It is in the Serbian custom and tradition to built homes for the deaths. Usually it is small house or single room filled with memories of the deceased. It is custom to bring food and drinks when visiting the cemetery and "share" it with the one who is missing. This tomb onthe picture shows the wellfare of the family.
Vukovarci. That is the word for people from Vukovar. If you arrive here only for a few hours or even days, you might think they are somewhat reserved, cold, distant....
Even us arriving from different parts of Croatia are seen as mere War Tourists, coming to Vukovar to experience the consequences of the war we saw only on TV.
Vukovarci experienced the war from the first hand. They were fighting for their town and lived in shelters for months. After the occupation they felt betrayed and abandoned. There isn't a single person that didn't lose someone in the war. They all lost their houses. Their family photo albums. Their memories.
They have a right to be left alone. And to be silent. Or to tell war stories over and over again.
Life in post-war Vukovar isn't easy. You'll realize this after few hours here. It is them who will have to stay here and live here after you leave with your photographs and memories from Vukovar.
The patron-saint of Vukovar was Saint Bono, a martyr killed by Roman emperor Galien in 1st Century. The body of Saint Bono were brought to Vukovar from Rome on June 23rd, 1754. They were sent by Pope Benedictus XIV 'To help heal the souls of people in Slavonia and Srijem'.
The remains of the body of St. Bono were kept in the treasury of the church of Sv. Filip i Jakov untill 1991. Then they were opened and destroyed by members of the Serbian army that occupied Vukovar. They were hoping the dress and the jewelery would be expensive - to their surprise it had no commercial value. Angry because of this they burned it, using the wooden case as the burning wood.
A part of one bone of St. Bono is all that is left.
The same thing happenned with the remains of the memebers of Eltz family that were buried in church's basements. Remains of one countess were embalmed. Serbien soldiers took her head off the body, put it on the altar and put the cigarette in her mouth, leaving her like this to 'wait' for priests that returned to the church in 1997.