Wednesday, 2 September 2020

VIDEO: Owen Wilson Plays Football with Korcula Locals

September 2, 2020 - After spending time in Dubrovnik, Owen Wilson plays football with local kids on the island of Korcula. 

Hollywood star Owen Wilson has been exploring the Croatian coast, and getting to know the locals, too.

After Dubrovnik.net reported that he was seen joining the Belvedere Dubrovnik team for a pick-up game of football tennis, Korcula Online reported that the Zoolander star strolled through the streets of Korcula, where he was filmed with the locals playing a game of kick-ups.

The Hollywood actor is no stranger to Croatia, as he spent time in Split last summer filming Bliss with Salma Hayek. Wilson was open-hearted to locals then, too, and was photographed with the staff of Zrno Soli and fans in the city-center supermarket. You can read more about Wilson's stint in Split here.

Owen Wilson is an American actor, producer, and screenwriter from Dallas, Texas, famous for his collaboration with filmmaker Wes Anderson, which saw him nominated for the Academy Award for his role in The Royal Tenenbaums. Wilson's biggest films include Marley and Me, Zoolander, Wedding Crashers, and Starsky & Hutch. He has acted alongside Jackie Chan, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson, and Ben Stiller, to name a few.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Croatia Wine: ”Every Visit Is A Voyage Of Discovery”

August 9, 2020 - Meet Marc Hough, a former international DJ who became a wine importer after visiting Dubrovnik and trying Croatia wine. In 2020, he returns for his 20th summer.

Situated in the north of England, about halfway up the island called Great Britain, the city of Manchester is famous for its football and music. Mancunians are proud of this. Two members of TCN are from the city, and when someone local asks “Odakle si?”, usually we say “Ja sam iz Manchestera” (I am from Manchester). We don't say "I'm from England" or "Great Britain". Everyone knows where Manchester is.

117386860_219905849351765_5154252143370316874_n.jpg
Marc Hough, a former international DJ. His passion for the Plavac he discovered in Dubrovnik turned him into a wine merchant.

20 years ago, Marc Hough was a high profile member of Manchester's famous music scene. He counts members of bands like The Stone Roses and The Happy Mondays as close personal friends. As longstanding DJ to New Order (the band that was once Joy Division), he toured the world playing the music of Manchester to many. But, no more.

“I reached the age of 40 in 2010 and thought, what am I doing with my life?” Hough told TCN over the phone, as he was preparing for a trip Dubrovnik. “DJing and the music business is a young man's game.”

And so, inspired by an enthusiasm for Croatia wine, he turned his back on a high profile DJ career and became a wine bar owner and wine merchant.

117625972_3480652008634129_6128604864560568888_n.jpg
One of Marc's 'Cork Of The North' wine bars / stores near Manchester © Cork Of The North

“When I started, I was literally just selling wine out of the back of my car. I only had five customers and three of those were my dad, my brother and me!” remembers Marc, who has built his independent business considerably since then. He is now a wholesaler, recommending and selling wines to top bars and restaurants in the north of England. He has also opened two of his own wine bars 'Cork Of The North' (which are also wine shops), in Sale and Heaton Moor, near Manchester.

“Croatia plays such a big part in the story,” stresses Marc. “I've been visiting Dubrovnik for over 20 years. I had a friend from there who I met in Manchester. She came to live here for a while to escape the war. After it finished, she went home, invited me to Dubrovnik and I just fell in love with the place.”

“There was a wine bar in the Old Town called D'Vino, run by a half Croatian half Australian guy called Saša. After I saw what he was doing there with Croatia wine, I thought that's exactly the kind of place I'd like to have in Manchester.”

Already passionate about wine thanks to his grandad, that first trip to Dubrovnik made Marc curious to return. On his next visit to Croatia, he travelled further than just the Pearl of the Adriatic and went to the source of some Croatia wine itself.

