The etymology of the name is the Greek: διάκος (diákos) in Slavic form đak (pupil). The Hungarian diák word has the same Greek origin and as such it's uncertain the name came directly from Greek or via Hungarian or local Slavic form.
The settlement's first mention in historical documents dates from 1239 when Béla IV of Hungary granted it to the Diocese of Bosnia (Latin: Dioecesis Bosniensis), and the Bishop moved his seat here in 1246. The predecessor to the newer St. Peter's Cathedral was built in 1355. In 1374 the settlement is documented under the name Dyacou. Croatian rebels in 1386 on July 25 captured Queen Mary of Hungary and her mother Elizabeth near the settlement.
The Ottoman rule over Đakovo started in 1536 and lasted for nearly 150 years. It was a kaza administrative center in Sanjak of Pojega and was known as "Yakova" during this period. In 1805 a Lipizzan horse herd was evacuated to Đakovo when Napoleon invaded Austria & Hungary and a part of the herd remained permanently here. In a 1910 census the settlement's total population of 6304 were made of 4894 Croatians, 890 Germans, 249 Hungarians and 164 Serbians. In the late 19th and early 20th century the settlement was a district capital in the Virovitica County of the Kingdom of Croatia-Slavonia within the Lands of the Crown of Saint Stephen. In period 1 December 1941 - 7 July 1942 Ustaše established and operated the Đakovo concentration camp, mostly for Jewish women and children.
Đakovo is located 37 km (23 mi) to the southwest of Osijek and 34 km (21 mi) southeast of Našice; elevation 111 m. It is located near the motorway A5/E73, at the intersection of the state road D7 to Osijek, the arterial roads D38 to Požega, D46 to Vinkovci and the connecting road D515 to Našice.
Chief occupations include farming, livestock breeding, leather and wool processing; horse selection centre; major industries are wood processing (furniture), textiles, chemicals and food processing, building material, printing and tourism.
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The Cathedral basilica of St. Peter in Đakovo is the town's most famous landmark and the most important sacral object, not only in Đakovo but also throughout the whole region of Slavonia. The Cathedral was built 1866-1882 under Josip Juraj Strossmayer, then the Catholic bishop of Đakovo and Srijem. The landscaped park from the 19th century near the bishop's palace is a horticultural monument under special protection as well as the nearby Small Park (Mali Park) dating from the turn of the 19th/20th century.
The central traditional event is called Đakovački vezovi (Đakovo Embroidery). It is a folklore show of the regions Slavonia and Baranja that is organized yearly in the beginning of July, and it presents traditional folk costumes, folklore dancing and singing groups, customs. The Cathedral hosts choirs, opera artists, and art exhibitions are organized in the exhibition salon. The horse and wedding wagon show is a special part of the program. During the sports program, pure-bred white Lipizzaner horses can be seen on the racecourse. They come from the horse-breeding centre in Ivandvor, which has been breeding horses ever since 1506.
The town and the surroundings offer many sports and recreation facilities, such as tennis courts, racecourse, gym, swimming pool, etc. The lakes Jošava, Mlinac, Borovik as well as fishponds, backwaters and canals offer fine angling opportunities. High and low game hunting is possible in the immediate surroundings or farther on the Dilj and mountain to the southwest. The traditional Slavonian cuisine, famous for its meat specialities (kulin smoked sausage, kobasica sausages, smoked ham), venison and freshwater fish dishes are offered both in Đakovo and its surroundings. Of particular interest are the exquisite wines of the Đakovo region: Weissburgunder, Traminer and Riesling.
Đakovo is twinned with:
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