Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall start visit to Osijek

British Crown Prince Charles and his wife Camilla on Tuesday started a visit to the eastern Croatian city of Osijek by visiting Holy Trinity Square in the city's Old Town Tvrdja, the best-preserved and largest complex of Baroque buildings in this part of Europe, built in the 18th century by the Hapsburg monarchy in defence against the Ottoman Empire.

The British royal couple were welcomed at Tvrdja by Osijek-Baranja County head Vladimir Sisljagic and Mayor Ivan Vrkic.

A musical programme was staged for the high quests, featuring the local ensemble "Osijek 1862" and the women's choir "Brevis", which won the gold medal at the 3rd World Children and Youth Choral Championship held recently in Russia.

In Holy Trinity Square the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall visited stands with products by local farmers and craftspeople.

They were greeted by numerous passers-by, with whom they shook hands.

The Duchess of Cornwall, who has been active since 2009 in raising awareness of problems encountered by victims of sexual violence, will meet at the Museum of Archaeology members of organisations representing victims of sexual violence committed during the 1991-95 war in Croatia and their legal representatives.

The Prince of Wales, who has been working for years on fostering inter-religious dialogue, will talk with representatives of religious communities in Osijek about the contribution of inter-religious dialogue to building peace and to post-war reconciliation.

He will also meet with three companies from the Osijek Software City association, and together with the Duchess of Cornwall he will meet representatives of the local community and students who have won the prize which the Osijek Centre for Peace, Non-Violence and Human Rights awards for special contribution to peace-building and reconciliation.

The British royal couple will then take a tram ride to the city's Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. In the cathedral, whose construction started in 1894 at the proposal of then Djakovo Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer, they will meet with Djakovo-Osijek Archbishop Djuro Hranic and parish priest Adam Bernatovic. The British royal couple will then talk to restorers working on the renovation of the cathedral that was hit with more than 100 projectiles in the 1991-95 Homeland War.

After that, the Duchess of Cornwall will visit the Lipizzan stud farm in Djakovo, one of the oldest in Europe, established in 1506. The farm was visited by Queen Elisabeth II during her visit in 1972.

The Duchess will be welcomed by Agriculture Minister Davor Romic, town officials and the farm's management, and she will view the four-horse carriage Queen Elizabeth drove around the town in during her visit. The carriage is on display in the Djakovo Riding School.

The Prince of Wales, who has been active for years in the field of environmental protection and sustainable development, will visit the eco-centre "Zlatna greda" in the Kopacki Rit nature park, which has more than 260 different bird species and 40 fish species. In 1993 the park was included on the list of wetlands of international importance as one of the best preserved such areas in Europe.

Prince Charles will be welcomed at Kopacki Rit by Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Tomislav Tolusic and Zlatna Greda president Jasmin Sadikovic. During the visit to the eco-centre, Prince Charles will meet with representatives of the Land Art project, which promotes cross-border cooperation, and he will take part in a workshop on sustainable development with local children, meet with a local traditional horseshoe maker and be shown a traditional way of preparing food outdoors.

This is the Prince of Wales' fifth visit to Croatia and the first to Osijek, the city where in August 1837 German nobleman Franz von Teck was born. By marrying British Princess Mary, Von Teck became Francis, the Duke of Teck. He is Prince Charles' grand-grandfather.

Last update: Tue, 15/03/2016 - 13:55
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