Blato Korcula

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(4.093 inhabitants) is situated in the middle of the island on the main island road, 40 km from Korcula. This is a traditional agricultiral centre and the centre of all agricultural products of the island. Surrounded by fertile fields and rich woodland, early agricultural cultivation was flourishing here as early as greek and Roman times already (Potirna and Znjan). Archeological finds witness to the existence of a settlement in Blato in the prehistoric and Illyrian times. The prehistoric inhabitiant of Blato was a shepherd, hunter and fisherman. Several early Christian churches were built in Blato and around it. The most significant among them is the church of St. Cosmas and Damian from the 6th century. All this confirms the continuity of human life in Blato from the Neolithic to the present day. Blato also has been the most densely populated part of the island. Numerous families were not only living in Blato itself but also had possessions 12 km away from Blato. These families would come to Blato only for the most important events, such as marriages and funerals, as they had all other facilities, even schools, near their domains away from Blato. Some of these now deserted hamlets like Brnistrova or Gumanci are very interesting for those fascinated by life in the past.
The biggest public building in Blato today is the school, in whose cellars the huge cisterns of Blato wine are stored. The parish church of All Saints occupies the most prominent spot in Blato. It is a three-aisled church built in 1350, and reconstructed in its present form in 1672, when the bell-tower next to the church was built. The present loggia was also built at that time replacing an older one from 1496 witch was pulled down. In the church itself, there is the main altar of marble, the work of the Baroque artist Petar Pavle Bertapella (1763-1817), and the valuable All Saint painting on it, painted by the Venetian artist Girolamo da Santacroce in 1540. The church boasts a rich collection of silver, among which there are Venetian crosses from the 18th century. Saint Vicenza has been worshiped in Blato as its patron saint since 1795, and her relics are in the parish church.
Blato enjoyed its greatest prosperity in the 19th century at the time of an unique demand for wine. It was also a time of political emancipation which materialized in the foundation of the commune of Blato. The terrible phylloxera vine disease hit Dalmatia at the beginning of the 20th century. The population of Blato was halved through emigration as a result, so that now more Blato people live in Australia than in Blato itself. Photos of the arrival of special emigration ships in the ports of Prigradica and Vela Luka have been preserved. They took the emigrants on board and landed them in Australia, New Zealand and Brasil.
A wonderful avenue of lime-trees lines the road through the middle of the town; its is more than one kilometre long. At the beginning of summer, every passerby along this avenue becomes aware of why the Croatian name for June is Lipanj (it is the month when the lime-tree /lipa/ flourishes). The football stadium is also in the middle of the town, as well as a park with public buildings, a small hotel Lipa, the post office and the bus station. The sword dance and battle Kumpanjija is still performed on the original main square in front of the church of All Saints. the heritage of folklore of Blato is very rich and its inhabitants are pleased to demonstrate it to tourists, especially on the feast of Saint Vicenza (28.04). Althrough Blato did not built defend walls, it is possible to note old blocks of dwelling houses forming small closed areas of defence. The ethnographic museum is set in a fortified house - kastel Arneri. Walks through and around Blato are full of interest and the best view of the town itself and its surroundings stretches from the road leading from the town towards the south coast to the bays of Grscica and Prizba.
This road passes through steep terraced vineyards, which have never been resuscitated after the devastation of phylloxera. They represent today a monument to the hard-working people of Blato. The first picturesque bay is Grscica, and then Prizba - a settlement of villas and houses for hire whitch extends, untypically, along several kilometres of the coastline. The Alfir hotel is situated in the middle of Prizba near the picturesque small peninsula of Ratak. The modern turist settlement Priscapac with sub aqua sports facilities lies at the extremity of Prizba. There is only 2 km from there to Brna. The green uninhabited islands that lie in front of Grscica and Prizba are suitable for excursions and for fishing by local people and tourists. Their names are: Kosor, Stupa, Crklica, Sridnjak and Vrhovnjak. A second road from Blato leads to the next two areas of Blato, on the south coast of the island. The name Karbuni (Coals) speaks of the tradition of preparing charcoal and pitch in this region. It is also known as one of the safest anchorages for small boats in the Korcula archipelago. A group of beautiful islands with pleasant beaches lie in front of these places: Zvirinovik, Trstenik, Prznjak Veli, Prznjak Mali and others. There are a few summer houses of belonging to local people on Veli Prznjak.
