Culture and heritage
“Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you've never been to.”
City of Korčula - Inspiration for the famous history of the West
The beautiful city of Korčula is located at the eastern part of the island, opposite the Pelješac peninsula. The Town Statute dates back to 1214 and is the oldest document of its kind in Europe. In the 15th century, the Milanese nobleman Petar Casola called Korčula “as bright and pure as a beautiful jewel”. Despite having often been under the rule of various conquerors - the French, Austrians, Russians, Englishmen - in the 16th century it successfully fended off the attack of the Turkish fleet. Venice most certainly had the strongest historical influence on Korčula. Its famous symbols (lions) can still be found almost everywhere. The medieval city architecture is a fascinating sight, with the fishbone shaped layout of the city as its most prominent feature. This layout helped protect the city's main street during occasional strong winds in Korčula. There are two main entrances to the Old Town, the southern Land Gate and the western Sea Gate. There are 9 churches within the city. The Cathedral of St. Mark is located on the main square and is one of the most significant buildings in Korčula built by the best builders of Korčula and Dubrovnik between the 13th and 16th century. Inside the cathedral, the central ceiling is reminiscent of a ship's interior and what also stands out is the great altarpiece by the famous Venetian painter Tintoretto which depicts the three patron saints of Korčula and Dalmatia. In the middle of the Old Town, north of St. Mark's Cathedral, you may find the house which belonged to the Polo family in which the famous merchant, world traveller and travel writer Marco Polo was born. He recorded all his travels and adventures across Asia in the book Il Milione, which is the third most often translated book in the world, after the Bible and the Quran. His book also inspired Christopher Columbus, who carried it with him during his travels to the New World.
- The old city centre
- The town walls and towers
- The birth home of Marco Polo
- The Cathedral of St. Mark
- The Abbey Treasury
- Gabrielis Palace
- The Head of St. Anthony
The island that proudly keeps its traditions
Moreška is a romantic sword dance dating back to the 12th century Mediterranean. Since the 16th century, it has been a part of Korčula heritage and a unique event of its kind in the world. This dance is more than a folklore performance; it is also a part of the Korčula identity and the symbol of the Korčula fight for freedom throughout the centuries. According to most, Moreška is a way of life and everyone experiences this energy filled spectacle of passion and sparks caused by swords in their own way. Moreška is certainly something you will remember for a long time.
Klapa (a cappella singing) is traditional Croatian vocal music originating in the south of Croatia (Dalmatia), mostly from the coastal region and the islands. When you arrive to Korčula, you will have the opportunity to discover the roots of this unique and authentic expression of music. It is one of the most important parts of Korčula identity and traditions that is recognised across the world in various international festivals. The songs sing of a life filled with happiness and sadness, with peace and war, and the klapa song is filled with such emotion that has always healed the souls of the islanders. If you wish to experience something truly authentic, timeless and therapeutic in an ambient that represents the very essence of Mediterranean culture, then Korčula is the right destination for you.
“One's destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”
Is the center of religious life in the old city of Korčula, and one of the citys most significant and most beautiful buildings. It was erected in the 15th century on a site where a 13th century Romanesque church used to stand. Local master builders, well known from Dubrovnik to Venice, were involved in the construction.
The most notable among them was Marko Andrijić, who left his masterpieces on the structure: the final section of the bell tower with a dome and lantern and a ciborium above the high altar. The entrance to the cathedral contains a 15th century statue of St.Mark the Evangelist, patron saint of Korčula, the work of Bonin of Milan. The wall above the high alta is adomed with effigies of St. Mark, Bartholomew and Jerome, the first translator of the Bible into Latin, who was originally from Dalmatia. The works is attributed to Jacopo Tintoretto, the most prominent representative of Venetian Mannerism. The church also contains The Annunciation, another Tintorettos works, as well as a 14th century icon of Our Lady of the Island, believed to have saved Korčula from the Ottomans in 1571.
St. Nicolas Dominican Church and Monastery
Were erected in the late 15th century near the center of the city. During the 1571 siege, the Ottomans pillaged and burnt the monastery. It was rebuilt in the early 17th century, at which time the churc was expanded with a second nave. The picturesque complex is located immediately by the sea. The church building consist of two equal rectangular naves with no apses and a baroque domed bell tower stands in the back of building. The altars are made of stone of marble. The 1629 High Altar of St. Nicolas (in the eastern nave) contains a triptych painted by Italian artist Baldissero dAnna. The same nave also contains a 1757 marble altar with the effigy of the Mother of God whilst the western naves altar contains the Death of St. Peter Martyr, an 18th century copy of Titians famos painting. The side altar of St. Dominic holds the 17th century Dalmatian baroque painter Matija Pončus work Suryan Miracle. The monastery consists o fan early 16th century cloister with garden of tropical fruits and decorative plants.