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ponedjeljak, 17. ožujka 2014.

Daruvar Croatia, Tourism Website Award, Czechs & Beer.....

I'm throwing this one in here not because I have a thing for website tourism awards, boring news actually. However, after reading the article and then checking out the website, and then browsing some more interesting topics, I decided to to do it. Tie in all the information I came across together. Daruvar is just a small town located about halfway between the capital city of Zagreb and the eastern border, drive by on the D5 main highway and blink and you'll probably miss it. But like I said, after finding out more about the town's previous and current history than I knew before, it was worth posting about. (I repeat: This is not a tourism post)

Daruvar actually is a not too shabby a place to be at it seems. The interesting history, historical landmarks, castles, manors, the food, wine and beer, biking trails, river rafting etc. It's just a quaint small town but even has an outdoor water park and indoor swimming facilities, (one of several in the area), all kinds of modern and other music festivals, food festivals and events all year round, spas and wellness centers, gorgeous natural scenery and  is also known for having the largest concentration of the Czech minority in Croatia. (from the days that the Croatian lands and the Czechs were a part of the Habsburg Empire and Austria-Hungary). That's why I decided to do this post and elaborate on this less well known topic that most probably have no clue about. The Czechs are not a very large minority in Croatia, but they have left their mark in Croatia since first arriving into the area in the early 1800's. The starting up of a brewery was a very good idea, you can never have too many breweries I say. I don't drink all that much beer or alcohol, but a great invention nonetheless. (See post days-of-first-croatian-beer-osijecka) Of course there is also a Croatian minority in the Czech Republic, more about that at and  Anyway, first a little more background information below about the town before the actual post. More information about Daruvar at the links.......

Daruvar (Croatian: Daruvar, Czech: Daruvar, German: Daruwar, Hungarian: Daruvár, 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 a wine tradition stretching back more than 2200 years, and along the fertile Toplica river. It is the main political and cultural centre of the Czech national minority in Croatia.

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. In 1837 Daruvar was declared a free city by decree of king Ferdinand I. Lands still empty were soon repopulated by people skilled in crafts, trade, agriculture from around Croatia and also beyond from other parts of the Habsburg Empire. Germans, Hungarians, Czechs, Italians, (around so called Little Italy) and other. Before the Croatian War of Independence, Daruvar's municipality had a Croatian majority. Daruvar was briefly captured after Croatian independence by armed extremist Serb militants and nationalist paramilitaries during their creation of Serbian Autonomous Oblast of Western Slavonia during the war, but was reintegrated after the successful Croatian military "Operation Flash" counter-offensive in 1995. Life has been safe again for Croatians and any other Non-Serbs ever since.

According to the census of 2011, the population of the Daruvar municipality (township) was 11,633. the majority being Croats with a Czech minority of around, 2,400 or 21.36%. 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, from sarma (stuffed cabbage rolls) to stuffed peppers, mlinci, knedlichke and kolach(i)y biscuits in both Croatian and Czech language. (Many words of Croatian and Czech are very similar, this is not surprising as it was from modern day Czech Republic and other surrounding areas where a part of the early Croatian migrations south happened about 1500 years ago. See for fuller explanation)...Croatian food mixed with Czech gastronomical traditions. The Daruvar Brewery has also been making Staro Češko pivo (Old Czech beer) since 1840. The town's website is

(Come to think of it, they naturally play accordions as part of some of the music events, so you'll probably want to check out my post from yesterday...grammies-lorde-krist-novoselic-accordions, you'll like it)


     Masterweb Award Best Tourism Websites for 2014


Daruvar-Papuk Tourist Board, Apartmani Hrvatska and the Korčula Tourist Board were celebrating on Friday after their respective websites jointly picked up the award for the Best Tourism Website at the 2014 Masterweb Weboo 100% Tourism Conference on Friday in Zagreb…

The expert jury selected the winners from more than 40 tourism websites in Croatia. The Masterweb Weboo 100% Tourism Conference bought together web marketing and tourism industry experts with more than 10 speakers on the day. One of the winners, Daruvar-Papuk Tourist Board’s Visit Daruvar, located in central Croatia, launched their new website design in 2013, introducing prospective tourists to Daruvar’s recognizable attractions such as its thermal pools, multiculturalism and its gastronomic diversity.


The diversity of various manifestations which take place throughout the year in the Daruvar area, an oasis of multiculturalism, will thrill any visitor. If you like music concerts or theatre plays, folklore tradition, gastronomy, wine or beer manifestations, sport events, come to Daruvar and choose content in which you want to enjoy and participate.

