Korcula Island

Korčula Island



Location: Adriatic Sea Map


Area: 279 km2 (107.7 sq mi)



Description of Korcula Island

Korcula Island is situated in the South Croatia in central Dalmatian archipelago. The island is not very large covering only 279 km2 (107.7 sq mi). Largest settlement on the island is Korcula town that is allegedly a birth place for famous Italian traveler and explorer Marco Polo. The legend states that the Korcula Island was first settled by Trojan refuges under leadership of Antenor in the 12th century BC. He is also responsible for founding of Padua in Italy. So the guy was pretty busy settling so many lands. Either that or Romans who took possession of the island after Illyrian Wars of 220- 219 BC really wanted to justify their conquest. Romans believed their ancestors are Trojans. In truth however the island was first inhabited by Mesolithic and Neolithic people that crossed a narrow Peljesac strait that separates Korcula Island from Peljesac Peninsula. Artifacts of their existence here were found in Vela Spila (Big Cave) in the Western part of the Island near Vela Luka and Jakas Cave near village of Zrnovo, just outside of Korčula town. Illyrians overtook the settlements in 1000BC and ruled these lands until mentioned Romans did not arrive here. This was followed by the Avar and Slavic tribes during early Medieval period. In the 12th century the island was incorporated into a Venetian Republic thanks to military campaigns of Pepone Zorzi. This gave a reason for Korcula resident to claim their island as a birth place for Marco Polo.



Korcula Town (Korcula Island)

Saint Mark's Cathedral (Korcula Island)

Marco Polo Tower (Korcula Island)

Marco Polo Tower (Korcula Island)

Street Ulica Depolo

Open: 9am-3pm
July and August
Entrance Fees:
Groups (min.10 persons) 12,00 kn
Adults 20,00 kn
Children up to age of 10 (accompanied by adult) Free


Tower or House of Marco Polo – believed to be house in which Marco Polo, the famous world traveller and writer was born. Residents of the Korcula Island believe that famous explorer and traveler Marco Polo was born in this city in 1254. In fact there is even house where he allegedly lived. According to local legends he used to climb a tower of his house to view the ships that came and left the city harbor.


Veliki Revelin Tower (Korcula Island)


Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin in Korcula

The Church of the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God in Korčula is the main and largest Orthodox church on the island of Korčula. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God, and belongs to the Diocese of Zahumlje-Herzegovina and Primorska. It was built around 1220, it is the endowment of Nemanjić.

With the founding of the Diocese of Hum by St. Sava, the Church of the Assumption of the Most Holy Mother of God was built on Korčula around 1220. At that time, there were a large number of Orthodox Serbs on the island, mostly merchants (over 500!) Who helped build this church in the Serbian-Byzantine style. The church was richly donated by the Nemanjićs.

By 1350, the number of Orthodox Serbs was growing; since then there has been a decline. With the conquest of Korcula, Venice turned this temple into a Catholic one, dedicating it to Saint Barbara. It was run by a Catholic convent. Over time, the church declined and became poorer, passing from hand to hand, and came into possession of the city. The municipality of Korcula gave the temple to the state fund (erara) after 1880. With the liberation of Dalmatia in 1918, the temple remained in state possession. The president of the Korčula municipality, Dr. J., drew the attention of Orthodox people who began to immigrate to the island to him. Arneric. The descendant of the old respectable Korčula family knew well the history of that now very dilapidated building. The Serbian Orthodox on Korčula soon organized themselves into a church community, and asked the state to return the Serbian church.

When the state ceded the temple to the Orthodox, its repair and supply began. Its old appearance and purpose were restored, and the consecration was supposed to be especially solemn, but the death of King Alexander hindered that. With the abundant support of Catholics, the temple was completed and consecrated in November 1934, by B. Mitrovic and Ilarion Mijatovic. At the ceremony, the national anthem was performed by the Adriatic Guard Orchestra, and the Sokol Choir from Orebić, which consisted exclusively of Catholics, responded to the Litany in the church. The act of consecration was attended by many Catholics, with their clergy, led by Archbishop O. Bodulićem. A new Orthodox priest from Korčula was appointed that day.


Vela Spila (Big Cave) (Korcula Island)


"Moreshka" is a knightly dance of the 15th century. The dance reproduces the battle with the Turks and was very popular throughout the Mediterranean, but today it has survived only in the city of Korcula. Representing good and evil, as well as, allegorically, Christians and Muslims, armies of white and black kings fight for the girl's love. During the summer, Moreška is staged in the town of Korcula weekly.


History Korcula Island

The history of the island is rooted in antiquity. On the island, burial mounds of the Neolithic era, Phoenician settlements, the remains of an ancient Greek colony were discovered. In ancient times, the island was called Black Korkira (ancient Greek .λαινα Κόρκυρα, Latin Corcyra Nigra). The city of the same name was founded on it by the inhabitants of Cnidus. In the VIII century, Slavic tribes (Naren or Neretvians) came to the island, like the rest of the Dalmatian coast, although the bulk of the island's population was Roman-speaking until the late Middle Ages.

During the XII-XV centuries Korcula passed from hand to hand many times. It was ruled by local Slavic princes, Venice, Hungary, Genoa, had a short period of independence, belonged to the Dubrovnik Republic, until in 1420 it finally came under the control of the Venetians. During the period of independence on Korcula in 1214, the so-called Korcula charter was issued - a set of laws that determined the status of the island and became one of the oldest legal documents in Dalmatia known in history.

According to local tradition, the great traveler Marco Polo was born in the town of Korcula in 1254. In 1298, a naval battle took place near the island between the fleets of Genoa and Venice, which ended in victory for the Genoese. Marco Polo, perhaps, took part in this battle on the side of the Venetians, was taken prisoner and taken to Genoa, where in prison he dictated a book about his travels.

In 1797, the Venetian Republic was divided between France and the Hapsburg Empire. Korcula was ceded to the Habsburgs, but during the Napoleonic Wars in 1806, the island was occupied by the French and incorporated into the French Empire. In 1807, Korcula was captured by the combined forces of the Montenegrins and the Russian fleet under the command of D.N.

In 1918-1921, the island was occupied by the Italians, after the First World War it became part of Yugoslavia. During the Second World War, the island was again occupied by the Italians. Along the narrow Pelješac Strait, as in the Middle Ages, there was a border, only not between Venice and the Dubrovnik Republic, but between Italy and the Ustashe Independent State of Croatia. An anti-fascist partisan movement was actively operating on the island, and by 1943 the partisans had fully established control over Korcula. After a brief invasion of the island by German forces, in 1944 it was completely liberated.

After the end of the war, Korcula became part of Croatia, which was one of the republics of the SFRY. After the collapse of the latter in 1990, the island became part of an independent Croatia.



The island of Korcula is connected to mainland Croatia by regular ferry services. Ferries connect the town of Domince (7 km from the town of Korcula) with the town of Orebić in Pelješac; the city of Korcula with Split, Dubrovnik, the islands of Hvar and Mljet; as well as with the Italian city of Bari; the town of Vela Luka with Split and the island of Lastovo. Passenger boats run to Orebic from the pier within the city of Korcula. In addition, high-speed passenger catamarans run from Split to Korcula.

The entire island is crossed by a road that connects the village of Lumbarda at the eastern end of the island and the towns of Korcula and Vela Luka at the western end. The second main road leads from the town of Korcula to the west, passes through a chain of coastal villages and ends at a dead end in the village of Racisce.

Near the town of Korcula there is a small airfield, theoretically capable of receiving small planes, but practically not used.