Author

Croatian Hot Spots

Browsing

Within the presentation of tradition and beauties of the island of Korčula on the Croatian mosaic held in Rome, the old traditional sword dance “Kumpanjija Smokvica” was presented. Members of the Society of Smokvica thrilled the numerous audience with their chivalrous game in their beautiful characteristic costumes. Presentation of the island of Korčula and the performance of Kumpanjija were organized by company DEA Caeli, and the project leader was Tina Rubeša. Media partner was Dalmatian hot spots magazin.

The town of Korčula is located on the northeastern part of the island, whose lavish flora was noticed and recognized even in old times, so ancient Greeks named it Korkyra Melaina. Encouraged by preciousness of monumental and cultural heritage of this city, as well as by uniqueness of its architectural design, we rightly call it a stone pearl!

Lovers of cultural sights will discover an inexhaustible source, due to its magnificent visual identity in the late Gothic and Renaissance style. We recommend visiting the brightest testimony of architectural virtuosity – St. Mark’s Cathedral, and as a special attraction, the fantastic Marco Polo Museum, where seven memorable scenes from the life of the Korčula’s most famous citizen are evoked in a superb setting and with accompaniment of an audio guide. Exactly this town is the birthplace of the world’s famous traveler, merchant and explorer who lived in the 13th century, and wrote third most read book in the world – “The Million”, in which he recorded knowledge and skills acquired during his 17-year stay in the Far East.

Other than tangible heritage, the richness of Korčula’s tradition is shown by unique performances of cultural associations that nurture secular knight games – Moreška, Kumpanija and Moštra. The city boasts a large number of events – from harmony singing groups’ meetings, to Korkyra Baroque Festival, an international level event.

Korčula is also proud of delightful cuisine, especially when it comes to excellent white wines with specific aromas (Grk and Pošip). Pair them with fish prepared in a variety of ways, seasoned with fine olive oil. From different types of meat, locals preferably prepare lamb, which enjoys the same status of a specialty as the delicious homemade smoked ham and cheese. There is also a broad range of traditional sweets, so make sure to try hrustule, cukarini and klašuni filled with walnuts, quince jelly – kotonjata…

For a pleasant stay in the town of Korčula, at your disposal are comfortable hotels and private accommodation facilities, sea camps and ACI marina. With a wide range of its own offerings, the town also offers the possibility of various excursions.

[nivo effect=”fade” directionNav=”button” controlNav=”true” width=”720px” height=”360px”]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/korčula.jpg[/image]
[/nivo]

Lumbarda is a small place located on the eastern cape of the forested island Korčula, with 1200 inhabitants, lively untouched scenery, rugged coastline, crystal clear sea, sandy beaches, rich history preserved in documents dating back over two millenniums, olive trees, quality wines, preserved customs and traditions, gastronomic specialties of local cuisine…but above all – hospitable hosts.

In history, Lumbarda was [nivo effect=”fade” directionNav=”button” controlNav=”true” width=”720px” height=”360px”]
[image caption=”Foto: Turistička zajednica općine Lumbarda”]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/03.jpg[/image]
[image caption=”Foto: Turistička zajednica općine Lumbarda”]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Lumbarda.jpg[/image]
[/nivo]
, and even today it has preserved the same feeling. It is easily reached from six kilometers distance from Korčula. It is an ideal destination for guests looking for quiet, safe and unique vacation.

Sandy beaches and archipelago of about twenty islets are in the vicinity of this place. The scenery abounds in Mediterranean aromatic herbs, pine trees, salt, all coloured with different shades of blue, sand and stone white, pine green and agave silver green.

The guest will enjoy „Lumbarajske užance“, manifestations and events related to customs, dances, songs, trade, artists, food and wine, performed by local people who will make your evenings in Lumbarda an unforgettable experience.

1. GASTRO

Lumbarda offers a variety of restaurants, taverns and rural households with traditional meals and rich selection of wine from the gardens of Lumbarda.

WINE

The island of Korčula is famous for its white wines. „Grk“ is the type grown in Lumbarda, „Pošip“ and „Rukatac“ in the central part of the island. Widely known red wine is „Plavac mali“.

GRK- Lumbarda is famous for this quality wine made of the local type of grapes of the same name. It can only be grown in sandy vineyards of the fields in Lumbarda. It is not known whether it got the name for its sophisticated bitter taste or it was named after the Greeks that founded their colony here at the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. Stone inscription Lumbarda Psephism, monument from that area, talks about this settlement and „the soil for planting grapes“’, proving that vineyards date back to 2300 years.

„Grk“ goes perfectly with sea food, but quality white meat as well, and it can always be served as an aperitif.

The word Kumpanjija on the island of Korčula denotes company that gathers men in maintenance of these traditions – each chivalrous association on the island, including the one of Smokvica, contains this term in its title.

