History of Slavonia - Culture


See also: Culture of Croatia

The cultural heritage of Slavonia represents a blend of social influences through its history, especially since the end of the 17th century, and the traditional culture. A particular impact was made by Baroque art and architecture of the 18th century, when the cities of Slavonia started developing after the Ottoman wars ended and stability was restored to the area. The period saw great prominence of the nobility, who were awarded estates in Slavonia by the imperial court in return for their service during the wars. They included Prince Eugene of Savoy, the House of Esterházy, the House of Odescalchi, Philipp Karl von Eltz-Kempenich, the House of Prandau-Normann, the House of Pejačević and the House of Janković. That in turn encouraged an influx of contemporary European culture to the region. Subsequent development of the cities and society saw the influence of Neoclassicism, Historicism and especially of Art Nouveau.

The heritage of the region includes numerous landmarks, especially manor houses built by the nobility in largely in the 18th and the 19th centuries. Those include Prandau-Normann and Prandau-Mailath manor houses in Valpovo and Donji Miholjac respectively, manor houses in Baranja—in Bilje, at a former Esterházy estate in Darda, in Tikveš, and in Kneževo. Pejačevićs built several residences, the most representative ones among them being manor house in Virovitica and the Pejačević manor house in Našice. Further east, along the Danube, there are Odescalchi manor house in Ilok, and Eltz manor house in Vukovar—the latter sustained extensive damage during the Battle of Vukovar in 1991, but it was reconstructed by 2011. In the southeast of the region, the most prominent are Kutjevo Jesuit manor house, and Cernik manor house, located in Kutjevo and Cernik respectively. The period also saw construction of Tvrđa and Brod fortifications in Osijek and Slavonski Brod. Older, medieval fortifications are preserved only as ruins—the largest among those being Ružica Castle near Orahovica. Another landmark dating to the 19th century is the Đakovo Cathedral—hailed by the Pope John XXIII as the most beautiful church situated between Venice and Istanbul.

Slavonia significantly contributed to the culture of Croatia as a whole, both through works of artists and through patrons of the arts—most notable among them being Josip Juraj Strossmayer. Strossmayer was instrumental in the establishment of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts, later renamed the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts, and the reestablishment of the University of Zagreb. A number of Slavonia's artists, especially writers, made considerable contributions to Croatian culture. Nineteenth century writers who are most significant in Croatian literature include Josip Eugen Tomić, Josip Kozarac, and Miroslav Kraljević—author of the first Croatian novel. Significant twentieth century poets and writers in Slavonia were Dobriša Cesarić, Dragutin Tadijanović, Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić and Antun Gustav Matoš. Painters associated with Slavonia, who contributed greatly to Croatian art, were Miroslav Kraljević and Bela Čikoš Sesija.

Slavonia is a distinct region of Croatia in terms of ethnological factors in traditional music. It is a region where traditional culture is preserved through folklore festivals. Typical traditional music instruments belong to the tamburica and bagpipe family. The tamburica is the most representative musical instrument associated with Slavonia's traditional culture. It developed from music instruments brought by the Ottomans during their rule of Slavonia, becoming an integral part of the traditional music, its use surpassing or even replacing the use of bagpipes and gusle. A distinct form of traditional song, originating in Slavonia, the bećarac, is recognized as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO.

Out of 122 Croatia's universities and other institutions of higher education, Slavonia is home to one university—Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek— as well as three polytechnics in Požega, Slavonski Brod and Vukovar, as well as a college in Virovitica—all set up and run by the government. The University of Osijek, has been established in 1975, but the first institution of higher education in the city was Studium Philosophicum Essekini founded in 1707, and active until 1780. Another historical institution of higher education was Academia Posegana operating in Požega between 1761 and 1776, as an extension of a gymnasium operating in the city continuously, since it opened in 1699 as the first secondary education school in Slavonia.

Read more about this topic:  History Of Slavonia

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