Island of Korcula

Island of Korcula
Island Korcula
Korcula Island


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Geographical Location
Flora and Fauna
Education and Culture

Costumes and Folklore
Yahoo - About Island of Korcula
The Town of Korcula
The Town of Blato
Korcula Island tour
Island of korcula

The island of Korcula was inhabited already in pre-historic times, and the trails of pre-historic life were discovered on many places. The oldest funds are the stone knives from the Neolithic found on the small island of Badija next to the town of Korcula. The richest and best investigated fund place from the Neolithic is the Vela spila (the big cave) in Vela Luka. They found and investigated there several stratums of pre-historic life with fire places, ceramic pieces, graves (5000-3000 before Christ). From that time originate numerous Neolithic heaps, culture places and graves - stone pieces, and they can be found everywhere on the island. In the 6th century before Christ the island was inhabited by Greek; at first next to Vela Luka. The colonists were Knids that named the island Corcyra Melaina (black ). some time later, on the other end of the island, on the part of today’s Lumbarda, came Greek from the island of Vis (Issa) and founded the significant settlement that is mentioned in the PHSEPHISMA, found by the end of the 19th century and that originates from the 3rd century before Christ. In Lumbarda were found Greek graves with additional gnathia vases from that time. A systematically archeological excavation would certainly discover not only a whole Greek metropolis but other trails of their settlement. In the 1st century after Christ the island, as well as whole Dalmatia, were occupied by the Romans and they named it Illyricum.

In the 7th century the Slaves came to the Adriatic Coast - the Croats - and they established their own state, that was at first a principality, and from the year 925, with the crowning of the first king Tomislav, it became a kingdom. Within the framework of that state was Korcula as well. Running from the invasion of the Slaves the Roman population from Salona came to the islands of Brac, Hvar and Korcula, and, after the claming of the circumstances, most of them returned to their old dwelling, the rest assimilated with the settlers. In the year 1000 the Venetian doge Peter II Orseolo took over the Dalmatian towns and islands, and Korcula came under the rulership of Venice, too. Right here on the nearby small island of Majsan the doge had his camp from where he led his campaign towards Korcula and Lastovo. They resisted but were soon subjugated. After that the government over Krocula changed quite often: Venice was replaced by the Zahumlje governors, Croat-Hungarian kings, again Venice, from 1413 to 1420 the Republic of Dubrovnik, then from 1420 to 1793 Venice. When Napoleon pulled down the Venetian Republic, Dalmatia was taken over by Austria for a short time, but soon came the Frenchmen. In the period from 1807 to 1813 the governors were Frenchmen, then the Englishmen till 1815, when on the Congress in Vienna it was decided about the new borders of the European countries. Dalmatia came under the rulership of Austria and stayed there until the end of the I World War (1919). It was annexed to the new established state Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians in 1921 and that state was named later Yugoslavia. After the multipartial elections in 1990 the population of Croatia decided on a referendum to separate from Yugoslavia and the independent state Republic of Croatia was declared.
Geographical Location And Characteristics
Island Korcula map
Map of Island Korcula
Position: Middle Dalmatian archipelago in the Adriatic Sea, 42° 58' N; 17° 08' E (the town of Korcula), 12700 metres from the mainland at nearest point, 49 nautical miles northwest of Dubrovnik, 57 nautical miles southeast of Split, 250 nautical miles from Venice, 250 nautical miles from Corfu.

Area: 276; sixth largest Croatian island in size
Length: 47 km
Width: 8 km
Length of the coast of the island: 182 km
Number of islets in the Korcula Archipelago: 50
Number of calms and capes: 195
Depth of the sea around the island: from 20 to 75 m
Height: 568 m (mount Klupca)
Composition of the soil: limestone, dolomite and marl
Relief: hilly island with numerous small fields and valleys
Sea currents: around the island 1-3 knots, in the peljesac Channel around 3 knots
Salinity of the sea: 38 per thousand
Snow: 2-5 cm overnight once in 3-5 years
Waters: there is practically no surface water
Winds: in winter time, the south wind (jugo) mostly blows (a warm and moist wind from the SE direction), and the cold and dry north wind (Bura) from the NE, but in summertime, the winds are most often Maestrals from the NW and numerous thermal winds
Tide: normal rise and fall of 30 cm
Mean number of sunshine hours per annum: 2700 hours

