KORČULA TOWN


The town of Korčula is situated on the island of the same name and it encompasses administratevely the settlements: Lumbarda, Račišće, Zrnovo, Pupnat, Cara and the town of Korčula itself. Korkyra Melaina – the forrested Korčula, as it was named by the ancient Greeks – is known by the beauty of its nature and by the richness of historical, cultural, and traditional heritage. The medieval town of Korčula, encircled by walls and towers, was erected and richly ornamented by local stone-masters in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. The greatest among them all was Marko Andrijić, the builder of the bell-tower of the St. Marko Cathedral. The rows of gothic and renaissance buildings, palaces, churches, small streets and squares emphasize a harmonious ground-plan (fishbone shape) inside the town walls, together with numerous artistic and other exhibits in museums, churches and collections. The town of Korčula is rightly proud of its stone-cutting and shipbuilding crafts, being through centuries the most important professions of the town, as well as of the preserved knight dances: Moreska, Mostra and Kumpanija. The greatest world traveller, Marko Polo, also began his life journey in this town. A refined harmony of man and this ambience existing from ancient times speaks in the best way about a permanent attraction of this town on the island of Korčula.

Twenty six streets made of stone, have been built throughout this beautiful town in the shape of a fish bone. They overlap with the main street which runs from the southern part all the way to the northern part of the town, dividing it in two equal halves. The street to the east have been curved around the town and for a good reason too. During the winter months they protect the town from constant torture of the Bura wind and the rainy Jugo. On the other side, the streets to the west are straight and freely allow the refreshing western breeze Maestral to flow through them, in which process cooling the town during the hot summer months. This natural and oldest air-conditioning system still makes Korčula townsmen life more endurable and enjoyable in the summer.

MOREŠKA

This is the honorable sword dance game on knights preserved only in Korčula even though it was present in many of the Mediterranean cities. The dance follows the story of the conflict between the Red King versus Black King and their soldiers, as Bula -the Red King’s fiancee is captured by Black army. This dance is performed every Monday and Thursday throughout the summer months.

KUMPANIJA

This dance of the swords is still danced in Zrnovo,  Pupnat, Cara, Blato and Vela Luka and it reminds of  the fight between Korčula’s inhabitants and the pirates that attacked the town over and over again through the centuries.


MITHS AND LEGENDS

MARCO POLO – One of the most famous legends of Korčula is certainly the one that speaks of Korčula origins of the famous world traveler, Marco Polo. This legend was triggered with a historic fact of a great naval battle between Venice and Genoa 1298th, nearby town of Korčula, Marco Polo was captured at the age of 44 years.

Having been captured and taken to a Genoese prison, he wrote his book Million, about his travels to China. Yet it was Marco’s cellmate, Rusticello who would later produce a book ‘The Travels of Marco Polo’. This made Marco’s travelling exploits famous throughout the world. The work caused a sensation in western society when published, since many Europeans were for the first time vividly immersed into the exotic and unknown culture of the Far East.

It is only three years earlier, prior to his capture by Genoese, that he returned from his legendary journeys to the Far East, which lasted for 17 years and where he met the most famous rulers of their nations, and many of their customs. And only his journey to the Far East has a flavor of the legend because it is hard to believe that a man could travel through it and experience all that in ones life time.

For people today, legend of Marko Polo as native of Korčula have a big touristic importance, because he, as the world’s first traveler inevitably is associated with traveling and tourism. So there is a hotel named in his name and in recent time one travel agency. Name of Korčula, as birthplace of Marco Polo is mentioned around the world.

According to the legend of Marko Polo his house is in the central part of old town in Korčula, from which exists superb view on Pelješac channel, which was an important trade route in those times, as the family of Marco Polo was a merchant family and they were very interested to monitor all ships passing through the channel.


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