1440px-Panorama_Mali_Ston04243.jpg
Part of the Pelješac peninsula, which features heavily in Marc's 20-year affair with Croatia wine © Anto

“I came back on a sailing holiday with Bernard Sumner (guitarist of Joy Divison and singer of New Order),” Marc recalls. “He loves sailing and he has his own boat. We went all round Pelješac, Korčula, Brač. I fell in love with Dingač. Since then, I've travelled all of Dalmatia and through Istria learning about the wines. I've been to Bosnia to try their varieties like Vranac. But, for me, the most recent, amazing discovery has been Slavonia. They make some incredible white wines there; Graševina, Cabernet Franc, Traminac.”

1920px-New_Order,_Chile_2019_(39751785423).jpg
New Order, the band that was once Joy Division. Marc Hough toured the world as their DJ © RL GNZLZ

“For me, it's always half holiday, half work,” Marc tells us, as he packs for his 20th annual trip to Dubrovnik, which begins on Sunday 11 August. “Amazing views, amazing people, amazing food and amazing wine. But, the wine always inspires thoughts of work. I can't help myself. I love visiting the vineyards, meeting the winemakers. It's not the same as when you do it in other countries. In Croatia, you'll often be invited into the kitchen or onto the terrace of the winemaker's home. You'll leave with arms full of different bottles - some gifted - and you can even be sold fine wine unceremoniously in a plastic bottle. I love that informal, homemade feel of the experience. It's charming and honest. When I go on buying trips in France, Spain and Italy, it's rarely like that.”

Dubrovnik's tourist season has this year stalled in response to COVID-19. Its visitors' reliance on charter air and cruise ships has proved inflexible. Yet, a little further up the coast, in Makarska and Omiš, the city centres are now full of families who drive to these places every year. Dubrovnik's offer is more once-in-a-lifetime, less loyalty. Unless, of course, it's the wines and not the walls that call you to Dubrovnik.

“It's inevitable that I'll find something new that I want to bring back with me,” Marc says of his impending trip. “Every visit is a voyage of discovery. This time, although I'll again be based around Dubrovnik, I'm determined to go to Slavonia to look at some Graševina and Cabernet Franc, which thrives in the terroir there.”

117334019_1581881358640259_7852019391357017174_n.jpg
Marc Hough with just one of his famous friends from the Manchester music scene. Bez, of the band Happy Mondays, is now a customer at Cork Of The North © Cork Of The North

“I wanted to start importing Croatia wines years ago but, for someone at my level, it was so difficult before Croatia became a full member of the EU. Tariffs were payable on the borders and if you wanted to move wines from south Dalmatia - Dubrovnik and the islands - you'd have to go through the border with Bosnia. I lost several whole shipments to the Bosnian police, who said my paperwork was incorrect (it wasn't). It's much better these days. But, there's still very little Croatian wine in the UK, even though the interest in Croatia wine is massive. There's a big demand from people who are really passionate about wine, but also people who come back from holiday, have enjoyed Croatian wine, go searching for it, and just can't find it.”

Cork Of The North varies its selection of fine wines throughout the year. At the moment, Marc stocks Kozlović Teran and Kozlović Malvasia from Istria and Septem Pontes Plavac Mali from Pelješac.

“For an independent like me, I buy an export pallet for each wine I want to bring back. That's 600 bottles of each wine.,” he says, “and as my own personal passion right now is for Graševina, I expect at least one of those to be filled with Slavonian wine on this trip.”

117434835_1210616649297557_7234038764604123432_n.jpg
Marc Hough on one of his Croatia wine buying excursions

Monday, 3 August 2020

Despite Nautical Tourism's Popularity, Korcula Marking Drop in Traffic

As Morski writes on the 2nd of August, 2020, Korcula hadn't even bothered to hope for their overnight stay count for the coronavirus dominated 2020 tourist season to reach 70 percent of the amount of overnight stays recorded this time last year, but it has. In Korcula town, the very structure of the guests arriving has altered.

