Sunday, 19 December 2021

New Geo-Information Center in Voćin Opens Its Doors

December 19, 2021 - The interactive multimedia center, 3D halls, projections, and presentations on screens are just a part of what the new Geo-information center in Voćin on Papuk offers.

From the first day of the new year in Virovitica-Podravina County, visitors at the new Geo-information center will be able to discover how our planet came to be, experience the Papuk underground, feel the atmosphere of caves and pits, meet rhinos, Miocene saber cats, or Miocene sharks in the former Pannonian Sea and find out all about the historical and geological development of the most famous Slavonian mountains, reports HrTurizam.

Models, sculptures and photographs of interesting living beings and stories about seven historical periods in biology and archeology will introduce you to life on Papuk, which is mostly a nature park, and due to its exceptional geological importance and a UNESCO geopark.


Photo: Kristijan Toplak/Virovitica-Podravina County Official Website

"Papuk, along the Drava River, is one of our strongest assets, and both areas are under the protection of UNESCO. Voćin is annually visited by about 100 thousand guests whose main motive for coming is the Marian Shrine of Our Lady of Voćin. The opening of this new Geo-information center in Voćin with all its facilities will be the reason for the arrival of many new visitors, which will ultimately have a positive impact on the development of tourism entrepreneurship," says Martina Jakelić, director of Virovitica-Podravina County.

The director of the Papuk Nature Park, Alen Jurenac, points out that the construction of the Geo-information center worth around 40 million kuna is part of the "UNESCO Geoparks Geopark" project.


Photo: Kristijan Toplak/Virovitica-Podravina County Official Website

"The geo-stories of the UNESCO Geopark have so far been the largest project proposal approved in this part of Croatia. The investment is worth more than 90 million kuna with 85 percent support from the Ministry of Regional Development and EU funds, while the rest of the funds were invested by the Papuk Nature Park. The Geo-information center in Voćin, which is one of the two official entrances to the Nature Park, is an excellent starting point for getting to know the geological, biological and cultural heritage of Papuk", says Jurenac.

Papuk Nature Park is the first UNESCO geopark in the Republic of Croatia, a place that is very popular among mountaineers and recreationists, and from year to year it is surrounded by modern houses with swimming pools and camp Duboka, an adrenaline park, and Aquapark Shhhuma in Velika. Also, Papuk is surrounded by Kutjevo and its famous wine road, Požega, Slavonski Brod, Našice with various additional tourist facilities, which makes the whole area extremely attractive for tourism. By the end of September this year, PP Papuk was visited by about 50,000 visitors.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Friday, 22 October 2021

Papuk Nature Park Will Have Two New Instructional Trails Until Spring

October 22, 2021 - In the heart of the Papuk Nature Park, 475 meters above sea level, is located the jewel of the Slavonia mountains: Jankovac, where its visitors can now enjoy two new educational trails.

By the end of September this year, the Jankovac Forest Park was visited by almost 50,000 visitors, and will soon be richer for two more educational trails, reports HrTurizam. These are two projects co-financed entirely by the European Union from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, approved by the Agency for Payments in Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, and refers to the type of operation 8.5.2. "Establishment and arrangement of educational trails, lookouts and other smaller infrastructure".

In one of the projects, the investment is focused on the establishment of an educational bike path with educational and recreational elements in the area of ​​Slatinski Drenovac. Existing forest trains and six-kilometer-long roads will be used for tracing, so the vast majority of the trail passes right through the forest area. The educational trail will connect the Jankovac Forest Park and the Slatinski Drenovac settlement, in which the Papuk Nature Park Public Institution plans to invest in the future Visitor Reception Center. The youngest ones were also meant because a playground will be built in front of the mentioned center as part of the mentioned project. The total value of the project is HRK 743,480, and work is expected to begin next spring.

The second project carried out by the Municipality of Čačinci, and refers to the continuation of investments in the area of ​​the Municipality and the Park, is a new section of the educational trail with a total length of four kilometers. The trail starts from the Jankovac mountaineering picnic area and continues on a slight slope to the canyon of the Kovačica stream and along with it at the foot of the old Klak fortress. The trail passes completely through the forest area and will interpret the context of the rich history of the Jankovac area and the Klak fortress, which was determined by the richness of the forests and the natural resources of Papuk.

