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Language And Culture Trip 2019 – Slavonia & Baranja – Lifting The Veil On The Real Croatia

Croatian Language SchoolNews newsletterLanguage And Culture Trip 2019 – Slavonia & Baranja – Lifting The Veil On The Real Croatia



December 17 , 2018 |

Language And Culture Trip 2019 – Slavonia & Baranja – Lifting The Veil On The Real Croatia

Croatian Language And Culture Study Course From 15th To 22nd June 2019

Since our programme of annual Language and Culture courses started back in 2013, our schools for the week have always been located somewhere along Croatia’s coastal strip.  For 2019 we decided that it really was about time we took a trip inland to discover ‘the other’ Croatia where, to date, many fewer visitors have ever ventured.  So, with this in our sights, our next Croatian language and culture study week will take place in the Slavonia and Baranja region. Our CLS base for the week will be in Osijek, in the small family run guest house called Maksimilian, an old property situated within the fortified heart of Old Osijek, which has been lovingly restored into a warm and welcoming house set around a peaceful and flower-filled courtyard.

Osijek is Croatia’s fourth largest town and has a long and interesting history dating back hundreds of years.  At various different times in its development it has fallen under the influence of the Ottomans and Austro-Hungary, to which its architecture bears witness.  At the beginning of the 1990s it sustained violent and prolonged attack by Serbian forces during Croatia’s Homeland War.  During that time both the fabric of the town and its inhabitants suffered greatly and its subsequent recovery has been slow.  With the help of EU subsidies, over the past few years Osijek has taken huge steps forward towards recovery and repair, with many of the beautiful old Austro-Hungarian villas in the upper town being restored to their former glory.  I believe the time is now just right for us to visit to witness all the changes and improvements but before the area is discovered and becomes a tourist destination.

During our week in Slavonia and Baranja, we will study the language and explore the culture and history of this beautiful and fascinating Croatian region.

There will be language tuition lessons over the course of the week, organised in three-hourly sessions on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. These will be conducted at two different levels, beginners/improvers and intermediate with a total of twelve hours of language tuition for every student. Your teachers for the week will be Zoran Bundyk and Linda Rabuzin. There will be four groups with a maximum of five students in each group.  The cost of the language tuition for the week will be £260.

A programme of excursions will be on offer and during those times, students will be encouraged to practise their Croatian amongst themselves and with any native speakers on the trips and any communication from the organisers of the trips will be in Croatian. Details of the price of excursions will be available once these have been thoroughly costed and will be dependent upon the number of participants.  We will send you a detailed list of excursions with prices and will need to know from you by 15th April those excursions in which you would like to participate. Students are welcome to bring a partner or friend with them for the week but they should be aware that for the larger part excursions will be conducted in Croatian.

In their free time, students will be able to try out their language skills in and around Osijek, in shops, restaurants etc.

Our 2018 YOGA practice was a great success and, for all of you who in your everyday life normally practise yoga, you will again have the opportunity, before your language classes, to join Donna, Julia, Joan, Nick, Tony, and John during their 45 minutes morning yoga sessions by the river Drava. Of course, this will be optional but all are welcome if you feel like giving it a try.

The Timetable For The Week 15th to 22nd June 2019 Is As Follows:

Monday 17th

Optional – Yoga exercises from 08.15 to 09.00

Language classes from 09.30 to 12.30 and 12.45 to 15.45

16.00 – Visit to the Lipizzaner Stud-farm in Đakovo

Following the end of classes in the early afternoon, we will set off on a visit to Đakovo.   First of all we will visit the Lipizzaner stud-farm, which has a tradition dating back 512 years and has been visited twice by the British royal family, who also own horses from this stud-farm.   After that we move on to the cathedral in Đakovo, which is the centre of the spiritual life of eastern Croatia and is for many people the most beautiful church in this part of Europe.  Our excursion finishes with traditional food and an introduction to the traditions of Slavonian villages at the Aco farm. (The farm is a typical detached village estate, which in historical times would have served as a small free-standing agricultural operation, supporting both animals and arable land).

Tuesday 18th

08.00 – A morning sight-seeing tour around Osijek including a visit to the market:

Following yoga in one of the large parks in Osijek, we set off to hear the story of Osijek.  We start our tour of the town in Tvrđa with the story of the Austro-Hungarian fortress and an explanation about its construction, purpose and the changes that it has lived through over centuries.  We continue with a visit to the market (giving a picture of the various regions where, by way of local food, we can better understand the local way of life).  Our walk continues along the most beautiful avenues in Osijek and takes in a tour of the church of St Peter and Paul.  After that we will have a break for lunch which has been organised for us on a boat moored on the river Drava.  After that we will return to our school house to continue with our lessons.

In the evening we will go to the Croatian National Theatre in Osijek to see a performance of Shakespeare’s tragedy ‘Othello’ in Croatian.

