Šidski Banovci is a small village in Syrmia (eastern Croatia), 10 miles south of the Danube River and near the border with Serbia. Today most of the population are Serbian members of the Orthodox faith. A sizable German minority that lived in the village before World War II mostly moved to Austria at the end of the war. Here you still can experience the traditional lifestyle of the Serbian minority in Croatia which has been maintained despite the modern way of life.
Every year on the Orthodox Christmas Eve (January 6), residents in the churchyard fallen bonfire. In this occasion locals takes oak tree from the surrounding and make the ritual fire. These nights the locals remember their old Slavic religion and symbolically confirm Christianity.
In the rest part of year, villagers are organized around the celebration of New Year's, Women's Day, the day labor, on the occasion of the end of the school year, important religious holidays etc.
There are active and the football club, pensioners club, the Protestant community and the Women's Caucus, which also periodically organizes public events.
What describes life in Banovci it might be described as living on a human scale. People are extremely friendly and hospitable. Crime can be said not to exist in Banovci. The only problem is considerable unemployment and poverty of the villagers. Reason is still visible discrimination of Serbian minority by the regional authorities. However, as time goes on, things are slowly going in a positive direction.
Banovci is one of the few places in Croatia that has retained its street names from the period of communist Yugoslavia. This was done at the express request of the villagers. For this reason, the name of the main street still bears the name of former Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, while other streets are named by prominent members of the anti-fascist movement during World War II.
The best time to visit is spring when climatic conditions are favorable. Summer in this area have a big problem with mosquitoes, which do not transmit diseases, but they are real temptations. The doctor and mobile library comes to Banovci once a week. Zip code of village is 32 247, mail order just in business days.
Banovci is well connected with regional centers.
Plane. Through the international airport Nikola Tesla in Belgrade (Serbia) and continue with bus (2 hours), or through regional airport in Osijek (Croatia) and continue with bus (1 hour).
Train. Banovci is on the railway line between Zagreb and Belgrade, and all local trains stop at the local railway station. International trains stop at 8 km away Tovarnik (Croatia) or 20 km away Vinkovci (Croatia). Railways is the main route between Western Europe and the Middle East.
Bus. Banovci are connected by direct lines with Vinkovci, Vukovar, Osijek, Belgrade and Šid.
Car. Banovci is ten miles north of highway Zagreb-Belgrade. Regional roads have been repaired and are in good condition. Some local roads are not in the best condition.
Bicycle. You can visit nearby places on a bike. If you don't bring your own bike, you can always ask a local to lend one to you. He will probably give you a bike if you convince him of your good intentions.
By foot. You can walk to two nearby villages that are within the 0.5 and 1 mile.
The baroque Orthodox church dedicated to St. Petka. The church was built in the nineteenth century and was recently restored. Best time to visit is for Sunday morning worship when the church will surely be open. The church is open for all "important" saints, and can be opened at any other time by arrangement with the priest in Šid town (Serbia).
There is an old mill, old local railway station, the old railway route and houses built in traditional Pannonian style.
There is only one shop that is satisfactory equipped.
Try different kinds of dried pork, homemade cakes and organically grown fruits and vegetables freshly picked. You should try an alcoholic plum brandy called Rakija. Search for Balkan specialties such as pies, cheese, meat, potatoes, baklava, sarma.
Banovci not a tourist destination and hotel accommodation can be found only in the surrounding towns.