A battle over the fate of a veiled young woman- bula is held in July on St. Theodore's day( Korčula's patron saint). Performers must be native to Korčula. Local families are very pride to participate in it.
The ramparts were destroyed in the 19th century, but some towers and doors survived, contributing for the magical beauty of the site.
Don't miss the small beach opposite to the harbour, not far from it.
One of the highlights of the island is the house were Marco Polo seems to have lived. For the moment it is only a ruin, with the recuperation works disturbed by the flocks of tourists that constantly invade the place.
So far, nothing in particular to see, just a detail in the walk across the small city.
Differently from other places in Croatia, here the history seems to have passed without big conflicts. The great influence is from Venice, and we saw no mixed styles, nor the signs of making and remaking that impressed me in Zadar and Split, for instance.
The place evokes tranquility and calm.
Dominating the old town, this church from the XVI century, combining gothic and renaissance elements, hosts works from Tintoretto and Bonino da Milano.
One interesting detail is the Saint-Roch chapel, built one century after the church but very well integrated.
Badija is the largest island in the Korcula Archipelago located in the near vicinity of Korcula Island. It is easy to go there by taxi boat from Korcula main port.
Few reasons to spend day or half day there:
The most dominant feature of the island is Franciscan Monastery built in 14th century. You may ask to let you in and if you are lucky some of this people may be your guide as well.
On the island live deers. If you take some food with you they may come close to you, even eat from your hand, f.e. fruit. There are not dangerous but any way keep your things on eye to avoid any damage on your backpack.
There are path trough old wood around the island and find perfect place for sunbathing and swimming. Whole circle will not take more then half an hour.
You may swim in crystal clear sea. Adriatic sea is one of more transparent, specially here on eastern side of island.
Beware of cleg flies. If you can take some protection do that.
My favourite place on the island has to be the quaint fishing village of Racisce. It's a small place but in a picture perfect setting, with a few secluded bays in walking distance. Spend some time wandering around the village, visit the two local churches, chat with the locals and then take a walk to the bays of Samograd or Vaja, about 15-20minutes from the centre. Both are white pebbled beaches with azure blue sea, the latter being quite a scramble down to. After spending time swimming and snorkelling, pop into one of the local restaurants or bars for some home cooked, local food, for example try Konoba Vala. The best way to visit Racisce is by bike. The terrain is fairly flat and you get some great views along the coastal road.
After a 25 minute walk from Žrnovo, above and beyond the hamlet of Brdo, you will find yourself in a setting quite mystical with tight paths running through huge boulders adorned with moss and trees. This fascinating natural beauty site of Kocje is one of Croatia's Protected Landscapes. This offers a wonderful walk through, over and around magical rock formations that truly arouse the imagination – great fun for the kids (and the big kids!). Think Lord of the Rings! You also get some lovely views of the Peljesac channel walking along the hill path to Kocje from Brdo. There are also a number of routes you can follow from Korèula old town, for example via Zrnovska Banja. You can then follow the signpost to Kocje.
There are no places to get refreshments between Zrnovo and Kocje so be sure to take water. On your return there is a Konoba serving traditional food on the left just as you pass the signpost for Koèje, called Belin, where you can stop for lunch or refreshments after your walk.
I love it here, it's very peaceful and it's fun to scramble above and under the huge boulders.
The Dalmatian coast of Croatia is made up of hundreds of islands. Lying just off the coast between Korèula old town and Lumbarda are 20 of these. This groups of small islets is collective known as the Škoji Islands. You can visit many of these islets in the Korèula archipelago. For a good day trip, pack your towel and swimming costume and take a water taxi from the old town to Badija, Vrnik or Stupe (or hop between them). Alternatively join a kayaking trip and paddle your way around, or join one of the fish picnic tours where island viewing and eating is combined!
The human figures that hold the lions are Eve, on the left and Adam on the right. They are naked, which makes sense but on most if not all religious representations of Adam and Eve, their private parts are more or less hidden. Not so here! Not only is it a full frontal representation that does not hide anything of their anatomy but the way they are sitting down on one’s heels and above a hole arises the question: what are they doing besides holding the corbel! The answer seemed pretty obvious to me but I cannot write it here!
