|City of Vukovar
Top: Eltz Manor; Bottom left: Defenders of Vukovar memorial; Bottom right: Saint Philip and Jacob Monastery
|Nickname(s): Grad Heroj (Hero City)|
|• Mayor||Ivan Penava (HDZ)|
|• City||100.26 km2 (38.71 sq mi)|
|Elevation||108 m (354 ft)|
|• Density||280/km2 (720/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Postal code||32 000|
Vukovar (Croatian pronunciation: [v̞ûkɔv̞aːr]; Serbian Cyrillic: Вуковар[Note 1]) ) is a city in eastern Croatia. It has Croatia's biggest river port, located at the confluence of the Vuka River and the Danube. Vukovar is the seat of the Vukovar-Syrmia County. The city's registered population was 26,468 in the 2011 census, with a total of 27,683 in the municipality.
- 1 Name
- 2 Geography
- 3 Municipal area
- 4 History
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Cultural heritage
- 8 Museums
- 9 Events
- 10 Institutions
- 11 Education and media
- 12 Sport
- 13 Use in popular culture
- 14 Notable people
- 15 Picture gallery
- 16 International relations
- 17 Notes
- 18 References
- 19 Bibliography
- 20 External links
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2011)|
The name Vukovar means 'town on the Vuka River' (Vuko from the Vuka River, and vár from the Hungarian word for 'fortress'). The name of the Vuka River itself originates from the Slavic word 'vuk', meaning 'wolf'. In other languages, the city in German is known as Wukowar, in Hungarian as Vukovár or Valkóvár, and in Serbian as Вуковар. In the late 17th century, the medieval Croatian name Vukovo was supplanted by the Hungarian Vukovár.
Vukovar is located in the Eastern part of the Republic of Croatia and is the centre of the Vukovar-Syrmia County. Its location places it at the border of historical provinces Eastern Slavonia and Western Syrmia.
The city is positioned on important transport routes. Since time immemorial transport routes from the northwest to the southeast were active in the Danube Valley through the Vukovar area.
After steam ships were introduced in the mid 19th century, and with the arrival of present-day tourist ships, Vukovar is connected with Budapest and Vienna upstream and all the way to Romania downstream. The Vukovar harbour is an important import and export station. The Danube has always been and remains the connection of the people of Vukovar with Europe and the world.
It is located 20 km (12 mi) northeast of Vinkovci and 36 km (22 mi) southeast of Osijek, with an elevation of 108 m (354 ft). Vukovar is located on the main road D2 Osijek—Vukovar—Ilok and on the Vinkovci—Vukovar railway (and road D55).
The administrative municipal area of the city contains the following settlements:
In SFR Yugoslavia, the municipalities were generally larger, and the Vukovar municipality spanned the region from Vera and Borovo in the north, Ilok in the east and Tovarnik in the south, but it was since divided into several municipalities.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (November 2010)|
There are numerous archaeological sites in the Vukovar area, they date from the Bronze Age and early and late Iron Age. The Vučedol Culture, which was named for the location Vučedol, located five kilometres downstream on the Danube, holds particular importance for this area. The Vučedol Dove, found in 1938, became the symbol of the city. Also, the Orion from Vučedol, which is considered to be the oldest calendar in Europe, has equal importance.
The Vučedol culture flourished between 3000 and 2200 BC (the Eneolithic period of earliest copper-smithing), centered in Syrmia and eastern Slavonia on the right bank of the Danube river, but possibly spreading throughout the Pannonian plain and western Balkans and southward. It was thus contemporary with the Sumer period in Mesopotamia, the Early Dynastic period in Egypt and the earliest settlements of Troy (Troy I and II). Some authors regard it as an Indo-European culture.
The Romans reached the Danube in their conquests during the final decades B.C. They constructed numerous fortifications as part of their border (limes) with the barbarian tribes . The Roman civilization in this area has brought the improvement of agriculture : marshes were drained and the first vineyards were planted. After the fall of the Roman Empire , the Migration Period and the Avar and Slavic expansion onward, brought about significant changes.
