The Green Route of Virovitica – Podravina County
08:00 Arrival to Križnica
08:00 – 08:45 Križnica tour visit (Pitomača area)
09:00 – 09:30 Pejačević Castle vist (Virovitica)
09:30 – 10:00 Virovitica fish ponds (Virovitica)
10:00 – 11:30 Educational trail Virovitica Bilogora (Virovitica)
11:30 – 11:50 Coffee break
12:00 – 12:30 Visit to the Janković Castle Park (Suhopolje)
13:00 – 13:30 Visit to the Arboretum Lisičine (Voćin)
14:00 – 14:15 Visit to the Slatina Mammoth Tree (“Slatinski mamutovac”) (Slatina)
14:15 – 14:45 Lunch break
15:00 – 16:00 UNESCO Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube and Visitor Center “Drava Story” (Noskovci)
16:50 – 17:50 Papuk Nature Park and UNESCO World Geopark Jankovac (Čačinci)
Virovitica fish ponds (Virovitica)
Not far from Virovitica there are 9 ponds that represent the richest fishing waters in the Virovitica area. There can be found many species of freshwater fish, while the ponds cover an area of 86.14 ha, surrounded by forest and a bike path.
Virovitica Bilogora (Virovitica)
Bilogora is a low mountain range that is partly located in Virovitica-Podravina County. The Virovitica part is rich with its natural resources, the beauty of nature, ecologically preserved areas and the diversity of flora and fauna. True nature lovers and hunting enthusiasts here can find an exceptional offer and a place for unforgettable moments or holidays. The hunting grounds of this region are specific due to several reasons. That is because there are both lowland and mountain hunting grounds available, and also hunting grounds that combine these segments, which offers great opportunities for all hunting enthusiasts. In addition to that, there are large areas of untouched forests, natural beauty, clean ponds, streams and rivers, and because of that the slopes of Bilogora are among the richest natural and hunting grounds in the Republic of Croatia.
Janković Castle Park (Suhopolje)
The park, garden and orchard around the Janković castle in Suhopolje, according to the cadastral records from 1862, were most likely planted in the 1920s, when the owner of the estate was Stjepan Janković. The story of the park origins, that the elderly residents of Suhopolje still remember, says that Stjepan Janković’s future wife did not want to marry him until he arranged the park and the whole complex to took on residential features. The park covers an area of 10 hectares and today it is just a dense grove in which only rarest details, such as old trees or a chapel / mausoleum, are reminiscent of its former landscape-romantic idea.
Papuk Nature Park – UNESCO World Geopark (Jankovac)
Papuk Nature Park was established in 1999 by a decision of the Croatian National Parliament. In 2007, due to its exceptional geological diversity, it became a member of the European and World Geoparks Network, and thus the first geopark in Croatia. The park covers an area of 336 km2, equally located in the region of Virovitica-Podravina and Požega-Slavonia counties. It is characterized by an exceptional diversity of flora and fauna – approximately 1300 different species. Since November 2015, Papuk Nature Park has been included in the list of UNESCO World Geoparks. Rupnica is primarily responsible for this status of park. Rupnica is a site in the immediate vicinity of Voćin, which was declared as the first geological natural monument in Croatia back in 1948. The site was formed by the eruption of a volcano at the bottom of the Pannonian Sea 70 million years ago. It is notable for the unique appearance of volcanic rocks that are quadrangular and hexagonal in their cross section, formed as such by the cooling of magma in passage towards the surface.
Slatina Mammoth Tree (“Slatinski mamutovac”) (Slatina)
Mammoth or giant redwood is located in the center of Slatina. Sequoia is the largest representative of conifers and it is one of the largest trees in the world. Slatina sequoia was planted in 1807, its trunk diameter is 5.37 m and it is 62.1 m high. It is native to California, and in the Tertiary period this species was also widespread in Europe. In Europe and North America it is grown as a park plant. Slatina Mammoth Tree is the largest living organism in Slavonia.
UNESCO Transboundary Biosphere Reserve Mura-Drava-Danube (Noskovci)
The Mura-Drava Regional Park stretches through five counties: Međimurje, Varaždin, Koprivnica-Križevci, Virovitica-Podravina and Osijek-Baranja counties, with a total area of 87,680.52 ha. The management of the Mura-Drava Regional Park is implemented through the coordination of the existing county public institutions for the management of protected areas of nature. This is done by each public institution managing a part of the regional park located within the territory of its own county.
Mura-Drava Regional Park is part of one of the most important European river ecosystems: the floodplain of the Drava, Mura and Danube rivers. Thus it is part of the largest single river transboundary UNESCO biosphere reserve in Europe that stretches through several countries: Croatia, Austria, Slovenia, Serbia and Hungary.
The protected landscape of Križnica is located in the municipality of Pitomača and it is the only over-Drava territory in the Virovitica-Podravina County which can be reached by ferry or pedestrian bridge. Due to its relative remoteness, it has preserved an exceptional natural diversity.
The former summer house of Count Drašković in Noskovačka Dubrava, built at the turn of the 19th and 20th century, which was thoroughly renovated in 2013, today houses a Visitor Center “Dravska priča” (Drava Story). The center is surrounded by a protected park. An 800 m long educational trail called “Drava in an embrace” stretches from center to the river Drava. As part of the educational trail, there is an observatory of birds, which also inhabit this exceptional natural area.
Arboretum Lisičine (Voćin)
It is located in the village of Lisičine, Voćin municipality, in the middle of Papuk mountain. It was created in 1963 in an effort of forestry engineer Đuro Jorgić. Originally, it occupied an area of approximately 40 hectares. Until the Greater-Serbia aggression in Croatia, the arboretum was rich with various types of trees and shrubs. There were domestic Croatian plants, but also species with origins from all over Europe, Asia and America. The arboretum had a total of 2500 taxons and cultivars and was one of the most significant in Southeast Europe. With the outbreak of the Greater-Serbia uprising in Croatia and the intervention of the Yugoslav Army, the arboretum was severely damaged. In addition to direct damage, war actions also had an indirect damage. The indirect effect was that due to the war, the fences were damaged, and the wild animals could move freely, so they did damage to sensitive plants. After the war, the arboretum was very slowly rebuilt, which also contributed to its further decay, so that even today it has not been rebuilt to pre-war levels. One of the best indicators of damage is the number of taxons that is reduced from the original 2500 to only 500. In March 2013, the renovation of the arboretum was finally completed with European Union funds and it was reopened to the public.
Tekstovi i fotografije: TZ VT, TZ VPŽ, www.icv.hr, www.vpz.hr, Antonio Jurkin, Kristijan Toplak, Matija Rođak, Matija Turkalj