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Stop At: Korcula Old City, Korcula Island Croatia
Korčula (Italian: Curzola) is a historic fortified town on the protected east coast of the island of Korčula, in Croatia, in the Adriatic.
The old city is surrounded by walls, and the streets are arranged in a herringbone pattern allowing free circulation of air but protecting against strong winds. Korčula is tightly built on a promontory that guards the narrow sound between the island and the mainland. Building outside the walls was forbidden until the 18th century, and the wooden drawbridge was only replaced in 1863. All of Korčula's narrow streets are stepped with the notable exception of the street running alongside the southeastern wall. The street is called the Street of Thoughts as one did not have to worry about the steps.
Duration: 3 hours
Stop At: Ston Salt Works, 20230, Ston, Ston 20230 Croatia
The area of Ston thanks to its geographical position, fertile fields, abundance of water and salinity, natural resources as well as a short peninsula which connects Pelješac with the main land, became a very important residence area for people. Solana dates back to the Roman times, two thousand years B.C. In ancient times the area was inhabitated by the Ilyrians and Greeks and from 167 B.C. the Roman rule begins and this is the first time that exploatation and salt collecting is mentioned in are Ston area.The Ston salt pans are the oldest in Europe and the largest preserved ones in the history of the Mediterranean. Way back in 877. The Ston diocese is mentioned, so it is assumed that this is the oldest diocese on Croatian ethnic space. The Romans leave behind them the distribution of the Ston fields and the name of this area Stagnum – Stamnum which means stagnant or still water. This indeed is an indicationthat already in those times there was salinity and that the name came from the natural characteristics of the area – the salt pans.
After a turbulent history and various rulings in 1333 Ston becomes an integral part of the Dubrovnik Republic. Along with Dubrovnik, Ston was economically and strategically the most important place in the Dubrovnik Republic and the second town in Europe that was built planned and it came from the salt that brought 1/3 of the income to the Dubrovnik Republic. To protect the pans monumental walls were built in the 14th and 15th century and they were a reflection to the Dubrovnik walls and the fortresses carry the same names. The largest enterprise during those times was the construction of two new towns as part of the Dubrovnik Republic – Ston and Mali Ston and a mile long wall between them with a tower on top of the hill (14th century). This is how the whole Pelješac peninsula was protected from potential attacks from the land in order to preserve the biggest value in the depths of the bay „Ston slat pans“ which for centuries produced sea salt which was the best selling product of the Dubrovnik Republic. The former value of Ston as the city of salt is confirmed even nowadays in the plant of the oldest active salt pans in the world.
The tradition of harvesting salt has been passed on for over 4000 years and since then salt is produced in the same way with only the assistance of the sea, sun and wind. Solana Ston consists of 58 pools divided into 5 groups as the whole sat producing process has to go through five stages which last one to two months depending on weather conditions.There are nine pools for the crystallization process and all but one Mundo (world) are named after saints (Francis, Nicholas, Balthazar, Anthony, Joseph, John, Peter and Paul). During the Dubrovnik Republic times the pools Blaise and Lazarus which have granite bottoms were also used and from which the purest salt was extracted and was then sent to the Wienna court. Salt is produced by a process of sea water evaporation in the big shallow pools of the salt pans and the harvest and salt production takes place during the summer months, more precisely from April to October. From the nine crystelization pools you can harvest about 500 tons of salt annually.In the Dubrovnik Republic during salt harvest time all the inhabitants of Ston and the sourounding areas that were of working age were involved in the harvest as salt production has always been of extrordinary economic importance. Production, transport and trade of salt in the economic sense in Ston was of big importance and brought a profit of 15,900 gold coins per year to the Dubrovnik Republic which was the highest profit. Solana Ston with its present arrangement dating back to the Dubrovnik Republic times represents the complexity of the salt production from the Middle ages and is a top class historical monument and is a very populat tourist site. The method of salt production has not changed over the centuries and in such environmentally friendly and healthy conditions guarantees maintanance of excellent salt quality which meets all the needs of today's modern times.
Duration: 15 minutes
Stop At: Korcula Town Museum, Trg Sv. Marka, Korcula Town, Korcula Island Croatia
Korcula Town Museum (Gradski muzej Korcula) is located at St Mark’s Square facing Cathedral Sveti Marko.
The Museum is housed in Gabrielis palace that was built in 15th and 16th century. It is 3 storey building with basement and attic.Museum has various collections covering Korcula’s history and culture from Ancient history to nowadays. Due to lack of available space, some of the museum objects (such as archaeological, ethnological, photography and some other collection) are currently not on display.
Duration: 15 minutes
Stop At: St. Mark's Cathedral, Trg Svetog Marka, Korcula Town, Korcula Island Croatia
The Cathedral of St. Mark  (Croatian: Katedrala sv. Marka) also called Korčula Cathedral, is the Roman Catholic cathedral of Korčula, Croatia. It occupies an elevated position in the town centre.The cathedral was built by local masters from the fifteenth century to the mid-sixteenth century. In 1557, an organ was placed in the cathedral. Tintoretto painted the altarpiece. The portal is the work of Bonino da Milano. A new organ was built in 1787 by Vinko Klisevic. In modern times, a bronze statue of Jesus Christ, the work of Croatian sculptor Frano Kršinić, was added to the baptistery.
