Ružica town is situated in the northeast mountain range of
Papuk on 418 m above sea level, above the village Duzluk,
few km from the town of Orahovica. It represents the largest
preserved fortress complex in the area of Slavonia, and one
of the largest in Croatia.
Ružica town is located on the strategic position, from which
one can control large part of Slavonian Podravina. Nearby
the Town, the communication line from Podravina to Požega
valley (road Kutjevo-Orahovica) passes. Due to that, the town
had great importance during turbulent events in late Middle-ages
(12th to 15th century).
The name of Ružica Town is not entirely studied. Some authors
bring it in the relation with wild rose, and the name of nearby
village Duzluk (from Turkish word 'duzem' which means floral,
of a rose, or girl's decoration). Others think, what is more
probable, that the name was taken out of Reholcz, what was
the middle-age name for Orahovica town, because during the
middle ages, town of Ružica belonged to property of Orahovica.
This property is first mentioned in year 1228. The fortress
itself is first mentioned in 1357, as a royal property, and
later it was ownership of different aristocrats, among which
are Nikola Kont, Lovro Iločki, Ladislav More, brothers Pomanicki,
Ružica town, as well as entire surrounding, comes under Turks
occupation in 1543. Throughout the entire period under Turk's
occupation, Ružica town was a military fort. Probably for
some time (especially in 17th century), it was a place where
sanjak-beys from Požega resided, while in some documents there
is a mention of Orahovica sanjak-beys, but this is about the
other centre of Požega sanjak.
In 1687, the Turks left Orahovica. In the first detailed
census in Slavonia (1698) Orahovica town is described in details.
The condition of town was damaged, but still usable. The 18th
century was a period of stability and the state with strong
central authority, so the forts of a middle-ages type lost
their importance. This also happened with Ružica town. In
the period from 18th to 20th century, numerous owners of Orahovica
property changed, and the Ružica town was an integrative part
of this. Among other owners were baron Cordua, baron Fleischmann,
earls Pejačević, Dimitrije Mihalović and baron Gutman.
The famous historian Đuro Szabo says: 'If someone asks who,
or what is Ružica, one cannot answer in one word. It is not
a town (germ. burg), not a court (germ. Schloss), not a fortress
(germ. Festung), but all together'. Ružica town has a shape
of ellipse, and is consisted of strong entrance defender,
town chapel, and middle part of the town, pentagon fortress
and thick walls that surround the town. The town is a bond
of rough building of thick, large walls, and towers, and gentle
flagrant-like, stone plastics that decorated the inner of
the walls - like 'the beauty and the beast' in one. One can
approach the forest by taking a light walk through the forest
form the direction of Orahovica lake, well-known weekend resort
of local population and hunters. Below the Ružica town there
is a natural elevation from which, when the weather is favourable,
one can see entire Panonian valley.