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inhabitants) is today the biggest town on the island. It is situated in
a deep bay at the very western end, 47 km from the town of Korcula,.
Vela Luka is at the same time both the oldest and the youngest
settlement on the island. Vela Spilja (Big
Cave) - the most significant evidence of prehistoric Korcula
- is on the hill Spilinski rat, northwest from the town itself, and 100
meters above sea level. A rich Neolithic culture of Hvar circle
(3200 years B.C.), this branch was communicating by sea with its
neighbors of the Adriatic and the Mediterranean. An important collection
of finds is exhibited in the Ethnographic Museum
in the palace of Franulovic-Repak near the parish church. There
are also articles from the Hellenic and early middle Ages in the region
of Vela Luka. Later on, human in this area life became scarce due to the
danger of living in an unprotected environment near the sea. The bay was
used as e harbor and trading port for Blato where is sanctuary
of St Marija Petkovic.
A new political situation and the subsequent ending of fear from
pirate attack brought a quick renewal of life in this bay. After the
arrival of its first modern inhabitants in 1795, Vela Luka has rapidly
become the biggest Korcula settlement. The local people work mostly in
the shipyard that constructs plastic boats, then in the fishing boats
and the sardine factory. There is also work in hotels and smaller
industries but chiefly they cultivate their olive groves. Vela Luka is
the greatest producer of olive oil in Croatia. The parish church
of Saint Joseph is in the very middle of Vela Luka. It is a
to-Baroque building from 1846-48, in front of which there is a very
interesting public cistern for drinking water dating from 1930. The
Museum with the Neolithic collection, ethnographic collection, and with
the gallery of works by sculptors and painters who were working in Vela
Luka in the 1960-s during the summer symposiums, is situated between the
church and the wharf. There is one outstanding sculpture by the great Henry
Moore. The oldest local church of Saint Viceniz, from 1489 is in
Walking along the shore north from the harbor, one arrives at the bay of Kale, where valuable layers of medical sea mud of the leman type are found, by which this small bay got its name. This mud and local mineral water can successfully cure rheumatic diseases and treat the post-traumatic conditions. A well-equipped Institute for Rehabilitation, Kalos, was erected here in 1972. Walking further one by the same way we come to hotel Poseidon and the public bathing establishment and organized diving tours.
A branch road leads in the bay of Plitvine where then is a big modern hotel Adria with several tennis courts, and lot of other sports and rehabilitations activities, and there is the connection with taxi boats to the islands Osjak and Proizd More to the west lay Mikulina luka were are the apartments and if you walking further Gradina one of the most interesting areas of Vela Luka.
Its name reminds us of Illyrian times, and a one-aisled church of Saint John from 1419 is located on this picturesque peninsula, together with the ruins of a Benedictine monastery. The northwest coast of the bay was, until recently, closed as a forbidden military zone. From the center of Vela Luka towards the south, we get to the pier for the daily ferry connection with Split and the island of Lastovo then to the shipyard and the sardine factory. They are planted on terraces that cover the whole side of a hill. Outside Vela Luka bay on the south coast of the island there is one of the most beautiful and calmest of Korcula bays. A very beautiful view of the bay and surroundings extends from the top of mount Hum (376 m, south of the town), where there is a marine observation post that was installed by Austrian navy during 19.century. Vela Luka is famous for its signets of Dalmatian songs and for its singers who are among the most popular in Croatia. such as Oliver Dragojevic, Jasna Zlokic and Eli Zuvela One of the leading contemporary Croatian poets, Danijel Dragojevic.The painter and sculptor, Izvor Oreb, were born in Vela Luka too
Taxi-boats and other passenger transfer boats depart from Vela Luka to favourite excursions points in the bay, Plitvine "Hotel Adria" to the island Osjak (Island of Love protected by a preservation law as a wooded park) and to the island Proizd with excursion facilities (The crystal blue sea, and nude beaches). Vela Luka "summer nights" is full of entertainment events.
Island of Korcula. Korcula undoubtedly holds a privileged position among Croatian islands. Here there are perhaps even more legends, tales and monuments than anywhere else. The island has a number of famous towns including Korcula, Lumbarda and Vela Luka. The oldest written monument in Croatia, the "Lumbardska psefizma", in Greek, was found in Lumbarda. According to legend, Korcula was established by the Trojan hero Anthenor in the 12th century BC. The Italian town of Padua also claims him as its founder. Ancient Greek and Roman writers speak of the city of Korkyra Melania, established by Greek colonists from Cnidus, which had, according to the same sources, been minting its own money as early as the 4th century. The Latin version of the name is Corcyra Nigra, Black Corcyra, because of the thick woods on the island. Korcula is, after Lokrum and Mljet, the third most densely wooded island of Croatia. There is much evidence of a highly-developed social life on Korcula even in the 13th century. The Statute of Korcula, signed in 1214, prohibited the slave trade for the first time in Europe. It also spoke about the order and management of the city. The Statute rules were in force until the arrival of French authorities in 1806. At the end of the 13th century, a battle was fought between the navies of Venice and Genoa in the channel near the city. The famous travel writer, Marco Polo, who was, according to some sources, born in Korcula, was said to be involved. The people of Korcula were famous stonemasons, shipbuilders and seafarers. They left their mark in stone works, sculptures and buildings all over Dalmatia, but they saved their best works for their own city. There are late Gothic and Renaissance buildings from the 15th and 16th centuries, and Baroque examples from the 17th and 18th centuries. It took local builders 150 years to erect the cathedral of St. Marcus, the most valuable building in Korcula. In its long history, the town streets, laid out in a regular herringbone pattern, have seen many battles. Nowadays, each summer they come to life with the old knight's dance of Moreska, dating from the 15th century. The dance evokes the battles with the Moors and was popular all over the Mediterranean. But today it has only been preserved on the island Korcula. Representing good and evil, the white and black kings fight with their armies for a maiden. Fortunately the white king prevails. In Blato, situated like Rome on seven hills, there is another, equally interesting knights' dance called "kumpanija" (company). It symbolizes the struggle for freedom