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Despite the fact that it took a while as it was very carefully prepared, VIA BRATTIA, the circular tourist hiking trail of the island of Brač, has finally sprung into life and has opened up this island’s sheer beauty to lovers of active holidays, as well as to those who plan to join that group of tourists.
Following two long years of joint work of all of Brač’s tourist boards together, the municipalities of Nerežišća and Pučišća, the Profunda Mountaineering Association, and with the co-financing of the Split-Dalmatia County Tourist Board, a new tourist attraction has been ‘’born’’ which will experience the most traffic during the pre- and post-season.
VIA BRATTIA, which is a massive 140 kilometres in length, has connected the whole island, its many exceptional locations, and a large number of small towns and local attractions.
The trail is intended for lovers of hiking, running, nature walks, mountain biking, it is suitable for recreationists and amateurs, but also for all those who want to get to know Brač and its unusual, stunning beauty in a slightly different way. The trail has clearly marked trails in both directions, and you can jump in and take the trail of your desire at any point.
You will be guided to all of the locations by a map and blue and white markers, and you’ll be able celebrate getting through each section with a stamp. With stamps attesting to your success, the end of the road will create a real picture, the coat of arms of the island of Brač, and in it the figure of St. George, the patron saint of this island in the scene of the slaying of the dragon.
VIA BRATTIA tells the truly amazing story of the island of Brač. It starts in Supetar, where you can walk through the streets where the famous sculptor Ivan Rendić, the father of modern Croatian sculpture, used to walk. With the help of a guide, you can start Rendić’s tour and find out a lot about his works, but also about the attractions of Supetar, Leroj, the old cisterns, and how life functioned in a small Mediterranean town.
From Supetar you can then head to Mirca, and on the way you can stop in Sutivan, where you can relax in the Lemon Garden heritage hotel, or in many of the small apartments rented out as family accommodation. Then you’ll visit the catacombs, some of the few still in use today. Renting a bike and heading out on one of the island’s very many bike tours is also a top recommendation.
You can also cycle west in the direction of Bobovišća before descending to the sea where you will see an old fortress located on the very waterfront.
But that’s not the only story to be told by this small place. Vladimir Nazor spent his childhood and youth in Bobovšića, and his family house is still there, as is the symbolic tower he built. Next to it lies another, the Three Sisters, with three columns, built by Nazor back in 1937. On its pillars it bears three engraved letters I, O and A, the initials of the names of the sisters Irma, Olga and Amalia. Nazor cared for them throughout his entire life.
The next station is Ložišća, which many call one of the most autochthonous places on the island of Brač, best known for its stunning artistic work, the church bell tower made according to Rendić’s designs, and lace carved in stone.
It is interesting how in the introductory part of the anthology series Naše malo misto (Our little place) by Miljenko Smoje, this very beautiful bell tower is shown. After that, it’s time to head down to Milna, a safe harbour for boaters, and a place completely facing the sea. Rade Harašić used to live here, a Milna native from whom Miljenko Smoje created poet Servantes’ character from the aforementioned Croatian cult series. Harašić’s collection of paintings is still housed in Milna to this day.
Where you’re about to head off to now is one of the biggest attractions on all of Brač, through the hidden, turquoise bays of the southwest coast of Brač you will reach the Blaca Hermitage.
It is a monastery from back in the 16th century, founded by Glagolitic priests. You can only reach it on foot, so make sure to choose the time of day you take on the challenge carefully and be sure to bring plenty of water with you in the summer heat. Get ready for the goat trails, and the amazing views that await you at the end of this journey.
After that, you can head east, across the bay of Farska and to the town of Murvica where there are three excellent beaches.
Just above Murvica lies the Dragon’s cave, at 200 metres above sea level, which for centuries served as a sanctuary of the Poljica Glagolitic Catholics. They continued to live in it as hermit monks, and today, this astonishing cave is a top cultural location that you simply must see when visiting the island.
Then comes Bol and its trademark, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Zlatni rat (Golden horn), with its crystal clear sea and smooth white pebbles. When spending time in Bol, make sure to visit the Dominican monastery which is home to a library with rare copies of books.
There is also a recently reopened and renovated museum that houses a collection of incunabulum, church vestments and other interesting items. On the altar of the monastery church is the famous Tintoretto’s fallen Virgin Mary holding a child which is from the 16th century, another amazing attraction from this part of the island.
Following Bol, you can ascend once again, high up into the hills in Podsmrčevik, to one of the five peasant hamlets with small stone houses, a monument and a symbol of the island’s former pastoral life.
From the hamlet you’ll then descend to the stone white village of Selca, where you can visit the beautiful cathedral on the square, as well as the famous busts and monuments dedicated to many famous people by the diligent stonemasons who come from this area.
From there, you can head down to the shoreline once again, more precisely to Sumartin, where you can visit the Franciscan monastery best known thanks to the poet and Franciscan Andrija Kačić-Miošić. Enjoy a refreshing swim in gorgeous Rasotica bay, then head to Povlja and visit the early Christian basilica located next to the parish church. Then comes the time to visit the famous Pučišća and the stonemasonry school, as well as the beautiful sandy bay of Lovrečina and the remains of the Basilica of St. Lawrence.
the way there lie Postira and the beautiful Villa na Mirju. Next to Postira lies the small town of Dol which has preserved its traditional architecture excellently. Be sure to try out their specialty while you’re there, roasted dormice and the famous hrapoćuša cake, a tasty calorific bomb made from an entire kilo of walnuts and the exact same amount of sugar.
On the way, you will come across a beautiful little place called Škrip which boasts the Museum of the Island of Brač, located in the Radojković tower which dates back to the 16th century. Be sure to stop by the beautiful Uja Museum, followed by a return to your starting point of Supetar.
