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Pozesko-Slavonska Zupanija, or Požega-Slavonia County, can be found in the northeastern part of Croatia. The county stretches across 1,815 square kilometers of land and is inhabited by approximately 85,800 people. To the east, the county borders Osijek-Baranja County; to the south lies Brod-Posavina County; to the southwest is located Sisak-Moslavina County; to the northwest lies Bjelovar-Bilogora County; and to the north is situated Virovitica-Podravina County. Across the borders with Virovitica-Podravina County stretches Papuk Nature Park, which is one of the predominant natural attractions in Požega-Slavonia County. Papuk is protected by UNESCO as a global geopark due to its considerable geological diversity. Historically, Požega-Slavonia County has been inhabited since ancient times when it was part of the Roman Empire. Požega, the county's capital city, features several historical landmarks attracting visitors. Another touristic destination is the town of Kutjevo, with a wine-making tradition dating back to the 13th century. Another town located towards the western part of the county is Lipik, visited for its spa and thermal baths, and Lipizzaner State Stud Farm. Concerning local climatic conditions, the area of Pozesko-Slavonska Zupanija experiences a moderate climate, typically with hot summers.
Požega is reportedly favored by cyclists, as the city and its surroundings are a network of 600 kilometers of cycling trails. Hikers are also drawn to the area since the town is surrounded by five mountains as well as the Falcon Trail leading to Sokolovac Peak. Some tourists may enjoy visiting the Slavonian restaurants that serve traditional cuisine. The city bears historical significance, as it was previously referred to as "Vallis Aurea" by the Romans and the "Athens of Slavonia" in the 19th century. People can explore historical sites, such as the Holy Trinity Square, St. Lawrence Gothic church, St. Teresa Square with a 700-year-old grammar school, and the Saint Teresa of Ávila Cathedral housing the crypt of St. John Paul II and a treasury.
Other historical cities in the Pozesko-Slavonska Zupanija can attract visitors. In the Middle Ages, Pakrac was a fortress with its own mint. Pleternica is renowned as a shrine to the Lady of Tears and a significant traffic intersection. Kutjevo has a wine-making tradition dating back to 1232, with wine production continuing to this day. Velika is known for its thermal spring and serves as a popular picnic spot and the gateway to the Papuk Nature Park. In the Čaglin area, amidst Dilj gora, visitors can find Sovsko Lake, the only remaining part of the former Pannonian Sea. In the western part of the county is the town of Lipik, known for the Lipik State Stud Farm, breeding over 70 Lipizzaner horses. The Lipizzaner horse breed has been declared a Croatian intangible heritage and is nowadays protected. The stud farm offers its visitors horseback riding and carriage rides.
In terms of natural heritage and nature protection, Požega-Slavonia County's northern part is protected by UNESCO as a Global Geopark, encompassing the entire Papuk Nature Park, known for its diverse geological history. Mount Papuk, the highest peak at 953 meters, has a geological past dating back to the Precambrian era. It features various rock formations, including metamorphic rocks, Mesozoic sediments, carbonate rocks, and volcanic sedimentary complexes like Rupnica. The geopark boasts numerous karst phenomena like sinkholes and caves, and its development is linked to the evolution of the Pannonian Basin System, tectonics, volcanism, and sedimentation.
Pozesko-Slavonska Zupanija is found in the northeastern part of Croatia. The Požega valley is surrounded by several mountain ranges, with Papuk being particularly noteworthy for protecting the basin from northern winds and influencing a milder climate on its southern slopes. The Slavonian Mountains were formed through tectonic disturbances, leading to the appearance of thermal waters in the massifs. Erosion from precipitation and running water resulted in a diverse terrain with numerous cuts and ravines. Despite its compactness, the hilly region of Slavonia facilitated communication between different areas. The main rivers, Orljava, Londža, Pakra, and Bijela, are part of the Sava river basin.
In the northern part of the county, the Nature Park Papuk extends across the borders into Virovitica-Podravina County. Papuk Nature Park boasts the following ecosystems: dry calcareous grasslands, wet grasslands, rivers, streams, and forests. The southwestern slopes of Papuk host calcareous grasslands with diverse flora, specifically orchids and clover. The area around Turjak, Mališćak, Pliš, and Lapjak showcases continental karst habitats with endangered plants like the fritillaria. The park's waters are abundant with mountain springs, streams, and fish species, namely native brown trout. Papuk's forests, covering 96% of the park, support various wildlife, including populations of endangered birds. The nature park's underground portion is formed by caves and sinkholes that serve as wintering grounds and breeding sites for bats.
Regarding climatic conditions, the county experiences moderately warm and humid weather with hot summers and moderate winters. In terms of average temperatures in the county's capital, Požega, the warmest month is generally August, with an average daily temperature of 29°C. January is reportedly the coldest month, as temperatures average a high of 4°C. March also tends to be the driest month in Požega because it generally receives 44 millimeters of rainfall on average. The most precipitation falls during June, with an average of about 91 millimeters.
Požega-Slavonia County has numerous archaeological finds that date back to ancient times and presently serve as a testament to the county's extensive history. The area was supposedly known as the "Vallis Aurea," or Golden Valley, during Roman rule. Written history can be traced back to the Middle Ages, with Požega being mentioned in 1227 as a significant fortress and county seat, remaining the county capital to this day. Other considerable towns at that time in the Pozesko-Slavonska Zupanija included Kaptol, Kutjevo, Pleternica, Velika, and Pakrac.
Concerning Požega's history, the area faced economic decline and was conquered by the Ottoman Empire in 1537. After years of struggle, it was liberated in 1688 but briefly recaptured in 1690. The following year, it came under Habsburg rule, leading to a period of development. During that time, Empress Maria Theresa granted the city a royal free city charter. Požega played a significant role in education, with the opening of a grammar school in 1699 and other educational institutions. In the 19th and 20th centuries, it was part of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia and experienced turbulent times during the Croatian War of Independence. After Croatia's independence, the county was abolished in 1923 but restored in 1993.
In the eastern part of the county, on the slopes of the Papuk mountain is found the town of Kaptol. The town features a medieval castle, which could bear touristic value as it has been recently renovated and several excavation works took place there as well. Notably, the Kaptol Castle is a preserved fortress from the medieval era.
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