The island has a very mild Mediterranean climate. Mean temperatures are rather high: the mean annual temperature is 16.8C, in the coldest month of January it is 9.1C, in the hottest month of July 26.9C. Daily and annual temperature differences are small, which is very favourable for agriculture and tourism. There are many hours of sunlight, 2,700. There is little rain, about 41 days during the year, mostly in autumn and winter, while late spring is usually a dry period interspersed with rare short-lasting storms. Snow is uncommon; when it does fall it falls first in Pupnat and the surrounding peaks but thaws quickly because the temperature rarely drops below OC. It is almost always windy in the Peljesac Channel. In summer the refreshing western maestral usually blows, well for sailing; in winter the south-easterly jugo, the cold north-easterly bura, or strong northerly tremuntana.
Sea currents in the Peljesac Channel are rather weak, growing stronger only with the jugo. The average temperature of the sea surface in March is 13.7C. It is the warmest in summer, in July, August and September, when it averages 22.3C. Changes of the tide are small; the difference between high and low tide is about 50 cm.

Mean air temperatures in C°;
9,1 9,4 10,7 13,9 18,5 12,7 26,9 24,8 21,7 17 13,4 10,4
Mean sea temperatures in C°;
14,3 13,6 13,7 15 18,6 21,5 23,8 23,2 22,5 20,9 18,3 16,7
Mean rainfall in mm (annual total: 1088 mm)
142 82 93 107 22 17 7 56 80 165 173 144
Flora and Fauna >
Island Korcula 6
The island vegetation is Mediterranean, rich and varied. Korcula is one of the most forested Adriatic islands, as much as 61% of its surface is covered with woods and macchia thickets. Conifers grow everywhere: Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), stone pine (Pinus pinea), Dalmatian black pine (Pinus nigra), cypress (Cypressus), and other species. The island has thick indigenous forests of holm oak (Quercus ilex), wild olive, carob, and bay. Heather, arbutus, prickly juniper, vetch and other plants grow in the low undergrowth called macchia. Indigenous herbs and aromatic plants also grow on the island: sage, rosemary, lavender, irnmortelle, mint, marjoram etc. The forests and macchia support a variety of climbing plants and vines. A large number of grasses and greens that are very good to eat grow in neglected vineyards; there are olive groves, and several species of mushrooms. The plants and trees make a splendid green backdrop for this island, which is why the Greeks named it Corcyra Melaina - Black Korcula. The rocks and earth can hardly be made out through the lush vegetation that grows right down to the seashore everywhere. Various kinds of decorative trees, shrubs and other plants can also be found on Korcula, some of them brought from tropical areas and well adjusted here. These include several species of palm, eucalyptus, wistaria, bougainvillea, oleander, many kinds of cacti. The island animal world boasts the otherwise rare jackal (Canis aureaus Dalmatics) and mongoose (Mungus mungo), and a large number of birds and song birds. There are also various species of game: hare, pheasant, mallard, wild boar, and more recently deer have been introduce to the islet of Badija. The sea around the island is rich in all kinds of fish, about 200 species live in the Adriatic, and crabs, shellfish, sea urchins.
Island Korcula 4
The oldest island settlements were in the interior beside the poljes and the many caves, Zrnovo, Pupnat, Cara, Smokvica and Blato, later developed on the sites of Greek and Roman settlements, and near them: only the city of Korcula grew on the sea shore. Lumbarda developed rather late, because a provision from the 14th century Korcula Statute explicitly prohibited the settlement of that area. Nevertheless, from the end of the 15th century people of Korcula built their summer houses and worked the land there, and a village gradually formed around them. Raciste dates from the 17th century, founded by refugees from the Turks on the mainland, mostly from Herzegovina, while Vela Luka developed at the beginning of the 19th century.
The island population often changed considerably in number because of political and economic conditions, and frequent epidemics of contagious diseases. The present inhabitants are Slavs, and the original Roman population that the Croats found when they came here in the 7th century was completely assimilated by the beginning of the 14th century. A mid -14th century census shows that about 5,000 people lived on the island and about half of them in the city of Korcula. At the end of that century, however, after several epidemics of the plague and the Turkish siege of 15 7 1, the number of islanders fell to only 2,500, and of that number 1,000 lived in the city. Since then the number of islanders has slowly increased, but the population of the city of Korcula remained almost the same until the beginning of the 1 9 h century when it, too, began to increase. Economic hardship made many craftsmen, especially shipbuilders and stone-masons disperse throughout the Mediterranean. In the first decades of the 20th century many people left the island for South and North America, Australia, and New Zealand. Most people left the island in 1925, when 3,500 people left Blato and Vela Luka.
