Požega, Croatia

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Požega
City
Flag of Požega
Flag
Požega is located in Croatia
Požega
Požega
Coordinates: 45°19′59″N 17°40′25″E / 45.33306°N 17.67361°E / 45.33306; 17.67361
Country  Croatia
County Požega-Slavonia County
Founded 12th century
Government
 • Mayor Zdravko Ronko (SDP)
Area
 • City 133.91 km2 (51.70 sq mi)
Elevation 311 m (1,020 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • City 26,403
 • Density 200/km2 (510/sq mi)
 • Urban 19,565
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 34000
Area code +385 34
Vehicle registration
Website http://www.pozega.hr/

Požega (pronounced [pôʒeɡa]) is a city in western Slavonia, eastern Croatia, with a total population of 26,403 (census 2011).[1] It is the administrative center of the Požega-Slavonia County.

Name[edit]

Between 1921 and 1991, the town was known as Slavonska Požega. In German, the town is known as Poschegg, in Hungarian as Pozsega, in Turkish as Pojega, and in Latin as Incerum (-i, n.) and Possega. There is a town in Serbia with same name (see: Požega, Serbia).

Geography[edit]

Požega (elevation: 152 m (499 ft)) is located in the south-western part of the Valley of Požega, or Požega basin, in Croatian: Požeška kotlina. This fertile valley was important since the antiquity - its Roman name was Vallis Aurea, meaning "golden valley".

The valley is formed by the Slavonian mountains of Požeška Gora, Psunj, Papuk, Krndija and Dilj.

Two state roads run concurrently through the city: the D38 Pakrac — Požega — PleternicaĐakovo and the D51 Nova Gradiška — Požega — Našice, as well as a railroad: Nova Kapela/BatrinaPleternica — Požega — Velika.

Demographics[edit]

The total population of the city administrative area is 26,403, in the following settlements:[1]

By ethnicity, the population is 91.59% Croats, 5.37% Serbs, 1.72% uncommitted, 0.27% Albanians, 0.16% Czechs, 0.1% Hungarians, 0.1% Germans, and others.[2]

History[edit]

The first mention of the city of Požega is found in the Gesta Hungarorum, by an anonymous notary of Béla III (1172–1196) where he mentions the conquest of three forts in Slavonia - as the area between rivers Danube and Sutla was then called: Zagreb, Vlco (Vukovar) and Posega. The fortress of Požega, an elongated hexagonal fortification located on a hill in the present-day city center, was probably built during the 11th century, although the first documents that clearly mention Požega county date from 1210, while the city of Požega was documented for the first time in a charter of Andrew II on January 11, 1227.

Požega was originally the residential estate of the Croatian-Hungarian queen and was exempt from the authority of the viceroy and the county. Although no such charter survives, the privileges that citizens enjoyed fully corresponded to a free royal city.

Fortress and city of Požega (13th century)

The fortress doesn't exist anymore, and the irregularly-shaped central city square is Romanic in nature. Only fragments of walls remain to remind that there once stood a fortress. The remaining monuments from that age are the Church of St. Lawrence(first mentioned in 1303), and the Church of the Holy Spirit (built in 1235).

By the late 14th century, the city started to decline economically due to insecurity from Ottoman raids. In the 15th century, city walls were built, replacing a moat that existed before. This proved an insufficient defense as the Turks seized Požega in 1537.

During the 150 year long Ottoman rule, Požega was seat of a Sanjak of Požega and given certain prominence. After a considerable economic decline, in 1537, at the time of the Ottoman conquest, Požega reportedly had 110 houses and 15 businesses. However, by 1579, there were 160 craftsmen in Požega as a result of improved security and an increase in population.

The death of Hasan Predojević the Požega Sanjak Bey in the Battle of Sisak in 1593, marked the first Ottoman defeat in Europe, and after years of steady decline, Ottoman rule grew weaker until Požega was finally liberated on 12 March 1688 by citizens led by friar Luka Ibrišimović. This day is now celebrated as the day of the city.

After the liberation, Požega came under Habsburg rule, and in 1745, Požega county was restored and the city thus returned to the authority of Croatian viceroy. Požega underwent a period of vigorous development: In 1699, a grammar school opened - only the fifth in Croatia. In 1727, Jesuits built a theatre, and in 1740, the city's first pharmacy. There was also a philosophical college for Franciscan novices - the first such institution in Slavonia since the Ottoman rule. Finally, the Academia Posegana opened in 1760, placing Požega, along with Zagreb, among the first Croatian centres of highest education.