The educational trail will longitudinally connect two existing facilities - the Jankovac picnic area with the nearby cultural and historical site of the Klak fortress, ie with Slatinski Drenovac. The total value of the project is HRK 743,342.75. The start of work on the tracks is expected in the spring of 2022, so the relief of Jankovac in terms of cars is expected as early as next summer.

"Jankovac Forest Park attracts more and more visitors every year, and judging by the number of visitors during this year's winter months, Papuk has become the most visited winter destination. Therefore, the Municipality of Čačinci and the Papuk Nature Park did not want to miss the opportunity to invest in the tourist infrastructure of Papuk. I am especially happy to announce an investment worth almost one and a half million kuna, which will make the Jankovac Forest Park even more attractive to cyclists and pedestrians. With their length and characteristics, the trails are suitable for all ages, so they will be ideal for family walks ", said Alen Jurenac, director of the Papuk Nature Park and mayor of Čačinci.

Check our full guide on all Croatian National and Nature Parks HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 2 February 2021

Pozega-Slavonia Hunters Send Two Tons of Game to Earthquake Area

February 2, 2021 – In an admirably understated manner, Pozega-Slavonia hunters humbly pitched in to the relief efforts and sent two tons of game to those in the earthquake-affected area of Sisak-Moslavina

It's fair to say that in this day and age, hunters often get a bad rep. There are far more people in the world today who abstain from eating any meat – vegetarians and vegans – than those who go hunting. Changing times. For sure, it wasn't always this way.

In Croatia, hunting associations play a vital role in maintaining the beauty and accessibility of the country's rural landscape. Not that you much hear about this aspect of their undertakings. Perhaps they are typically just rather understated people?

You might easily come to that conclusion when considering the recent humanitarian action undertaken by Pozega-Slavonia hunters. Organised by the county hunting association and county officials, Pozega-Slavonia hunters from each of the region's district societies contributed in an effort to send the game taken by each – mostly deer and wild boar - to the earthquake-hit areas in Sisak-Moslavina County. They so far managed to send a whole two tons!


At the same time, Pozega-Slavonia hunters from the county association began collecting funds for the families of those tragically killed in the 29 December earthquake. They have so far collected some 50,000 kunas that will be directed to the intended recipients through the Croatian Hunting Association.

“This is a small help, but undertaken with an open heart,” said a representative from the County, who jointly organised the effort.

“We go to visit friends,” he said, in reference to the delivery of the Pozega-Slavonia hunters game, “and a Slavonian does not go empty-handed. We have loaded more than a ton of meat here (in this shipment), but there will be more because in co-operation with Croatian Forestry, Brod-Posavina County and the Radinje hunting ground, today we will take (in total) about three to four tons of game.”

“(Perhaps) the people of Moslavina will remember Slavonia next time they eat Slavonian čobanac (a local specialty stew, made from game) because she (Slavonia) is always thinking of her (Moslavina),” he concluded.


“Lovački savez Požeško – slavonske županije (Hunting alliance of Pozega Slavonia County) was the main organiser,” Mateja Tomasevic, Head of the County office told TCN. “Within it, there are 28 separate societies of Pozega-Slavonia hunters. They all participated in the humanitarian action.”

Among the 28 contributing societies were Hunting Associations 'Fazan' and 'Košuta' from Pakrac, 'Psunj' from Orljavac, 'Šljuka' from Brestovac, 'Jelen', 'Šijak', 'Sokolovac' and 'Sveti Hubert' from Požega, 'Dilj' from Buk, 'Vidra' from Sapna, Čaglin, 'Slavonac' from Kutjevo, 'Strijela' from Bektež, 'Papuk' from Biškupci, 'Sokol' from Bučje, 'Seljak' from Jakšić, 'Vepar' from Kaptol, 'Krndija' from Našice, 'Vranovac' from Vetovo, 'Šljuka' from Pleternica, 'Fazan' from Ruševo, 'Vražjak' from Sesvete, 'Sjeverni Dilj' from Seoce, 'Slavuj Gaj' from Poljana and 'Kuna' from Paka. Over 1300 residents of the county belong to one of the Pozega-Slavonia hunters associations.


AnyConv.com__BZENICA_LOVNO-STRELJASTVO_POZESKA-ZUPANIJA-1.jpgSome of the members of the Hunting Associations of Pozega-Slavonia County © Hrvatski Lovački Savez

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Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Two Bodies Found By The Road, Frozen On Papuk Mountain

January 26, 2021 – Multiple harrowing questions are posed by the tragic discovery yesterday of two bodies found frozen on Papuk mountain. They were at first suspected to be those of migrants. It is still not yet known how they came to be there, if they were travelling together or alone.