They were carved by Master Bonino da Malino, a famous sculptor from Milan, that made also carvings for the cathedral of Šibenik.
Photo 1. Eve.
Photo 2. Adam
I have received from Larry the following comment that I paste here:
travelgourmet Mon Dec 7, 2009 20:14 CET
Jean-Louis, Adam and Eve have constipated looks on their faces. Maybe they represent locations for the restrooms. lol.
Thank you Larry for your commitment to the subject! You might have solved the mystery!
The city wall was mostly built in the XIVth and partly put down in 1875. It has eight remaining defense towers. Most are standing, one has only the basement left. To make things more complicated, most of them have several names. Depending on what document you read, you might feel they are different while this is the same. Some documents have not been thoroughly checked and mention the same tower several times, under different names. I have tried to make it clear but if I am mistaking, feel free to correct me.
From west, clockwise :
Velika kneževa Kula,
Mala kneževa Kula,
Kula Morska Vrata,
Kula Kanalević or Balbi Tower
Kula Zakerjan or Bokar Tower or Barbarigo tower or St Barbara tower.
Kula Svih Svetih (basement) or Capello tower,
Photo 1. Massive Velika kneževa kula (Large Knight’s Tower) is the most impressive of the towers of Korcula city wall. It stands at the end of Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana. In the back ground Mala kneževa kula (Small Knight’s Tower)
Photo 2. Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana (Franje Tudjman Avenue) with Velika kneževa kula in the background. The photo was taken in front of Hotel Korčula.
Photo 3. A 1990 photo of what is now named Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana, with Kula Kanalević on the left (see following tip), Kula Morska Vrata in the middle (not easy to identify) and on top St Mark Cathedral.
This amazing statue stands on top a dome covering a towerclock. I wonder if it is an angel as it seems to be half naked and wears wings (the light was not very good) or if it is a saint as it wears an aureola. Unless it is not aureola but some kind of antenna! Who knows !?
Photo 3 is a general view of the dome with the old town.
Bishop’s palace stands immediately right to the Cathedral. It is a Renaissance building, built in the XVIIth. It has a balcony across its whole front. It is considered to be the longest balcony in the country. It has been the Palace for the bishop of Korcula when there was a bishop in Korcula. It is now a museum.
This photo was taken in the very close neighborhood of Katedrala Sv Marka but is NOT on the front of Katedrala Sv Marka. That must have seemed so obvious to me that I did not write down anything about it. Help, please!
Kokoryko suggests St Roch (pilgrin's bourdon, leaning head).
Photo 1. On top of each of the knotted columns, stands a leaning lion, roaring. Each of them has under its paws a lamb that seems to be alive. A human figure holds the corbel with the lion (see next tip). At first, I felt that they were the usual Venice lions. However, Venice lions are winged and moreover, usually feed on books, not on lambs! Hence, I wonder if these are Venice lions!
Photo 2 shows the lion on the right of the entrance.
Photo 3 shows again the lion on the right of the entrance but this front photo shows better the lamb.
Photo 4 is another front photo that shows the lamb on the left.
Photo 5. I have made an enlargement on both lambs. They do not seem to be pleased by their position!
That arises the question: “why Venice lions are winged?” I have searched clues and found an answer that links them somehow and unexpectedly with Korčula! The oldest winged lion has been found in Tarsus, in Cilicia (Turkey) and was dedicated to Sandon, the pagan god that protected the city. It was built at the end of the Ivth AD. Cilicia is along the silk route, that followed the most famous citizen of Korčula, Marco Polo. It is very likely that some Venetian trader on the silk route (why not Marco Polo himself?) brought back to Venice a statue of that very special winged lion which became soon the Venice lion. The first documented (written) mention of the Venice winged lion dates from 1293. That lion is very special not only because it is winged but also because it is partly a lion and partly a griffon. It’s face is more human than the face of an actual lion.
The face from Korčula’s lions sticks to that pattern but they are not winged. Then, what? It is very likely that they are Venice lions (Saint Marc lions!) but nevertheless, I would be happy to know why they are so different from the usual pattern of Venice lions.