The village of Škrip, island of Brač in Croatia

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General presentationGeneral information
Škrip is a picturesque small village hardly 200 inhabitants located on the island of Brač in Croatia.

The village belongs administratively to the commune of Supetar in the county of Split-Dalmatia.

Škrip is the oldest locality of the island, its history going back to more than 5000 years, at the time illyrienne, well before Roman colonization. Škrip preserves the memory of the island thanks to its Museum of the island of Brač.

EtymologyEtymology
The Škrip toponym (to pronounce “chkripe”) comes from the Latin word scrupus, which means “pointed stone” (cf scrupulus, “scruple”, small awkward stone in the sandal), by reference to the remains of extraction of the careers of Rasohe which provided the stone of the palace of Diocletian to Split.

At the time Venetian, Skrip was named in Italian Scripea.

SituationSituation

The coast seen from the village of Škrip. Click to enlarge the image.Škrip is perched on the hills in the middle of a stony chaos in the central part of the northern coast of the island of Brač.

The village of Škrip seen since Donji Humac. Click to enlarge the image.The village is located at an altitude of 250 m to approximately 3.5 km of the sea. It deals with the peaks of Mosor close to Split, on the other side of the channel of Brač.

Skrip is in 12 km of the port of Supetar accessible by ferry from Split.

One can arrive at Škrip by a picturesque road which goes down towards the village since Nerežišća and the plate from Vidova Gora; curving between the stone tumuli and the low walls, this road offers spectacular sights on the channel of Brač and the mountains of will riviera of Makarska.

Cemetery of the village one can contemplate a broad valley which extends from Postira and Splitska inside the grounds.

Sight on the valley from the Radojković palace. Click to enlarge the image.

VisitsVisits

The principal street of Škrip (author Honza Beran). Click to enlarge the image.Sight on the valley since Škrip. Click to enlarge the image.Škrip is the oldest colony of the island of Brač, in which three layers of settlement (illyrienne, Roman and Croatian) left the visible trace of their presence. Ancient walls illyriennes, sarcophagi, turns and churches, are scattered in this village with the neglected rural aspect.

The village is particularly proud of its castle-forts of which one shelters a remarkable insular museum.

The Illyrian Ruins
Wall illyrienne. Click to enlarge the image.The fortifications illyriennes were built to defend the island of Brač against the Greek penetration (4th and 3rd century before J. - C.), which was actually stopped. But even these massive walls could not anything against an enemy much more powerful, the Roman legions, during following centuries.

The walls illyriennes are visible close to the Western base of the tower of Radojković. From there, they extend on approximately 25 meters towards north where the enormous principal door was. Then the walls turn towards the east, where a small door was, whose memory is still preserved in the name of Vroca (vratca, the small door). The continuation of the wall extends towards the south, along the street of the village, to cliff of Kuka (the hook, the abrupt cliff). On the southern part the cliff is which is used as natural wall of protection.

These walls, that one recognizes with the massive size of the blocks of stone, were built on the Greek model of a cyclopean wall, which made think during a time that they were the work of a Greek colony, but of recent archaeological research showed that they are constructions illyriennes: Illyriens took as a starting point the methods of construction of the Greeks.

Roman ruins
The Roman period with Škrip extends from the 3rd century before J. - C. at the 5th century after J. - C., and the traces left in Škrip by the Romans are much more important and more visible than those of Illyriens.

For the Roman period of the centers of life were established along the coast, while in the interior of the grounds a prehistoric tradition little influenced by the Romans persisted. The era of Roman peace, the “Pax Romana”, and the specific resources offered by Brač, in particular the excellent stone quarries, contributed to the formation of colonies along the coast. One did not discover traces of large colonies which would have had a statute and the character of a municipality: they were mainly small colonies developed in the vicinity of the careers, the vines or the olive groves. The bunches of buildings formed around the agricultural domains were known under the name of “villa rustica”. Roman vestiges of “villae rusticae” were discovered in Bol above Rat, in Bunje close to Novo Selo, Povlja and Žalu.