Slavic tribes settled in this area in the 6th century. In the 9th century the region was part of the Slavic Balaton Principality ruled by prince Pribina, part of the Principality of Pannonian Croatia ruled by prince Ljudevit, and part of the Bulgarian Empire. In the 11th–12th century, the region was part of the Kingdom of Croatia; from the 13th to 16th century part of the Kingdom of Hungary; and between 1526–1687 under Turkish domination.
Vukovar was mentioned first in the 13th century as Volko, Walk, Wolkov (original Croatian/Slavic name of the town was Vukovo). In 1231, Vukovo obtained its first privileges and later the right to levy taxes on passages along the Danube and the Vuka. During administration of the medieval Kingdom of Hungary, the town was a seat of the Valkó (Croatian: Vuka) county, which was located between the Drava and Sava rivers, while during Ottoman administration it was part of the Sanjak of Syrmia. At the end of the 17th century, the town's population numbered about 3,000 inhabitants.
The area between the rivers Danube and Sava became the site of great conflict and interest of powerful states of that time. At that time Croats begin to inhabit this area. The preserved documents mention Vukovar in the early 13th century under the name "Volko", "Walk", "Wolkow", and finally under the Croatian name "Vukovo".
In 1231, as one of the first cities in the state, Vukovar gained the status of a " Royal free city " proclaimed by the Charter of Duke Koloman. Vukovar then became the centre of the great Vukovar County which included the area between the Danube and Sava.
After the Ottoman dominion (16th and 17th century) a large part of the Vukovar area was bought by the German counts of Eltz, who will have a significant influence on the economic and cultural life of Vukovar in the following two centuries. At that time immigrants of German, Hungarian, Serbs, Jewish, Rusyn, Slovak, and Ukrainian descent begin to arrive. In this process this Croatian area became multinational and in 1745 Vukovar became the centre of the great Syrmia County. Since the Treaty of Karlowitz in 1699, Vukovar was part of the Habsburg Monarchy, Slavonia (Transleithania after the compromise of 1867), and soon after in the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia, created when the Kingdom of Slavonia and the Kingdom of Croatia were merged in 1868.
Between 1918 and 1922, Vukovar was administrative seat of Syrmia (Srijem) county, and between 1922 and 1929 it was the administrative seat of Syrmia oblast. In 1920, the formative congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was organized in the town. After 1929, Vukovar was part of the Sava Banovina, and beginning in 1939 it was part of the Banovina of Croatia. Between 1941 and 1944, Vukovar was part of the Independent State of Croatia.
During World War II the city was bombed by the Allies. In 2008 an unexploded bomb was found in the city from this period. From 1945, it was part of the People's Republic of Croatia within new Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
After the creation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes and in the wake of communism gaining popularity throughout Europe, Vukovar became the location where in 1920 the Socialist Labor Party of Yugoslavia (Communists) (Socijalistička radnička partija Jugoslavije – komunista) was renamed the Communist Party of Yugoslavia (Komunistička partija Jugoslavije).
After World War II Vukovar developed to become a powerful centre of textile and food industry and as such became one of the most highly developed cities in the former country, Yugoslavia.
Croatian War of Independence
Vukovar was heavily damaged during the Croatian War of Independence. Approximately 2,000 self-organised defenders (the army of Croatia was still in an embryonic stage at that time) defended the city for 87 days against approximately 30,000 JNA troops supplemented with 110 vehicles and tanks and dozens of planes. The city suffered heavy damage during the siege and was eventually overrun. It is estimated that 2,000 defenders of Vukovar and civilians were killed, 800 went missing and 22,000 civilians were forced into exile.
The damage to Vukovar during the siege has been called the worst in Europe since World War II, drawing comparisons with the World War II–era Stalingrad. To draw the World's attention on the suffering and exile of Vukovar people, on 20 November 1991 a group of Croatian expatriates changed the signs on a Paris metro station Stalingrad into Vukovar. The signs remained all day before they were removed. The city's water tower, riddled with bullet holes, was retained by city planners to serve as a testimony to the events of the early 1990s.
