Korčula - this central Dalmatian island stretches out parallel to the nearby mainland in a west-east direction. The island is 46.8 km in length, with an average width of 5.3 to 7.8 kilometres and a surface area of 270 km2, making it the sixth-largest island in the Adriatic Sea. It is separated from the Pelješac peninsula by the Pelješac Channel, only 1270 m wide at its narrowest point. The island of Korčula is indented with a series of bays and coves. The climate on the island is very mild, with a Mediterranean character. The average temperatures are relatively high: the annual temperature is 16.8°C, 9.1°C in the coldest month of January, while the hottest month, July, is 26.9°C. Exploring the island only adds to its natural beauty: every part of it is worth exploring. Near the city of Korčula is an archipelago of twenty uninhabited islands covered in dense macchia thickets and accessible coastline: on some, the smooth stone slabs along the shore are perfect for sunbathing.
History of Korčula
The island of Korčula has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with past traces of life being uncovered at many places on the island. The oldest finds were stone knives from the Neolithic age discovered on the islet of Badija near Korčula. The site with the richest Neolithic age finds is Vela spilja (Large Cave) at Vela Luka.
The island was inhabited by the Greeks in the 6th century BC, first at Vela Luka, and it was also colonized by Knids who called the island Korkyra Melaina. Somewhat later on the other side of the island, in the area where Lumbarda is located today, Greeks settled from the island of Vis (Issa), founding a separate settlement. In the 1st century BC, the island, with ther rest of Dalmatia, was conquered by the Romans, who called it Corcyra Nigra. In 7th century A.D., the Slavs-Croats made their way to the Adriatic coast and soon formed their own state, first a principality, but later becoming a kingdom of its own with the crowning of the first Croatian King Tomislav in 925. Korčula was also included within its borders. The Roman population fled from Salona from the Slavs to the islands of Brač, Hvar and Korčula, and after the situation settled, the majority returned to their original places of residence, while the rest assimilated with the settlers.
In the year 1000, the Venetian Doge Petar II Orseolo took over the Dalmatian cities and islands, thus making Korčula falling under Venetian rule. Following this, the rulers of Korčula changed frequently: the Venetians were replaced by the Zahumlje governors, followed by the Austro-Hungarian kings before the Venetians took over again, and from 1413 to 1420 the island was under the Dubrovnik Republic before again falling under Venice in 1420, which lasted until 1792.
When Napoleon brought down the Venetian Republic, Dalmatia was under Austrian rule for a short time before the French arrived. From 1804 to 1805, Korčula was under French, then Russian rule, before the French again took control from 1897 to 1913. The English became rulers of the island in 1815, when the Vienna Congress set out the new borders of Europe.
Dalmatia came under Austrian rule and remained until the end of World War I, but only in 1921 was the newly created Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes formed, which later took on the name Yugoslavia. Following the multi-party elections in 1990, the citizens of Croatia decided in a referendum to secede from Yugoslavia, and the independent state of the Republic of Croatia was declared.