PELJEŠAC

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Pelješac peninsula is situated in southern Dalmatia, approximately 65 km long and covers 348 km2 area. Pelješac is rich with forests of black pine and Mediterranean plants, and a big part of the area is under the olive groves and vineyards, which delivers virgin olive oil and high-quality red wines. A large portion of the peninsula Pelješac is almost like one connected settlement at places interrupted by beaches and bays containing lush Mediterranean and subtropical vegetation. All this together with the sea and sun gives peninsula Pelješac the characteristics of a real Mediterranean heaven.

The whole peninsula Pelješac offers itself in its romantic beauty. The shore is dotted with bays, white pebbles, olive groves, century old cypress and cliff overgrown with sage. “Plavac Mali” vineyards are located along the entire peninsula Pelješac and are autochthonous sort of Dalmatian grape, vineyards along the slopes of Dingac and Postup produce some of the best red wine in Croatia.

Nowhere else like on peninsula Pelješac, as small area as it is, there are such vast activities and new challenges for food and wine lovers. The wine routes and winery tours on Pelješac represent the strong feeling of tradition and love for the grape and wine.

Its architecture will show you traces of history left by a variety of cultures.

Around the 5th century BC an Illyrian tribe called “Plereians” lived on the peninsula. At that time Illyrians inhabited all the land between the bay of Kotor (in today’s Montenegro) and the Neretva River. Great number of Illyrian burial places, rocky mounds called “gomile” (Croatian for mounds or piles of rubble), tell us that the peninsula must have been quite densely populated by the Plereians in the pre-historic times. Despite the presence of Greeks in the immediate vicinity of Pelješac, their contacts and their influence on the Illyrians of Pelješac, appear to have been insignificant. It seems that Pelješac wasn’t interesting to the Greeks.

Towards the end of the 3rd century BC on the shores of ancient Illyricum arrive Romans, with their expansionistic intentions and with the excuse of protecting the Greeks and the maritime trade from the Illyrian piracy. The long resistance of the Illyrians was eventually broken in 35 AD, by barbaric massacre of adult Illyrian male captives, which was carried out by the troops of Ocatvian Augustus, on the islands of Mljet and Korčula. The Romans then sold the Illyrian women and took away their children as slaves. After this, all resistance on Pelješac was crushed and the peninsula eventually became a part of the Roman province of Dalmatia, and thus was incorporated into the Roman state.

In the 7th century BC, Slavs settled the eastern shores of the Adriatic. From that time on, until 1333 AD, the peninsula of Pelješac was a part of “Hum” (also called “Zahumlje”), an early Slavic territory. In 1333 AD, the Republic of Dubrovnik (initially a City-state) bought the peninsula from Serbian king Dušan and Bosnian ban Stjepan II Kotromanić. Having obtained Pelješac (or “Stonski Rat”, as the peninsula was called at that time), the government of Dubrovnik started undertaking a string of measures aimed at securing its governance of the newly acquired territory, protecting it from potential invaders and ensuring the liveliness of the local economy. One of those measures was the distribution of land to the new owners. Dubrovnik’s nobility wanted all of the land on the Peninsula, but the resistance of the traditional landowners, especially of the elders, forced them to accept certain compromises.

Lovište

Lovište is a small town situated in one of the most beautiful bay on the Pelješac peninsula. Lovište area includes 40 kilometers of the coast, numerous coves and natural beaches. The climate in Lovište is ideal for beach tourism. The main bay has always warmer sea, and the number of sunhours goes over 3000 yearly.

Many olive groves, stone walls and estates are a monument to the human efforts. Around Lovište there are a series of natural sandy beaches, which can be reached only from the sea, and beautiful stone beaches and pine bays.

Kućište

Kućište lies in the bay on southern coast of Pelješac, facing medieval Korčula and protected by the hill of St. Elijah on the north. Kuciste and Viganj are separated by Liberan – the small promontory, with white pebble beach all along. Further east is bay of Zamosce with long natural pebble beach, eastern boundery is Perna, the newest part of Kuciste, old hamlets situated on the hills above Kuciste and Perna are Zukovac, with beautiful old stone mansions, unfortunately today are deserted and Bilopolje famous for great wines and beautiful views on channel and Korčula.