VINCEKOVO – Celebration of Saint Vincent's day by blessing the vineyards

A long and winding road to the quality of every drop of wine starts with the hard work in the vineyard. Blessing of the vine on the feast of St. Vincent is a tradition in Daruvar which is extremely popular and cherished by all winegrowers. The Central County celebration of St. Vincent and the blessing and experimental pruning of grapevines is organized every year in another vineyard in Daruvar. A folk and church blessing of the vines takes place, along with a sample cutting, hanging sausages on vines and sprinkling pruned vines with wine for a better crop. Sausages and bacon are baked on long poles above the fire; people dance, sing songs and drink mulled wine. On Saint Vincent’s day, winegrowers march through the estates of domestic growers and winemakers to celebrate the beginning of the works in the vineyards. More information:


The most famous carnival among members of the Czech minority in this area, where the largest number of Czechs in Croatia reside, is the one in Končanica. They have been passing through the village since 1932 and they are characteristic for their constant number of masks, 13 of them, which walk through the village, from its beginning to the end. In the house of the hosts the Laufer comes in white and he shoots a whip. There is a Turk in red with three dancers and musicians, along with a chimney sweep who can make a mess in the house. The Srb travels at night and he stealing the eggs and chickens to make a meal for the Turk. A colourful Jewish couple sells rabbits; men from Lika come with a bear - with the special task of pro-birth. During the crazy carnival the point is to chase the winter away and invite spring or the nature to the renewal of life. More information:


Ten days of astronomy is a festival organized by the Astronomical Society "Kumova slama" from Daruvar. The program of the event is designed to satisfy everybody; during ten days workshops for all ages are held, the daytime and night sky is observed with telescopes, a large number of lectures are organized and given by renowned lecturers, scientists and astronomers such as Antonio Radonić, Vladimir Paar, Korado Korlević, Josip Prević, Marino Tumpić, Mark Šimac, Vedran Vrhovac. Also, within ten days of astronomy in Daruvar, exhibitions of astrophotography by astronomers from all parts of Croatia are organized. The festival became international because astronomers from Slovenia and elsewhere were involved in the exhibition and every year there are more than 200 astrophotographs. This unique event attracts many visitors from across the region, at all lectures extra chairs are required, hanging out with astronomers lasts long into the night and we can say that, at the time of the event, Daruvar is the center of the Universe. Ten days of astronomy in Daruvar are held under the patronage of the President of the Republic Croatia mr. Ivo Josipović, who is also an honorary member of the Astronomical Society "Kumova slama". More information:


Darfest is one of the few original songs festivals, a competition of young talented amateur singers from all over Croatia and abroad. The festival is held on the main square, King Tomislav Square, and along with the large audience the program follows the selection committee, which has the task to select and reward the best. More information:

VINODAR – International wine exhibit and fair of traditional products of Bjelovar – bilogora County

Good wine connoisseurs know that Daruvar has for a long time been known for its excellent varieties of grapes and fine wines. Growing grapes in this region has a centuries-old tradition, because sweet and sunny slopes of Papuk provide ideal conditions for growing. Vinodar – International wine exhibit is the most significant event of the town of Daruvar and its vintners. The first part of the week consists of various lectures, field workshops, professional evaluations of wines, round tables devoted to the cultivation of vines, wine production and conservation, as well as harmonization with EU legislation. The event lasts seven days, and the last three days (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) are held on the main town square through the fair, which offers visitors rich cuisine, cheese, honey and honey products, Slavonian ham, sausage, kulen sausgae and a wide range of local wines, spirits and various liqueurs. Also there is a demonstration of traditional crafts, souvenirs and handcrafts. Saturday is reserved for the Vinodar parade which presents a long tradition of wine growing and wine production in Daruvar, it shows all work in the vineyards, ancient tools and modern machinery and it's all imbued with folklore music and dancing. For adventurers there is an aero picnic on which a paintball tournament is held, flights of paragliders, kites and airplanes, and various entertainment. Evening hours are reserved for concerts by famous Croatian musicians and restaurants are open 24 hours. For the youngest visitors the entertainment is provided at amusement parks.
More information:


The event in which the Czech minority displays their traditional and contemporary culture through theatre screenings, exhibitions, presentations of old crafts, Staročeško fair on King Tomislav Square, where books, handcrafts, Czech pastries and other products of Czech's beseda (Czech's society) and schools are presented. A traditional concert and rich folklore program hold place and in the evening a Garden party is organised at the playground of the Czech primary school J. A. Komensky.

More information:


The Harvest Festival or Dožínky is the oldest, largest and most massive manifestation of the Czech minority in Croatia, whose tradition is still preserved since 1925 when the first harvest celebrations were held in Daruvar. Due to the large number of participants and guests, and long-lasting organization, it is held every other year in another town. In 2012 the host of the Festival was town Daruvar. The event is held in the second half of July, it lasts two days and gathers more than 1000 participants from 29 Czech besedas in Croatia and their guests from the Czech Republic and Croatian cultural societies. Various events, exhibitions and a rich cultural program. Daruvar-Papuk Tourist Board, Apartmani Hrvatska and the Korčula Tourist Board were celebrating on Friday after their respective websites jointly picked up the award for the Best Tourism Website at the 2014 Masterweb Weboo 100% Tourism Conference on Friday in Zagreb…

A local pool to cool off in the summer.

