The neo-Romanic cathedral of St. Peter (1866 - 1822) which has become the trademark of Djakovo and dominates its landscape, is certainly one of the most important sacral monuments of Croatia. It is a tripartite building made of bricks with a perpendicular roof that is topped by a 54 m high cupola. Two bell towers 84 m high were erected in front of it. It entirely represents the concept of the bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, a patriot and great lover of art.
Đakovo, a town that celebrated the 750th anniversary of its founding in 1989, has since 1967 played host every year to the festival of folklore known as "The Broideries of Đakovo" and which is held at the beginning of July. Its name aptly describes the festival; taking part are about 50 folklore groups comprising around 2000 performers, each group being arrayed in its own special costume, each costume bedecked with a different style of embroidery - thousands of them. A mobile exhibition of colours in the form of a festive procession of all participating groups moves through the town like some living rainbow. The centre of events is the summer stage in the Strossmayer Park.
Groups, songs, dances, indigenous customs - all follow one after the other. The stage show goes on uninterrupted into the evening hours in an ambience that is reminiscent of the olden days, giving entertainment to an ever attentive and packed audience. We would be hard pressed to distinquish two identical costumes, each one a work of beauty deserving of special attention. Come twilight, seats are at a premium. The most beautiful costume worn by young girls and young married women is being judged - and this is a dazzling display of beauty - it is almost impossible to decide who, or which costume, is more beautiful - the girls, the young women, or what they are wearing.
But "The Broideries of Đakovo" is not merely a pageant of costume. In the cathedral, renowned singers of opera as well as equally gifted choirs demonstrate their talents to the accompaniment of the cathdral organ. Elsewhere, in the exhibition gallery, artists present their works to public view; the wine growers of Slavonia and Baranya organize their own exhibition, this one quite naturally including de- gustation. That noble creature, the horse, is slowly disappearing from street and field. It is true that as animals of labour they have been replaced by machines, but to their owners they remain a passion and a source of pride. And, of course, there are the equestrian events.
For many farmers, the breeders of horses, their love for that magnificent animal is also a proof of their material well-being. And so, "The Broideries of Đakovo" is also a festival of horses that have been bred in farming homesteads incorporated into the Horse-breeding Cooperative. And the way in which they are presented to the thousands of visitors could not be done more beautifulle - in a wedding procession.
Horse-drawn wagons decked with flowers, embroidered cushions, towels and rugs -just as it was in days of yore. A sports programme is arranged at the racecourse, which inclu-des obstacle jumping; the races for horses harnessed in pairs and four-in-hand are an ideal opportunity to observe these animals in their full splendour and magnificence. Two days spent at "The Broideries of Đakovo" will be an unforgettable experience for any visitor, both young and not so young.