ĐURĐEVAC – THE TOWN OF PROUD PICOKI
Welcome to EDEN, the European Destination of Excellence in preserving intangible cultural heritage
You can find traces of excellence in every casual step of your stroll through the town, which offers realserenity and whereinhabitants widely open their hearts and doors with warm hospitability.
Đurđevac is easily recognized by its traditional national costume, similar to the one worn by the old grandmother who in 1552 persuaded the fearless town commander to outsmart the bold Turkish despot, Ulama beg. Due to her wisdom and persistence, the commander agreed to pretend an abundance of food in the fort and catapulted towards Ulama beg and his powerful army their last bite, a skinny little rooster – picok.
Today you can still see elderly women wearing this elaborate costume when attending mass at the local Church of St. George, the heavenly patron of Đurđevac (and a cultural monument). It is also proudly worn at numerous performances of the Cultural Art Society “Petar Preradović”, as well as by “Đurđevčice”, an impressive vocal band composed of the best voices of Đurđevac.
You will taste the tradition on your palate in «Zlevanka», a traditional dessert made from corn flour and fresh from the oven, in buckwheat soup with dried chicken or in “eye fillet jatagan” the recipe for which, according to the legend you may or may not wish to believe, was left by Ulama – beg himself when fleeing from the gates of the Old Town of Đurđevac.
You will also experience it in the fragrance of freshly cut grass and dried scented hay from meadowssurrounding the Old Town, a living witness to the glorious history of Đurđevac, which in this town of peaceful and self-assured people has placed one of the most famous Croatian legends, the Legend of Picoki that is protected by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Croatia as intangible cultural heritage. For more than forty years, the legend has been spectacularly re-enacted on stage, promoting it into the most beautiful and most valuable tourist event held on the last weekend of June that is vividly, proudly and uniquely presented by over two hundred cultural amateurs and that guides you into the magical world of the past, full of imagination and legends.
Whenever you decide to walk away from imagination and legends and return to reality, the historical Old Town awaits. It is a first category cultural monument with several galleries and the rich Donation of Ivan Lacković Croata, comprising of valuable paintings, elaborate garments and stunning sculptures from all over the world.
From there, take the bike route and embark on an adventure that will take you through the “Gallery route” to the birthplace of Lacković and to a number of private art spaces or return you to Đurđevac to the home of Slavko Čamba, who in his valuable ethnographic collection preserves the spirit of the history of Đurđevac in over a thousand and five hundred exhibits that are on display.
You can feel the warm breath of the desert on the sand dunes of the Croatian Sahara, the protected “Đurđevački pijesci” (Đurđevac Sands), a European desert situated in the middle of wetland, rich in unique flora and fauna, amid green pine forests and the acacia park – forest Borik, divided by three trails for recreational walkers and professional sportsmen, respectively. They especially like the hotel Picok with facilities that boast all the splendour of its four-star rating. For wine-lovers we recommend tastings offered in vineyard cottages, the beautiful little temples of Dionysus, scattered on the wine road and hidden amongst the greenery of the Bilogora hills, where you can enjoy these divine drops with your cheerful kind-hearted hosts in various feasts.
Refreshed, you can now continue to comfort your soul, and this region offers plenty ways to invigorate the soul. Čepelovac is the first place to make a stop. There, at the top of the hill, surrounded by a hedgerow and embraced by a brook, an oasis for poets, writers, sculptors, painters, photographers and all art and nature lovers, Barnagor Manor, with its atelier, ARS Barnagor, awaits. Surrounded by two enchanting forests, an orchard and an unusual Park of Roosters spread on five acres of land, it is ideal for allthose who want to fulfil their souls with true richness of art and take a glance into the interesting history of this region from the mouth of a great Croatian writer and owner of the property, Božica Jelušić.
If you have not had enough of nature, untouched virgin beauty and peace without the interrupting ringing of cell phones, we suggest a visit to a small village, Sveta Ana. Compressed in the greenery of Bilogora, only five kilometres away from Đurđevac, enchantingly divided by a bubbling stream over which 22 bridges connect all its sides to the lake and watermill. Sveta Ana has a viewpoint that offers a panoramic view as far as the distant forest that hides a spring of potable water to which its hundred or so inhabitants attribute revitalising properties. Đurđevac is by all means an ideal place to escape from reality, crowds, stress, and breathe life to the fullest.
Đurđevac, the small town of proud Picoki, readily awaits to embrace you into its Legend!
EDEN, a small, green, quiet and placid paradise of Podravina is waiting just for you!