The expert jury selected the winners from more than 40 tourism websites in Croatia. The Masterweb Weboo 100% Tourism Conference bought together web marketing and tourism industry experts with more than 10 speakers on the day. One of the winners, Daruvar-Papuk Tourist Board’s Visit Daruvar, located in central Croatia, launched their new website design in 2013, introducing prospective tourists to Daruvar’s recognisable attractions such as its thermal pools, multiculturalism and its gastronomic diversity. Dožinky - Harvest Festival is an event which, in addition to the symbolic presentation of successfully harvested crops, shows what the Czech minority in Croatia has made in cultural, educational and social life. The biggest attraction of Dožinky is the harvest parade with more than a thousand participants, dozens of allegorical chariots decorated with wheat, which show all the harvest work, from planting to making bread, and there are also many minority groups dressed in traditional costumes. On the main square, the Staročeško fair takes place and its aim is to show the forgotten crafts, rich gastronomy, ethnographic and cultural richness of the Czechs in Croatia. More information:


The tradition of brass bands is related to the development of thermal springs in Daruvar. In old records we find that since the Czechs start moving to this area, brass bands began to play their music. Salon orchestras entertained the visitors during their stay at the Spa by playing brass music in Julije’s park at the Pavilion, and these concerts were well attended. In the Daruvar orchestra musicians from the Czech Republic also played, including the famous musician and composer Karel Koleta and Vaclav Riha."Town brass band Daruvar 1922", which was founded 90 years ago, continues this tradition and it has been enriched by the organization of the International Festival of Brass music “FLIG DARUVAR.

“FLIG DARUVAR” is a unique event in Croatia, a three-day festival held in the central square, where orchestras from Croatia and neighbouring countries perform accompanied with dancing of its band majorettes.


Brewery Daruvar is surely one of the most important symbols of this town and its rich tradition. It was founded back in 1840 on the estate of the Croatian Count Antun Janković and because it has been on the same place since its foundation, it is considered to be the oldest brewery in Croatia, and unique because of its method of brewing – using traditional Czech technology. To close its range of products to the consumers, the last weekend in August is reserved for the Days of beer in Daruvar. Under the big tent in two days of the event, the center of event is surely beer and breweries, cultural and artistic programs, concerts of local and guest bands with a variety of gastro offer. In those days all the local and visiting fans can enjoy the fun in rock and ethno sounds and refreshing sparkling nectar made with a long tradition and experience. More information:

As previously mentioned, Daruvarska Pivovara (Daruvar Brewery) in the town of Daruvar has been producing beer officially since 1840 and today it brews mainly popular regional beers. It makes Daruvarsko beer but its most well known popular brand is Staročeško beer (Old Czech Beer) It was named after Czech immigrants to the Daruvar town region and has been produced under this name since 1893, it is also the only Croatian beer using a traditional Czech recipe. In addition to light beer, under the same name the Daruvar brewery makes Staročeško red, Staročeško winter, Staročeško 10 (slightly less alcohol) and Staročeško limun (lemon radler) More interesting background information about this less well known Daruvar Brewery and their beers at, but it's in Croatian though.

Downtown Daruvar entertainment during Vinodar 2012.


Days of the plums and schnapps (brandy) in Sirač, a municipality 9 kilometers away from Daruvar, is a unique agricultural, cultural and tourist event. The main part of this event is the evaluation and exhibition of local schnapps (brandy) and a thematic lecture devoted to the cultivation and processing of plums. The tendency is to show, with professional training to all visitors and participants, the benefits of planting large quantities of plums, due to the increasing demand for plum products. In addition to hanging out in "Siračko dvorište" visitors can taste the schnapps which are evaluated at the exhibition, and a variety of homemade cakes with plums and plum jam, dumplings with plums, pancakes and other delicacies. Also, the traditional way of baking schnapps (brandy) and cooking jam is shown. The event is completed with various plum games and with rich folklore programmes.
More information:

Local Croatian folk dancers during the festivities.


The mask is a theater festival which in three days offers several (usually six) extremely high quality performances for children of preschool, lower and higher primary school. Theater groups, drama studios and professional theaters appear in the festival. Apart from performances, a program with street jugglers, drummers, dancers and entertainers is organized.
More information:

Harkening back in time to 18th-19th century Daruvar.

A "Daruvar Vinodar" announcement commercial for 2012.

Just for some contrast, some scenes from the very popular "српски сербодар" (Serbian Serbodar) in Serbia from a few years ago, seems really cool and like lots of fun.

An image from ttheir famous Serbian bread kissing contest and of course the hugely popular "Sprinkling of the Serb Saints" before the bread kissing.


The celebration of St. Martin’s day is an ancient folk custom of blessing young wine and, according to the Roman Catholic calendar, it is honoured on the 11th of November. Because this feast has always been all about enjoying young wine, across Europe the tradition of baptizing young wine accompanied by a rich gastro was created. In Croatia, it is most common in winegrowing regions in the north-west. Vintners and winegrowers in Daruvar organize the central baptizing ceremony at the main town square. During the main ceremony on the town square a rich gastro-eno offer from Daruvar's vintners, Daruvar wine road and others is presented. Also the program is enriched with a cultural-artistic program with folklore societies. More information:

In and around Daruvar.

View Daruvar in a larger map

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