Korčula enchants the senses with its timeless beauty and casts an everlasting spell of wonder on those who tread upon its ancient stone.
As elsewhere on the Dalmatian island, the first knowninhabitants of Korcula were the Illyrians, whose subsistence was based on agriculture and fishing. The arrival of the Ancient Greeks in the 4th century BC, who seemingly never actively engaged with the Illyrians, changed the status of the island to a Greek colony, and a stone tablet called the 'Psephism from Lumbarda' is regarded as the oldest written document found in the territory of Croatia. It can still be seen today at the Korcula Town Museum.
Croats came to the Adriatic in the 7th century AD, finding their way to Korcula some 200 years later. They were soon followed by the Venetians, who ruled Korcula more or less continuously until the 14th century.
Korcula's golden era was from the 13th to the 15th centuries, and much of the town's present layout and important buildings date back to this time. Life on the beautiful island was anything but secure, however, and the threat of Ottoman attack was never far away, with the sea battle of 1571 against Ottoman leader Uluz Alija one particular example, as the Turks attempted to plunder Korcula.
The bravery of local men and women, who had long been abandoned by the Venetian garrison stationed there, valiantly defended the town, and aided by an importune storm, not only defended the town, but managed to repel the invaders.
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Things to do
Korcula is a mix of heritage, gastronomy, beaches and stunning architecture, a mixture reflected in our top five tips:
- Korcula Old Town
An obvious starting point! Korcula's old town is one of the best preserved in Croatia, and offers a wealth of history and spectacular views. Choose a guided tour or simply wander around and lose yourself in its picturesque streets.
- Visit Marko Polo's House
There is no doubting who is the most famous son of Korcula, and you should not miss a visit to the home of Marko Polo. If you are looking for travelling inspiration from the man who almost invented exploring, take in the alleged home of Marko Polo. Part of it is open to the public, so climb the narrow stairs into the loggia, and discover the spectacular view which must have inspired him to dream of other kingdoms in the distance...
- Lumbarda Beach
There are many excellent beaches on Korcula, but the most popular is Lumbarda, located in a small fishing village of the same name some 2km away, which is connected by bus. The waters are shallow, the beach sandy, the village divine, the views spectacular - what better place to spend the day!
- Discover Korcula's Wines
Along with the rest of Dalmatia, the wines of Korcula are enjoying a renaissance, and what better way to discover this beautiful island than on a wine tour of some of the great vineyards? A great combination of views, tradition and some outstanding wines. Don't miss the white variety called Posip, for which Korcula is famous, or the highly unpronouncable Grk, which only grows on sandy soil and so if only available in small quantities.
- Filigree Jewelry-making Class
If you are interested in seeing some traditional handcrafted jewellery being made then a visit to Seba Dizajn, Ulica dePolo, would be an essential part of your visit to Korcula. Seba Dizajn is located beneath Marko Polo tower, (Marko Polo’s Korcula home) and was opened by Adolf & Ruth Seba in June 2011 to showcase Adolf’s filigree jewellery skills. The Seba family have been working with filigree jewellery for approximately 500 years. Learn more here(secretdalmatia.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/guest-blogger-ruth-seba-and-traditional-filigree-jewelry-design/)