Most Croatian guests, who are being heavily relied on this year as tourism continues to be affected (albeit somewhat less heavily) by the global pandemic, tend to arrive on Korcula and into Korcula town in their cars. This is closely followed by boaters and the enfeebled nautical tourism sector. Although the results are getting better, the people who live and work on the island are hoping for a return of regular air travel, as Vijesti.hr/Andrea Zarak reports.

There are no crowds to be seen on the gorgeous Dalmatian island of Korcula this summer. Hotels that opened on Korcula back in late June are still only 40 percent full.

''This year, Croatian guests predominate. These are guests who come in their personal vehicles. We also have Germans, Austrians, Slovenes, and French tourists,'' said Maja Lena Lopatny, public relations manager of hotels on Korcula.

Due to the smaller number of airlines operating, travel agencies are recording a drastic drop in traffic.

''Transfers have all been cancelled, air arrivals are minimal and that's one of the main reasons why there are no excursions taking place that we normally do,'' said Vlado Iliskovic, the owner of a travel agency on Korcula.

The most sought after type of accommodation on the island is currently private accommodation, and in the very heart of Korcula town centre, you can spend the night for up to fifty euros, a dramatic drop when compared to this time last year, long before the coronavirus pandemic swept the globe and dragged the tourism industry to its knees.

''We have our lowered prices, the prices have been lowered by some 25 to 30 percent,'' said Katija Depolo, the owner of an apartment. The very structure of the guests arriving on the island has changed. They typically stay for a week or more, and accommodation outside of Korcula town is increasingly desirable.

''These are mostly guests looking for more distant places which are close to the sea, they're mostly families,'' said Hana Turudic, the director of the Tourist Board of Korcula town.

''Korcula is very beautiful and charming. Especially the old town. Last night we walked and had dinner at the tavern. It's really, really nice,'' said Manuel from Spain.

Croatian singers who can't work because of the coronavirus also recognise Korcula's sheer beauty and claim that that's why they're spending their time on the Dalmatian coast.

''I gladly come back here because this place provides me with maximum protection. This place is magical,'' said popular Croatian musician Nina Badric.

Well known for its glorious beaches, interesting history, beautiful architecture, proximity to places of interest on the Dalmatian mainland and its fascinating gastronomic scene, Korcula usually has no issue when it comes to attracting guests from all over the world and has since long managed to rest on its laurels - until now.

Nautical tourism, along with guests who have arrived either from the rest of Croatia or other countries in Europe by car are by far the most represented on Korcula at this moment in time. There are currently about three thousand and three hundred tourists staying there.

For more, follow our travel section.

 

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Korcula Becomes University Town for Nautical Studies, Shipbuilding and Business Economics-Tourism

July 7, 2020 - The agreement was signed by the Mayor of the Town of Korcula, Andrija Fabris, and the Rector of the University of Dubrovnik, Niksa Burum.

HRTurizam writes that with this agreement on business cooperation, the Town of Korcula becomes an extended location for undergraduate university studies in Nautical Studies, Naval Architecture (Shipbuilding) and Business Economics, Department of Tourism, University of Dubrovnik. It is also the first island university and student town in Croatia.

Korcula thus becomes an extended arm and a branch office of the University of Dubrovnik, which is in line with the development strategy of the town and fits perfectly into the County Development Strategy 2016-2020 to achieve a higher level of education on the islands, educating the islanders, but also all other interested population in complementary studies with the locality. Nautical Studies, Naval Architecture, and Business Economics in the field of Tourism are complementary to the development strategy, and the Town of Korcula is making a significant step towards higher education by introducing complete university education.

The Town of Korcula will remain written in history as the first island where the accredited program of the established Croatian University, the University of Dubrovnik, will be studied.

Administrative, professional and financial assistance from the University of Dubrovnik will facilitate the Town of Korcula's protocol and organizational procedures for starting studies. It was also mentioned that the primary space in the city pool would be replaced with areas from the conceptual design in the "Old School in Dominče" after obtaining the necessary documentation and performing adaptation works.

