November in Croatia is, unfortunately, marked by a specific date that sparks heavy emotions in everyone who experienced the Croatian War of Independence. It’s November 18th,, and it marks the siege and fall of Vukovar, a city in the eastern part of Slavonia that suffered great losses and still contains so much sadness when the date approaches every year.
The Croatia flag on the Water Tower
The brave defenders of Vukovar stood strong for 87 days, but the fall was, unfortunately, inevitable.
The Croatia flag on the top of the Water Tower was the most frequent target of the aggressors during the city’s siege. Still, it proudly fluttered every morning, thanks to the Croatian defenders Ivica Ivanika and Hrvoje Džalto. Under cover of night, they would raise the flag again and again, giving the people of Vukovar hope and a sign that the city’s defense did not break down. The Water Tower suffered 640 direct hits in the Homeland War by the greater aggressor EX-YU army.
On November 18th, 1991, the Yugoslav People’s Army entered Vukovar with heavy artillery and over 35000 people against less than 2000 people on the Croatian side.
Still, despite that, it stood tall and thus became a symbol of suffering, resistance, and unity.
It’s been 31 years since the fall, and we paid tributes to all those who lost their lives, health, and loved ones in war and battle that no future generation should experience.
Today, Vukovar is rebuilding itself with open arms to young families, its exiled citizens, and anyone who wants to write a new and better history of this brave city.
Although many buildings in the city were rebuilt and fixed, as well as its symbol – the Vukovar Water Tower. Still riddled with bullet holes, stands today as a symbol of what happened once in 1991 and should never happen again.
The Water Tower is a symbol of the defense of the city of Vukovar
It’s located in the so-called “Najpar bašta”, (after the owners of the land, the Najpar family, who lived there in the 18th century) at that time, the city picnic area and the entrance to the city settlement Mitnica.
The Water Tower was built in 1968 according to the project of the architect Petar Kušan in cooperation with Sergej Kolobov to store and provide water reserves as a part of the water supply networks.
With a height of 50,33 meters and a reservoir of 2200 cubic meters, it was among the most prominent buildings of its kind in Europe.
Today, you can visit the Vukovar Water Tower as a memorial center and a lookout from which you can see the entire city on the rivers Danube and Vuka.