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Slavonski Brod – A prison as a Tourist Attraction

9 November 2011 No Comment

As part of the revitalization program, a replica of the largest Austro-Hungarian prison, located in Brno (Czech Republic) has been opened in Brod Fortress. There were not many interventions in the arrangement of the prison space. Everything was done authentically and reclaimed bricks were used without plastering. The construction involved only the partition walls for solitary confinement, the prison guard and the torture chamber. The replica of the Austro-Hungarian prison is one in a series of the living history program that has been conceived and realized by the Tourist Board of Slavonski Brod. Besides the prison, in the fortress there is an authentic apothecary, a blacksmith’s shop, traditional kitchen, a bar and a gallery with the first permanent exhibition of contemporary Croatian art from the second half of the 20th century. More than 400 artworks can be seen in the gallery, including a scale model of the fortress which evokes a soldier’s life on the border of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the 18th and early 19th century.

The Fortress in Brod was built by the Austrians, in the period between 1715 and 1780, and in the town which was one of the most important strategic and traffic centers that controlled the border crossing with Turkey and connected the main trade routes. This royal Slavonian frontier fortress on Sava River, together with the fortified Slavonian baroque towns of Osijek and Stara Gradiška belonged to the great defense system on the border towards the Turkish Empire. The fort was designed to accommodate 4000 soldiers and 150 cannons.

Although this was a frontier fortress it almost never had the opportunity to prove and demonstrate its combat power, and the bygone times of everyday military life that took place there are shown by many preserved fort objects.

In the center of the square there is a baroque church of St. Ana. Tourists are offered historical programs at the square, involving individuals dressed in uniforms of the 12th Slavonian Hussar Regiment from the second half of the 18th century.

The Brod Fortress is a unique and monumental example of military architecture from the 18th century Slavonia and also a monument of the highest category. In the part of the building which held the former Officer Pavilion, and today holds the City Council of Slavonski Brod, visitors can see the costumed dolls of border troops in actual size.
Slavonski Brod, the sixth largest city in Croatia, is located in central Slavonia, near the Croatian border with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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