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GETTING AROUND Tourist information

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Bol Tourist Board Porat bolskih pomoraca bb, Bol, tel. (+385-21) 63 56 38, tz@bol.hr, www.bol.hr. Q July, August

Open 08:30 - 22:00. June, September Open 08:30 - 14:00, 16:30 - 21:00. October - May 31 Open 08:30 -14:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Milna Tourist Board Milna bb, Milna, tel. (+385-21) 63 62 33, tzo-milna@st.t-com.hr, www.milna.hr. Q June - September 30 Open 08:00 - 22:00. October - May 31 Open 08:00 - 15:00, Sat 08:00 -12:00. Closed Sun. Postira Tourist Board Strančica 3, Postira, tel. (+385-21) 63 29 66, tzo-postira@st.t-com.hr, www.postira.hr. Q June - September 30 Open 08:00 - 22:00. October 1 - 31 Open 08:00 - 15:00, Sat 08:00 13:00. Closed Sun. November - April 15 Open 08:30 - 13:00. Closed Sat, Sun. April 16 - May 31 Open 08:00 - 15:00, Tue, Thu 08:00 - 14:00, 18:00 - 20:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Pučišća Tourist Board Pučišća bb, Pučišća, tel. (+385-21) 63 35 55, tz@pučišća.hr, www.pucisca.hr. Q June 15 - 30 Open 08:00 - 12:00. July - September 30 Open 08:00 - 12:00, 17:30 - 20:30. Open according to demand. Selca Tourist Board Trg S.Radića 5, Selca, tel. (+385-21) 64 82 09. Q TIC Sumartin - June, September Open 09:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun. July, August Open 09:00 - 20:00. October, March, April, May Open according to demand. Closed November, February. TIC Povlja - June, September Open 09:00 - 20:00. Closed Sun. July, August Open 09:00 - 20:00. Closed October - April. May Open according to demand. Supetar Tourist Board Porat 1, Supetar, tel. (+385-21) 63 05 51/(+385-21) 63 09 00, tzg-supetar@st.t-com.hr, www.supetar. hr. Q June - September 30 Open 08:00 - 22:00. October - May 31 Open 08:30 - 15:30. Closed Sun. Sutivan Tourist Board Trg dr. F. Tuđmana 1, Sutivan, tel. (+38521) 63 83 57, tz-sutivan@inet.hr, www.tzo-sutivan.com. Q July, August Open 08:00 - 21:00, Sun 08:00 - 12:00. June, September Open 08:00 - 12:00, 17:00 -20:00, Sun 08:00 -12:00. October - May 31 Open 08:00 - 14:00, Sat 08.00 - 11:00. Closed Sun.

Public transport The company Autotrans operates a network of buses serving the needs of the local population, especially school children, throughout the year, and a special service with tourists in mind during the summer season (1 July - 31 August). Supetar forms the natural hub, and is connected with all the island’s main communities by bus - the main bus station is just east of the ferry terminal. This means that you should have little problem in being able to explore the island at least a little using public transport only. Prices are set according to distance (buy your ticket from the driver except for at Supetar bus station). Zone 1 (under 7km) single 14kn, return 20kn Zone 2 (7-19km) single 20kn, return 30kn Zone 3 (20-35km) single 26kn, return 40kn Zone 4 (35-61km) single 40kn, return 50kn Autotrans Porat 12, Supetar, tel. 060 39 30 60, info@autotransbrac.hr, www.autotrans.hr.

