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Island Šipan

Airport and transport – ferry to Dubrovnik (around 19 km) and to surrounding Elaphiti Islands; airport in Dubrovnik.

History – inhabited in prehistory; among first by Illyrians, than Romans; first time mention as Šipan (from Latin “gypana” meaning the island of eagles) in 1371; since 10th century and until its downfall in 1808 under Dubrovnik Republic; at that time shipbuilding and maritime center with up to 7000 inhabitants.

Interesting to see: remains of Villa Rustica (Šipanska Luka); ruins of church of St. Peter (Velji Vrh; 11th century); church of St. John (Šilovo Selo; 11th century; with frescos; expended in 15th century); church of St. Michael (part of Benedictine monastery; Pakljeno; 11th century); church of St. Stephan (15th century); Rectors Palace (Šipanska Luka; 15th century); ruins of summer residence of the Dubrovnik’s Archbishops (between Suđurađ and Šipanska luka; 15th century); fortified castle (built by Tomo) Stjepovic-Skocibuha and big tower (Suđurađ; 16th century); church of Holy Ghost (Suđurađ; 16th century; with a largest flat roof cover of that kind on the Adriatic coast); mansion of (Vice) Stjepović-Skočibuha (16th century; with an rarity example of the only inner preserved wooden balcony on the Mediterranean from the 16th century); tower of Pakljena (16th century).

Info – island with around 42 summer mansions (almost all unkempt) and 34 churches (all built in the period from 7th-16th century); around 545 inhabitants; two main settlements (connected by local bus-line) Šipanska Luka (250 inhabitants) and Suđurađ (150 inhabitants) and 4 smaller villages; covered with Mediterranean vegetation (maquis, aleppo pine, fir trees, cypresses and numerous species of palm tree); cultivation of olive trees, figs, almond trees, carob trees and citruses; large vineyards with finest grapes (long tradition; in the middle ages known on many European courts); highest peak Velji Vrh, 224 m; coastline 29.416 km; surrounding sea abounds with fish.

Where to go out: restaurants.

Inevitable to taste: prosciutto (smoked ham), goat-cheese (matured in olive-oil), fish, local vine and olive oil.

Good to know: in the Middle ages famous Šipan’s vineyards and wines were known on many European courts; ruins of the smaller chateau in a place Renatovo holds a coat of arms with inscription “Renatus rex justus” (or René the righteous king) and a legend that René d’Anjou (King of Naples; 1409-1480) was staying in this castle; in the mansion of Vice Stjepović-Skočibuha (16th century) there is a rarity in the hall (above the staircase) a banister, which is a rare example of the only preserved wooden balcony (on the Mediterranean) from the 16th century; in the summer residence of the Dubrovnik’s Archbishops used to stayed the humanist and archbishop of Dubrovnik Lodovico Beccadelli (1501-1572) a good friend of Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564; Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer); in 15th and 16th century many noble families from Dubrovnik Republic built their summer residences here, also they built towers (near the mansions) as a protection of the frequent pirates’ attacks (towers had the entry on the 1st floor; were connected to the mansion by drawbridge; equipped with cistern, fireplace, ingle, wall cabinets, toilets; and the highest premise enabled good view in a case of attack); island Šipan entered in a book of “Guinness World Records” as an island with the most olive trees compared to the size of the island and the number of inhabitants.

For sailors: (42°43’25” N; 17°52’33” E); two ports on the island: E, Suđurađ (San Giorgio) and W Šipanska Luka (Porto Gippana);

Lopud door (passage between islands Šipan and Lopud) – exposed to all winds; shelters from winds Jugo and Bura are: in the port Lopud (island Lopud), and NE in the port Suđurađ; shallow is: in the passage between Ruda and Šipan (5 m W of the cliff Ruda; it is good to leave the shallow on the E side and sail near the cape Konj); reef and shallow is: in front of cape Butor.

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