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srijeda, 28. lipnja 2017.

Pedestrian Bridge "Pješački Most" In Osijek Now Also A Permanent Light Show (Photos)

The main pedestrian bridge in the city of Osijek a few days ago, a multi-coloured light system was recently installed after a friendly bet between the local Coca-Cola representatives and the city residents.

All the local shootings and stabbings news is boring the fuck out of me, so here's a few interesting recent pics from the city of Osijek I came across, (excuse the language, just blame Joe Rogan and Yucko the Clown). Osijek is a city in the northeastern part of Croatia located between Vukovar and the Hungarian border, and a city that I thought I should mention again. (because there's lots more to Croatia than just those summer season coastal photos this time of year remember, sure it's not the Adriatic sea but they do have river beaches to swim in (example) and the nearby Bizovačke Toplice Wavepool so it's not like some sort of waterless mutant hellhole either). This is not all that really stupendous exciting important news either I know, however how it came about is sort of interesting also.

According to the articles I read, a few months ago the local Coca-Cola people responsible for this region of Croatia made a deal with the city's authorities and residents, a friendly bet that if they could gather together and collect 108,048 Coca-Cola plastic bottle caps (which is the population of the city), then Coca-Cola would permanently light up the city's familiar local landmark Pelješac Bridge (Croatian: Pelješki Most/Pedestrian Bridge). The pedestrian bridge already had lights on at night time before, but this time it would be permanently outfitted with those new artistic looking light show effect lights.

This is nothing new either and has already been done before when the cranes at the city of Pula shipyards were also permanently lit the same way (pic below), and it's become very common at various historical landmarks around the world these days actually, almost trendy come the Olympics and various international sporting and other commemorative events, but still it does look pretty cool at night.

View of the permanently alternating colours lit cranes at the city of Pula shipyards in 2014, see 3D projection project in Pula for more about that. 

Interestingly as some supplementary information for those not in the know, during the early 19th century Osijek was even the largest city in Croatia for a time. In the early 18th century as the largest and most strategic free royal city of the Croatian crown lands and Habsburg empire vis a vis the Ottoman empire's Sanjak of Smederevo still a threat found east of the Danube and Drina rivers, for this reason it was intended that Osijek be developed along the lines of other Central European cities such as Vienna, Budapest, Warszawa, Pressburg/Bratislava and Prag/Praha as a civilizational bulwark city, so for a time it was bigger than even the capital city of Zagreb which started to grow more later in the 19th century. Osijek was part of the medieval Croatian Kingdom when it joined in a political union with Hungary in the 12th century, through the later defensive Croatian-Ottoman wars and Habsburg-Ottoman wars centuries and through right up to the Croatian Triune Kingdom into the 20th century. (even playing a part of historic events during the times of the Croatian and Hungarian military leader and statesman Nikola Zrinski). Located in the Slavonia and Baranja region, the earliest recorded mention of Osijek dates back to 1196 so over 800 years makes it a fairly old and historical city, getting its name from the Croatian word "oseka" which means "ebb tide". Tvrđa (aka Osijek Citadel) is the Old Town historic part of the city with nearby gothic and baroque buildings and just like in numerous other towns and cities, the old town sections originally started out as defensive fortresses and the towns and cities grew around and occasionally within them, even after the heavy damage inflicted in the early 90's the Habsburg style star fort and high walls built on the right bank of the Drava river is still standing today and is again a popular place for various fairs, markets and many other events. (approximately 800 deaths resulted in a large portion of the city's population when over 6,000 artillery shells were fired by the remaining Српско-југословенска војска (Serb-Yugoslav army) and their Serb church recruited paramilitary volunteers from Serbia in 1991-92, several Serb sieges aiming to repeat the destruction of Vukovar were fortunately stopped in the outlying rural villages thanks to defenders getting and capturing some weapons and they failed to reach Osijek). Osijek is also known as the greenest Croatian city because of the 17 parks spread across the city. What else? Oh yeah. Osijek is also home to the HNK Osijek (Croatian National Theater Osijek) which opened in 1866 (but with a history since 1735) and it's also the only other Croatian city besides Zagreb that still has an electric trams system in operation as well as city buses (Dubrovnik, Pula, Opatija and Rijeka used to have trams too but they were discontinued in the early and mid 20th century, I like trams though and think they're cool and should have been left, what would San Francisco be without their various trams and trolleys? exactly, just a pointless absurd tramless city). Even more bizarre however, Osijek is also officially the home of Croatia's first beer and brewery dating back to 1664, that's even older than Britain's oldest brewery Shepherd Neame believe it or not, how's that for shocking? (I should do a more thorough and fact filled post about Osijek in the future (including of course local food specialties which are awesome and the restaurants are pretty eclectic and interesting also, gotta love that good ol' hearty čobanac, riblja juha paprikaš, gulaš, kulen, various kobasice and punjene paprike etc) because it doesn't get exposure on the scale of some other cities like I said, so consider this just your impromptu supplementary city of Osijek facts of the day)

What the heck, I came across a whole bunch of interesting rarely seen blast from the past views of Osijek too good to leave in internetland, some of the very first photographs ever of Osijek from postcards especially. Here's a few in the 1890's...

 ...from the Habsburg era an aereal plan view of the mentioned 1712 built Osijek (aka Essegg/Esseg in German and Eszék in Hungarian) Tvrđa Fortress in 1861. The fortress was strategically important for the defence of the town and repulsing attacks and invasions during the latter part of the centuries of Croatian-Ottoman wars and various Ottoman-Habsburg wars, image from the pre-drone era probably.