In the second half of the 20th century, especially after the Second World War, the number of islanders has constantly been growing, and has today reached about 20,000.
Education and Culture
Island Korcula 5
Regular primary schooling was established on Korcula at the beginning of the 19th century, but much earlier than that priests taught children to read, write, arithmetic and natural sciences, and not only the sons of rich families. Many continued their education at universities in Italy, especially in Padua. Besides priests, there were local literate, educated people on Korcula quite early, mostly lawyers, and there were also educated foreigners: teachers, doctors, and pharmacists, mostly from Italy. In the 19th century a relatively large number of islanders graduated from various universities, and they played an important role in the social, cultural and political life of the city and the island. During Austrian rule at the beginning of the 19th century four-year schools were founded on the island in Korcula, Vela Luka and Blato, and by the end of the century in most of the other villages. In 1870 the school in Korcula became a middle school, and there was also a trade school for stone carving and shipbuilding. In the middle of the 20th century, after the Second World War, a secondary school was founded in Korcula, and now the network of secondary schools includes Blato and Vela Luka, while the rest of the villages have primary schools. Closely connected to education is culture, and culture was very highly developed here. Croatian was used besides Latin in churches, and especially during folk religious ceremonies. Unknown domestic writers translated church hymns and psalms from Latin creating almost authentic folk poetry and, poetic translations. There were also quite a lot of folk poems, and several prominent poets: in the Renaissance period Ivan Vidali, 16th century, and the best-known Korcula poet and playwright Petar Kanavelic in the 17th century. Many prominent scholars-humanists also came from the island: Jakov Banicevic from Zrnovo, Jakov Salecic from Smokvica, Vicko Paletin writer, seaman, missionary and cartographer, from Korcula. Although they did not live or work on Korcula, and acquired their knowledge far from their island, their thirst and encouragement for knowledge was still gained in their childhood here. In the 15th century the city of Korcula reached a high peak in architecture, primarily under Venetian influence. Architects from Lombardy, Apulia and nearby Dubrovnik came here. This fact alone shows that the frame of mind and the mood in the town were such that people could follow cultural currents in bigger places. Lively trade connections with Venice neighbouring towns on the Croatia. And the Italian coast, and throughout the Mediterranean, enhanced this consciousness. Therefore paintings from Venice by prominent contemporary artists were acquired not only for Korcula Cathedral and for the other city churches, but also for those in nearby villages (Cara, Blato). The cultural strivings of townspeople and islanders can be seen in Renaissance, Baroque and later works of art which they used to decorate their houses and especially in the books, manuscripts and incunabula, and complete libraries, that belonged to churches and to many prominent families. There are records about the atrical and musical performances in Korcula in the 16th century, about organs organists and other musicians and instruments. In the 18th and 19th centuries Italian theatre troupes often visited, and local amateurs gave their own shows and performances with music, singing and acting. In the second half of the 19th century, as a result of political changes and the awakening of national consciousness many cultural societies and institutions were opened on Korcula: the Slavjanska reading-room, Croatian municipal brass band, singing and tambura societies. At the end of the 19th century a regional museum was founded in Korcula, and soon the first buildings for social and cultural life were erected. After the Second World War various cultural activities developed, numerous cultural and performing (folk) societies were founded, amateur theatricals, choirs, libraries, museum collections and church treasuries. Lectures, concerts, theatrical guest performances and exhibitions were organized - thus keeping abreast of cultural life in larger centres.
Costumes and Folklore >
Island Korcula 3
