History of Slavonia

History Of Slavonia

Slavonia (Croatian: Slavonija) is a historical region in eastern Croatia, roughly corresponding with five Croatian counties: Brod-Posavina, Osijek-Baranja, Požega-Slavonia, Virovitica-Podravina and Vukovar-Syrmia, although the territory of the counties includes Baranja, and the definition of the western extent of Slavonia as a region varies. The counties cover 12,556 square kilometres (4,848 square miles) or 22.2% of Croatia, inhabited by 806,192—18.8% of Croatia's population. The largest city in the region is Osijek, followed by Slavonski Brod and Vinkovci. It is located in the Pannonian Basin, largely bordered by the Danube, Drava and Sava rivers. In the west, the region consists of the Sava and Drava valleys, and the mountains surrounding the Požega Valley, and plains in the east. Slavonia enjoys a moderate continental climate, with relatively low precipitation.

After the fall of Rome, which ruled the area of modern-day Slavonia until the 5th century, Ostrogoths and Lombards controlled the area before the arrival of Avars and Slavs, when the Pannonian Croatia was established in the 7th century. It was later incorporated into the Kingdom of Croatia and, after its decline, the kingdom was ruled through a personal union with Hungary. The Ottoman conquest of Slavonia took place in 1536 – 1552. In 1699, after the Great Turkish War, Slavonia was transferred to the Habsburgs. Reform of the empire through the Compromise of 1867 assigned it to the Hungarian part of the realm, and a year later to the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia. In 1918, when Austria-Hungary dissolved, Slavonia was a part of the short-lived State of Slovenes, Croats and Serbs which in turn became a part of the kingdom later renamed Yugoslavia. During the Croatian War of Independence, Slavonia saw fierce fighting—including the Battle of Vukovar.

The economy of Slavonia is largely based on processing industry, trade, transport and civil engineering. Agriculture is a significant component of its economy: Slavonia contains 45% of Croatia's agricultural land and accounts for a significant proportion of Croatia's livestock farming and production of permanent crops. The gross domestic product (GDP) of the five counties of Slavonia is worth 6,454 million euro or 8,005 euro per capita—27.5% below national average. The GDP of the five counties represents 13.6% of Croatia's GDP.

The cultural heritage of Slavonia is a blend of historical influences, especially those since the end of the 17th century, when Slavonia started recovering from the Ottoman wars, and its traditional culture. Slavonia contributed to the culture of Croatia, through art, writers and poets, and through art patronage. In traditional music Slavonia is a distinct region of Croatia, and the traditional culture is preserved through folklore festivals, with prominence given to tamburica music and bećarac—a form of traditional song, recognized as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO. The cuisine of Slavonia reflects diverse influences—a blend of traditional and foreign elements. Slavonia is one of Croatia's winemaking areas, with Ilok and Kutjevo recognized as centres of wine production.

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