Location of Osijek from circa. 9th to 12th century, today's Osijek was mainly a small settlement and important bridge over the Drava river during the Ostrogothic Kingdom in the 5th century, but from the 2nd to the 4th century it was a strategic Roman outpost military camp known as Mursa. In the 19th century Osijek was one of the most strategic growing imperial Croatian cities of Central Europe.

This map portraying the 13th century circa. 1225 is another later example of Osijek's location in the larger continental framework, right around the time that the city was mentioned in sources under it's current more familiar version name.

..and here's a few more rare views from the 1880's to 1905 of the first horse-drawn trams that started operating in Osijek in 1884, even before in Zagreb and actually the very first trams in the Croatian crown lands (aka Triune Kingdom, an autonomous kingdom of the Croatian entities within the dual Austro-Hungarian state ruled by the House of Habsburg), and the first trams within even this whole region of Central Europe, pretty well all trams in the world were horse-drawn at the time btw. (this would be about 2 years before the very first Coca-Cola drink was ever bottled, which means it was probably just coffees, beers, wines and liquors at the cafes and drinking emporiums)...

...twenty years after the unification of the upper town and lower town sections Osijek was declared a Free Royal City in the year 1809, so since then there were annual commemorative shindigs at the Gradski Vrt/City Garden Park...

...there were even curtains on the trams in the 1890's, now that's classy, (probably so you don't accidentally get mud or camelshit on your pants and shoes on the way to the bingo hall)...

...and a few more rare views from the 1890's to 1908. (it was fairly common during the Habsburg era in Croatia and some other countries to have the local language version name written as well as the German or Hungarian version name on postcards/maps). Below scenes during a downtown open market day, waiting for the tram and some guys standing around waiting for the drinking emporiums to open so they can wet their whistle and put a chill on their liver, probably then some Osječko beerAbsinthe or Croatian Pelinkovac shots at the Ouija board table before the fun begins. (that's the way they used to roll back then)

Anyway getting back to the bridge and lights topic, the project included over 200 individual special lights installed on the bridge which can be programmed to make all kinds of patterns and lighting effects resulting in a very cool night time scene. Most of the locals were especially happy that the bridge will be lit up in a blue and white light show pattern for days when the local soccer club NK Osijek has games which are the team's official colours, and of course probably the team didn't mind either. There was also a first night grand opening light display with even a special appearance concert by Zlatan Stipišić aka by the stage nickname Gibboni, balloons including balloon animals, food and drinks, some sort of running marathon event and probably Coca-Cola to be had also, stuff like that, basically everyone liked the idea and end result.

Nightime view of the Osijek pedestrian bridge before the new lighting project.

What do I think about this? I think it's a good idea, after all they didn't make as part of the bet that there will be a huge Coca-Cola sign or logo on the bridge, or that the bridge will be be renamed as the Coca-Cola Bridge or Coke Bridge and similar scenarios, so this gets a 2 thumbs up from me. Over the years Coca-Cola have put out special edition Croatia Coke bottles which is pretty cool also. But it's good to see projects like this take place, similar to my recent Red Bull "Wings for Life" post, where they don't just pocket their profits and say "you just keep drinking our stuff like a good mass consumer humanoid and then drink some more" etc, (Osijek also hosts the annual Red Bull sponsored Pannonian Challenge too btw, which at the very least helps spread the word that Osijek exists and isn't on the coast). Croatian beer companies also do similar initiatives, ie: actually contributing to civilization and a better society as well as various community projects/events.

(You see, like I mentioned at the beginning, I do posts like this occasionally to remind readers that Croatia is not just the coast, it's by far not just the summer coastal pics you see espeically this time of year. Oh sure the coast is pretty amazing, with awesome sunsets, islands, beaches, seafoods, boats, very historical and all that, which I can personally vouch from experience and probably why people go to the coast in the first place, but if you travel some kilometers away and then can't physically see the water and coast, then you're really not "on the coast" anymore but you're still in Croatia. Oh sure it's still there and the coast still exists but you're in the Croatia now that isn't "on the coast" so to speak. Just like other countries that have coasts, their country isn't just the coast either. (just like California, it's not all just coast and beaches and surfing because there's also forests, mountains and even skiing). It would be absurd to think that Croatia is just the coastal strip seen in many of the coastal summertime photos, maybe in some creepy bizarre far away alternate universe somewhere but not in reality and the real world, the country would have to be shaped like your television remote control then which would just look absurd. (unless of course you just lived in one of the hotels right there by the sea or pitched a tent on the beach and just lived there all year round, which is highly unlikely or you'd just be a hobo or vagrant then probably). Lots of Croatians and even other visitors go to the coast in the summer also, that's all fine and dandy, but the non-coast Croatia is still there. Because if you tell someone that you're going to Osijek Croatia for a few weeks, (or other city or town), you don't want people saying..."Oh Osijek in Croatia, do you have a boat there, are you gonna do some boating, windsurfing or jet skiing while there?" and other odd weird questions. I felt I had to make that clear or else those unfamiliar will just think that all Croatians live on the coast and just hang around on their boats on the coast all the time and that's it. It's simply not like that at all)

Well. that's about it, it's a bridge with newer lights now and everyone had a good time and liked the project, there's much more exciting cool things going on in Osijek like I said, but at least now anyone going there will know and won't wonder why nobody told them. More information about the goings on in Osijek these days at For some other Non-Bridge lighting city of Osijek topic posts I did, click onto the links below.

Related posts: days-of-first-croatian-beer-osijecka










Images from throughout the day's events in no particular order courtesy of:

I might as well throw in the interesting short video "Slow City Osijek" I used before, made with that cool timelapse technique showing some other non-bridge lighting views of the city.

SlowCity - Osijek - Timelapse from Romulic & Stojcic on Vimeo.

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