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Đjakovo, Croatia

My recent visit to Croatia included a stop Đjakovo/Đakovo. The scenery on the drive from Zagreb to Đjakovo was lush and green everywhere I looked. We drove through charming villages, each accented by the church steeple.

djakovo-katedrala

I am so grateful to have family in Croatia that can chauffeur me wherever I need to go. It’s not that I think it would be hard to navigate around this beautiful country, it’s that having this service allows me to enjoy the views!

Butterfly? on Duvnjak Farm

 

Đjakovo was unusually warm the days I visited, or so my hosts told me. I think. My knowledge of the Croatian language is rudimentary at best. Visiting their farm and sampling all the wonderful food they grow was such a gift. I don’t know how many tourists get this opportunity. Fresh raspberries, cherries, cucumber, and so much more. Every meal was made from scratch. The traditional soup, the breads, torta, kolache,  I have to be careful not to eat my way through Croatia. I tasted cherry Rakija, a homemade liqueur, It was Sveti Anthonys dan, St Anthony’s Day, so we toasted with straight Rakija. WHOO! One small shot is plenty for me.

Cherries on Duvnjak Farm

 

Đjakovo takes great pride in their horses, located on the State Stud Farm – Ergela-Đjakovo, home to Lippizan horses. This made it a must for me.

Egala Dakovo Entrance

Queen Elizabeth has been gifted with 2, I’m told. We saw the dams and foals as they were near the entrance, given the heat, most of the Stallions had retreated to cooler spots.

Lippizan Mares and Foals at Ergala Dakovo

Aesthetically pleasing stables and views, these horses have the life.

 

View From Ergala Dakovo

Late in the afternoon, we visited the town square, the park and of course, the Katedrala bazilika Svetog Petra; Cathedral basilica St. Peter.

Cathedral basilica St Peter Dakovo

and its impressive altar.

Dakovo Catherdral Altar

The tile work and artistry in this Cathedral is magnificent.

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Be sure to leave time to stroll through Strossmayer Park, its tree-lined paths and lush greenery offer meditative quiet time. Its benches an opportunity to stop and breathe.

Below is the statue of honoring Bishop Strossmayer, who is responsible for pulling together the funding for the Cathedral. You can find him presiding over the square directly in front of the Cathedral. 

Dakovo Town Square Statue

I’d heard about the storks in and around Đjakovo, I was lucky enough to spot one on our last evening there. These birds are quite large, now I get how they can deliver all the babies! 😉

Before heading home for the night, we stopped for ice cream at one of the sidewalk cafes in the square. These sidewalk cafes number among my favorite things about Croatia. I could do a tour of each city’s sidewalk cafes! I bask in the relaxed atmosphere, fresh air and friendly service. Olive oil, fresh bread and a drink. Yum!

Đjakovo was warm and inviting. Everywhere I have gone in Croatia, the people have been friendly, the food delicious and the memories priceless.

Our next stop is Brač, Dalmation Islands, Croatia. I can hardly wait.

Here’s to a Happy Life,

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Zagreb – Ancient Modern City

Zagreb, a city of ancient buildings whose windows proclaim more modern pursuits, such as HM, Pandora, Guess: ATMs located on the sides of buildings whose structure might be 400 years old. New buildings squeezed between old, although the definition of new here might mean the building is only 100 years old. A city of steep streets leading to hidden alleyways with more architectural treasures.

           

             

 

I loved the feel and energy of Zagreb. While it is a bustling city, there are parks and trees all over. It’s a city that invites you to stay a while, to explore its secrets and meet its people.

 

We strolled through the open market, full of homegrown fruits and vegetables, fresh caught fish, and homemade crafts, such as crochet tablecloths and scarves, tatted lace blouses, and so much more.

Bartering for tomatoes

YUM! homegrown & fresh

All of the outside stalls have the same umbrella pattern, it was explained to us that each city has its own pattern. These umbrellas proudly displayed Zagreb’s pattern.

Zagreb’s Pattern

The indoor market offered fresh fish, meats and more. The delicious scent of homemade bread drew us in, the homemade olive oil encouraged us to eat a bit more than we should.

Indoor Market

Leaving the market, we headed up the hill towards Zagreb’s Cathedral. Croats are primarily Roman Catholic and there are many beautiful churches and shrines to visit. The Cathedral is the tallest building in Croatia, majestically towering over trees and buildings

Tallest building in Croatia

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is Gothic in style, breathtakingly beautiful.

 

Entryway

Entrance Statues

Window at the altar

There are many different styles of tile on the floor. The patterns represent different cities.  I don’t know if I took a picture of Zagreb’s pattern or not.

Outside in the cathedral’s square is a gold stature of the Blessed Virgin surrounded by Archangels at the base.

Entombed at the altar in a glass coffin is the body of Cardinal Stepinac. I felt it was disrespectful to take pictures inside the cathedral without prior permission, so I limited myself to the few you see here. You can learn more about this beautiful church here.

We also visited  the Church of St. Catherine, although it was not open for visitors.

There are numerous cafes and coffee shops, most offer outdoor seating with an open invitation to sit and visit for a bit. No rush here.

Art Cafe

This particular cafe feature art by local artists.

 

After a bit of refreshment we continued our journey through the city of Zagreb…

 

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