What do you think of first when you mention the island of Korčula? Is it the exceptional natural beauty of this green islandor the rich big blue sea that surrounds it?
The island is located in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, and is connected by ferry to the town of Split and the surrounding islands. So my road plan led from Split to Vela Luka, tucked into the deep bay. Vela Luka simply conquers with its warmth and charm, and the mosaics that stretch through the central part of the place, give it an additional impression.
Furthermore, I learned that we can thank one event from 1968 when a group of world-renowned artists arrived in the town, and they made mosaics that were placed in public areas. Years later, a workshop on making the worlds’ longest stone mosaic had actually started right here, so feel free to join in, making it and leaving your own mark.
Vela Luka, with all its natural and cultural riches, is a really special story, but my road map took me further to the small picturesque place called Brna. Passing by Smokvica, I reached this small place, located approximately in the middle of the island. Protected in the bay and surrounded by forest, it is a tranquil place that allows a real break from the hustle and bustle of the city, and relaxing on the beautiful beaches or opportunity for an active holiday with a bike ride. A simple walk will also be a wonderful experience, inhaling the intoxicating scents of this climate such as pine, lavender, immortelle and rosemary. In addition, the island is generally rich in vineyards and olive groves, and it is mandatory to taste these products from a domestic producers.
The next location I had visited on the island of Korčula was the town of Korčula itself. Stone houses and walls surrounded by palm trees, will surely leave no one uninterested. I was thrilled by the combination of the stone of the historic city centre built on a small peninsula and surrounded by the clear blue sea.
Moreover, it is known as the city of Marco Polo – a world traveller, researcher and travel writer born in this island town in 1254. The birthplace of Marco Polo located here is especially striking for its stone tower or observatory. Nearby is the Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral of St. Mark which was built between 14th to 16th century, by the joint efforts and ideas of local and Italian architects. Next to the cathedral there is also the bishop’s palace in which the Abbey Treasury of St Mark is located.
Impressive architecture can be seen in the building of the City Museum of Korčula, which is located in the Gabrielis Palace dated from the 15th and 16th centuries. Of the cultural and historical sights, I would specifically like to point out the special feature/attraction of the Veliki Revelin tower or the Land Gate, built in 1485. Two symbols of Korčula’s history are visible above the Land Gate. It is a plaque with the winged lion of St. Mark as a main symbol of the rule of the Venetian Republic and a memorial plaque on the thousandth anniversary of the first Croatian king Tomislav coronation.
In addition to the aforementioned St. Mark’s Cathedral, you can also visit the Baroque Church of St. Michael, located opposite the Town hall. Its chapel is dedicated to Our Lady of Consolation, whose image adorns the main altar. In the immediate vicinity of the cathedral there is a small votive church dedicated to St. Peter, built in the Gothic style, which is considered the oldest one in the whole town.
A walk through the city walls with a view of the blue sea is a balm for the eyes and the soul. While with a plate of authentic food and a glass of excellent domestic Korčula wine, my whole experience was finally complete.