Vela Luka History

 
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History of Vela Luka   < back
 
The region of todays Vela Luka was already inhabited in the prehistorically times, and this witnesses by archeological researches and founds in the Vela Spila (Big Cave). Numerous relieves of buildings and heaps (Potirna, Kovnici, Gradina...) are the trails of Illyrians, who inhabited the Adriatic coast and the island of Korcula, as well. There are numerous Greek and Roman findings, too. Some explorers believe that in the area of Vela Luka (Potirna) there was a Greek-Conidian colony, and based on relieves of architecture that can still be seen (Bradat, Gudulija, Poplat, Gubesa) a number of Roman settlements of economic i.e. farming character (villae rusticae) were found. During the exploration of the small church of St. Kuzma and Damjan (Zablace) numerous relieves from old-Christian periods were found. Vela Luka did not exist as a settlement in the middle Ages. The oldest documents that mention Vela Luka are from the 15th and 16th century, and in these documents it is not mention as a settlement but as a geographical term. From that time are stated citadels with magazines in the ownership of the governors and aristocrats Ismaelli from the town of Korcula, the small church of St. Vicenca and the small church of St. John in Bay of Gradina. By the end of the 18th century Vela Luka begins to form itself as a settlement, with several first families from the neighborhood town of Blato.

The independence in political-administrative, land-register and ecclesiastical view took place very fast. In 1819, Vela Luka got a chaplain, in 1828 it became a parish priest, and in 1848 the Parish church of St. Joseph was built. In 1849 the parish was established, in 1871 the belfry was built, in 1876 was a clock set up on the belfry, and in 1898, Vela Luka became independent and formed its own community. With the first industrial production (bakery, fish-processing factory, hydraulic press for olive processing, mills on steam power for wheat processing, a small shipyard) develops trade and traffic through the suitable and well-protected bay of Vela Luka. Due to that, a pier for import of good and export not only of own products but also from goods from neighborhood villages and towns on the west side of island, especially from the neighborhood town Blato, was built. In 1890, Vela Luka joined the fast line Trieste-Korcula. After that, Vela Luka developed and grew up into a very attractive island town, whose inhabitants deal with tourism, shipbuilding, fishery, navigation, agriculture. With the effort of its inhabitants, Vela Luka became a town where you can enjoy wines and olive oil highest quality, see the most modern achievements in shipbuilding, hear a real Dalmatian song, see an exhibition of well-known artists, and beside many other things, you can see a beautiful and untouched countryside and underwater world.

 
 
 
 
Vela Luka is a significant tourist and cultural centre on the island of Korcula. Apart from beautiful bays, the islands of Osjak and Proizd, hotels, restaurants and bars, Vela Luka offers very interesting and rich cultural sights. In the centre of the town, beside the parish church of St. Joseph, in front of which the folklore groups "Mafrina" and "Kumpanija" and Dalmatian singer groups perform every Thursday, is the Centre for Culture. It is situated in the former school building built in the second half of the 19th century. In the complex of the Centre for Culture are the museum and the gallery where the worth archeological collection with samples from the prehistoric locality of the Vela Spila (Big Cave), a collection of wooden ship models and the international gift "Collection of Drawings, Graphic and Small Sculptures" are exhibited. The international collection contains works of numerous domestic (Murtic, Picelj, Lipovac, Ruzic...) and foreign artists (Erro, Lindstrom, Monory, Soto) and among them are particularly pointed out two sculptures of Henry Moore. In the atrium of the Centre for Culture are exhibited mosaics that were made in 1968 when the International Meeting of Artists was held in Vela Luka. The floor mosaic of Ferdinand Kulmer with the motive of an octopus point out with its beauty. In the atrium are regularly held poetry evenings, music evenings, different kinds of promotions and other artistic and cultural events.
 
Centre for Culture
Vela Spila (Big Cave)
Collection of Drawings, Graphic and Small Sculptures
Collection of wooden ship models
Parish Church
 
 
 
 
 
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