On 18 November 2006 approximately 25,000 people from all over the country gathered in Vukovar for the 15th anniversary of the fall of the city to commemorate those who were killed during the siege. A museum dedicated to the siege was opened in the basement of a now rebuilt hospital that had been damaged during the battle. On 27 September 2007 the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia convicted two former Yugoslav Army officers and acquitted a third of involvement in the hospital massacre.
As a result of the conflict, a deep ethnic divide exists between the Croat and Serb populations.
|Source: Naselja i stanovništvo Republike Hrvatske 1857–2001, DZS, Zagreb, 2005 & Popis stanovništva 2011|
In the years from 1948 until 1991 Vukovar's population increased quickly due to industrial development. Primarily it was immigration that fed the growth in the Vukovar region and in the town particularly. The region's population distribution changed notably too when the town of Ilok became the second largest town in the region.
The most significant change is the forced displacement and internment of the German civilian population after World War II. The confiscated houses and properties were then given to Croat and Serb colonists during Yugoslavia.
|Year of census||total||Croats||Serbs||Others|
|2001||31,670||18,199 (57.46%)||10,412 (32.88%)||3,059 (9.66%)|
|1991||84,024||36,910 (43.93%)||31,910 (37.98%)||15,204 (18.09%)|
|1981||81,203||30,157 (37.14%)||25,146 (30.97%)||25,903 (31.89%)|
|1971||76,602||34,629 (45.21%)||28,470 (37.17%)||13,593 (17.09%)|
|1961||54,707||24,527 (44.83%)||22,774 (41.63%)||7,406 (13.54%)|
The Croats were in the majority in most villages and in the region's eastern part, whereas the Serbs dominated in northwest. Vukovar's population was ethnically mixed and had 28 ethnic groups before the war.
Since the boundaries of the municipality have changed a few times, there are significant differences in the population census between '61 and '71, and '91 and '01.
Particularly since the war in Croatia, much of the native Croat population has moved to other areas of Croatia or emigrated to Western Europe (notably Germany or Austria) and many Serbs have either moved to Serbia or to Canada and Western Europe.
Fifteen years after the war, in 2006, the city's ethnic makeup shows equal percentages of Croat and Serb residents. The city remains very divided, as a deeper sense of reconciliation has failed to take root. The ethnic communities remain separated by mistrust, divided institutions and disappointment. Separate schooling for Croat and Serb children remains in place. Incidents involving Croats and Serbs occur regularly, and public spaces have become identified not by the services they offer but by the ethnicity of those who gather there. Even coffee shops are identified as Croat or Serb.
In 2013, the government's intention to implement in Vukovar the Constitutional Law on the Rights of Ethnic Minorities in Croatia that allowed for minorities, where they made up more than a third of a city's population, to be entitled to have their language used for official purposes, provoked considerable popular opposition.
According to the 2011 Croatian census, the Serbian population of the city has exceeded one third, which is the legal prerequisite for the Serbian (Cyrillic) name of the city to became co-official. In 2013, this has re-ignited a political discussion on the matter, continuing on the 2009 local promulgation of Serbian Cyrillic as available for public use.
Vukovar is the largest Croatian town and river port on the Danube. Its economy is based on trade, farming, viticulture, livestock breeding, textile and food-processing industry, footwear industry and tourism.
The manufacture of footwear "Borovo", located in Vukovar, ended up devastated and demolished in 1991. during the War. In its prime it was run by 24.000 employees, today there are about little more than 1000 employees and tried to break into foreign markets with innovations in the manufacture of footwear .
Following the end of the war, much of the infrastructure in Vukovar remains unrestored and unemployment is estimated to stand at 40 percent. 
Among a number of attractive buildings, severely damaged in the recent war, the most interesting are the Eltz Manor of the Eltz noble family from the 18th century, Baroque buildings in the centre of the town, the Franciscan monastery with the parish church of Sts. Philip and James, the water tower, the birth house of the Nobel prize winner Lavoslav Ružička, the Orthodox church of St Nicholas, the palace of Syrmia County etc. Since 1998 and peaceful reintegration under Croatian control, many buildings have been rebuilt, but there are many ruins still in the town.
