Historical and cultural tourism

The Orion

A distinguished place among the numerous important details regarding the City history surely belongs to the oldest Indo-European calendar, the Orion. The archeologists discovered this vessel on March 21st, 1978 at the site of the present-day Hotel Slavonija. Twenty years later, it was determined that the engraved ornaments represent the constellations which dominate the night sky above Vinkovci, as follows:

  1. Spring: Orion and Sun
  2. Summer: the Pleiades, Cassiopeia and Cygnus
  3. Autumn: the Pleiades, Gemini and Pisces/Pegasus
  4. Winter: the Pleiades, Gemini, Pisces/Pegasus, Cassiopeia and the dominant Winter constellation of Orion

According to professor Aleksandar Durman, who led the excavation project at that time, the present-day representation of the Orion vessel in the pedestrian zone in the heart of Vinkovci has a symbolic meaning:

"Here in the heart of Vinkovci, Europe's oldest city, stand together the symbols of space, time and civilization. The engraved ornament on the vessel which was unearthed from the Vučedol layer in Vinkovci and had been made before the year 2600 B.C., represents the most complete Indo-European calendar which is based on astral symbolism with pertinent constellations for all four season. Although it was created in the same time period as the Sumerian and Egyptian calendars, it does not represent their replica, since it is based on the 45th parallel. The climate conditions which correspond to that latitude have four seasons as a consequence."
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Sopot Archeology Park

Arheološki park Sopot is connected to the City centre through a pedestrian-bicycle path which is three kilometres long. The park is situated next to the Sopot holiday resort, and contains six Sopot huts which used to be built in swamps, near brooks, or as in this case, on the bank of river Bosut. The huts were reconstructed according to the finds from that site, and were named "Sopot" after the culture to which they had belonged, the culture which has borne that name since 1971, thanks to the archeologist professor Dimitrijevič.
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Sacral monuments

Apart from the valuables which are kept at Vinkovci City Museum, as well as many objects which likely still lie hidden beneath the City streets, here in Vinkovci you can also see valuable sacral monuments. The oldest of them is the pre-Romanesque church of Sv. Ilija (St. Elias) at Meraja (Turkish: meraja - shady place for cattle). The foundations which are still visible today bear witness to that. There used to be a cemetery around the church, and the determination of the time period is based on the discovery of money within the graves, and it is assumed that it was built during the reign of Coloman (1095-1116). The small church was later demolished, and a Gothic single-nave building was constructed on a section of its foundations at the beginning of the 14th century. This church has an interesting history. It has seen several alterations in appearance and style, but up to the end of the 18th century it was used as a sacral object. After that it was used by the military (during the time of the Military Frontier), and up until World War II (or perhaps even longer) it served as a storehouse. After more recent investigations it was determined that it used to be dedicated to St. Elias, and that beside the main altar of St. Vincent there also used to be two flanking altars; one dedicated to the Mother of God, and the other to St. Anthony, later replaced by the painting of St. John of Nepomuk.

In 1771, the Brod Regiment Command in Vinkovci created a report on the bad condition of the Vinkovci parish church (at Meraja) and set in motion the plan to build a new church, which the Court War Council approved, and so in 1772 the construction of the modern-day (Great) church commenced. It is said that according to ensign Vukasinović there were two plans created for the construction of two churches of the very same shape; the larger one intended for Vinkovci, and the smaller one for the village of Kukujevci in Syrmia. However, through misunderstanding, the plans were swapped at the Council and so it was approved and dispatched opposite - to build the smaller one in Vinkovci, and the larger one in Kukujevci, which indeed happened.

The construction of the church lasted until 1777 and it was initially dedicated to St. John Nepomuk. From the old church of St. Elias at Meraja, three bells (out of existing four) were moved to the new belfry, then also the painting of Blessed Virgin Mary, which was considered quite valuable, the painting of St. John Nepomuk, etc. This Baroque church, which is full of valuable art objects, was dedicated to St. Eusebius and Polion in 1973, and sustained heavy damage in 1991, after which it was restored for the most part.

The construction of St. Mary Magdalene chapel (originally The Transfiguration of Jesus chapel) was commissioned by Eliza Šokčević née Čolić, the mother of Viceroy Josip Šokčević, and you can see it in the city cemetery. Vinkovci is also adorned by the chapels of St. Anne, St. Florian and St. Roch.


Biographical note on Vinkovci transport node

permanent exhibition Vinkovci Railway Station

Open to visitors:
Tuesdays from 9 to 11 a.m. (with the guidance of Pavo Božičević of the Association of HŽ Railway Pensioners Vinkovci), and on other days with prior notice to the Station Master - tel. 032/308-924

Entrance is free.

This permanent exhibition is a retrospective of the establishment and activities of the railway system at the Vinkovci junction and broader area since 1878. An insight is gained through several segments which cover the building of the tracks and track facilities, traffic activities, train traction, SS devices, relations among railway workers through their organised activities in the fields of sports, cultural activities, social gatherings and activities outside the institution.

Among the valuable material several items stand out such as the track vehicles with mechanical drive (tricycles and track cars), mechanical signal and block devices, manual telephone exchange, signal lamps with candle (from the end of the 19th Century), carbide signal lamps, rulebook of public railway traffic on the territory of the Hungarian Holy Crown (1910), Timetable 1913, signal rulebooks from 1930 onwards, the Supervisory book of the Vinkovci station kept from 1918 to 1965, numerous photographs which record the important moments of the development of the Vinkovci junction, from its construction, overhaul, railway accidents, but also photographs of railway workers during their everyday activities.

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