City of Korčula
The city of Korčula impresses. Surrounded by imposing ramparts, this coastal citadel, steeped in history, has cobbled streets of marble and magnificent Renaissance and Gothic monuments. His plan follows an ingenious layout, designed for the comfort and safety of the inhabitants: the streets are oriented so that the maestral (strong west wind) cool the city in summer and protects from the wind of the bora (cold north wind ) in winter mainly.
The city is located on a peninsula overlooked by defensive round towers and houses with red roofs shaded by palm trees.
Documents attest to the existence of a fortified city from the 13th century, however the current city was built in the 15th century. Its construction coincided with the apogee of stone carving in Korčula which gave monuments and streets their particular style.
In the 16th century, the masons added decorative elements to the façades, such as ornate columns and coats of arms, giving the Gothic buildings a Renaissance look.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, as the threat of invasion decreased, the city developed, outside its ramparts, south. This new suburb, with narrow streets and stone houses, attracted merchants and craftsmen; it remained the heart of the commercial activities of the city.
Korčula, the city of Marco Polo
In 2011, Marko Polo (1254-1324) was at the heart of a small diplomatic incident between Italy, Croatia and China. A speech by a former Croatian President Stjepan Mesić for an orchestra to the explorer, in Yangzhou, China, the leader introduced Marco Polo as a world explorer, born in Croatia, who introduced China to Europe ” .
The Italian media accuse Croatia of the nationality of this historical figure.
Marco Polo is not certain (Venice and Korčula argue), it is commonly admitted that he was born in the Republic of Venice and was not from Croatia. Hungary and not including Korčula) or Italy (then nonexistent). The extent of Korčula’s historical families was known as Pilić. At that time, merchants and aristocrats commonly used their names in two versions: Croatian and Italian. Marko Pilić would have given Marco Polo (pollo meaning “chicken” in Italian).
Despite the lack of evidence, Korčula proudly claims its Marco Polo with the creation of two Marco Polo Museums.
Moreška dancing with swords
One of Korčula’s most picturesque traditions, dancing, a dance with swords, dates back to the 15th century. This dance with the legends of a vintu of red (white) and a black king, who was kidnapped by a princess that both sovereigns are in dispute. In the prologue, the beautiful declares her love for the white king but the black king refuses to release her.
The two armies clash and, accompanied by music, simulate the fight over a complex choreography.
Village of Lumbarda
Archaeologists have uncovered remains dating back to the time of Greek colonization. Among the most famous discoveries are the psephis of Lumbarda.
Psephis of Lumbarda is a stele discovered near Lumbarda. It describes the city foundation by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC. It is a contract for the distribution of Lumbarda lands between families.
Today, it can be seen in the museum of the city of Korčula.
Lumbarda is a quiet community surrounding a port on the southeastern tip of the island of Korcula. Here, the sandy soil is suitable for the vines and the grape variety gives a famous wine. Grk comes from “Greek”. The Greeks imported this variety to Lumbarda. This is the only place in the world where this variety can take. Even elsewhere on the island it is not possible.
In the 16th century, aristocrats from Korcula built summer residences around Lumbarda.
Lumbarda is also famous for these sandy beaches, rare in Croatia.