The local Roman history points out the proximity of the historical careers of Rasohe, Stražišće and Punt, located between Škrip and Splitska, where traces of extraction of the stone are still visible. The extraction of the stone was important for all the Roman province of Dalmatia, and it is enough to stress the importance of the careers of Brač for the construction of the palace of Diocletian to Split. The Roman architects organized the extraction of the stone, in particular during the expansion of Salona. The careers were exploited before the period of Diocletian, as an inscription of the 2rd century confirms it after J. - C. found in the vicinity of Škrip; the inscription mentions a theater director (Centurio Quintus Silvius curagens theatri), which is occupied with the construction of the theater of Salona. But it is the construction of the palace of Diocletian to Split which gave the signal of the massive exploitation and the arrival of a new population of stone masons. Since the careers, the stone was transported to the wearing of Split, then towards Salone (today Solin) and Split, where the Diocletian emperor built his monumental palace.

The career of Rasohe preserves the most important low-relief of antiquity on Brač: it represents Hercules carved directly in the rock. The low-relief was probably carried out at the end of the 3rd century or the beginning of the 4th century, when the stone was extracted for the palace. Some other representations of the hero as some votive furnace bridges dedicated to Hercules (Héraclès) were found, because the soldiers and the stonecutters revered the worship of Hercules for his physical force. Votive furnace bridges of the Eastern divinities Mithra and Baal were also discovered; they testify to the presence on the island to soldiers and stonecutters come from all the Empire, in particular of the Middle East.

The Roman tank. Click to enlarge the image.The Roman monuments were found in abundance with Škrip: one can mention the “pond” (lokva), a tank with a stone staircase, dug in the rock close to the entry of the cemetery. There were other tanks in the vicinity of Škrip, as well as spring water wells. It is completely explainable if one keeps in mind that there were hundreds of slaves who worked in the close careers.

The foremen of the slaves and the noble ones of Škrip Roman set up sanctuaries with the pagan divinities of Jupiter, Héraclès, Mitra, Mercure and Liber; in Škrip, they built stone sarcophagi and other tombs for their families and themselves.

Sarcophagi close to the Radojković tower. Click to enlarge the image.Škrip is made proud to have the largest cemetery of Roman antiquity still existing on the island. It of this cemetery that come from the hundreds of low-reliefs and fragments, is preserved mainly in the local museum, the museum of the island of Brač. The archeologists think that just below this cemetery the remainders of a Roman temple are.

A Roman tomb stone with the Museum of Brač. Click to enlarge the image.For the Romans, Škrip was the largest workshop of sarcophagi around the Eastern Adriatic. Throughout the village are scattered completed or unfinished sarcophagi, or fragments of sarcophagi used at various ends in the centuries which followed. Some sarcophagi are close to the southern wall of the strengthened castle of Cerinić. The lid of a sarcophagus is beside the Eastern wall of the castle; the second sarcophagus is embedded in the wall of the garden, on the right side of the way which skirts the northern wall of the castle. Another sarcophagus is across the path in the garden. Some tombs are dug in the rock, as that which is in the garden on the southern part of the place, where, beside the tomb of an adult man, is smaller fall intended for a child.

Many sarcophagi were completely destroyed; in other cases, people used their cavities to store oil, and the lids were used as feeding troughs. Many sarcophagi, without their bottom, were used to frame doors like, for example, on the small Saint Michael church which one can see on the close hill above Dol, in the south-east of Škrip.

Largest and the most beautiful mausoleum is embedded above the massive base of the walls illyriens, with the bottom of the tower of Radojković. This Roman mausoleum preserved well date of the beginning of the 3rd century after J. - C. It was built about at the same time as the palace of Diocletian to Split; it in common has with this one some architectural elements.

The Radojković palace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The mausoleum rests directly on the old walls illyriens. It is about a funerary room of square form, with a barrel vault, made blocks of cut stones laid out regularly, with two large arches arched out of stone above the crypt. The entry of the funerary room is on the Eastern side. Under the staircase out of wooden there was a small opening which was used as exit for the people who had sealed the mausoleum of the interior.

It is probably the mausoleum of some noble Roman. But, according to the local legend, this mausoleum would have been the last place of rest of two noble Romaines, the wife of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, Priscilla, and his/her daughter Valeria, who as Christian women would have been hidden in Škrip because of their religious beliefs and would have died there.