Outside the town, on the banks of the Danube toward Ilok, lies a notable archaeological site, Vučedol. The ritual vessel called the Vučedol Dove (vučedolska golubica) is considered the symbol of Vukovar. Vučedol is also a well-known excursion destination, frequented by anglers and bathers, especially the beautiful sand beach on Orlov Otok (Eagle's Island).
Great Vukovar Synagogue was built in 1889, it was demolished by the communist regime of SFR Yugoslavia.
Vukovar City Museum – Castle Eltz
It was founded in 1948 by a donation of Roman money, furniture, weapons, and paintings given to his city by Dr. Antun Bauer . The museum started in the Coach Post Building in the old baroque centre, but was moved to Castle Eltz in 1966. Up until 1991 the Museum had about 50 thousand exhibits in four separate divisions:
Heritage Museum, displayed the history of Vukovar from Prehistory to today and some of its most important collections included the items excavated at the archaeological site Vučedol and the Culture and History Collection, which contained documents, furniture, and pieces of art, and provided an authentic display of the life of the citizens of Vukovar and the Eltz family.
The Bauer Collection contained the most complete overview of modern Croatian art from the end of the 19th and the early 20th century with special emphasis on the period between the two world wars. Among more than one thousand pieces of art the Collection contained the works of Vlaho Bukovac , Mato Celestin Medović , Ico Kršnjavi, Ivan Meštrović , Fran Kršinić , Emanuel Vidović , and many others.
Memorial Museum of the Nobel Prize Winner Lavoslav Ružička, located in the house where he was born, it displayed original documents and medals from the life and work of the famous Nobel Prize winner, who received this prestigious award in 1939 for chemistry.
Memorial Museum of the 2nd Congress of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was located in the Workers' Hall building, former Grand Hotel, where the congress was held in 1920. The materials connected to the development of the labour movement and the founding of the Communist Party of Yugoslavia was exhibited and presented here.
During Croatian War of Independence, Castle Eltz suffered significant damage and the collections which were kept there were also damaged: some of the exhibits were completely destroyed, some have disappeared and cannot be recovered, and some of them were taken to Serbia. After years of effort and diplomatic activity by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia that part of the collection was returned to Vukovar on 13 December 2001. In the period from 1991 to 1997 the Vukovar City Museum was operating in the Mimara Museum in Zagreb.
Near the end of 1992 a collection was founded with the name Vukovar Museum in Exile which began the creation of a collection of donations by Croatian, and soon after also European, artists for the City of Vukovar. To this day that collection has gathered over 1400 pieces of modern Croatian and European art. This collection represented the beginning of the cultural restoration of Vukovar and it is displayed at the restored Castle Eltz today, along with other museum collections which are part of the permanent collection of the Museum.
Now that it is renovated, the Castle Eltz complex represents a unique museum and gallery , science, and multimedia centre, which preserves and presents cultural heritage as an element of national identity and the continuity of life in this area.
In 2013 the Vukovar City Museum won a prestigious Anton Štifanić Award for special contribution to the development of tourism in the Republic of Croatia and in 2014 won the Simply the Best award.
Museum of the Vučedol Culture
Vučedol Culture Museum is open on the tenth of June 2015. Is one of the most modern museums in Croatia. In addition to the specificity and uniqueness which the Museum is drawing from its contents, the attractiveness of the Museum is guaranteed by its location and architectural design.
Namely, the Museum is positioned on one side almost at the very Danube riverbank and on the other side, on four flours, in the hill, while its flat green roof is a promenade on which you are arriving to the archaeological locality. As for the content, the permanent exhibition is displayed in 19 rooms on almost 1200 square meters. In addition to using state of the art technologies, multimedia and interactive contents, the way of life on Vučedol culture localities, spreading through 12 European countries, is displayed.
