The island of Lokrum in Croatia
|The name of the island, Lokrum, (in Italian Lacroma) comes from the Latin word “acrumen” which wants to say fruit bitter, citrus fruits. Indeed, the tradition of the fruit culture in the island goes up at the time bénédictine.|
|Lokrum is a small island off Dubrovnik, with approximately 700 meters of the Dalmatian littoral, vis-a-vis the closed city.|
|The island of the Lokrum (Otok Lokrum)|
|The island of Lokrum was classified nature reserve since 1964. Vegetation of the island east besides of an obvious interest: the forests of pines mix with the cypresses, the oaks or the bay-trees pink. Since its foundation in 1959, the botanical garden imported tropical petrols in the island, as that had been the case during the previous centuries; what makes it possible to see there, inter alia, of many eucalypti and cactus.|
|The Benedictine abbey|
|In the extreme-south of the island of Lokrum, the Benedictines founded an abbey at the 11th century. The abbey was mentioned for the first time in 1023 as being the first of a series of bénédictines abbeys in the area of Raguse. The very whole island was the property of the abbey.|
In 1149, a decision of Rome granted to the abbot of Lokrum the statute of abbot mitre, and, since then, the abbots of Lokrum had row, after the archbishop, of second prelate of the Church of Raguse.
The abbot maintained a hospital (an old people’s home for the invalids without resources) until half of the 15th century.
|With 15th and 16th centuries a new abbey of style Gothic-Rebirth was built in the south of the old Romance abbey. The western and northern wings of this abbey were destroyed at the time of the great earthquake of 1667, while the other wings were preserved.|
The last Benedictines left the monastery in 1798, under the Napoleonean occupation, after the sale of the property to some fortunate citizens of Dubrovnik.
It remains only of thin vestiges of the Benedictine abbey. The vestiges understand those - oldest - of a basilica Romano-Gothic to three naves and three apses (12th-13th centuries), as of the vestiges of the wings is and southern abbey, with a ruined bell-tower and a cloister.
On the lintel of the door of the cloister the inscription with the eternal significance is: “CONCORDIA LMBO PARVAE CRESCUNT DISCORDIA MAXIMAE DILABUNTUR”, “the small things grow in the harmony, the large ones decline in the discord”.
|The Habsbourg Residence|
|At the time of the Austrian domination, at the 19th century, the island of Lokrum belonged to the archduke Maximilien Ferdinand de Habsbourg, last viceroy of Mexico and with his wife, Charlotte of Belgium. At the beginning of the years 1860, the residence of summer of Maximilien, was built in the south-eastern corner of the court of the new abbey. Built according to the wish of Maximilien itself to the site of the wing is monastery Romano-Gothic, the residence of summer is, from the architectural point of view, a mixture of elements néo-novels, neo-gothics and néo-rebirth which reflects the architecture of its time.|
The archduke who remained in the island, arranged there a botanical garden and planted parks of exotic species coming from Australia and America of south; he lived in his superb residence in the shape of turn in the middle of a timbered park, where the Rodolphe archduke often remained. After the catastrophe of Mayerling, the emperor Franz Joseph donated the island in the Dominicans.
Alas, monastery and palaces of summer fall in ruin. The sections of wall which remain shelter a coffee, a restaurant and a museum of Natural history.
|The Botanical garden|
|In 1859, Maximilien de Habsbourg, the future emperor of Mexico, decided to be made build a residence of summer instead of the old monastery and to arrange a botanical garden, planted imported exotic species of South America and Australia.|
|The Cross of the “Triton”|
|The Maximilien archduke discovered the island of Lokrum in 1859, whereas he inquired into the shipwreck of a ship, “the Triton”, anchored in bay of Skalica, in front of the island; in this catastrophe, due to a powerful and suspect explosion, 85 of the 95 members of the crew perished. As a Commander in chief of the Navy of the Empire Austro-Hungarian, Maximilien had to honor the died sailors, and it is in this circumstance that it put the foot on the island for the first time.|
La Croix of the Triton was set up, above place of the disaster; it bears the names of the missings.
|The Royal Fort|
|During their presence in Dalmatia, the French built on the hills the Royal Fort (1806) which dominates the island (91 m), in the North-West.|
|One can reach the fort while following an abrupt path.|
|The fort, built in the star shape, is a tourist attraction not only for its architecture but as by the incredible sight as it offers on Dubrovnik, Cavtat, the islands and the coast.|
|The rocks which border the island plunge to horizontal in the sea and form a succession of impromptu beaches. A part of them is reserved to the naturists besides.|
|Moreover, with many rocks are equipped with scales of descent in water, but the island does not have any sand beach.|
|Dead Sea (Mrtvo more)|
|In the south of the island of Lokrum the “Dead Sea is” (Mrtvo more), a small salted lake, whose clear and hot water is enchased between the rocks and communicates with the Adriatic Sea by a network of underwater caves.|
|It is the legend, if not the history, which gives an importance very particular to this small island: it is indeed here that Richard the Lionheart back from the 3rd crusade would have been failed, in 1192. It made the wish then build a place of worship if it were saved. The church in question was built in the old city of Dubrovnik rather than in Lokrum even, and it is the cathedral.|
|Lokrum acts balneal as appendix of Dubrovnik at the beautiful season: it is on the island of Lokrum that go most inhabitants of Dubrovnik to find in full summer of the beaches which are not too over-populated. A small piece of freshness in the middle of bay.|
|Bar-restaurant in the extreme-south of the island close to the landing stage.|