The Church Saint Helena (Crkva Svete Jelene)
The church Grey waxbill. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The parish church Sainte-Hélène (Župna Crkva Svete Jelene) is on the principal place of Škrip.

The Sainte-Hélène church is the most recent monument of Škrip: the construction of the building baroque was started in the second half of the 18th century, in 1768, and was completed at the beginning of the 19th century. The Sainte-Hélène church has the most harmonious frontage baroque of the island of Brač.

The interior of the church conceals a rare example of a beautiful gilded furnace bridge and two original tables of furnace bridge of value, works of the eminent painter Venetian mannerist, Palma the Young person (Jacopo di Antonio Negretti, said Palma il Giovane, 1544-1628), raises of Titien and Tintoret: “baptism of Christ” and “Marie with the saints”. Two other works of the painter were flights in 1974 and were never found: “Holy Roch and holy Claire” and “Holy Jerome and holy Augustin”.

The popular tradition would like that holy Helene, the mother of the emperor Constantine, would be originating in Brač, but it is a ground for dispute between several villages (Selca, Škrip).

The Roman Emperor Constancy 1st, would have lost himself in this area whereas it drove out, and would have met the beautiful Helene, a simple young girl. The father of the young girl, a local shepherd, would have given refuge to the emperor in his modest residence and Helene would have mended her clothing torn by the wandering through wood. Constancy would have fallen in love from there and would have immediately taken it with him. Their son will become the future emperor Constantine. At the end of her life, Helene would have sought and found in Jerusalem the cross on which Jesus was crucified; for this reason, it is named holy Helene of the Holy-Cross (Sveta Jelena Križarica).

The Chapel of the Holy Spirit (Crkva Svetog Duha)
Vaults of the Holy Spirit and Saint John. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).In the cemetery of Škrip two vaults are: on the left the chapel of the Holy Spirit (Sveti Duh), on the right the chapel Midsummer’s Day (Sveti Ivan). Most interesting is the chapel of the Holy Spirit because it was built at three distinct times: its construction started under the Roman Empire on the foundations of an ancient basilica; it continued when the Christians fled of Salone (Salona Roman) at the 7th century; it was completed at the time Romance (11th and 12th centuries). It is one of the more good examples of architecture préromane of Croatia.

The chapel of the Holy Spirit adopts the shape of a basilica with three naves. The side aisles were added to the 16th century and the square vault, one century later.

Sight since the cemetery of Škrip. Click to enlarge the image.The chapel of the Holy Spirit was the first parish church of the village. Among the tombs inside the vault, most important is that of Cerinić. Opposite the chapel some old Croatian tombs are, whose tomb stones are engraved rudders, forgery, axes, hoes, swords or shields: in fact probably symbols indicate the profession of the late ones.

The chapel of the Holy Spirit. Click to enlarge the image.Behind the cemetery, on the edge of the cliff where is drawn up a stone cross, opens a splendid panorama, with interesting sights on the interior of the island of Brač.

The Castle of Cerinić (Cerinićev Kaštel)
The castle of Cerinić is the largest castle strengthened on the island of Brač. The castle was built of 1570 to 1618 by this same Cerinić which had the strong castle of Splitska.
The Cerinić castle. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The Cerinić castle. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
The massive ramparts of the castle, with their loopholes, were protected by two turns: one located at the North-West, the other in south-east; the two turns today are very damaged.
The wall is Cerinić castle. Click to enlarge the image.The wall is Cerinić castle. Click to enlarge the image.Court of the Cerinić castle. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
The walls contains a modest court in which near as of southern and western walls the districts of dwelling of the Masters were, while close to the northern wall the farm buildings were. In the western part of the court the garden with an orchard was.

The northern wall of the castle is bored and decorated with a biforium (double window divided by a column) which offered a sight on the channel of Brač.