At the end, you will receive 12 stamps, each one representing each of the 12 points from this unique attraction in the Museum of the Blaca Hermitage, the Dragon’s cave, the Dominican Monastery in Bol, Podsmrčevik, the Franciscan Monastery in the Church of St. Martin in Sumartin, the Early Christian Basilica in Povlja, the Stonemasonry School in Pučišća the Basilica of St. Lawrence, Vila na Mirju near Postira and the museum of the Island of Brač in Škrip.
The 11th seal is obtained in the church of St. Spyridon at the crossroads of ancient roads from Sutivan to Mirca, and the last in the church of St. Martin from the location of an extremely important strategic position and view of the sea route through the Split Gate to the Central Dalmatian islands of Hvar, Brac and Solta.
For all those who decide to take this amazing island walk, here are some important tips to be learned. Pedestrian sections would be desirable to do in such a way that sleep is provided in one of the more populated places near the route. The road map provided for the stamps can be downloaded from the Tourist Information Centre of the island, in Supetar, Sutivan, Milna, Bol, Postira, Pučišća, and in Sumartin. The fluid for the stamp should be carried on your person, as should sufficient amounts of water and food, especially in the summer months. And that would be it, VIA BRATTIA is waiting for you, so why not begin by heading in the direction of an amazing island experience?
MORE ABOUT LOCATIONS:
ABOUT LOCATIONS WITH THE STAMPS
The hermitage (monastery) was founded in the 16th century by the Glagolitic priests who come to Brač fleeding from Poljica before the Turks. Blaca can be reached from many directions, but always exclusively by foot. Blaca are really an exceptional monument of human work, with great historical, economic, artistic and scientific content.
2 – Dragon’s Cave
Dragon’s cave is a monument to the hermit-like monastic life of the Glagolitic priests from the 15th century. It is situated 200 m above the village Murvice, in the heart of Vidova Gora (mountain). Throughout the centuries it has served as the residence and sanctuary of Poljica Glagolitic priests fleeing before the Turkish invasion to continue their monastic life in the caves.
3 – Dominican Monastery In Bol
It was founded in 1475 in a location chosen for the Dominicans by the inhabitants of Bol, and confirmed by the Brač Duke Zacharia. The spiritual and cultural influence of the monastery was felt for centuries, not only in Bol but also the wider region. Aside from the museum in the monastery there is also a library with rare books and manuscripts.
Podsmrčevik is one of five hamlets settled in the inner part of the island, northwest of Selca. Today they are almost abandoned because their people settled in nearby settlements.
The oldest parts of this hamlet are characterized by small stone houses covered in stone slabs, using the dry-wall technique or built from hewn stone blocks, with enclosed gardens and stables.
5 – Franciscan Monastery And The Parish Church Of St. Martin In Sumartin
Fleeing the Turks Franciscan monks came with the settlers and founded Sumartin in the middle of the 17th century. The monastery is synonymous with the legendary poet and Franciscan monk Andrija Kačić-Miošić and today holds a private museum with valuable collection of artifacts. Next to the parish church also look for the footprint commemorating the “Footsteps of St. Martin de Tours”.
Many visitors come to Povlja to see the early Christian basilica on the grounds of the parish church. The remains of the Early Christian basilica date back from 5th and 6th centuries.
Many parts of this triple – naved basilica can be seen in their entirety, also as an area of the former baptistery. Povaljski prag and Povaljska listina, of great importance to Croatian history, also originated here.
7 – The Stonemason school in Pučišća
The Stonemason school began with its work in the remote 1909. This is the only school in the Republic of Croatia that educates the stone masons. Its work is based on the ancient Roman stone processing technology using hand crafted tools. It is recognized throughout the world and is being visited by innumerous visitors each year. The skill of hand stone processing using the old Roman tools nourished in the Stonemason school is protected by non-material cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia.
The Roman farm was built in Lovrečina bay, close to a water source and a fertile field. In the 5th century a Benedictine monastery was founded in the border area with the church dedicated to St. Lawrence, whose name has been preserved in the name of the bay. Lovrečina is the biggest sandy bay on the island Brač.
Mirje is situated among the two important centers on the Adriatic part of the province: Diocletian’s palace in Split and imperial quarries near Škrip, from which architectural stone for building the monumental palace was cut.
Numerous fragments of stone furniture confirmed the existence of a sacral building from the 6th century. The analysis of the discovered walls suggests that the complex was not built for the convent’s community, but that was in fact a later adaptation of the late antique villa with thermal complex.
10 – The Island Of Brač Museum In Škrip
The Island of Brač Museum, situated in Radojković Tower from the 16th century, is one of the Croatian most visited museums, annually visited by more than 15 000 people. Its foundations date back 1500 years A.C. In the lower floor of the Museum, there is a Roman Mausoleum where, according to the legend, rest Valerija and Priska – wife and daughter of the Roman emperor Diocletian. The Island of Brač Museum in Škrip is the place not to be missed when visiting Brač.
11 – St. Spiridon’s Church
Uniquely shaped small chapel at the crossroad of ancient roads from Sutivan to Mirca and former parish Donji Humac (16th century). Not far from the church there is a speleological location (pit), the only one in Sutivan area.
12 – Church of St.Martin
We don’t know exact time construction of the church of St.Martin, but shows early Romanesque style characteristics. On the facade of her annexed bell tower in the late 15th century. Simply stone facade on top of a brick distaff with a triangular pediment from the 14th century church is vaulted barrel vault without a flange, and the walls were broken down broad shallow niches. Above the altar is a Renaissance stone relief, workshop Firentinac, depicting St. Martin and the beggar on horseback.
photo: Hrvoje Gabrić, Robert Barilla, Alan Čaplar, archive TB Brač island
This post is also available in: Croatian