With the realization of this cooperation with the University of Dubrovnik, the Town of Korcula becomes the first island student city in the Republic of Croatia. By investing in education, sustainable development, complementary studies with the development strategy of the county, and by educating able-bodied staff, Korcula is well on its way to a prosperous future.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Marina Korkyra: Vela Luka Port Finally on Nautical Tourism Map

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 22nd of June, 2020, it's a well-known fact that Croatia is a nautical superpower, and the country is even a global leader by many standards when it comes to charters. Nevertheless, investments in new nautical facilities, primarily marinas, are relatively rare and mostly modest in their nature. That's why the project of Marina Korkyra, which recently came to life in Vela Luka on Korčula, is interesting.

Marina Korkyra is a huge investment of 42 million kuna made by a company called Ovalis nova, owned by the entrepreneurial family Šegon, which built a hotel of the same name in Vela Luka back in 2011 - Hotel Korkyra.

According to Ivo Šegon, the director of the aforementioned marina, after several decades of efforts, a new marina was built and opened in Vela Luka. Thus, Vela Luka can finally be presented as a new port of Croatian nautical tourism.

"Since the 80's, the project of the Port of Nautical Tourism has been waiting to come to life and bring some long-awaited changes to Vela Luka's tourism, as well as the future development of the place as a whole. Although the project took a little longer than we planned, during 2018 and 2019, construction work was carried out, and this year the marina was opened - we received the necessary permit back in mid-May,'' says Šegon.

Marina Korkyra boasts 132 berths, as well as a bar and restaurant overlooking the entire bay of Vela Luka. The marina is made as an island with two modern pavilions that are connected to the coast by bridges, which, according to the director, puts a special "stamp" on the recognisable visual appearance of the marina.

In the first pavilion there is a reception, souvenir shop and toilets, and in the second there is a bar and restaurant which are both open to boaters, as well as to all guests of Vela Luka and of course to the locals. The restaurant, says Šegon, offers dishes based on a combination of traditional and modern recipes, and most of the ingredients are procured from local suppliers.

The designers of Marina Korkyra, Maja Kuzmanović, an architect, and Mladen Vučković, a maritime designer, pointed out that at this moment in time, only the first phase of the marina has been completed, a large breakwater which works to protect the entire marina from adverse weather conditions and the elements, which also provides mooring for boats and promenades for tourists.

They add that this is a unique example of a marina that has pavilions on a large pier rather than on the shore, thus opening up additional space for users. The specificity of Vela Luka and its beautiful 9.5 kilometre-long-bay makes it a naturally safe place for boaters on the Croatian Adriatic.

As they are quite far from most Croatian airports in Vela Luka, as well as the main international roads, Marina Korkyra is currently filling its capacities with transit guests, the director notes.

"We have more and more inquiries from foreign guests who want to transfer their ships to a permanent berth here and we're happy about that,'' Ivo Šegon said.

For more, follow our travel page.

Friday, 22 May 2020

Year-Round High Speed Lastovo-Korcula-Dubrovnik Line Being Introduced

The introduction of a high speed maritime connection between Lastovo-Korcula-Dubrovnik that will operate throughout the entire year is sure to bring relief to many, especially to southern Dalmatia's island inhabitants who often have to deal with irregularities in maritime connections with the mainland and indeed other islands.

As Morski writes on the 21st of May, 2020, at a recently held session, the Croatian Government adopted an amendment to a previously taken decision on determining state lines in terms of public transport, with its focus on this occasion on regular coastal maritime transport.

This decision will see the very welcome introduction a new year-round high speed line operating along the route: Lastovo-Korcula-Dubrovnik, and vice versa, with the aim of better connecting beautiful Lastovo with its county centre - the City of Dubrovnik.