Still another road leads from Blato to the north coast of the island and the hamlets of Prigradica, Rasoha and Babina. Prigradica was built in the 19th century as an exporting port for Blatos wine and oil, and today it is an attractive tourist resort. The very picturesque village of Rasoha and Babina are some kilometres away from Prigradica. Their inhabitants were occupied with agriculture, wood-cutting and salting fish. The artistic tradition of Blato is continued by the contemporary painters: Natasa Cetinic, Ante Sardelic and Frano Franulovic, who has an atelier/gallery in Blato. The road from Blato towards Vela Luka - 7 km - passes the edge of the biggest field on the island - Blatsko polje. A greater part of this field was under water for part of each year until 1912, when a tunnel was dug (2175 meters) as far as the bay of Bristva and the field was dried out. The mediaval custom of dividing up the land in this field are very interesting. Each family had to have a piece of good and a piece of bad land. The only underground sources of drinking water on the island of Korcula can be found here.
  The Church   The church walls
Tourist Board Blato
Blato is historical and cultural centre of the west part of the island of Korcula. It counts about 4000 inhabitants. Beautiful resorts of Blato are Prizba, Prigradica, Grscica and Karbuni. Within the old town there is a Church of All Saints with treasure loggia and the belfry. In the church you can admire wooden choir seats from 16th century or beautiful painting of Girolamo da Santa Croce. Processional silver crucifix from 15th century is of extraordinary value. Besides there are 37 small churches and the Monastery of the Daughters of Mercy. Since 1795 Blato has been under protection of St. Vincentia. Her body is in the Chapel in the Church of All Saints. During the 3rd Pope's visit to Croatia He declared the beatification of Maria of the Crucified Jesus Petkovic. She established the congregation of the Daughters of Mercy and spread it all over the world helping orphans, abandoned, the poor, and the sick. Within the Monastery there is a Sanctuary of Maria of The Crucified. The square in the front of the Church becomes an open stage upon which numerous church and secular festivals take place. Blato nurtures a tradition of very ancient folklore, expressed today in knightly sward dance "kumpanjija" which draws its origin from the far history. Culture tradition and the natural beauty create a restful atmosphere which is quite exceptional and generous smiling people will make you come back again and again.
BlatoTourist Office - Contact form and contact information
Blato has a very old, original folk tradition and it is shown today in the chivalrous tournament Kumpanjija, that has its origin in the Middle Ages. Kumpanjija is a chivalrous fight between two armies that want to show their readiness for the defence of their homes, and the tournament is a recall on the far centuries when the defence of the island was in the hands of the island territorial formation - Kumpanjija.
Marija Petkovic
On July 5, 2002. The Holy Commission made a Decision of heroic virtues of Servant of God Marija of the Crucified. On December 20, 2002. it made also a Decision of approved miracle of saving 20 sailors from the sunk Peruan navy submarine "Pacocha" by which all conditions for beatification were fulfilled and it is expected to be in June.
Archeological find 003
Blato plain (Blatsko polje) is a former periodically flooded karst plain located in the central western part of the island of Korcula. This area gravitating geographically to Vela Luka Bay and several smaller plains, was well settled during all prehistoric and proto-historic periods because of transportation connections and favorable environmental conditions. Systematic research began some ten years ago, and results are summarized in this article.
Natasa Cetinic was born on 9 May 1940 in Blato on the Island of Korcula. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1964 in the class of Professor Miljenko Stancic. She taught art in Blato from 1964 to 1966. She was associate in the Krsto Hegedusic Master Workshop from 1966 to 1970. To date she has shown at 30 one-person and 300 group exhibitions. She lived and worked in Zagreb and in Prigradica - Blato, Korcula. Natasa Cetinic died on 4th June 2001 in Zagreb.
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