Baranja is a mystical geographic region that is located in the very east of Croatia, more precisely between the river Drava and the Danube near the borders with Hungary and Serbia. Viticulture is mentioned in this area even during the Roman Emperor Probe.
At the foot of Banovo brdo hill stretching from Beli Manastir to the Danube, there are numerous vineyards and unobtrusive Baranja fields, and the locals have recognized the benefits and charms they bring to their vineyards. Banovo brdo hill has always been a fertile ground because it served for the same purpose at the time of the Romans.
Baranja has a very well-developed rural tourism, and almost every household produces wines of exceptional quality. For this reason wine is very important for Baranja and its economic, but above all tourist development. Every year, new ways of impressing tourists are being sought; by improving the gastronomic offer, but also by organizing outdoor gatherings with a light cracking of fire in the late evening. The way of preparing Baranja wines is a well-kept secret, and they are becoming better and better every year, which tourists recognize and value.
Baranja wines are exceptionally popular and appreciated, and this is evidenced by the fact that on 22 January, at the feast of St. Vinko, lovers of good wine and food gather and enjoy their benefits. Numerous Baranja households during the year organize gatherings related to centuries-old Baranya customs, contributing to the development and progress of rural tourism in this area.
Take the Baranja Wine Roads, enjoy the good restaurants and try the best wines of Baranja’s cellars. During the drive to the chosen winery enjoy the beauty of the roads and the paths that intertwine there creating a romantic and comfortable atmosphere.
In addition to the romantic atmosphere, Baranja is full of myths and legends like:
– Myth about the Ottoman treasure: in the vicinity of the Dragojlov brijeg in Jasenovac, the Ottomans buried the treasures they had stolen in this area. They steadily returned to take stolen things, but never brought anything with them. Where they “buried the treasure” they put the doors that were exposed to the sun at noon. The legend says that something bad was always happening to those who were trying to find the door. By the same token, it is not known when someone last tried to break in. The legend continues with a soldier returning from the battlefield during the First World War and seeking buried treasures. After the Second World War, this area was forbidden. The very fact brought people to believe in that legend. There is a cemetery today, but no one knows what happened to the young soldier.
– Myth about the Church of St. Peter and Paul near Topolj: the church was built by Eugen Savojski. Since the church tower had collapsed three times during construction (a lightning strike), they abandoned its completion. The church is located at the site of a Turkish cemetery. In the same place where in 1687 Savojski defeated the army of Kara Mustafa-pasha. Residents say that this is precisely why the cross-tower could never survive.
Other myths in Baranja are related to the myth about a witch-nest near Branjina Vrh, a myth about a silhouette of a child in Kozarac or myth about Red Martha.