The introduction of this brand new line will contribute to the improvement of the economic and tourist development of Dubrovnik-Neretva County as a whole and will ensure the better connection of the popular islands of Lastovo and Korcula with Dubrovnik, as well as the proper and constant interconnection of these two islands.

Regular public transport in what is referred to as regular coastal maritime transport in the Republic of Croatia includes 53 state lines, with a total fleet of 77 ships in operation along them.

Funds for the new high speed Lastovo-Korcula-Dubrovnik line, as well as for the other 53 state lines which exist in this segment of public transport in the Republic of Croatia, are provided for in the state budget, in the total amount of 329.5 million kuna for the year 2020, with projections of the required annual funds for 2021 and 2022 in the amount of 340 million kuna foreseen.

For more on maritime connections, islands, border crossings, destinations along the coast, the islands and in the continental part of the country, follow our dedicated travel page.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Dalmatian Gourmet Heaven: Korculanske Pjatance 2020 Spring Festival Announced

February 23, 2020 - One of the great gourmet festivals returns for its third edition. If you are a foodie, don't miss the Korculanske Pjatance Spring Food and Wine Festival. 

I do feel a little guilty having a secret love for Korcula, having lived on Hvar for so many years. 

In my defence, I was initially seduced by the very best, as Korcula's most famous Brit and owner of luxury boutique hotel Lesic Dimitri invited me over for lunch one late August day. Conversation with Michael was as delightful as the Lesic fine dining, a selection of Grk and Posip, and that refreshing terrace breeze. I still remember writing about that first proper Korcula visit - few blogs have been more of a joy to write

korculanske-pjatance-view.jpg

I have visited Korcula many times since, as well as catching up with Michael whenever our paths cross in Zagreb, but my favourite time to visit is early May, for a foodie festival which takes place at a great time of year in pre-season, and is as close to Dalmatian gourmet heaven as I have experienced here in a festival. 

The Korculanske Pjatance Spring Food and Wine Festival is, for me at least, one of the best adverts of the finer things in life in Dalmatia, and a blueprint of how to develop gourmet tourism in the shoulder seasons. 

The weather in early May is usually gorgeous, with many taking their first swim of the season. The focus of the festival is on local products, celebrating the outstanding quality of Korculan food and wine. Several restaurants have come together to offer a rich selection of menus, as well as cooking shows and fascinating workshops. In the first year, the family came too, and my two young daughters really enjoyed the pasta workshop at Filippi, before foraging in the woods to find the herbs necessary for Petra Jelicic's pastry workshop in Pupnat. As well as the beach and desserts at Tara's Lodge, of course.  

This year's event has just been announced - four days from May 7 - 10, and if you are a foodie and in the area, put it in your diary. To get a flavour of the festival, check out the official video teaser above, or the list of articles TCN wrote as part of its coverage here.

More details of this year's Korculanske Pjatance are coming - you can follow the latest on Facebook

Saturday, 15 February 2020

New Korcula Port Worth 150 Million Kuna Moves Ahead

February 15, 2020 - The new Korcula port project will modernize the transport infrastructure and quality of connectivity for Korcula island with the surrounding islands and the mainland, but also create better conditions for increasing the quality of life of the islanders

Dalmacija Danas reports that after signing the Contract with COIN d.o.o. for the preparation of the main project of the new port of Polačišta in March 2019, a procedure for all necessary documentation for issuing a building permit followed. 

