Osijek Co-cathedral St Peter and Paul was built in 1898. It was built based on the initiative of the then Bishop of Đakovo and Srijem Diocese Josip Juraj Strossmayer. He started the initiative in 1866. because he felt that the existing Church didn’t fit the requirements of the city of Osijek and its people. After the funds were collected and after Osijek got its new priest Josip Horvat the old Church was demolished and in its place, the new Osijek Co-cathedral St Peter and Paul was built. The Church was built in a neo-gothic manner and its main feature is the 94-meter tall bell tower and three naves.
The works on the interior continued through the years and finally finished in 1942 when one of the most notable Croatian painters Mirko Rački covered the walls with frescos, painted in bright colors. Motives for frescos were episodes from the Old and the New Testament of the Holy Bible. The interior of the Osijek Co-cathedral St Peter and Paul is a real treasury of neo-gothic architecture and ornaments. Most notable features are impressive altars above which there are stained glass windows covered in impressive work of art. The side entrance into the Co-cathedral is dominated by three gargoyle sculptures, which add to the overall experience of the building.
Osijek Co-cathedral St Peter and Paul was heavily damaged during the Croatian War of Independence. The invading Serbian forces made a point of shelling the building on a constant basis, in an effort to break the spirits of citizens of Osijek. It was hit by more than 100 artillery shells during the siege of Osijek, but it didn’t fall, just like the city didn’t fall under occupation. In fact, sacral ceremonies were held in the Church throughout the war. Until 2008 the Osijek Co-cathedral St Peter and Paul was only a Parish Church of Saint Peter and Paul, but then, thanks to the founding of the Đakovo-Osijek Diocese it becomes a Co-cathedral.
Osijek Co-cathedral St Peter and Paul is open for visits, there is no entrance fee required.
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