One of the initial horrors of the Serb-Croatian war occurred in Vukovar. The city was the first known experiment in "ethnic cleansing" in the former Yugoslavia. Completely flattened by fighting between the advancing Yugoslav Federal Army and the defending Croatian militia, the city was reminiscent of a World War I battlefield—not one structure was left intact.

Now repopulated with both Croats and Serbs, Vukovar has rebuilt itself. The Franciscan Monastery has been restored, and apartments, office buildings and hotels have been built anew or restored (including the Hotel Lav from 1840). The surrounding area is also gaining popularity with outdoor enthusiasts; nearby Kopacki Rit Nature Park is a great place to bird-watch or fish. Vukovar is located 110 mi/175 km by road east of Zagreb.

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