GETTING AROUND Gas station

culture & events 10 - 11.06. Bol: Dalmatian Klapa from the Omiš Festival, Teatrin Summer Stage 18.06 - 11.09. Supetar: Supetar Summer Festival 18 - 24.06. Sutivan: Bocce tournament 20.06. Bol: Classical music concert (at the small church) 24.06. Sutivan: St John’s Church, local religious festival 25 - 30.06.Bol: Bol Czech Cultural Festival (Teatrin, Dom kulture Gallery) 28 - 29.06. Supetar: St Peter and St Paul, local religious festival 01 - 03.07. Bol: Fashion.hr show, Zlatni rat beach 02.07. Mirca: Our Lady of Mirca, local religious festival 05 - 09.07. Supetar: 3rd Supetar Super Film Festival, contemporary documentary film festival 08 - 09.07. Sutivan: Dvornik Festival 10 - 17.07. Sutivan: Vanka Regule outdoor adventure sports & film festival 16.07. Milna and Postira: Our Lady of Carmel, local religious festivals 22 - 23.07. Supetar: Guitar Weekend, Supetar Parish Church and various open air locations 24.07. Sutivan: Fisherman’s Festival 27 - 29.07. Bol: Pula Film Festival, Bol Cinema 29.07. Milna: “Pasara” race (rowing boats), starts at 18:00 30.07. Milna: “Potezanje Mrduje” in the waters around Mrduje island at 18:00 a contest takes place to answer the question “Who does Mrduje island belong to - the people of Brač or Šolta?” 30.07. Postira: A Little Night Regatta 30.07. Supetar: Supetar Summer Carnival 31.07 - 04.08. Bol: Supertoon - Festival of Animated Film, Cinema Bol, Teatrin Summer Stage, Dom kulture Gallery 03.08. Bol: Gloria Gaynor and Ivo Gamulin Gianni, Bluesun Hotel Elaphusa 03 - 05.08. Milna: International viola Competition ‘Viola da Bracchia’ 05.08. Bol: Fair day of Bol 06.08. Supetar: Dalmatian Klapa 07.08. Mirca: Traditional exhibition of art from Mirca in Mutni kali 11.08. Supetar: VO’ I ‘SA - Days of Urban Music 11 - 14.08. Bol: Small Theatre Festival, Teatrin Summer Stage 15.08. Splitska: Feast of the Assumption, local religious festival 16.08. Sutivan: St Rocco 16.08. Dol: Hrapačuša Night 18.08. Škrip: St Helena of the Cross, local religious festival 20 - 30.08. Bol: Jazz School 26.08. Škrip: ‘Čakavske riči’ Festival - Brač’s comedy night 07.09. Supetar: Island Festival - exhibition of chapels and belltowers 24.09. Milna: 80th Mrduja Regatta 03 - 06.10. Bol: Jazz festival, Hotel Elaphusa

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RESTAURANTS

RESTAURANTS Dol

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Ina Bol Vladimira Nazora 3, tel. (+385-) 091 497 12 24. Q June - September 30 Open 07:00 - 21:00. October - May 31 Open 07:00 - 12:00, 16:00 - 19:00. Closed Sun. Ina Milna Milna, tel. (+385-) 091 497 03 32. Q April 18 - May 31 Open 07:00 - 19:00, Sun 07:00 - 13:00. June - September 30 Open 07:00 - 21:00. October - April 17 Open 07:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. Ina Supetar Mladena Vodanovića 1, tel. (+385-) 091 497 12 51. Q June September 15 Open 06:00 - 22:00. September 16 - May 31 Open 07:00 - 19:30. Sun 07:00 - 13:00.

P E T G O R

Air conditioning Live music Child friendly Non-smoking areas Casino Internet

Konoba Toni Dol, tel. (+385-21) 63 26 93/(+385-) 091 516 65 32, 091 A S U L 6 B

Credit cards accepted Take away Facilities for the disabled Guarded parking Animal friendly Outside seating

Bol

Taxi

Bistro Terasa Santo Frane Radića 3, tel. (+385-21) 71 71 94/(+385-) 091

Taxi services on Brač are operated by small private companies, so you’ll see a host of different numbers advertised. These operators have, in the main, accepted a standard tariff: start 20kn; 1km / 10kn; waiting 80kn / hour; 5kn per large item of luggage. Holidays, Sundays and at night extra 30% is tacked on to bill. To avoid misunderstandings, please confirm the price with the driver before you start your journey.

