as Graševina, (ranking the highest), Rhein Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon. Here are fruit, maize, wheat, meat and other agriculture products produced for local, national and wider market s. Dalit, created in 1905, is a metal processing plant once one of the biggest in what was once Yugoslavia, employing today 320, but in the late 70es almost 2000 people. Flat glass factory is in Lipik. There are small graphics and printing, (Daruvarska Tiskara d.d., Logos), facility and textile plant Vesna which is employing around 200. Growing is the importance of the trade, tourism and communication. 2300 people are employed one third of them women.

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