Natural heritage for an active vacation
Rivers have always been a source of life, with humans inhabiting their valleys since ancient times. Vukovar has a privilege of having its own two rivers: the Danube and the Vuka. Vuka comprises a natural border between historical counties of Slavonia and Srijem. Although the Danube is the second largest river in Europe and serves as our connection to Europe and the world, people of Vukovar love Vuka as much. It is a small and whimsical river frequented by the local fishermen during the summer and used as a skating ground in winter. The fish is abundant in both our rivers, which makes them true paradise for fishermen, just like Grabovo lake, where various fishing competitions are held. The long and famous rowing tradition of the area yielded some of the most successful rowers in Croatia who won Olympic medals.
The town hugged by Slavonia and Srijem
Even back in the 18th century, Vukovar was an important river port, with its significance returning over the past couple of years with the arrival of large tourist vessels. For several years now, people of Vukovar can enjoy summer swimming at the Vukovar Ada ait, protected as a special forest vegetation reserve. It is a sandy ait on the Danube river, the favourite swimming destination of the residents of Vukovar, located only a 5-minute boat ride away from the centre of Vukovar.
Adica Forest Park is located only 2 km from the centre of the town and it is a place where the citizens of Vukovar like to walk, exercise and rest. It is marbled with walking and trim trails, enriched with wooden equipment for outdoor exercise. An Eco Ethno Club was opened in the centre of the Forest Park, presenting traditional crafts and offering hospitality services.
Adica is an unusual mixture of isolation and proximity – the oasis of peace and adrenaline!
Biologically, Adica comprises of an old mixed forest surrounded by the marshy areas of river Vuka. The name comes from the Turkish word “ada” – river island, because the area is completely surrounded by the old and new course of the river Vuka. Adica is an unusual mixture of isolation and proximity, peace and adrenaline. Adica is also the home to one of Vukovar’s landmarks – the Chapel of St Paraskeva (Petka) of Good Water. The thorns used to outgrow the place, which featured a pasture where the shepherds took their herds. They had found a well of good and pure water, giving it its name “Good Water”. The Orthodox Serbs used to erect crucifixes on the field and on the wells, where they had been gathering to pray. They did the same here. In 1811 a chapel had been built here, dedicated to St Paraskeva.
The ancient tale about the chapel on Good Water says that a girl named Katica had been buried there, after being killed by a certain Hassan, who was enraged and desperate because of her stubbornness. The God-fearing Christians of Vukovar redeemed her bodily remains from the executioners at a high price, burying her under veil of night at that exact spot where the Orthodox Chapel of Good Water is located today. Soon the news reached Vukovar and the surrounding area that at the poor girl’s burial site a well of pure and healing water suddenly appeared, and that a mysterious light could be seen there at night. The Christians built a chapel above her grave and the well from which the water still flows today. In 1830, digging in their vineyard at Good Water, some people discovered human remains and the foundations of a chapel with a Calvary. Thus, it can be presumed that a graveyard and a graveyard chapel used to be there.
Traces of the Ice Age
On the bank of the mighty Danube, Gorjanović loess section can be seen in the very centre of the town, right beneath the Water Tower. It represents a geochronological record of the climate changes taking place in the end of the Pleistocene, i.e. over the past 100 000 years. The site is also significant as the only finding of tephra (the accumulation of pyroclastic material) in Croatian part of the Carpathian Basin, as well as for the appearance of loess dolls (carbonate concretions). It was first described in details by Dragutin Gorjanović-Kramberger PhD some hundred years ago, so it also serves as a certain monument to this prominent Croatian scientist. It is a geological monument of nature.