Kumpanjija represents a chain dance that originates from Medieval European tradition with a series of similar figures. It includes impacts of the old local ceremonies, Dinaric zone and sword skills of moreška. After the Second World War, it is renewed in 1954, and in 1978 it is organized within the framework of Cultural and Artistic Association “Ante Ćefera” which acts as an independent chivalrous association with continuous activities to the present day. In the past Kumpanjija was performed for up to 3 hours, and nowadays, in a solemn form with all 18 figures, it takes up to an hour.

The dance itself is the sequence of historic traditions and talks about defending the town of Smokvica. It is performed in remembrance of all inhabitants who participated in the defense of the island. The game is played on the church square in front of a large number of locals and guests who gladly come to watch this cultural patrimony. The ceremony is preceded by the Holy Mass and a procession through the town with a statue of Our Lady and singing of sacred songs, with participation of all guests and local population.

At the beginning of the warrior dance, the captain of a group of knights requests a command to start, and after permission is granted, this ancient war game may begin. Chain sword dance, extremely demanding and dangerous, is performed with the sound of drums and flag dance, and it also contains elements characteristic of a military parade. Shortly after the sword dance follows the one which also includes women, usually close relatives of players (kumpanjoli). The hosts encourage guests and the audience to participate in the last dance so that they too can make a part of Kumpanija, which also marks the ending of this magnificent spectacle that unites chivalry, skills and traditions.

[nivo effect=”fade” directionNav=”button” controlNav=”true” width=”720px” height=”360px”]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Kumpanija.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Smokvica-Ples-015.jpg[/image]
[/nivo]

Make sure to begin your visit to Dubrovnik with a promenade in Stradun or Placa while getting the first impressions of one of the most beautiful cities of the Mediterranean. The astonishing city of stone is surrounded with 1,940 m long walls. A tour of the world’s second most frequented open-air museum will definitely take your breath away.

Visit the museums of Dubrovnik and find out where the rector of the glorious Dubrovnik Republic used to live, where grain was stored, which sailing ships formed parts of the powerful Dubrovnik Republic fleet travelling around the world, making Dubrovnik famous.

Taste some of the delicious Mediterranean specialities at the taverns and restaurants of the Old City and complete the treat with a cup of coffee in Stradun.

Buy some of the typical Dubrovnik souvenirs (delicacies, traditional filigree jewellery, a bronze statuette of St. Blaise, Konavle embroidery…) to remind you of the day when you began to discover Dubrovnik and inevitably fell in love with it forever, wishing to come back…

Walk the city walls, and make sure to visit the Maritime Museum in order to learn about the centuries-long seafaring tradition of the Dubrovnik Republic. Discover more about the famed seamen, and the mathematician Getaldić and the physicist Ruđer Bošković who calculated the loading capacity of the merchant ships karaka, galijun and nava. Take a ride by cable car up to the top of Srđ. The ride offers breathtaking view of the Old town of Dubrovnik, stunning coastal sights and magnificent sunsets. Take your time, and enjoy the view you will remeber for a long time!
[nivo effect=”fade” directionNav=”button” controlNav=”true” width=”720px” height=”360px”]
[image caption=”Foto: Turistička zajednica grada Dubrovnika”]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/dubrovnik_sightseeing1.jpg[/image]
[/nivo]

Dubrovnik-Neretva County has for centuries attracted many visitors. In the beginning they were mostly traders from the interior and neighboring countries – diplomats, pilgrims, explorers, travelers. Nowadays this area is a favorite destination for guests who want a tour of magnificent antiques, as well as nature lovers and active vacationers, among which everyone will surely find something for themselves.

Let’s start from the lovers of nature, to whom we recommend a visit to National Park of Mljet, one of the most beautiful Adriatic islands with two deep bays called lakes due to the very narrow links to the open sea, and lush and diversified Mediterranean vegetation. Mljet is also proud of the rich cultural heritage, and the most impressive example is the complex of the Benedictine monastery from the 12th century.

We should mention the special nature reserves – the southeastern part of the Neretva River delta, the habitat of many fish species and of rare species of birds. This site is visually appealing and easily accessible thanks to the existence of the road to the river mouth. Then, the Mali Ston Bay, which is a well-known mussel farm and gastronomic center of the County, famous for particular geological features and natural flow of nutrient salts. We should also highlight the islet of Lokrum near Dubrovnik, which boasts Holm oak trees and Maquis with Aleppo pine.

The fans of sightseeing will not be disappointed – we recommend a tour of the medieval town of Cavtat built by the Dubrovnik principles of harmony, marked by valuable works from all historical periods. Visit Trsteno, the oldest arranged Renaissance Park in Dalmatia rich in exotic plants, and beautiful Gothic Renaissance monument in the town of Korčula – St. Mark’s Cathedral, whose altars are decorated with many paintings by Jacopo Tintoretto and the other Italian artists.

And for active holiday enthusiasts, this region also has a lot to offer. Domestic and foreign nationals may engage in recreational and sport fishing, and guests can enjoy a unique diving experience. Numerous hiking trails reveal the unspoiled nature, and for those who are a bit more demanding, we recommend visiting geomorphologic monuments – a number of interesting caves!

