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Vinko Foretić ; Dubrovnik

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 4.262 Kb

str. 107-119

preuzimanja: 926


Puni tekst: engleski pdf 4.262 Kb

str. 107-119

preuzimanja: 220



The ancient Dalmatian autonomous communes, Korčula included, excel the usual average development in a number of ways. While the commune of Korčula included the whole island, the city lies in its extreme north-eastern strategical part.
Important pre-historical finds, discovered in the Vela Splilja cave in the vicinity of Vela Luka, remind those found on the Hvar Island. The first author to mention Korčula was an ancient Greek one, the 4th century B. C. writer Pseudo-Skalax, who called the island Kerkyra mèlaina. There is a variant form i. e. Korkyra mèlaina, Latin Corcyra nigra, or only Korkyra or Corcyra, respectively. According to ancient authors, the city was founded by Cnidans. A grecian inscription, telling about the colonisation by Grecian settlers, and the foundation of the city, found near Lumbarda, is one of the most important. A Roman inscription refers to the temple of the deity Venera Pelagia. Reliable information about the present city go back to the mid-10th century A. D.
Significant finds, dating from the early middle ages, were discovered on the Majsan Islet situated to the east of the city. The city statute, dating from 1265 (the oldest in Dalmatia) has been preserved. Its institutions concerning the salvage of shipwrecked vessels, with their 15th century modifications, are progressive ones. One of the first agrarian reforms in this country took place during the period from 1409 to 1411. The 15th century regulations concerning the construction of the city were also very progressive. The building of ships and quarrying of stone reached an extraordinary development. The latter was crowned by construction of buildings and artistic stone-cutting. The quarried stone was also copiously exported. The planning of the city was a regular, semielliptical one. Owing to its strategical position, the city and its environs were the scene of a series of battles: in the years 1000, 1298, 1354, 1409, 1483, and 1571. The Russians and the French collided there in the Napoleonic time. The city has seen several sieges and blockades. The English held Korčula from 1813 to 1815 and left two monuments there. In addition to excellent buildings, among which belongs the Cathedral, Korčula boasts other monuments, such as two 15th century polyptychs painted by Blaž of Trogir, Byzantine ikons, the altar canvas by Tintoretto, some paintings by Tripun Kokolja, a silver cross by the 15th century Dubrovnik master Progonović, a painted crucifix from the same century by George Petrović (now in the church of the Franciscan monastery at Orebić), and 16th century sculptures cut in wood by Frano Čučić from Korčula.
A 12th century Korčulan anthology contains information from the times of the Croatian national dynasty. The beginnings of literature in the Croatian language can be traced as far back as the 14th century, but the poets of importance appear from the 16th century on: Ivan Vidali, Petar Kanavelić, and Augustin Draginić being the most notable among them. Their work is permeated by the Croatian and Slavic patriotism. The Croatian national life in Korčula has showed itself in various ways, such as through folk-songs, warrior dances with swords in the villages (»Kumpanija«) and in the city (»Moreška«) with dialogues in the Croatian language. The »Moreška« dance has a cosmopolitan character. A number of famous men were born on the island. Some of them became famous abroad. The sculptor Frane Kršinić from Lumbarda is worthly of mentioning among those living at present.
Korčula’s past, particularly its values in the fields of culture and art have been scientifically extolled by Cvito Fisković, the person celebrated by us to-day.

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