Airport and transport – ferry to peninsula Pelješac (around 2 km), Drvenik (around 25 km), Dubrovnik (around 130 km) and Bari (Italy); airports in Split (around 140 km) and Dubrovnik.
History – (see Island Korčula); according to a legend (recorded almost two thousand years ago) town of Korcula was founded in 12th century BC by Antenor (a Trojan warrior who is also famed as the founder of the city of Padua (Italy)) who fled to Korcula after the fall of Troy; town walls and towers develops rapidly from the 13th century (streets are arranged in a herringbone pattern allowing free circulation of air but protecting against strong winds); the town is at the peak of its might in the 16th century when it could receive 6.000 inhabitants (the whole city enclosed by walls does not surpass one modern football stadium); building outside the city walls was forbidden until the 18th century (when first dwelling houses are built; although, the first workshops outside the town were built in 17th century); town is alleged birthplace of Marco Polo (13th century; the first world traveler and writer); in its Town Statute from 1214, Korčula prohibited slavery (and so become the first place in the world to outlaw the practice).
Interesting to see: church of St. Peter (11th century); Two towers: Prince’s Small Palace (12th-15th centuries) and Prince’s Big Palace (15th century); alleged family house of the traveler Marko Polo (13th century); the Tower of Sea Door (13th-15th century); Cathedral of St Mark (built from 1301 to 1806); Bishop’s Palace (14th century); Franciscan monastery (15th century; with a beautiful Venetian Gothic cloister); church of St. Barbara (15th century; which is an Orthodox church from 1928); Prison Tower (15th century); church of St. Anthony and a hermit’s dwelling (15th century); the oldest town cistern of drinkable water “Trepoca” (15th century); towers Barbarigo and Kerjan (15th century); church of Our Lady (15th century); square next to the church of Our Lady (16th century); grand 15th and 16th century palaces of the local merchant nobles; palace Ismaelis (16th century; with beautiful courtyard); Loggia (16th century; for centuries the only building outside the town walls; serve as a police and customs control station and after the travelers waiting room); Arsenal (16th century); two obelisks (16th-17th century); church of St. Justin (19th century); “Forteca” (the English tower Fort Wellington; 19th century; built on the place of the Venetian fortification from 17th century).
Info – alleged birth town of Marco Polo (1254 – 1324; the legendary traveler and globetrotter, explorer of the Far East, skilled merchant and diplomat at the court of Kublai-Khan; house still stands in Korcula); 3188 inhabitants; numerous tennis courts.
Happenings: many cultural and sports events: music festivals, theatre and folk music performances, sports contests, yachting regattas, etc.
Where to go out: disco; quality restaurants and bars.
Inevitable to see: The Town Museum (situated in one of the most beautiful palace Gabrielis from 16 century); Gallery (in palace Arneri); the Moreska dance (unbroken tradition from 16th century; this is not authentic local folklore, but was introduced from other Mediterranean countries and symbolizes a battle between Christians and Moslems; it is one of the oldest traditional European dances (records exist from 1156) still performed and Korcula is the only island where it is still danced with real swords); Kumpanija (old knightly ritual dance with long swords); Mostra (old battle dance with swords accompanied by misnice and a drum).
Inevitable to taste: fish specialties, top-class local wines (Posip, Rukatac, Grk, Plavac); traditional cakes and sweets (“cukarini”, “krostule”, “prikle”…).
Good to know: the city of Korčula is notable for its Town Statute dating back to 1214 which prohibited slavery (making Korčula the first place in the world to outlaw the practice); there is a legend (recorded almost two thousand years ago) that the town of Korcula was founded in 12th century BC by Antenor (a Trojan warrior who is also famed as the founder of the city of Padua (Italy)) who fled to Korcula after the fall of Troy (the 16th century stone plaque (at the Western entrance to the town) mentions Antenor as the founder of Korcula; this legend is also described by the writer Dihtys (in his work about the Trojan Wars) which he based on the Greek original from the 1st century, which says that Trojan fugitives founded the town, led by Antenor); the stone town of Korcula was also incorporated into old Greek mythology (according to Apolonio from Rhodos), Poseidon ordered Ezop’s daughter Kerkyra, to settle here, and when the Argonauts were passing by Korcula and saw dense wood cover, they called the island Melaina Korkyra (Black Corfu); Korculans are proud of the real possibility that Marko Polo was born a Korculan (the first world traveler and writer; one old Venetian manuscript points out that, together with Antenor, a certain Lucius Polus, arrived on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, as an ancestor of the Polo family).