Vukovar during the year there are many cultural events. Certainly the most important is Danube region Vukovar Film Festival. Vukovar Film Festival – is unique due to many things. It is the only film festival of the community of Danube region countries and the only one held literally on the Danube. It is designed to promote and spread the creative development of filmmakers from the region and it is organized with the intent to contribute to cultural restoration in the city destroyed in the Homeland War.
The theme of the festival, the films from the Danube region countries, is logically connected to Vukovar as a centre of the Croatian part of the community of the Danube region. Cultural influences have always been spreading along the Danube. Since Vukovar film festival is the only film festival featuring this region, on the international level it seeks to connect filmmakers from the Danube region countries, whose film making industries are some of the most vital in the world.
Vukovar Chamber music Festival – is held in the first half of June at the ambient of Castle Eltz, Chapel of Saint Rok, and the Church of Saint Filip and Jakov in Vukovar, and it traditionally starts with a concert by the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra. The guests of the festival are solo performers and chamber ensembles from Croatia and Europe.
Saint Vinko's Day – in Vučedol is an event held traditionally every year on 22 January, on Saint Vinko's Day, at the Goldschmidt farm grounds. This event marks the beginning of the year's work in the vineyards and it starts with a blessing of the vineyards. Sausages and other cured meat products are hanged on the vines, because a saying goes – if the hanged meats are large, the grape vines will be more fruitful and the grape clusters will be large. The same legend claims that if on that day, before noon, icicles or snow melts and creates puddles in which a sparrow can bathe, the year will be fruitful and there will be so much wine that we can bathe in it. It is nice to keep traditions and preserve them for future generations. Along with an accompanying culture and art programme, this event represents a true vineyard experience, with mulled wine and delicacies that the visitors may taste or prepare for themselves, on the fire.
Bonofest – is every year in the middle of the month of May fans of spiritual music can enjoy Bonofest – festival of spiritual music held in the church of Saint Filip and Jakov. Two evenings of the festival at the Spiritual Music Festival Bonofest in Vukovar feature famous musicians as well as less known young musicians who were selected by a committee of professionals. Aside from showing the beauty and richness of spiritual music it encourages lyrics writers and composers to write new spiritual music and carries the message about the beauty of faith and the human need for spirituality.
Vukovar is the seat of several local organizations and institutions such as Vukovar-Srijem County, Polytechnic Lavoslav Ružička Vukovar, Gymnasium Vukovar, etc. It is also the seat of several organizations and institutions of Serb minority in Croatia such as Joint Council of Municipalities, Association for Serbian language and literature in the Republic of Croatia, Independent Democratic Serb Party, Party of Danube Serbs as well as the seat of the Consulate General of Republic of Serbia in Vukovar.
Education and media
In accordance with its position in the economic and administrative terms of Vukovar developed in educational, cultural and health center. For the 1730th Vukovar has developed popular education. From the Franciscan School has developed elementary school in Old Vukovar. New Vukovar has its own school.
They worked and denominational schools for children and Orthodox Jewish religion, and schools in the German , Serbian orthodox and Hungarian. Apprentice school was established in 1886. year, a gymnasium 1891st.
Printing was opened 1867th when they first came out and Vukovar in German newspaper "Der Syrmier-Bote".
Vukovar has seven primary schools and five high schools, including one gymnasium (Gymnasium Vukovar) and one music school. The city is also home to the Lavoslav Ružička polytechnic, which offers study opportunities in the fields of economics and trade, law and kinesitherapy. Additionally, the University of Split runs dislocated studies in information technology, economics and law in Vukovar. Similarly, the University of Osijek offers programmes in economics and law.
Major sports facilities in the city of Vukovar are: Sports hall Borovo Naselje (capacity 3,000 spectators) opened for maintenance International Table Tennis Championship of Yugoslavia, (Borovo 1978), stadium FC Vukovar '91, sport and recreation center "Lijeva Bara" with a hall for martial arts, swimming pools Borovo Naselje , Borovo naselje Tennis Center, Sports Center "Hrgović" - tennis courts and horse riding, firing range, "Hill-7" as well as several football stadiums including Vukovar City Stadium and the FC Vuteks Sloga Stadium.