Although the islander’s way of life and work changed considerably and thoroughly through time, especially in the second half of the 20th century, many old customs connected to church holidays and other community and family events have been preserved. Until recently most of the people lived in villages. Their clothes were similar because they wore national costumes that changed negligibly throughout the centuries. Everyday wear was simple and dark-coloured, and for holidays they dressed in finer clothes of a richer cut and decoration. These costumes have been preserved in most of the island villages and are used by folklore societies which cultivate folk traditions, songs and dances. Women's costumes consisted of along dark brown, blue or black gathered skirt with an attached waistcoat, a wide white cotton shirt with embroidery or lace, a colourful woven or silk waistband (tkanica), old gold jewellery, and several layers of coral beads that were very popular among the girls and women. Men's costumes have changed more: men used to wear gathered pants down to the knees, a silk collared waistcoat and a silk waistband, a white shirt and a red cap with a tassel, but today this costume has been preserved only in the folk dances Kumpanija and Mostra.
The Town of Korcula >
The town of Korcula (3232 inhabitants) is the historical, cultural and political centre and the historical harbour of the island. It was built on a small peninsula that limits the passing between the island and the mainland on only 1270 metres. The possibility to supervise the navigation of galleys and sailing-vessels on this spot was the reason for the formation of the small town-fortress. It fulfilled this service for different governors. The town developed hastily from the 13th century, in the form it can be seen today. Those were the years of the origin of the Constitution, the coming of the governors Zorzi and the century of Marco Polo. The walls and towers were raised higher and stronger in those times, and the houses and churches were built higher and more comfortable. The town was to be able to accept up to 6000 inhabitants on the peak of its power in the 16th century. For defence purposes the citizens closed themselves into secure walls, the parts in the suburbs were forbidden for any building, and the two monasteries out of town - the Dominican monastery of St. Nicholas, 500 m westwards of the town and the Franciscan monastery on the island of Badija - were often the target of enemy and robbery attacks. Not earlier than in the 17th century starts the building of the first workshops in front of the town, and in the 18th century the first houses outside the walls of the towns were built. In the 19th century the part of town St. Nicholas (westwards of the town) and Borak (southwards and eastwards of the town) were built. Between 1921 and 1941 starts the building of the hotels and villas in the Luka bay - eastwards of the town, and westwards of the town in the Strecica bay, and from the 1970-ies onwards lasts the intensive construction in the parts around the Luka bay - Zagradac, Ekonomija, St. Anthony, Domince and Soline.
Marco Polo
The town is entered today mostly over the Punta (bridge) above the Fosa (ditch) through the gate in the tower of the mainland gate from 1391. The present bridge was finished in 1863, and replaced the old wooden movable bridge. At the same time the present gate in the tower was opened, marking that way by mistake the end of all wars already 130 years ago. From that southern tower to the tower Zakrjan (Berim) on the northern city wall stretches the main city street to the eastern and western half, and to the regional streets that lead to the city walls and remind irresistibly on a fish-bone. This perfect plan of the town respects the terrain on which it is located and makes an ideal unfolding of life, especially a good unfolding of the defence of the town from attackers, possible. Above the mainland entrance gate are two symbols of the history of Korcula: the stone tablet with the winged lion of St. Mark as the symbol of the Venetian Republic government, and the stone tablet with the reminiscence on the 1000- year crowning of the first Croatia king Tomislav. The significant public Middle Ages buildings in Korcula are: the Municipality from 1525, the chapel of the Maid of Snow from 1531, the house of the town surgeon from 1530, the church of St. Michael from 1412/1651, the house of the brotherhood of St. Michael with precious art pieces and the slim stone column in the honour of the governor Michieli from 1569. On top of the town is the biggest and most beautiful public building of Korcula : the cathedral of St. Mark (1342;1653/1860). On the western side of the square are the church of the Maid from 1483, and the palaces Gabrielis and Arneri. In the first street on the right from the square is the birth house of the great traveller Marco Polo. MARCO POLO web site

