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Virovitica: Get to know the city that dates back to the 13th century

Virovitica is first mentioned in Latin written documents of the 13th century under the name Wereuca, Wereucha, Verucha or Veroucha. Historians of this area assume that the name was then pronounced as “Verevče” after the creek that flowed near the city. Today, the mentioned creek is named Ođenica. In historical documents, the name of the city is mentioned in the form of Werowiticza, Werouitiza or Verovitiza. All in all, throughout history, Virovitica has been called different forms of the same name. Why we decided to visit this small historic town, you will find out below!

Church of St Rok in Virovitica
Church of St. Rok in Virovitica

During our visit to Virovitica we had the opportunity to walk around the city center where you can really see the various historic buildings. A few years ago, the city renovated the facades of most important buildings that we will show you today. So, let’s go!

Virovitica Theater

Virovitica Theater
Virovitica Theater

We started our walk through Virovitica by visiting the Virovitica Theater. As lovers of culture, we simply first wanted to visit the institution which is certainly considered one of the most popular places in Virovitica. This theater is also special because it continued its work in times when theaters in much larger cities were shut down. The tradition of Virovitica theater dates back to 1900, and from then until today the plays are held regularly. In addition, theater actors have won numerous awards for adult and children plays. The plays that the theater puts on its boards differ according to the genre, and here you will have the opportunity to see both drama and comedy – whichever you prefer. The theater building itself is located next to the parking lot, so in the case of visiting the theater by car you will not have a problem finding parking space.

Lookout of the fire station in Virovitica

Lookout tower in Virovitica
Lookout tower in Virovitica

The theater and the fire station of the town of Virovitica are only a few meters away. Although the premises of the home are not entered, the lookout of the fire station is a very beautiful sight that is worth seeing. It is a tower with many windows that rises above the fire station, which served to ensure that firefighters can spot a potential fire at any time and react in time. Of course, this function was much more important in the past when the tower was still one of the tallest buildings in the city. Today, when other high-rise apartment buildings and ways of spotting fires have been built, this function has slowly died out, but what remains is a beautiful tower painted with a combination of cream and dark red, which certainly beautifies the view of the city.

Chair and table

A monument in the shape of chair and table
A monument in the shape of chair and table

How close everything is in Virovitica will be clear to you when we tell you that as soon as you look to the left of the lookout you will find “eye to eye” with a fascinating wooden monument of a huge table and chair. We believe that we have now confused, but also interested you. Yes, you read that right, there is a monument in the city in the shape of a giant table and chair, and it is actually a work made in honor of the Virovitica revolutionary Josip Bendak on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of SKJ, SKOJ and the union in 1969.

We will not bother you with details here, but if you are really interested in more about Josip Bendak, SKJ and SKOJ, you can always go to the  Virovitica city museum located in Pejačević Castle and get all the information there. In any case, whether you know or not know anything about communism in Virovitica, this monument will win you over with its grandeur, and you will surely wonder what it would be like to sit at such height and be big enough to have lunch at this table!

Pejačević Palace

Pejačević Palace in Virovitica
Pejačević Palace

In order to get to the Pejačević Palace, we only had to take a few steps. (Yes, in Virovitica all important buildings are located in the city center next to each other!) Since its renovation, the palace has been one of the favorite gathering places of young people in Virovitica since it houses the newly renovated cafe The Brick where you can drink coffee on the terrace with a view of the church and the castle or in an interior that looks like a wine cellar from some bygone times. If you are someone who does not like to spend hours in a cafe, you can simply go through the wide entrance in the middle of the building and you will find yourself in the inner courtyard of the palace. The courtyard is paved and wooden benches have been set up where visitors can relax. In summer concerts are held here, so the Pejačević Palace becomes a place of music and entertainment.

Church of St. Rok

As we have already mentioned, from the terrace of the cafe in the palace, our view wandered across the road to the church of St. Rok, the patron saint of the town of Virovitica, whose monument is located on the right of the entrance to the church, which dates from the middle of the 18th century. With its 9 altars, the church is considered the most successful Franciscan Baroque achievement in northwestern Croatia.

St Rok
St. Rok

Within the church there is a Franciscan monastery which is continuously renovated together with the church itself, and the monastery is special because it is the oldest building in Virovitica. The monastery museum located inside the building keeps various archives about the Franciscans and the city, church paintings, statues, clothes and utensils, furniture, and there is a library with valuable documents, photographs and about five thousand rare books of medicine and pharmacy, but also from preaching, oratory, theology, natural and social sciences. The monastery also houses items from the chapel that the Pejačević noble family decorated in one of the towers of the Virovitica fortress.

Monastery with the Museum
Monastery with the Museum

Pejačević Castle

Pejačević Castle
Pejačević Castle

The fairytale castle Pejačević surrounded by a park located in the heart of the city is a unique Baroque-Classicist building and a symbol of the city of Virovitica. You cannot come to Virovitica and not visit the castle from the outside and inside. This is a building that the people of Virovitica are especially proud of and they are always happy to point it out as the most beautiful building and an indispensable tourist destination. All visitors who find themselves in the city will certainly be advised to visit the museum inside the castle where they will be able to learn all about the history of the city of Virovitica. We have already written about the part of the permanent exhibition of the museum in our article The Virovitica City Museum: Museum located in a beautiful castle, which you should definitely see if you are interested in such topics!

Petar Preradović Gymnasium Virovitica (High School)

Petar Preradović Gymnasium
Petar Preradović Gymnasium

In the city center, right next to the main Virovitica park with a castle in the middle, there is the most famous Virovitica high school – Petar Preradović High School. In this historic building, the construction of which began back in 1911, many generations of Virovitica residents began their journey of higher education. Although the construction of the gymnasium has been extended several times and the building at one time even served as a hospital instead of a school, in recent decades it is exactly what it was intended to be – a place of education and socializing for young generations of future academic citizens. Although you will not be able to enter the school as a tourist, it does not matter because its architectural value is best seen from the outside where you can enjoy the view of all elements of construction. After you photograph everything you planned, you will be able to walk the big promenade, see the main fountain or eat delicious pancakes at a nearby pancake bar.

After sightseeing the city, we decided to sit on the terrace of the pancake bar and order sweet pancakes. Yummy!

Your CTC Team, A. M.

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