Duration: 15 minutes
Stop At: Ston Old Town, Ston Croatia
Ston (pronounced [stɔ̂n]; Italian: Stagno) is a city and municipality in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia, located at the south of isthmus of the Pelješac peninsula. The town of Ston is the center of the Ston municipality.
Because of its geopolitical and strategic position, Ston has had a rich history since the antiquity. Located at the gates of the peninsula, surrounded by three seas, protected by four hills, rich in fresh water and saltwater, fertile plains, it has been an important political, cultural and ecclesiastical centre. Ston had the first bishopric in the Croatian ethnic region. It is possible that there was a bishop in Ston as early as at the end of the 7th century or the beginning of the 8th century.
Initially it was an Illyrian settlement until the Romans established their own colony there, in 167 BC. Croats appeared there in the early 7th century, and converted to Christianity.
In 533, at Saloon, a diocese was established in Sarsenterum for the Zahumlje or Hum area, which belonged to the church in Ston (Pardui). Later Sarsenterum was destroyed (most likely at the time of Avara's destruction). Since Ston was not included on Avara's ruinous visit, it was spared, and became the seat of the principals. As the secular and ecclesial powers grew together, it is assumed that after the disappearance of Sarsenterum, Ston became the ecclesiastical center. We see the diocese first mentioned in 877 as a diocese of the old age, and the bishop is listed as a suffragan of the Split metropolis. By setting up a metropolis in Dubrovnik, Ston became a suffragan of Dubrovnik.
Upon the arrival of the Croats, the area of the Neretva (from the northern Herzegovina mountains to Rijeka Dubrovačka) was established by the prince of Zahumlje - same as Neretva, Primorje and Herzegovina, which also belonged to Ston with Rat (Peljesac) and Mljet. Local rulers acknowledged the supremacy of Byzantium. After Mihajlo Višević, who acknowledged the authority of Bulgarian Simeon, Zahumlje was ruled over by different dynasties. Around 950, it was briefly ruled by Duke Časlav. At the end of the 10th century, Samuilo was the Lord of Zahumlje, and the dukedom belonged to king Ivan Vladimir. In 1168, the Dukedom and Zahumlje were conquered by Raški major prefect Stevan Nemanja. Thirty years later, Zahumlje was invaded by Andrija, the Duke of Croatia and Dalmatia. In 1254, Béla IV of Hungary conquered Bosnia and Zahumlje. From 1304, Zahumlje was ruled by Mladen Šubić, then again for a short period by Serb parishioners, and from 1325 by Stjepan Kotromanić, and finally by Dubrovnik.
The old Ston was located on the slopes of the hills of Gorica and St. Michael, south of the Ston field. There were several early Christian churches there, the largest of which was St. Stephen's Church. The bishopric church of Mary Magdalene stood until it was bombed by the Allies in 1944. The only church that still remains is the church of St. Michael, built in the middle of the late antique castrum.
The original old town was demolished in the earthquake of 1252. With the arrival of the Republic, a new city was built on today's location. When renovations were made at the church of St. Michael at the top of the hill, fragments of Roman decorative plaster, Roman tombstones and antique ceramics were found, confirming this assumption. According to some sources, Ston experienced a destructive civil war in 1250, and in these conflicts the city suffered a great deal of destruction.
The turbulent times at the beginning of the 14th century spread across the entire country of Zahumlje. The usurpation by the Branivojević brothers, forced the people of Dubrovnik to fight them in 1326 with the help of Stjepan Kotromanović (Stephen II, Ban of Bosnia). That year, Dubrovnik occupied Ston. The Dubrovnik people immediately began to build and establish a new Ston, to defend the Pelješac and protect the slaves from which they had earned big revenue. Since the conflict between the Ban in Bosnia and Serbian king, the Dubrovniks purchased Pelješac with Ston from both rulers in 1333.
The first cathedral church was that of St. Mary Magdalene on Gorica. The Church of Our Lady of Lužina was built in the 10th century. The Cathedral Church of St. Blaise was built in 1342 upon the decision of the Senate after the adherence of Ston to the Dubrovnik Republic at the site of today's damaged parish church. From then on until the fall of the Dubrovnik Republic, Ston was an integral part of the Republic, and its second city of importance.
In 1333, Dubrovnik started with the planned construction of the fortresses of Ston (Veliki Ston) and Little Ston (Mali Ston) at the present site. The cladding between the two towns along their entire length were made of large walls that were supposed to defend the Dubrovnik estate - Pelješac. This entire fortification complex, which is unique to Europe was built over a short period of time.
The downfall of the Republic of Dubrovnik took place due to the sudden and often incomprehensible operations in the 19th century. The city walls of Little Ston were demolished to suppress malaria. The monumental stone fortification complex of Ston suddenly collapsed in preparation for the official visit by Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph - the stones became a quarry for nearby new outcrops and foundations. The restoration of the stone monuments and the reconstruction of the fortifications and the tower resumed only after 1945, however they were again damaged in the Homeland War (1991-1992), followed by the devastating earthquake of 1996. Recently, thanks to the Society of Friends of the Dubrovnik Walls, the stone forts and towers are being reconstructed, so that the monumental stonewall complex now begins to live again in its old dignity.
Duration: 1 hour