Finally, we should not forget the gourmet-minded visitors. In the Neretva Valley you can try eel or frog stew, delicious wild animal meals, particularly a wild duck (coot). From there the road leads us to Ston, where you may try oysters, mussels, and freshly made fish. On the islands of Mljet, Šipan, Lopud and Koločep you can enjoy delicious dishes of dried fish or seafood in restaurants and taverns, and in Dubrovnik and Župa Konavle you will be offered with prosciutto, cheese in olive oil, green pasta and other delicacies.

HISTORICAL STRUGGLE FOR SURVIVAL SEEN ON FACES, HANDS AND SOULS OF THESE PROUD PEOPLE

Since coming to this area, to the poor soil of Dalmatian kast, and rich Adriatic sea, where beautiful coast offers everything for a good life, Dalmatian people have been struggling! Numerous enemies, from decade to decade, destroyed everything the people of Dalmatia created.
Hardworking hands made „mire“ (stone walls), putting stone by stone. Dry stone walls were built around the parcels, thus creating the pearls of grey stones, protecting the fields of olive trees, vineyards, corn, wheat and lavender fields. Potatoes, and even tobacco were grown on the hills of poor soil of Dalmatia.
Dalmatian people!
It is not easy to find the words to describe the persistence and wish for survival, the love and hospitality of these people. Lack of water on the islands, poor soil, but sun all year round. Each sun wrinkle tells its story – the story of hard work with the hoe on the shoulder, the story of picking stones from their lands…It was the constant struggle with the time, everything had to be done by noon. Main problem was always the sun, making it very hard to work on the fields.
The prize for this hard work was „marendin“, a piece of bread with olive oil, maybe a piece of meat or dried fish. After the hard work in the field, it was time for fishing. The sunset is time for their boats, and fishing till morning. Grilled fish and Dalmatian song – that touches everyone’s soul. All the troubles will be forgotten with a glass of quality wine, followed with the songs dedicated to this poor soil, this little piece of land, chosen by our ancestors.
Besides the hard work in the field, people in rural part take care about the animals, scattered on the hills looking for grass…People in rural part – resistent to all the hardship, people that don’t talk a lot, but who has time to talk anyway…
Just don’t touch their homeland – poor soil, karst fields, their stone houses, the history written in blood and sweat, their families or the taverns where friends and songs give the meaning to life.

DALMATIAN WOMEN – HARD WORKING BEAUTIES
Women have always taken care about their houses, children and husbands. Grace and beauty weren’t touched by poverty and worries.
However, their tired expression was seen in their older age, these beautiful women of Dalmatia had to work in the fields besides taking care about their houses. Side by side with their husbands, they knew how to use the hoe and work hard.
They would also go fishing, and work in olive fields. The right example are the women from the area of Sibenik, that had the fields on the islands of Kornati. They used to take care for olive trees and herds of sheep and goats. After the hard work on the land it was time for fishing.

A return to history, treasuring the tradition, culture and customs- this would be a summary of Dalmatia Eco-ethno Night that took place in Split Meštrović Gallery. Family house with atelier of famous Croatian artist Ivan Meštrović became a stage for manifestation held in order to promote cultural and enological treasures as well as Croatian manufacturers and keepers of old crafts.
Audience, among who County Ruler’s deputy of Splitsko-dalmatinska County Visko Haladić and director of the County’s Tourist Association Joško Stella were present, enjoyed the rich program filled with presentations of crafts and products and also entertainment. Performers were: Knight’s Society Kumpanija from Smokvica, the island of Korčula; men’s Donjaci-Martinci klapa from the island of Šolta; female band KUD Salona from Solin and KUD Vrgorska krajina from Vrgorac. A fashion show of Dalmatian folk costumes worn by journalists and editors of Slobodna Dalmacija newspaper: Nataša Bakotić, Nives Bašić-Dorotka, Silvana Uzinić, Jasenka Leskur-Staničić, Olgica Ivić-Grizelj and Duška Čolović also took place. Wonderful sea motives jewellery by Vinka Mitrović was also presented. In this blend of tradition and quality audience enjoyed the exhibition part the most. Decorative items and souvenirs were exhibited while small manufacturers from all over Dalmatia enabled audience to taste natural jams, liqueurs, ravioli, Mediterranean herbs, olive oil, gingerbread, wine and prosecco.
[nivo effect=”fade” directionNav=”button” controlNav=”true” width=”720px” height=”360px”]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Kumpanija1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/602559_391155917599040_1265571547_n1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/561455_391155807599051_1785279426_n1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/560943_391155564265742_1161308023_n1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/541523_391154747599157_840326933_n1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/529306_391155397599092_1759155620_n1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/527911_391154787599153_280338023_n1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/431807_391155604265738_1830440988_n1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/431781_391154484265850_559451661_n1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/396102_391155774265721_452602114_n1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/382532_391155944265704_1639190503_n1.jpg[/image]
[image]http://hotspots.net.hr/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/309440_391155494265749_1589246476_n1.jpg[/image]
[/nivo]