Chivalrous Tournament Moreska
The first details of the the performing of the chivalrous tournament Moreska in Korcula are from the 17th -18th century. This is not an authentic local folk dance; it was conveyed from neighbourhood Mediterranean countries, and shows a symbolic fight between Christians and Moslems: on Corsica, Sicily, in Spain and other countries. In Korcula it probably established itself after the Turkish siege in 1571 and it preserved itself only here. The dance is performed by two groups of young men “the moreskants” - the White dressed in red and the Black dressed in black clothes. They are led by kings, and are fighting for the girl Bula, the fiancee of the White king, kidnapped by the Black Moro. In the editorial part (introducing part) is an old dramatic reading - a dialogue among the kings and Bula who rejects Moro, and after that their two armies come into conflict. The White win, Bula returns to the White king. The dance is performed in seven different figures, accompanied by a blower orchestra; the rhythm is speeding up and the beats of the swords are stronger and stronger.

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Brna   Zavalatica   Pupnatska luka
Bay of Brna   Bay of Zavalatica Bay of Pupnatska luka
The Town of Blato >

BLATO (4093 inhabitants) is situated in the middle of the western part of the island like an amphitheatre on seven hills around a smaller valley. Through the village stretches a long alley of lime-trees called “Zlinje”, and along it are public buildings built in the last few decades: the school, a hotel, banks, shops, the municipality, the clinic and others. In the old centre, southern of “Zlinje”, on a big patterned place, is the parish church of “All Saints” that was originally built in the 13th century, the bell-tower and the lodge. The place is at the same time an open stage where numerous religious and secular celebrations are held, and the greatest is certainly the celebration of the patron-saint of Blato, the Saint Vincenca. The relics of this saint were brought to Blato with the allowance of the Pope Pio VI 200 years ago in the year 1795, and the feast is on the 28th of April, which is the day of the municipality of Blato as well. The church “All Saints” was built in 1350 and it was reconstructed in 1672 when the bell-tower was built. At this time, in 1700, the lodge in front of the church was built, instead of the old one from 1496 that was pulled down then. In the church is the main marble altar built by the baroque builder Peter Paul Bertapelli and on it is the significant picture “All Saints” by the Venetian painter Girolamo da Santacroce from 1540. In the building next to the church is the collection of art pieces, valuables, documents and archeologic funds connected with the history of Blato and the church itself. In the village and its surroundings are many smaller churches and chapels. The oldest is the church of “St. Kausus and Demian” from the 6th century, the “St. Mary in the Field”, “St. Martin” and others. There are many old houses with patterned courtyards and farm buildings in Blato. There are also “castles” of the aristocracy from Korcula, and the most significant is the baroque summerhouse “Castle Arneri” in the centre of the village. It is foreseen as the location for the homeland museum with archeologic, historic and ethnologic collections.

Korcula Prižba >
Prižba is a settlement of villas and houses for hire whitch extends, untypically, along several kilometres of the coastline. Riviera of extraordinary beauty, a place where fairy nature settled and remained forever. Islets spread like pearls all over the blue sea carpet with centennial pine wood almost rising from sea bordered by white stone witnessing myth of Aphrodite who according to legend was born from meerschaum.


Chivalrous Tournament “Kumpanjija” >
Blato has a very old, original folk tradition and it is shown toady in the chivalrous tournament “Kumpanjija”, that has its origin in the Middle Ages. “Kumpanjija” is a chivalrous fight between two armies that want to show their readiness for the defence of their homes, and the tournament is a recall on the far centuries when the defence of the island was in the hands of the island territorial formation - Kumpanjija.

Servant of God Marija of the Crucified >
On July 5, 2002. The Holy Commission made a Decision of heroic virtues of Servant of God Marija of the Crucified. On December 20, 2002. it made also a Decision of approved miracle of saving 20 sailors from the sunk Peruan navy submarine "Pacocha" by which all conditions for beatification were fulfilled and it is expected to be in June.

Apartments and agritourism Crnja Luka >
Bay Crnja Luka is situated on the north west part of Korcula island. Located 45Km from Korcula town, 10Km from Vela Luka and only 5 km from Blato.

Zlako Bacic and his family live in Crnja Luka. Except offering private accommodation they produce wine, they have a wine cellar and they also produce olive oil. Mediterranean cuisine and our traditional ways of preparation are the result of our many years of training in, and working in, our own restaurant. Tasting of our products is professional organized in the beautiful ambience of our properties.

We offer hospitality and family warmth of our home, southern charm, gastronomic and enologic pleasures mixed with beautiful nature.

Accommodation and board: Halfboard, Mediterranean cuisine with most of the products being our own produce. Open terrace for clients. Private beach with mooring places.

Our house has three high quality apartments, with modern furniture and equipment. Every apartment has a terrace with a sea view, kitchen and bathroom. In front of the house there is a secured parking place. The beach is only 25 meters away.

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Grscica   Prizba   Karbuni
Bay of Grscica   Prizba   Karbuni
Korcula island tour - wine tasting - full day tour
Island Korcula 7
Drive across the island of Korcula through a string of ancient settlements, green vineyards, and olive groves and past virgin beaches. A visit will be made to the town of Blato, the islands largest settlement, and Vela Luka, founded even in prehistoric times. Visit to the gallery "Sege". Our return drive takes us via the small fishing villages of Grscica, Prizba and Brna. Wine tasting en route to the city of Korcula.

Guide, wine tasting and entrance fee included

Excursions from Island of Korcula
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