Filomena Supetar, tel. (+385-) 095 908 92 69. Kacavida Supetar, tel. (+385-) 091 522 43 79/(+385-) 098 26 56 92.

Kupina Bol, tel. (+385-) 098 26 52 19. Lastavica Bol, tel. (+385-) 098 26 49 90. Maxi Supetar, tel. (+385-) 098 78 13 77. Also in Pučišća. Mia Bol, tel. (+385-) 098 20 70 22. Ombre Bol, tel. (+385-) 095 909 41 24. Peša Supetar, tel. (+385-) 098 77 78 28/(+385-) 095 860 42 85. Valiž Supetar, tel. (+385-) 098 38 52 74. NR Supetar, tel. (+385-) 091 502 78 77.

Looking for more? Just click! brac.inyourpocket.com Parking There are pay car parks in Supetar, Bol and Sutivan. Supetar’s two pay car parks operate all year. One is to the left of the ferry terminal as you arrive, and the other is to your right at the entrance to town. They operate 1 June - 30 September 06:00 - 22:00 daily, prices 5 - 7kn / hour, day ticket 30kn. At other times of the year the price is 5kn / hour but a day ticket costs 25kn, and opening hours are the same. Bol has a pay car park on the waterfront with opening hours: 1 May - 14 June, 16 September - 15 October 08:00 - 17:00, tourist season 15 June - 15 September 06:00 - 23:00. Price: 10kn / hour. Parking at other times of the year is free of charge. Sutivan has a car park close to the centre, by the entrance to the town. 2011 prices were not finalized at the time of going to print.

Ferries and boats Apart from the island’s connection to the mainland, you can also travel directly to the island of Hvar. An evening boat leaves Bol for Jelsa, and on Tuesdays a boat leaves Milna at noon for Hvar town. (Neither service takes cars on board). Unfortunately these timetables don’t allow for day trips, but it’s good to know if you plan a short stay on the neighbouring island. Local operators organise day trips by boat to popular local sightseeing spots. Jadrolinija Hrvatskih velikana bb, Supetar, tel. (+386-21) 63 13 57, www.jadrolinija.hr. Q June - October 31 Open 04:30 - 20:30, 22:00 22:45. November - May 31 Open 05:45 - 20:45, 22:00 - 22:45. Sun 07:00 - 19:15, 22:00 - 22:45.