Bishop's Palace

In 1765, Empress Maria Theresa granted Požega a royal free city charter and supported the construction of the present-day Cathedral of St.Teresa of Ávila.

In 1847, Požega was the first city in Croatia to introduce the Croatian language in official use, and the achievements of its notable citizens earned it the nickname of "Slavonian Athens".

In the late 19th century and early 20th century, Požega was the seat of the Požega County of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia.

From 1941 to 1945, Požega was part of the Independent State of Croatia. During this period war crimes were committed against the Serb and Jewish population, allegedly under former police chief Milivoj Ašner. [3] Also among the war-time casualties were at least 301 Germans.[4]

Požega County was abolished along with other Croatian counties in 1923, and was restored in 1993, following the independence of Croatia. Furthermore, in the footsteps of its tradition as an educational center as well as a church center, Požega became a diocesan see in 1997, and a graduate-degree college was opened in 1998.

Economy[edit]

Chief occupations include farming, viticulture, livestock breeding, metal-processing (foundry, machines and tractors, household appliances), foodstuffs (chocolate, sweets and drinks), textiles (ready-made), wood and timber, building material (bricks, roof tiles) and printing industries.

Festivities and events[edit]

The city has an 800-year-old cultural and historical heritage. Its carefully cherished traditions underlie the tourist development of Požega.

The central town square with a number of nice buildings (the church of the Holy Spirit, the Franciscan monastery, the Town House, etc.) and a plague column is one of the most beautiful squares in Croatia.

Požega hosts a number of traditional cultural events and performances. Grgurevo or St. Gregory's Day is a traditional show of canons and mortars, exhibited on the central square (12 March). The event includes the mortar fire in Požega vineyards, which symbolizes the chasing of the Ottomans from the region and commemorates the victory over the Turks on Sokolovac Hill in 1688. The Croatian Minute Movie Cup — an international festival featuring one minute long movies — and the national dog show are held in May The events in June are St. John's Bonfire (21 June), Kulenijada — a special event dedicated to presentation and tasting of the very best kulen (Slavonian paprika-flavoured sausages), served with quality local wines.

The events in September are Fišijada (fishing and preparing of Slavonian-style fish specialities) and the important music festival Golden Strings of Slavonia (first weekend in September). This event is a contest of folk music performers and singers but also includes other events (grape harvest, beauty contest, the most "swaggering" peasant girl, national costumes show, etc.). Organ music evenings are organized on the occasion of the town's day and in commemoration of its patroness, St. Teresa of Avila (15 October).

Sports and recreation[edit]

Internationally, the most important sporting event in Požega is the annual judo tournament held in October, organized by the Judokan judo club.

Among other significant sporting events in Požega, in May there is a motocross race as a part of the Croatian championship, in June there is car race held on Glavica race track, and in September there is a basketball tournament.

The sports hall Grabrik, the Orljava river and the surrounding hills are the major sports and recreational areas of Požega. Angling opportunities are provided on the Orljava and Veličanka rivers, and there is also small game hunting in the lowlands and high game in the nearby hills. Traditional Slavonian specialities and wines are offered throughout the region.

On May 17, 2013, the first ever professional boxing event was held in Grabrik sports hall with Mark de Mori fighting Adnan Buharalija for the WBU Heavyweight World title. de Mori, whose wife Milijana Vojnovic is from Pozega, won the bout in the 5th round when Buharalija retired in his corner. The event was promoted by Pozegans Nail Mahmutović and Tomislav Jakobovic.

Notable people[edit]

International relations[edit]

Požega is twinned with Yokneam in Israel.

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Cresswell, Peterjon; Atkins, Ismay; Dunn, Lily (10 July 2006). Time Out Croatia (First ed.). London, Berkeley & Toronto: Time Out Group Ltd & Ebury Publishing, Random House Ltd. 20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London SV1V 2SA. ISBN 978-1-904978-70-1. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011, First Results by Settlements" (HTML). Statistical Reports (in Croatian and English) (Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics) (1441). June 2011. ISSN 1332-0297. Retrieved 2011-08-26. 
  2. ^ "Population by ethnicity, by towns/municipalities". Census. Croatian Bureau of Statistics. 2001. Retrieved 2011-09-06. 
  3. ^ "Nazi hunters identify convicted war criminal", Nicholas Wood, International Herald Tribune, September 28, 2006
  4. ^ Vladimir Geiger. Žrtvoslov Nijemaca Požege i Požeške kotline

External links[edit]