Famous for its wealth of covering forest, cascading streams, picturesque views and wildlife, Papuk is the largest mountain in Slavonia, eastern Croatia. It's actually a stretch of mountain range with an eponymous peak and the whole area is designated as a Nature Park. It draws thousands of visitors each year who come to enjoy its natural beauty and the opportunities for walking and hiking it provides. But, in a place we associate with the fullness of life, it is death that yesterday came to Papuk Nature Park.

Two bodies have been found frozen on Papuk. On a section of the Velika - Jankovac road, which runs north-south right through the heart of the Nature Park, winter service employees found the first body frozen on Papuk on Monday at around 9.45 am while clearing snow on the route with a plow. At around 3pm on the same day, a second body was found frozen on Papuk by a 41-year-old man working in the area. Both were bodies of young men. Details were provided by the Virovitica-Podravina Police Department.

Though the two bodies found frozen on Papuk were not discovered simultaneously, they were located quite close together - within 3 or 4 kilometres of each other. It is not currently known if the two persons were associated with one another, were travelling together or of what nationality they are. On the evening of Monday 25 January, it was suspected and being widely reported in Croatian media that the bodies found frozen on Papuk were those of migrants. 

If the persons were travelling through the area and were not alone, anyone alive and remaining within the mountainous area will be in a precarious position. Over recent days, temperatures within the park have reached daytime highs of -2. At night, the temperature has dropped to below -8. The snow is currently up to half a metre deep in some places on the Nature Park. As with many mountainous regions of Croatia at present, the snow continues to fall.

139805761_10159222223838324_401411676191381434_n.jpgThe snow is up to half a metre deep in some areas on Papuk at present. Over recent days, the nighttime temperature has dropped to below -8 © PP Papuk

If the bodies found frozen on Papuk are ascertained to be migrants, many will wonder just what they were doing there and how they came to be there. The area in which they were found is some 70 kilometres from the nearest border with Bosnia and is not on any existing route popularity attempted by migrants for passage into more westerly-lying countries in Europe. From Papuk, the next nearest European border is Hungary, just short of 50 kilometres to the north. The crossing of the border into Hungary again is not one presently chosen by migrants.

Croatia_location_map-2011-01-02.jpgMap of Croatia © NordNordWest derivative work: Southpawphilly (talk), adapted by TCN

“It's a very strange route,” TCN was told by a man who has spent extensive time with migrants in the Bosnian camps which lie just across the border from Croatia. He preferred not to be named in this article. “If they are migrants, it is possible that they wandered off route. But, in my opinion, that is highly unlikely because most of them use mobile phones (for navigation) even more than we do.”

“I'm really only guessing, which is all that anyone can do for now, but I think it is more likely that, if they are migrants, someone drove them halfway and just left them there, telling them that it was a place that it was not. That's very much something that some of the smugglers are capable of. They could have been driven across the border from Bosnia, taken to the edge of the mountains and told that Slovenia was just on the other side.”

For now, the identities of the bodies found frozen on Papuk remain a mystery, as do the circumstances of how they came to be there. Croatian media is reporting that they have unofficially learned that no documentation was found on either of the bodies. This has lead many to believe that the bodies found frozen on Papuk may actually be locals who had become trapped there by severe and deteriorating weather conditions. The immediate area in which the bodies were found experienced a snowstorm on Sunday, with up to half a metre of snow being deposited.

By the late morning of 26 January, some Croatian media were reporting they had learned that the men were not migrants but were, in fact, local men. The matter is under investigation by the police. A search of the area was undertaken and a survey of the surrounding terrain assessed in order to decide whether other services were needed to be called on for any continuing search.

By order of the County State's Attorney from Bjelovar, both bodies were transported to the Department of Pathology in OB Virovitica, for autopsy and identification. A brief police statement said the public would be notified after an autopsy was performed.

UPDATE: In the mid-afternoon of 26 January, police confirmed that the bodies were those of a 26-year-old and a 38-year-old, both from the local area. The men's families had performed the sad task of identifying their bodies. Later in the day, it was confirmed that the two men did in fact know each other - they were brothers-in-law.

TCN will be updating this story as and when we receive more and relevant details

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Papuk Nature Park Now Open for Accommodations with Eco Friendly Holiday Camp

The Duboka holiday camp, which is located in the Papuk Nature Park, is now taking visitors!