Use in popular culture
The siege of Vukovar is an important part in the background of the novel The Redeemer by popular Norwegian crime-writer Jo Nesbø, in whose plot traumatized survivors of the siege arrive in Oslo and play a major role in the murder mystery which Inspector Harry Hole must solve.
- Marko Babić – Croatian soldier
- Franjo Benzinger – Croatian pharmacist
- Damir Bičanić – Croatian handballer
- Dražen Bošnjaković – Croatian politician
- Aleksandar Čavrić – Serbian footballer
- Saša Drakulić – Serbian footballer
- Jakob Eltz – German nobleman and former member of Croatian parliament
- Milan Gajić - Serbian football midfielder
- Jovan Gavrilović - Serbian historian, politician and regent
- Siniša Glavašević – Croatian reporter
- Dinko Jukić – Austrian and Croatian swimmer
- Mirna Jukić – Croatian and Austrian swimmer
- Damir Kreilach – Croatian footballer
- Milan Mačvan – Serbian basketball player
- Damir Martin - Croatian rower
- Tomislav Merčep – Croatian politician
- Siniša Mihajlović – Serbian footballer
- Tomislav Mikulić – Croatian footballer
- Ante Miše – Croatian footballer
- Petar Mlinarić – Member of Croatian parliament
- Josip Mrzljak – Croatian priest, bishop of Varaždin
- Zaharije Orfelin – Serbian poet
- Pavao Pavličić – Croatian novelist
- Leopold Ružička – Nobel prize winner in chemistry
- Vladimir Štengl – Former Member of the Croatian Parliament and former mayor of Vukovar
- Blago Zadro – Croatian Army general
- Dario Zahora – Croatian footballer
- Tezija Zararić – Croatian musician
Twin towns — Sister cities
- The official use of Serbian Cyrillic in Vukovar is subject to a dispute involving the local and national authorities, and is the source of a current political controversy. See #Minority languages.
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- Treasures of Yugoslavia, p.249.
- "VUKOVAR TOURIST BOARD - The History of Vukovar". turizamvukovar.hr.
- Dating as in Ian Shaw, ed., A Dictionary of Archaeology, 2002, and elsewhere; dating methods are discussed in Aleksandar Durman and Bogomil Obelić,Radiocarbon dating of the Vučedol culture complex, 1989.
- Treasures of Yugoslavia, published by Yugoslaviapublic, Beograd, available in English, German and Serbo-Croatian, 664 pages, 1980
- Treasures of Yugoslavia, p.249
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- Tucker, Spencer (2010). A Global Chronology of Conflict: From the Ancient World to the Modern Middle East. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO, LLC. p. 2617. ISBN 978-1-85109-667-1.
- President after meeting with Del Ponte: Someone has to match what turned Vukovar into Stalingrad (Croatian)
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- "Državni zavod za statistiku Republike Hrvatske". Dzs.hr. Retrieved 2013-03-12.
- Vukovar: Day of remembrance, B92, 18 November 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- Vukovar still divided 15 years on, B92, 27 November 2006. Retrieved 2 October 2007.
- Croatia plans Cyrillic signs for Serbs in Vukovar BBC, 3 January 2013.
- 25,000 protest against Cyrillic signs in 'Croatian Stalingrad' RT, 8 April 2013.
- Drago Hedl (1 February 2013). "Ekskluzivna reportaža iz Vukovara – Ćirilica će nevidljivi zid koji dijeli Hrvate i Srbe pretvoriti u betonski". Jutarnji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 2013-02-09.
- "Vukovar - Home of the Vučedol Dove - Way to Croatia". waytocroatia.hr.
- "VUKOVAR TOURIST BOARD - Bonofest". turizamvukovar.hr.
- "Table Tennis - Championship of Yugoslavia Borovo 1978". delcampe.net.
- "Consulates- Vukovar, Croatia". mfa.gov.rs.
- shegrt1. "Gradovi i općine prijatelji Grada Vukovara". vukovar.hr.
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