The island of Korčula in Croatia
|The island of Korčula extends on 276 km² (46.8 km length on an average from 5 to 7.8 km broad). She is traversed small mountains: its more high summit, the Klupca mount, culminates to 569 Mr. His 182 km of coasts is superbly cut out and offers splendid landscapes since the sea. Korčula counts 195 bays and 48 small islands.|
Korčula is a beautiful wooded island full with charm (60% of its surface are occupied by the forest); its landscapes are varied: forests of pines, maquis, fields of lavender and rosemary. The air feels good wild aromatic herbs, thyme or rosemary, the sap of pine or, in spring, the suave odor of the white flowers of a variety of citrus.
Korčula profits from a soft climate, be like winter: the temperature is very lenient there, going down only seldom below 10 °c in January, and not exceeding the 26 °c in July.
Only the littoral is inhabited. The villages cling to the hillside rocky, furrowed stone low walls and strewn with huts of vine growers capped with roofing stones. One cultivates there the vine and the olive-tree, the fig tree and the almond tree; each slope is carefully arranged to accommodate the vineyards which descend the slopes in broad stone steps dug in the mountain and piqués of high dark green cypresses.
In Korčula, the Dalmatian traditions remained original and very alive.
|The island is regarded as an ecological paradise, with an abundant vegetation. One finds there in particular hundreds of aromatic kinds of herb, which was worth to him formerly its Greek name of Korkyra Melaina (Korčula the Black one).|
|One can reach the island of Korčula from Dubrovnik, to some 135 km, by the peninsula of Pelješac, where one can make stage with Ston, then to take again the road to embark by the ferry of Orebić, small port installed at the end of the peninsula. Korčula is separated from the peninsula of Pelješac only by one narrow channel (10 minutes of crossing).|
Korčula is also at approximately 4:00 of ferry of the island of Hvar located at north.
|The Road of Marmont|
|The road of Marmont (the general of Napoleon i, which built much in Dalmatia) is a motor-road which, since Korčula joined Čara, in 12 km while crossing the most imposing landscapes of the island, punctuated of vineyards, olive groves and pine forests.|
|The first settlements of the island go back to the Neolithic era, there is more than 8,000 years, as proves it the presence of many tumuli and other stone constructions. The first known populations are Illyriens, as in much of other parts of Dalmatia, gathered in small colonies and living primarily of agriculture.|
The first colonization - rather peaceful - by the Greeks of this area, which took the name of Korkyra, goes back to the IVe century before J. - C.
Thereafter, they are the Romans who took possession of the island as of the 1st century apr. J-C., in 35 of our era, in the movement initiated by the emperor Auguste to widen the borders of the Roman Empire.
After the 5th century and the fall of the empire, they are initially Goths which seized the area. Then the Croats arrived on the Adriatique coast as from the 7th century, accompanied by Slavic and Avars, and it is only as from the 9th century that they seized the islands Korčula, Hvar, Brač and Mljet.
With Xe century, in fact the tribes Neretva and Venice disputed the control of the island, ideally located in the middle of the Adriatic.
As from the year thousand, Korčula was under the aegis of Venice which, after having lost it, imposes its sovereignty again to him in 1125. It is especially starting from 1420 that Sérénissime imposed its seizure for its fourth conquest of Korčula, after the island had become a possession of Croatia-Hungary, then of Dubrovnik. The Venetian presence involved a considerable growth, the creation of a true fleet and the arrival of many capital. This particularly beneficial domination lasted until 1797.
To the fall of the Republic of Venice, the island passes in 1797 under the Austrian domination.
After being disputed with the Russians, it becomes French in 1806 with the arrival of the Napoleonean troops, which allowed a great boom.
In 1813, after a short English transition, it goes back to Austria. At the 19th century, the island lived mainly of naval construction.
Italy preserves it only of 1918 to 1921. Then, Korčula becomes Yugoslav.
|Formerly, the careers and the shipyards, always existing, ensured the main part of the economic incomes of the island of Korčula.|
The stone extracted with Korčula was used for construction from many monuments and buildings, locally, but also in Split, Dubrovnik or elsewhere in Croatia, Italy and a little everywhere in the world (one speaks even about the White House, in Washington).
Each year, approximately 700 ships left the building sites of Korčula. Unfortunately, the boats out of wooden started to disappear at the beginning of the 20th century, and Korčula had to turn to tourism.
Since, the development of tourism supplanted these activities, without however making disappear agriculture (viticulture, culture of olive and the fruits at the head), another paramount sector, since the Greek occupation.
|Dances of the swords|
|The most picturesque tradition of Korčula is the dance with the swords, the more ka, carried out by men in costumes, according to an old habit of more than four centuries. According to a spectacle carefully orchestrated, which recalls warlike episodes of the past, two groups of men to the different colors, black and red, clash in a ballet complicated and threatening, evoking the fight of the Christians against the Turks, of “pure” (reds) against the “impure ones” (blacks). The moreška, inherited the Spanish tradition, besides is always danced in Spain and Sicily. The kumpanija, also danced with swords, is similar but figure resistance sometimes against the Turks, sometimes against the pirates.|
|Access by boat from Dubrovnik|
|While coming from Dubrovnik, the best access is via the peninsula of Pelješac, by the ferry Orebić-Dominče (10 to 18 per day, 15 min of way); Dominče is to 3 km east of the town of Korčula.|
A boat for pedestrians connects Orebić to the town of western Korčula-quay (5 to 13 per day according to the season, 20 min).
It is also possible to come by bus at the beginning from Dubrovnik (1 to 2 per day). The ticket includes the price of the crossing in boat since Orebić. The bus station is located on the quay is town of Korčula.
Information on: www.korcula-agent.com.
|Transport in the island|
|Connections between the islands|
|De Korčula (port of Vela Luka), one can go the every day to Lastovo (cars and pedestrians) and Hvar (pedestrians).|
Since the port of Dominče, the coastal line Rijeka-Dubrovnik makes stopover with Hvar (1 to 4 per week) and Mljet (2 to 3 per week in July - August).
|Site of the Tourist office: www.korculainfo.com|