The value of the new Korcula port is approximately 150 million kuna and is funded by the Cohesion Fund of the European Union. The ŽLU Korcula is taking further steps in preparing the application for the grant contract, followed by public tenders for the contractor.

luka3-korcula-port-2020-3.hpg.png

This project is of infrastructural importance for Korcula in terms of improving connectivity and infrastructure development. The aim of the project is to modernize the transport infrastructure and the quality of connectivity for Korcula island with the surrounding islands and the mainland, but also create better conditions for increasing the quality of life of the islanders. The implementation of this project and achieving the objective will ensure long-term sustainability and improve the quality of public maritime transport and increase passenger safety, jobs and stop young people from leaving the island.

luka3-korcula-port-2020-3.hpg.png

“The new port of Korcula, as the largest project of the County Port Administration of Korcula, is a maritime construction facility in the function of receiving vessels of public maritime transport, then supply vessels, tourist and other vessels, both in local and international traffic. The eastern part of the port is planned for domestic passenger traffic or receiving ferries on the local line Korcula - Peljesac, as well as other vessels (catamarans, liners, tourists, etc.). 

In the western part of the port, there is a building of the port terminal that will receive passenger ferries in international traffic. On the far northwestern part of the coast, there is a pier, with the possibility of receiving vessels, both from the outside and from the inside. Overall, the port of Polačišta has about 550 m of operational coast, covering an area of ​​about 20 000 m2 and represents the largest investment in the port infrastructure for the island itself,” explained the director Ante Tvrdeić.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

Brac, Hvar and Korcula to Formulate Strategies for Transition to Clean Energy

November 20, 2019 - Brac, Hvar, and Korcula are currently in the process of developing a clean energy transition strategy.

Splitski Dnevnik reports that six European islands announced their clean energy transition strategies, making a significant step towards decarbonizing their energy systems with a strong focus on citizen engagement.

Six transition strategies to clean energy have already been announced as part of the program of the 4th Island Clean Energy Forum for the EU Islands, in Split and Hvar, where EU island community stakeholders meet from November 20 to 22 to discuss transitions, technologies, and opportunities for the active involvement of citizens in the European islands.

In the last 9 months, the following island communities actively developed Clean Energy Transition Strategies with a strong emphasis on the importance of involving all relevant stakeholders and putting citizens at the center of the transition: the Aran Islands (Ireland), the Cres-Lošinj Archipelago (Croatia), Culatra (Portugal), La Palma (Spain), Salina (Italy) and Sifnos (Greece).

• The Cres-Lošinj archipelago aims to decarbonize its energy system by 2040 completely. This will be partially achieved by local community-owned solar power plants.

• Culatra will work on 100% renewable energy owned by the local community.

• The Aran Islands will install community-owned wind farms, remodel homes and install heat pumps or other renewable energy sources for domestic hot water and space heating

• Salina aims to increase public awareness of energy and the environment. Salina will decarbonize its power generation plants, switch to 100% electrical/hybrid mobility on the island, increase efficiency in buildings, and decarbonize its maritime traffic.

• La Palma aims at full decarbonization and self-sufficiency in the energy sector. The island transition team is strongly focused on building a strong island energy system, actively including more than 100 local associations committed to supporting island transition.

• Sifnos wants to become 100% renewable and self-sufficient and has developed several different routes that the island could follow to achieve this goal. All plants will be co-owned by the local community and private investors.

"Thanks to the evolution of technology, the potential to reduce energy costs on the islands and the transition to energy independence has never been greater. In the context of the clean energy package for all Europeans, an essential Clean Energy Initiative for the EU islands is aimed at assisting and accelerating the transition process. Moreover, islands can be beacons for global climate action.

Whether it be the use of wind energy, the renovation of houses and buildings, the use of electric vehicles, the decarbonisation of maritime traffic or the use of renewable energy for hot water and heating, the decarbonisation solutions presented on these six pilot islands will drive them towards greater energy efficiency, the use of more renewable energy sources and low-carbon development routes,” says Ditte Juul-Jørgensen.

Energy transition strategies have been developed by island energy transition teams with the expert and advisory support of the EU's Clean Energy Secretariat. The readiness of these strategies will, in the coming months, guide the development of projects and strengthen local strategic frameworks that enhance the engagement and involvement of the local community. Additionally, they are currently in the process of developing a clean energy transition strategy for twenty other EU islands that will be published in the coming year, of which we highlight Brac, Hvar, and Korcula from Croatia.

