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Meet Suza

THOUSANDS OF YEARS OLD STORY OF WINE, FOOD AND CERAMICS IN BARANJA

As a child, I passed through Suza many times on my way from the city on the Drava River, Osijek to the Baranja village on the river Danube, Batina. We had a cottage there as many other people from my city. And as is already the case on journeys from point A to point B, one pass through all the points in between without stopping. At least until one of these points becomes point B 🙂

There are truly strange paths and journeys that lead us or open up in front of us throughout life so we never know when some side places or people will become an important part of our lives.

Thus, in my life, in a strange, but also transparent way, at one point, as far as Baranja is concerned, point B became point S.

S as Suza.

LOCATION: Northeast of Croatia, southern slopes of Baranja (or Banovo, Bansko) hill, Baranja loess plateau surrounded by vineyards, fields and the Danube river.

MY EXPERIENCES – WHAT I VISITED, DID AND TASTED IN SUZA

Wine Tasting in Kolar Wine Cellars
Visit to the Asztalos Ceramics Workshop
Baranja restaurant Kovač Čarda

“Fertile fields”

“Baranja Hill”

CHECK OUT SUZA FUN FACTS, BLASTS FROM THE PAST, THINGS I HAVE LEARNED AND I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU

LIFE GOES ON IN SUZA SINCE PREHISTORY – Although Suza was first mentioned in writing in the 13th century, prehistoric and ancient finds have been found in this area. Traces of settlements of the Vučedol culture and the Dalj group were found at two archaeological sites in Suza, Derjan and Berengye, and ceramic fragments of the Starčevo or Sopot culture were found near the Kerekhegy site. For non-experts, it is a HISTORY OF ABOUT 8 THOUSAND YEARS. Baranja has been poorly explored archaeologically so far, so I believe that a lot of interesting stories will just come to the surface.

FAMILY WINERY AND TASTING OF BARANJA WINE – Family wineries are those wineries where wine is stored together with the soul of the people who live the land, vineyards, harvest and the whole process of making wine, which they will eventually proudly pour into your glass. Winemakers from Suza are known for their quality wines and have been continuously collecting awards for them for years. You can taste them on the spot in beautifully decorated wineries or order through their website. Family wineries in Suza are Kolar, Pinkert, Matijevic and Kovats.
For years, the Kolar family has been working on an additional offer, pairing wine and tourism, and in addition to the classic tasting, they also offer day trips where you can taste wine in their vineyards or in one of the somewhat mysterious locations known only to Baranja people 🙂

BARANJA TRADITIONAL CELLARS GATORI Baranja cellars are also special. They do not dig vertically but horizontally into the steep earthen wall of the hill. They are ideal for storing wine because their temperature is the same throughout the year, usually between 12 – 15 ° C.

BARANJA CLAY CERAMICS, BARANJA MUD JEWELLERY AND THE DRAVA STONE RING – Today, in the ambience of a hundred-year-old steam mill, truly beautiful Baranja pottery is made, not only pleasing to the eye but also for practical use. This climate has been associated with fertile soil since time immemorial, not only in terms of farming but also in making pottery. The artist and potter Daniel Asztalos hand-shapes the native Baranja soil and turns it into wonderful cups, glasses, jugs, bowls and pots. In this small fairy-tale world of ceramics, you can choose one of his masterpieces, but also try to make one of your own. ​​My choice from Daniel’s offer was jewellery, a necklace made of mud taken from a pond behind the mill and a silver ring with polished stone from the Drava river. Phenomenal!! Isn’t it?

BICYCLE INTERNATIONAL ROUTES AND “BICYCLE CAMP” – Several international cycling routes pass through Suza, the most famous of which is EuroVelo (EV6) – Danube route. It enters Croatia, more precisely Baranja, from Hungary at the Duboševica border crossing and continues through the Baranja settlements of Draž, Batina, Zmajevac and Suza.
There is a small campsite in Suza with a mini service for cyclists. The camp offers the possibility of purchasing vegetables from the host’s garden, as well as the possibility of tasting wine or delicious Baranja specialities in their nearby wine cellar.

