The town of Korcula
In the north-eastern part of the island of Korčula, opposite the Pelješac peninsula, the town of Korčula developed on a peninsula.
Korčula is considered to be the most beautiful medieval planned town in Croatia. A catamaran line connects Korčula with Split and Dubrovnik and a coastal ferry service connects it with Rijeka, Split and Dubrovnik as well as with Bari in Italy during the summer season. A ferry line connects Korčula with Orebić but the ferry docks in the port Dominče, located 2 km away from the town.
The old town hosts a wide range of taverns and restaurants while small galleries nestle between the traditional houses. During the summer months it literally does not sleep (like the ‚Big Apple’ but without the loud city noise!) because its narrow streets are well occupied by visitors, who love to join the regularly pop and classical music concerts. Each day in the summer season excursion boats are heading to the Mljet National Park. Korčula also offers a sailing and surfboarding school.
The town plan of Korčula has been preserved until today, thus proving Korčula to be unique once more. Medieval walls stretch around the old part of the town. Its streets are organised in the shape of a herringbone.
During the 15th and 16th century a vast range of palaces and churches were constructed in the nascent gothic-renaissance style. In the most prominent part of the town, St. Marko’s Cathedral situates itself at the top of this peninsula. It was built by local masters during these 2 centuries, whereas its portal is the work of master Bonino from Milan in Italy.
The famous Venetian painter Jacopo Tintoretto has done a big altar painting with representations of Korčula’s patron saints Marko, Jerolim and Bartul. It stands out among the paintings inside the cathedral, whereas in the cathedral’s baptistery a special place is taken by the bronze statue of the Christ done by the contemporary sculptor from Korčula, Frano Kršinić.
If you like, you can find out more about the history of Korčula in the Korčula Town Museum, which is situated opposite the cathedral, as well as at the Abbot Collection found right beside the cathedral. Next to All Saints’ Church there is also the Museum of Icons made in the period from 13th to 19th century. As formerly written you can also visit the house of Marco Polo, who is believed to have been born in Korčula in 1254. As the captain of a ship, it is certain that Marco Polo took part in the naval battle near Korčula fought between Venice and Genoa in 1298. Besides his stories being completely true or not it was while the Genoese were holding him captive that he wrote about his travels to China in a Genoa prison.
Every year at the beginning of September, a reconstruction of the battle is held in remembrance of Marco Polo.