Daruvar is one of the most beautiful cities in the north of Croatia. Its name derives from the Hungarian word “Daru“, which translates as “crane”. The city is located at the hilly scenic Papuk ridge, which, in turn, lies on the banks of the river Toplica. This small Balkan resort town, famous for its mineral springs and long tradition of healing tourism, is also famous for its rich history.
The settlement on the site of modern Daruvar appeared before our era. Celtic tribes settled near the hot springs in the Daruvar valley. In the Roman Empire, the local Celts enjoyed autonomy, their capital was the city of Aqua Balissae, located on the site of modern Daruvar. The city and hot springs near it repeatedly visited the emperors. In the 7th century the Slavs settled the region. The city until the XVIII century was known by various names – Podborye, Toplica, Dobrokuche.
In 1543 the city was occupied by the Turks and turned into a Turkish fortified point on the border with the Habsburg Empire. In 1699, the Turks were expelled by the Austrian army.
In 1771 Podborye and surroundings became the property of Prince Antun Jankovic. He renamed Podborye to Daruvar intensively engaged in creating around the healing springs a resort infrastructure. The resort infrastructure has been developing and in 1837 Daruvar was given the status of a free city of the kingdom.
During the war for the independence of Croatia in the 90s of the XX century battles were fought in the urban neighborhoods, which resulted in significant damage to its historical part. After the war, the destroyed buildings were restored.
Due to the fact that a large part of the Croatian population, which constituted the overwhelming majority of the city’s population before the Turkish invasion, fled from the Turks, the demographic picture of the region was very diverse. On the deserted lands, in addition to the returned Croatians, the Austrian government attracted a large number of colonists of various nationalities.
A notable feature is the large percentage of the Czech population in Daruvar and its environs. Newspapers are published in the Czech language , and also teaching is conducted in schools. In several settlements near Daruvar, Czech is recognized as the second official language.
The basis of the city’s economy is tourism, sanatorium and resort services, as well as wine production, food industry. In the city there is a metal processing plant and a factory for the production of glass products. The Czech diaspora has historically developed brewing, the brand “Staro Cesco” is still produced in the city.
Daruvarske toplice – Thermal spa resort for healing body and soul
The natural remedies used in the resort of Daruvarske toplice are hot neutral thermal springs, with a water temperature of + 41-47 C, as well as mineral mud, which is a volcanic pelloid formed during the long process of decomposition of organic and inorganic substances under the influence of water and atmospheric Influences.
The healing qualities of the water of thermal springs containing calcium, magnesium and hydrogen carbonates, were used by the ancient Romans. The specialized health resort of Daruvar is a modern center for the treatment of rheumatic and female diseases, health improvement and general strengthening of the body.
In addition to natural factors, complex healing procedures, gymnastics in the therapeutic pool and electrotherapy are used in the treatment with modern medical equipment. All procedures are carried out under the supervision of medical specialists and medical personnel.
Julije’s Park – one of the oldest spa parks in Croatia
Julije’s Park is one of the most beautiful landscaped park, located in the heart of Daruvar with exeptionally rich flora. It houses the sculpture of a crane which is a symbol of the town of Daruvar. A particular attraction is an ancient Gingko tree which is protected natural heritage. This tree is the oldest and the largest in Croatia, second largest in Europe and one of the ten of the oldest Ginkgo trees in the world.
There are several historical buildings located in the park with valuable cultural and architectural value, dating from the 18th, 19th and 20th century: Antun’s bath, Ivan’s baths, Swiss villa, villa Arcadia and the Central mud bath.
At the heart of the park, built on Roman foundations and the former Ana’s bath is the Central Mud Bath, built in 1909 in a Moorish style. This style was supposed to evoke in the baths a romantic feeling of a far-away, exotic country , an atmosphere of tourism and distant voyaged.
Recently restored to its former glory, the Central Mud Bath, with its octagonal cupula is the symbol of the town. Daruvar, the “iron spa” has been treating infertility in women for over two thousand years, and is also renowned for medical rehabilitation after accidents or illness, and the treatment of rheumatic diseases. In recent years it has become popular with world-class athletes, in preparing for or recovering from sporting events. As well as medical treatment programmes, the spa offers wellness and relaxation, plenty of accommodation and many indoor and outdoor activities, both sporting and cultural for visitors – including many festivals with unusual themes. Along with crane, this bath is a symbol of the city of Daruvar.
Antun’s Bath – constructed in 1762. It was build on the southern side of the Baths’Square and is the earliest such faculity in the Republic Croatia. The bath was constructed by Macedonian masons upon Roman foundations, which might be the reason for its laying aslant. It was named after he founder of Daruvar, count Antun Jankovic, who had built the baths, palace and the church of the Holy Trinity. The baths consisted of four rooms with pools – one larger for commons and three lesser, covered in marble, for gentlemen. It was covered by a hip roof with an open timber shylight and a timber pavilion above Antun’s Spring part of a rimber porch that radially connected John’s, Ann’s and Antun’s Bath with the Swiss House.
By the end of the 19th century it was refurbished on three occasions. In the last refurnishment the roofing was removed and the building acquired its present Neo-Gothic appearance with a molded crenelater cornice. Besides for baleneo-rehabilitation, it was also used as public municipal baths until 1980, when the Termal Hotel and the Special Hospital for Medical Rehabilitatoon Daruvarske Toplice was constructed.
Among other things, in the Julije’s park there are two outfitted thermal water springs: Antun’s well and Ivan’s well, which is also called the Wishing well.
The space of this resort is nothing more than a world of peace and quiet, artfully created in the depths of an ancient sprawling park.