Until now, island forums for clean energy have been held in different countries of the European Union - Greece, Spain, Sweden, and Croatia, namely Split and Hvar, has been selected as the fourth island forum.

Participation in the Forum in Croatia was confirmed by all levels of institutions, local and regional self-government units, ministry representatives, members of the European Commission and various other stakeholders from all over Europe. However, it is equally important that the Forum will be joined by representatives of more than 20 European islands in the process of transitioning to clean energy. The aim of the forum is to network island stakeholders from all over Europe and to foster dialogue with representatives of all decision-making levels in order to create a common vision for the transition of islands and to lay the foundations for its future realization.

On the first day of the conference, which will be held at the Le Meridien Lav Hotel, we will have opportunities to hear about the future of island policies from representatives from different EU and national institutions to create a common framework for further development. Considering that one of the activities during the Croatian Presidency of the European Commission is the creation of a long-term strategy for the further development of the EU islands, the panelists will present, through a moderated discussion, how the European islands will be provided with future support for their transition to clean energy.

During the second day, which will be held at the Hotel Amfora in Hvar, participants will have the opportunity to exchange experiences, learn about different technologies, but also learn about different models of islanders' involvement in energy transition investment projects. Leaders of energy transitions on the islands of Hvar, Brac, and Korcula will also present their views on the transition to clean energy.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Thursday, 7 November 2019

Ciborium Returned to Korčula Cathedral after Restoration

After four years of renovation, the ciborium sculpted by Marko Andrijić has been returned to St. Mark's cathedral in Korčula

One of the greatest Renaissance masterpieces in Dalmatia has been removed from the cathedral four years ago, and it spent the last four years in Split, where it went through the restoration worth almost a million kunas. The multi-storied altar covering, standing on four slim pillars, is made using the stone exclusively from Vrnik, and master Andrijić made it in the late 15th century - before the ciboriums of Trogir and many others in Italy. 

Six centuries later, the pastor of Korčula parish had the idea that the monument needed to be cleaned, as it got darker over the years. After the expert restaurateurs from Split came to see the situation, things got complicated. After they started the cleaning of some parts of the ciborium, it got apparent that there are fissures in the structure, which was quite unstable and unsafe. Some elements that held it together were damaged by time and earthquakes. After a structural engineer took a look, he was adamant that restoration was needed as soon as possible, Ivan Sikavica from Split Restoration Office who was in charge of the Korčula project told Dora Lozica for Dubrovački Vjesnik. 

They took him seriously, as one should when an expert is consulted, so they took the ciborium apart, and all the pieces were taken down by hand. The average weight of an individual piece is between 50 and 80 kg, and the crown, which weighs 200 kg, is the heaviest element. There are 51 elements overall, and once they all got transported to Split, the careful 3D imaging was done. That allowed the experts to analyze the pieces, imperfections, and deflections. Only after that and numerous discussions was the best course of action decided - and Sikavica says that it was the biggest project of their lives. 

In addition to restoring the existing elements of the ciborium, the team needed to make from scratch the eight new elements for the top roof. The ciborium was a victim of whimsy in the late 18th century when the then-bishop Kosirić decided to remove the final component of the roof and install a wooden sculpture of Jesus at the top. The master-restorators of today were able to build the new elements to replace the missing ones, using the same stone from Vrnik. The crown has also been put back, which has spent the last 200 years elsewhere, not where it belongs. 

The funds for the restoration project were secured by the Ministry of Culture and the Town of Korčula. The people of Korčula showed that they appreciate the investment, as well as the hard work by the experts when they filled the cathedral for the opening of the newly restored ciborium. Sikavica also wanted to thank them for their support, including acknowledging the mayor of Korčula, Andrija Fabris, for securing the Vrnik stone needed. Finally, the collaboration seems to be continuing, as there are ideas to keep working on the cathedral. 

Page 3 of 58

Search