Your visit to Požega, just like any visit to another city, will stay with you like a nice memory after you meet a local and get to know the place. It might be your tour guide or even a new friend. And we’re pretty certain you will make friends in Požega in no time!

 The citizens of Požega are known as good hosts. And although like many people from Croatia’s inland they might at first seem to be a bit reserved in communication, unlike the more open Croatians from the Adriatic coast, once you get to know them, you’ll stay friends for life. If you get to meet a person from the city’s countryside, where old traditions are still very much alive, you can expect to be invited to many celebrations such as “Kirvaj” (after the German word: Kirchweich), a cheerful religious celebration of a village patron saint’s day. And you will really get to know the place, once you taste the typical local delicacies. And bear in mind that almost every typical Slavonian man or a woman is probably a really good cook.

 Like most Croats, people of Požega are especially happy when the weekend arrives and they get to have their well-earned rest. On a Saturday morning, you will most probably see them in the city centre enjoying a nice cup of coffee and a hurtful conversation with their friends. You might see them over a coffee again on Sunday morning, while in the afternoons the city might seem like it was deserted. And the reason is very simple. If you’re looking for the citizens of Požega on a weekend afternoon, you will most probably find them in their back yard preparing a barbecue or walking and hiking in the nearby hills. In any case, join them!

 Another interesting personality of a citizen of Požega that might show very soon after you meet is how proud he or she is of the city and the famous fellow citizens. And even if at first it might sound like bragging, it will most probably be completely true – Požega might be a small city on a European or on a World scale, but this city can truly say that many important people were either born here or lived in the city at the time they become famous. For some of the renowned scientists, singers or writers you might have heard before and if not, you will as you continue to read this section of our web site. And who knows, after you finish reading this text, you might even surprise your new friend from Požega with how much you know about his or her beloved town!

Famous citizens of Požega

Many citizens from Požega left a memorable mark on Croatia’s history and with their achievements they made a great contribution to our country’s science, literature, art and other segments of life.

Some of the most famous Croatian writers were born, schooled and worked right here in Požega. The Jesuit monk Antun Kanižlić was the author of the 18th-century baroque collection of poems named “Saint Rosalia”. He was also one of the first to write about scientific topics and was very attentive towards keeping the Croatian language safe from non-Slavic influences. As he wished, he was buried in the church of St. Lawrence in Požega.

Vjekoslav Babukić, one of the most important linguists and leaders of the Croatian national movement of the 19th century was also born in Požega. He was the author of “Ilirska slovnica” the first Croatian grammar written based on linguistic literature. Since 1838 he was the first secretary of the Illirian (Croatian) library and then became the secretary of the Matica Ilirska (Matrix Croatica). In 1846 he was named the first professor at the Department for Croatian language at the Royal Academy in Zagreb. Vjekoslav Babukić was also one of the most prominent proponents of national rights in the period of the Croatian national movement. For those achievements, many streets in Croatia are named after him.

 Miroslav Kraljević, a descendent of the famous noble family in Požega was the author of “Požeški đak” (The Požega Student) the first novel in modern Croatian literature. He also founded the first printing house in Požega, second in Croatia in 1862.

The historian, writer of travelogues and educator Julije Kempf founded the City museum and in his memoirs “Moja požeška sjećanja” (“My memories of Požega”) he wrote about important events in Požega during the end of the 19th and in early 20th century. His capital work was the monograph “Požega” from 1910. 

 One of the most important poets in Croatian literature in-between two World Wars, Dobriša Cesarić, was born in Požega just like Matko Peić, a distinguished art-historian, painter and writer, author of one of the largest collection of travelogues in Croatian literature.

 Josip Eugen Tomić, Janko Jurković, Vilim Korajac, Napoleon Špun Strižić, Kajo Adžić, Armin Pavić, Franjo Ciraki, Zdenka Marković, Josip Pavičić, Ivan Mesner, are just some of the famous representatives of Croatian literature born in Požega, the Athens of Slavonia as the city was nicknamed for its many important writers and scientists.

 Požega was the birthplace of Dragutin Lerman, the great explorer of Africa and writer of famous travelogues. Lerman was a member of the African expeditions in Congo by Henry Morton Stanley in the second part of the 19th century. Lerman was included in the negotiations with the chiefs of the local tribes in the area around the river Congo. As the general secretary of the Belgian government for the Eastern Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo), he established the Belgian colonial administration. During his explorations, he discovered the waterfalls on the river Kwil in 1893 and named them Zrinski Chutes (Zrinski waterfalls) after the famous and celebrated Croatian noble family. He donated his African collections to the Croatian national museum, today the Ethnographic museum in Zagreb. 

 Among the painters from Požega the most prominent were Gustav Poša and Jozo Janda. Miroslav Kraljević is considered to be one of the most important painters of the 20th century. He set the foundations of the Croatian modern with his most famous works being “Self-portrait with a dog”, “The girl with a doll” and “The Požega valley”.

 The world of theatre was also enriched by many actors born in Požega, such as Ervina Dragman, Mia Oremović and Vilma Nožinić the famous opera singer. A prominent place in the history of Croatian sports goes to the famous athlete Boris Hanžeković. Other people from Požega also deserve to be mentioned as they all left a big mark in various fields of work, such as the doctor of medicine Andrija Štampar, Ivan Reiner and Matija Kožić, then the mathematician Željko Marković, botanist Karlo Bošnjak, historian and archivist Josip Buturac, architect Pavao Jušić, member of the Croatian academy Filip Potrebica and many others.

 Still today many people from Požega stand out in their field of work in Croatia and abroad, such as writers Lana Derkač and Branko Hribar, the painter, director and set designer Zlatko Bourek and historian Tvrtko Jakovina. In the world of music there are Boris Ćiro Gašparac, Ivana Kindl and Vesna Pisarović. Actresses Nada Gačešić-Livaković and Ines Bojanić have successful careers in theatre and in the world of professional sports the handball player Marko Kopljar stands out.


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