Kuciste has long maritime tradition, the center of the village dates back to the 16th century; in the 19th century it spreads along the bay with the construction of captain houses in the style of Dubrovnik summer mansions. The most interesting house is of the trading and maritime family Lazarovic it is a late Renaissance two-storey house and a Baroque mansion from the end of the 18th century. The church of the Holy Trinity was built in 1752; it is one of the most important Baroque churches on the southern Croatian coast.

Orebić

Orebić is a well-known maritime historical place and a tourist center of the Pelješac peninsula, located along the Pelješac channel under the largest peak of Pelješac St.Elijah (961m). The surroundings is characterized by luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation. Economy is based on farming, fruit growing, fishing and tourism. Among the beaches, the most interesting is the cove of Trstenica. Orebić has ferry lines with island Korčula.

Franciscan monastery from the 15th c. with the extraordinary view on Korčula archipelago, the Church of Our Lady of the angel, Maritime Museum and the old captain’s houses testify to the rich culture and history of this place.

Orebić was founded in the late 15th and early 16th c., in the former Republic of Dubrovnik, and from the very beginning , was facing the sea as a source of profit. In 1586th sailors familie called Orebić, restored a castle in the middle of a fortified settlement, which was called by them Orebić. Untill 16th c. the place was called Trstenica. From 14th to 19th century, here was the seat of the Dukes. During this time Orebić was under the Republic of Dubrovnik, and since ancient times it has been a maritime center.

From 17th c. ships from Pelješac constituted an important part of Dubrovnik’s merchant fleet. Shipowning families are becomeing more powerful and they start to invest in the comun sailling boats.

Their rise continued under the rule of Austria, especially in the second half of the 19th century, when in year 1865 is established a joint stock company in Orebić for building (and exploitation) of ships for long voyages, later Pelješac Maritime Society, in 1875 have purchased the equipment for social shipyard in Orebić. Shipyard was officially opened by Emperor Franz Joseph. Mainly served for the repair of ships, and during the working life of 13 years, it was built three long sailing voyage ships.

Janjina

Janjina is a village in the middle of the Pelješac Peninsula. It has several archeological sites that date back to ancient times. The inhabitants of Janjina have traditionally lived off of agriculture, primarily wine and olive growing, therefore we recommend Janjina to those interested in traditional way of life and customs. The coast and bay of Drace are only 2 km away It is comprised of Janjina and a tiny hamlet called Zabrežje (Behind Hill), so named because it is “hidden” behind a hill. Janjina is also divided into five parts named: Bara, Jaspričići, Prišlići, Dežulovići and Gornje selo. Gornje selo (Upper Village) is comprised of Lovrovići, Gornje selo and Polutići. Bara and Gornje selo exist at least since the 14th century AD, while the others are likely to have appeared during 15th or 16th century.

Janjina in the thirties of this century was the center of the craft of Pelješac, there were blacksmiths, shoe makers, carpenters, nine shops, two butcher shops, two pubs, clubs, music, school … they were all very neatly dressed. It was an unwritten rule to wear a white shirt and suit for men, and girls mostly followed the fashion and dressed like those in big cities. At the time of carneval, Janjina was full of young people, it was a time of great happines, dance was organized in two halls (rooms). After a few days stay in Janjina seeing all this wonderful world, Mr. Ivo Celegin, commercial traveler and the representative of the famous company, shouted the famous line: “This is not Janjina, this is a small Paris!” Traditionally, “Night in Little Paris” (Paris night) was takeing place during the winter holidays, many years later. On the hall stage, wooden model of Eiffel Tower was set only for this special night. The name of “Little Paris” kept to this day. Some referred to him with awe, and others for fun.

Žuljana

One of most beautiful and most attractive places at the southern side of Pelješac Peninsula, situated in the bay of the same name, surrounded with numerous beaches, especially Vucine one of the most beautifull in Adriatic, splendid Mediterranean climate and centennial olive-groves and vineyards.

Ston

The two picturesque towns of Ston and Mali Ston sit in between the mainland and the peninsula Pelješac. With Dubrovnik, the two towns were the most important in the old Republic of Dubrovnik. The mighty walls defended its salt pans and the rich farming grounds of the Republic of Dubrovnik.

The small towns are fortified and conected with 5km long stone walls, which makes them the longest in Europe and second in the world, after the Great Wall of China.

The bay of Mali Ston is located between the peninsula Pelješac and the main land and it is a natural reserve of oyster, mussel and fish cultivation area.

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