“TURKISH ROAD” – is actually a Roman road. Namely, the Romans built a road between the town of Beli Manastir and Batina in the middle of Baranja (also Banovo) Hill. The road started in Batina, continued towards the highest peak of Baranja Hill Kamenjak (244 m) and the village of Popovac to finish in Beli Manastir. Centuries later, due to the flooded Baranja areas, the Ottomans rebuilt this road. The road is still called the Turkish road and passes through 22 kilometres of beautiful Baranja landscapes with views of vineyards, fields and nature, including those in Suza.

REFORMING CHURCH – On a hill in the centre of Suza is the Reformed Church from the 19th century, while the parish was founded at the time of the Reformation, most likely in the 16th century.

TRADITIONAL BARANJA CUISINE – Baranja is best known for its wines, traditional dishes and spices, red ground pepper. The most famous Baranja dishes are Baranja kulen, perkelt, carp in the wooden fork and of course fish and chicken stew. However, there are other dishes made from river fish, meat and game, and I suggest that in addition to the classic ones, you try these specialists in the local restaurants Kovač Charda and Piroš Čizma. In Suza there is also OPG Matijević known for its top-quality kulen that you can taste in their tasting room.

Baranja kulen has the protected geographical indication of the European Union.

If you did not know the word charda comes from the Hungarian word csarda, which means an inn located in a secluded place or by the roadside and in the past it served as an inn.

THE SEAL OF THE VILLAGE – That Suza is one soul with its fertile fields and vineyards is confirmed by the first seal of the place made in 1772. On the seal is a picture of a plough and a bird with a bunch of grapes in its beak.

“A pond from which mud is extracted for making jewellery”

“Centennial steam mill – Asztalos ceramics workshop”

Things left to do next time: Since I repeated the lesson about wine several times and I think it has finally been mastered, I would like to go through a pottery workshop and make my own piece of art 🙂

SUZA IN A NUTSHELL

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Traditional Cuisine: What to Eat in Suza Baranja's traditional cuisine relies on dishes prepared from river fish and meat such as pork, beef and game. Most often, these are stewed dishes cooked over a fire in special cauldrons and clay pots. It takes time to cook dishes like that, usually hours and the best way to cook it is to do it in a good company and rakija 🙂
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Accommodation In Suza you can stay in double rooms and camp at the Suza Baranja and the Piroš čizma boarding house. The accommodation also offers restaurant services so you can completely indulge in relaxation and explore the charms of Baranja.
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Excursions in Suza For static visitors who would rather stay in one place, I suggest a workshop in the beautiful ambience of a former steam mill or wine tasting. For movement and action lovers, I suggest a wine tasting and a walk through the vineyards, a ride on the Turkish road on Baranja hill or a visit to the Danube tributary of the Sunjog Charda, organized by the Kolar family.
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Cultural & Natural Heritage Sights in Suza The sights of Suza are connected with the natural beauty that surrounds it and the cultural and sacral heritage related to the Reformed Church from the 19th century.

GREETINGS FROM SUZA

Photo is emotion captured in time. See and feel the world you look at.

SURROUNDINGS OF SUZA

You will reach Kopački Rit, the famous and oldest nature park in Croatia, through the Baranja pustara Mirkovac. The Baranja pustaras were settlements for workers who worked on the surrounding Belje estates. They ceased to serve this purpose in the 1970s, and today they are part of the story of industrial heritage that awaits some future days of culture and tourism-conscious local leaders who will bring pustaras to life again in full glory.

I also suggest a visit to Batina, the Baranja port on the Danube river where you can walk around the village, and then drive to the monument made by artist Antun Augustinčić. The monument is popularly called Julka or Juliška, and it is located on a steep loess cliff with a beautiful view of the village, the Danube forests, the Danube river and Bačka in Vojvodina.

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