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Dakovo -- Dakovo is 35km (22 miles) from Osijek and still emerging from damage and a stagnant economy inflicted by the 1991 war. The city is best known for St. Peter the Apostle Cathedral, an imposing red-brick edifice built in 1882 under the sponsorship of Josip Juraj Strossmayer, bishop of Dakovo, who was a patron of sacral art. Besides his attempts to unite the Slavic people, Strossmayer is remembered as the founder of the Yugoslav Academy of Arts and Sciences and its Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters in Zagreb, to which he generously endowed his personal art collection. In addition to the cathedral, which has become almost synonymous with the city, Dakovo is known for its excellent white wines, a summer embroidery festival, and Drzavna Ergela Lipicanaca, its 500-year-old Lipizzaner barn (ergela) in town and stud farm in Ivan Dvor where 225 of the majestic horses reside on 400 hectares (about 250 acres) just 5km (3 miles) northwest of town.

Nova Gradiska -- is a town easily bypassed by tourists. There is no great cathedral, no landmark hotel, no chi-chi gourmet restaurant there. What Nova Gradiska does have is a couple of diamond-in-the-rough attractions. Nova Gradiska's proximity to the Bosnian border made it a shaky place to be during the Homeland War, but the town escaped relatively unscathed. Good thing, too, because that left St. Peter's Church, the church museum, and a 17th-century castle damage-free.

Slavonski Brod -- Slavonski Brod is Slavonia's second-largest town, and if either Dakovo or Osijek is on your itinerary, the easiest way to get there is to travel south from Pozega, where you can rejoin the toll road at Slavonski Brod and continue on. However, you might want to spend an hour or so looking around Slavonski Brod before you hit the highway. Slavonski Brod was heavily damaged during the 1991 war and is slowly being restored. Earlier, it was an 18th-century, fortress-style town made almost entirely of wood. That changed late in the 19th century and in the 20th, when the town acquired some Hapsburg structures and later block-style high-rises to house workers in the local industries. Slavonski Brod isn't worth too much of your time, but the remains of the 18th-century Brod Fortress, which was built to stop the Turks from invading Slavonia, is an interesting pause, especially since an extensive restoration is in progress. Entrance to the buildings was prohibited as of summer 2009, but cycling around the property and imagining the fort in happier times is encouraged.