Korcula – the City of Marco Polo

Danica Maricic, Design Editor & Communications Manager

February 10, 2014

Travel

The fascinating history of Korcula is still told by its city walls, Gothic and Renaissance architecture, the story of the legendary world traveler Marco Polo, the Moreska sword dance where the White and Black king fight for the love of a maiden named Bula, as well as numerous cultural treasures that capture your attention. This “polished gem” – as they called Korcula in the 15th century, is ornamented by romantic landscapes and the clear blue sea.

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The city of Korcula is primarily known as the birthplace of the famous traveler Marco Polo. This “First European”, many consider being a role model, because of his courage, imagination, and curiosity. The house where he was born is a favorite tourist attraction, as well as the headquarters of the International Marco Polo Center. Furthermore, the 13th century, the century of the famous traveler, is considered to be the start of Korcula’s prosperity. Three centuries later, this city-fortress was at its peak of development which was contributed by the influence of Venice.

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The Cathedral of St. Mark is certainly the center of the cultural heritage. Beside it is the Abbey Palace with its rich collection of fine and sacral art. Also, nearby is the oldest preserved church in the city – the Church of St. Peter from the 11th century, and the Church of Our Lady from the 15th century, the Renaissance work of local artisans. The Town Museum is located inside the Renaissance palace Gabrielis and offers an insight into the lifestyles of the historical inhabitants of Korcula.

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Among the many “postcard scenes” we should mention the beautiful staircase at the entrance to the fortified city, built early last century when a part of the old walls gave way to the new entrance to the city. Specifically, this period marked the beginning of tourism as well as the emergence of the first hotel called, naturally, “Korcula”. Since then, Korcula has positioned itself on the tourist map as one of the most attractive destinations.

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Former “Korkyra Melaina” was given that name by the Greek settlers, since it is one of the most forested islands in the Adriatic region. Holm oak, Aleppo pine, pine, olive, laurel – these are just some of the many plants that decorate this green island. Mediterranean landscapes are rich with aromatic herbs, so when you stroll around Korcula you can find sage, rosemary, lavender, and immortelle.

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As for flavor, we must also emphasize the culinary ones. The main ingredient of a healthy Mediterranean diet is certainly the olive oil, and if you have a sweet tooth there are delicious sweets called the “Cukarini”.
“Dobar tek” (“Bon appetite” in Croatian)!

Photos: Darija Stipisic Polic, Danica Maricic