Wednesday 19th

Optional – Yoga exercises from 08.15 to 09.00

9.30 am Full day trip to

Kopački Rit Nature Park, Baranja and the village Karanac:

Travelling by boat, we will view the nature park and the biggest ornithological reserve in this part of Europe.  After this visit, we will drive across Baranja and stop at the top of a particular hill, from which a view of the whole region opens out in front of us.  Then we visit the Three Wise Men holiday resort in the village of Karanac to spend time socialising in an idyllic village household.  We will prepare lunch with our hosts and learn about traditional cooking methods.  After lunch a few competitions, such as archery, a tug of war and other communal games will be organised for us at the property.  The Baranjska House restaurant will arrange a tour of the village of Karanac for us, taking in a visit to the street of forgotten times:  a truly interesting ethnographic collection which is made up of a valuable collection of village antiquities and is nowadays beautifully presented in the form of a small street.  Here we will also get the chance to taste a traditional, local cake.  Karanac is also well known for being the only place in this part of Croatia where three churches of different religions (Catholic, Orthodox and Calvinist) are all located. We get back to Osijek in the early evening.

Thursday 20th

Optional – Yoga exercises from 08.15 to 09.00

Language classes from 09.30 to 12.30 and 12.45 to 15.45

16.00 Half day trip to Pejačević Castle

We will visit Pejačević Castle, which is 50km from Osijek, and learn about the most famous noble family of the area and their legacy.

Among important members of the family Pejačević, we would like to mention Dora Pejačević, a Croatian composer. She was one of the composers to introduce the orchestral song to Croatian music and her Symphony in F-sharp minor is considered by scholars to be the first modern symphony in Croatian music.

In October this year, we had the opportunity to listen to some of her music in London, recorded by BBC radio 3. Here is the link:

BBC Radio 3 Programme

After a visit lasting about 90 minutes, we will stop for dinner on the way home before returning to Osijek.

Friday 21st

Optional – Yoga exercises from 08.15 to 09.00

Language classes from 10.00 to 13.00 & 14.00 to 17.00

Farewell dinner at 19.00 at the ‘Kod Ruže’ restaurant in Osijek Tvrđa.

Our table will be reserved inside the restaurant because on Fridays it is anticipated that there will be live music

Saturday 22nd



About the CLS base in Osijek:

The CLS base for next year will be located in the Maksimilian guest house, a family run property, which has been lovingly developed from one of the old hostelries within the old fortified part of Osijek called Tvrđa.  Unlike many of their contemporaries who moved away from the area after the Homeland War, owners Vladimir and Jasmina took the decision to remain in Osijek and participate in the regeneration of their town.   In the immediate vicinity of Maksimilian within Tvrđa are many of the sites of Old Osijek as well as restaurants, cafés and small shops for students to explore during their free time.  Just outside the walls of Tvrđa runs the river Drava and a few minutes’ walk away on the far bank is a beach and resort area, where students may go to relax or swim in the river.

About Optional Yoga exercises:

‘After the short morning sessions of yoga on Šipan, some of you showed an interest to have them again during the week in Osijek.  If you would like to join in, you will be most welcome.

I know some of you already practise yoga but it does not matter if you have never done it, as we will only be doing gentle stretches, twists and balances which would benefit everyone in energising the body & mind in preparation for the interesting days to be enjoyed during the week.

If you are interested in joining us for these sessions, comfortable clothing, a yoga or beach mat & a towel would be all you will need. If any of the yoga practitioners own a yoga strap or belt, this would also be useful to enhance some of the stretches.

The setting for our 2019 Croatian Language Course Week in Osijek near the river Drava is truly stunning and I am sure we will be able to find some outside space to do our practice, in beautiful natural surroundings down by the river.’ Donna

About your accommodation in Osijek:

Due to their contract with an Australian travel company, the guest house Maksimilian can only accommodate the CLS team and our classes Maksimilian

However, our hosts are ready to help with finding accommodation in Osijek. We request all participants to contact info@maksimilian.hr

Dependent upon guest preference and accommodation price grades, they will be able to confirm accommodation in the vicinity of the CLS school.  As a local agency, they are able to achieve more favourable terms than you would achieve on-line and they know distances between different parts of Osijek better as well as such things as where bicycles are available free in Osijek.

To all participants of our summer school who book accommodation with them, they will offer an entrance ticket for the museums in Osijek (Museum of Slavonia, Archaeological Museum, portrait gallery, Waldinger Gallery) which can be used on any day during our stay in Osijek apart from Monday when the museums are closed.

Maksimilian: Trip Advisor Map View



About your travel: The nearest airports to Osijek are Budapest, Belgrade and Zagreb. For students travelling from the UK, there are direct flights from London to those cities.

How to get from Budapest, Belgrade and Zagreb to Osijek? There would be a few options:

  • By bus from

Zagreb to Osijek Arriva Website

Belgrade to Osijek Busticket4 Website

From Budapest to Osijek: Bus Radar Website

  • To rent a car for the week
  • Organised private transport by Our hosts are able to organise transport for groups of a maximum of eight people at a shared price between 2000 and 2400 kuna one way.

About your enrolment for the language course: In order to get an idea of numbers of students, we should be very grateful for an early indication of you interest in the project and to confirm your place, we would need you to enrol for the week, with a deposit towards the language course of £60 being payable by 15th January 2019.  The remaining payment of £200 for the language course will be due by 15th April 2019. Click on the link that follows for the enrolment form with terms & conditions: CLS Slavonia & Baranja Enrolment Form   Numbers are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment.   If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at info@easycroatian.com .  We look forward to welcoming you to our latest exciting venture.

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