Court of the Cerinić castle. Click to enlarge the image.Northern wall of the Cerinić castle. Click to enlarge the image.Northern wall of the Cerinić castle. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
The Palace and the Tower of Radojković (Kula Radojkovića)
The Radojković tower. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The high square tower of Radojković was set up at the 16th century, during the wars which opposed the Republic of Venice to the Ottoman Empire. One distinguishes there three layers of construction which show three various ethnic layers. The foundations are cyclopean walls approximately irregularly cut blocks of stone; they go back to 1500 years before J. - C. and are constructions illyriennes. Above is the Roman part in which is embedded a Roman mausoleum. The upper part of the tower is built in a rustic style, with stones of small size until the top; the use of stones of small size, which were probably found in abundance in the surroundings, makes think that the tower was built rather quickly because of a danger which approached.
The tower Radojković (Roksoslav author). Click to enlarge the image.On all the sides, to the top of the tower, windows placed above consoles of protection are integrated. In all the walls loopholes are, and the tower is surrounded by a court closed by a wall. The tower of Radojković was used as turn of watch and defense for the disturbed period of the raids Turkish, during the Turkish invasion of the continental part of Dalmatia.
The Radojković tower. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The Radojković palace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).The roof of roofing stones built of the Palace Radojković (author K Korlevic). Click to enlarge the image.
The Museum of the Island of Brač (Muzej Otoka Brača)
The Radojković palace. Click to enlarge the image.The Museum of the island of Brač is lodged in the old Radojković palace. This regional museum, created in 1979, understands an archaeological and concise collection, and an ethnographic collection of many tools and other elements of the material and spiritual culture of the inhabitants of Brač.
The entry of the Museum of Brač. Click to enlarge the image.Commemorative plate at the entrance of Museum of the island of Brač. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).
Sight from the Radojković palace. Click to enlarge the image in Fotolia (new tab).Sight from the Radojković palace. Click to enlarge the image.Sight on the valley from the Radojković palace. Click to enlarge the image.
The archaeological museum has the results of the excavations carried out in the local prehistoric cave of Kopačina to Donji Humac, like in Roman ruins.

Among the most interesting objects of the Roman epoch, one notices two low-reliefs of Hercules, a divinity venerated for his force, especially at the Roman stonecutters and soldiers.

Part of an early Christian low-relief, representing a lamb under the cross, was used to enclose a court.

At the ground floor of the museum, at the top of wood steps, is the Roman mausoleum above which the defensive tower of the palace was set up.

Art of the stone to the Museum of Brač. Click to enlarge the image.Art of the stone to the Museum of Brač. Click to enlarge the image.
Low-relief of Hercules. Click to enlarge the image.Low-relief representing Hercules. Click to enlarge the image.Low-relief paléochrétien representing a lamb. Click to enlarge the image.
The ethnographic museum occupies part of the ground floor and the upper floor; it is devoted to the life in the island of Brač. In an angle, one notes the polishing machines and to stretch gold in wire for work in filigree, typical of the Croatian jewelry. One notices also the trunk of young groom (19th century): while bringing its dowry there, it meant its renouncement of any other family heritage.

Close to the entry of the museum the figurehead of the one of the ships of the hermitage of Blaca is which gained an unequal battle against an English corvette in the wearing of Split.

The figurehead of a ship of the hermitage of Blaca to the Museum of Brač. Click to enlarge the image.Safe with the Museum of Brač. Click to enlarge the image.
The Museum of Brač is nevertheless a little made odds and ends of bric and pitcher.
Agricultural ustensils with the Museum of Brač. Click to enlarge the image.Balance agricultural with the Museum of Brač. Click to enlarge the image.A press of printing works. Click to enlarge the image.
The museum ethnographic. Click to enlarge the image.The museum ethnographic. Click to enlarge the image.Domestic ustensils with the Museum of Brač. Click to enlarge the image.
Museum of the island of Brač

Škrip HR-21423 Nerežišća

Schedules of opening: the museum is open in summer, from 9 to 7 p.m., and with the request the remainder of the year (in the event of closing, to address itself to the semidetached house).

Telephone: 00,385 (0) 21 637092.

Tariff of entry: 12 kunas.

History and traditionsHistory, literature, arts, traditions, legends, religions, myths, symbols…

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EconomyEconomy
The villagers of Škrip carry out a quiet life put rhythm into by the seasons. Their vineyards and their olive-trees, their donkeys and their sheep are their first concern.

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The village of Škrip, island of Brač in Croatia
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