The Treasure of Nova Gradiska

Nova Gradiska is ordinary working-class Croatian town in southeastern Slavonia that was just 3km (1 1/2 miles) from the fighting during the Homeland War. Today Nova Gradiska's citizens can enjoy a beautifully landscaped main square, a couple of decent restaurants, a hotel, and a Franciscan church and a monastery that is home to a trove of fascinating Bible treasures, one of which dates from the 12th century. The church was built by the Franciscans in 1734 and the museum is the result of one priest's passion for all things biblical. Inside you will find artifacts from the Holy Land, texts in various languages, and the marquee attraction, a handwritten, 12th-century Vatican Codex. Rev. Josip Grubisec is a charming, English-speaking host who delights in sharing the church's treasure with interested tourists. Call tel. 035/369-043 to arrange a tour at the church at Potocna 4.

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