GETTING AROUND

Road help 1987 WHAT TO SEE Essential Brač Blaca tel. (+385-) 091 516 46

71 / 091 512 93 12. Blaca is perhaps the most stunning sight on the Brač, and is certainly among the most incredible cultural monuments on the Adriatic. This inhospitable rocky gorge became the home of an order of Glagolitic monks who nurtured the Croatian language using the oldest Slavic alphabet. They left the Republic of Poljica south of Split following the Ottoman invasion of the mainland. In 1550, the Brač authorities allotted them land in the Blaca canyon some 3km from the coast. The refugees initially settled in one of the many caves to be found in this karst landscape. Slowly but surely, the monks improved their quarters and started to use the plentiful rock to construct buildings. The first church, consecrated to the Assumption of Mary, was completed in 1614. Eventually a monastery, living quarters and farm buildings grew up. This complex, built flush against the sheer rock and totally in harmony with its surroundings, is absolutely breathtaking to behold. The diligence of the monks was boundless. The Blaca buildings were destroyed several times over by fire and flood, but the monks each time simply made sure their next rendering was better than the last. They improved public roads and regulated watercourses to tame the seasonal floods. Their diligence in the fields, coaxing life out of the stone, resulted in an extensive and thriving farmstead with vineyards and olive groves, orchards and vegetable gardens. To sustain this miracle of agriculture the brothers built greenhouses and an irrigation system for watering crops and animals. They developed unique stone beehives which still stand today in their hundreds, surrounded by rosemary plants to a plentiful supply of aromatic honey every year. The rights and responsibilities of the members of the community were enshrined in 1570 in the regulations of the first Agricultural Co-operative, based on the principles of voluntary work, communal ownership and profit-sharing. All work, all transactions and all business connections were painstakingly documented, providing a valuable collection of historical and meteorological records. In the 18th century the hermitage obtained its first boats and developed trade links throughout the Mediterranean. You can see a figurehead from one of Blaca’s cargo ships in Brač’s Native Museum, which famously won a David and Goliath battle with an English corvette in Split harbour. Goods were not sold for money but exchanged for items needed by the community such as books and furniture. Blaca has a beautiful library with almost 8 000 books, a printing press and a music room with a piano that was carried here on foot. You can look round the simple but elegantly furnished rooms where the brothers lived and worked, all preserved as an in situ museum. An observatory with a research library and the third most powerful telescope in Croatia is listed as a cultural monument. Blaca also played a vital part in the community with its school, which managed to function even through the years when communism threatened the existence of religious communities. Due to the monastery’s isolated position, in cold weather the pupils were asked to bring log for the fire every day in return for their schooling. In the oldest building of the complex, right next to the cliff by the church is the heart of the monastery, the kitchen. The fire in the hearth was kept burning throughout the year and, according to local custom, only put out at Easter when the fireplace was cleaned out blessed. This communal centre of brotherhood is where the events of the day were discussed over a well-earned meal. The last Blaca friar died in 1963, ending this miraculous story that lasted for four centuries. In 2007, the complex was entered on the tentative list of UNESCO monuments of cultural heritage. The hermitage remains very close to peoples’ hearts, with a pilgrimage taking place every year on the first Saturday after the Feast of the Assumption. This is a wonderful place to visit for all the reasons we’ve mentioned, but perhaps the most important one is that this is a place that puts in focus the power of human endeavour, and a place of peace and hope that strengthens the spirit.

Internet places Info graf Nova riva bb, Pučišća, tel. (+385-21) 63 36 15/(+385-) 099

815 17 26. Also in Supetar, Mladena Vodanovića 27, tel. 021 45 77 79. Open 07:30 - 15:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Q June - September 30 Open 08:00 - 22:00. October - May 31 Open 08:00 - 13:00, 16:30 -18:30. Closed Sun. 20kn/h. Interactiv Rudina 6, Bol, tel. (+385-) 091 572 58 55. 11 computers. Q June 15 - September 15 Open 09:30 - 24:00. May - June 15, September 16 - 31 Open 09:30 - 13.00, 16:30 - 22:00. 30kn/h. Internet Corner 1 Porat bb, Supetar, tel. (+385-) 095 907 32 40. Q May 15 - June 15, September Open 09:00 - 12:00, 16:00 - 20:00. June 16 August 31 Open 09:00 - 24:00. 10kn/15min, 15kn/30min, 30kn/60min. Malo misto Ive Marinkovića 6, Sutivan, tel. (+385-) 098 950 71 71. 3 computers. Q June 15 - 30, September 1 - 15 Open 09:00 -12:00, 16:00 -21:00. July, August Open 09:00 - 21:00. First 10min/10kn, each additional 30min/15kn.

www.inyourpocket.com WHAT TO SEE How to get here: trips are organised from Bol approaching Blaca bay from the sea, from where you have a 25 minute walk. From Nerežišća it’s a 10 minute drive to Dragovode followed by a 30 minute walk. Q Since the Blaca hermitage was closed last year due to emergency repair works, this year it will be open to visitors all year as of 15 May. Please note that visitors are required to call ahead to arrange their visit. Tickets cost 30kn adults, 20kn per head for groups and 10kn for children. The Dragon’s Cave (Zmajeva špilja) A spectacular natural, cultural and spiritual monument, in the 15th century this cave was became a home and a place of worship complete with awe-inspiring reliefs carved into the rock. The steep south-facing karst hills close to Bol are pitted with caves which, in the Middle Ages, provided shelter for refugees from mainland convents and monasteries who fled from the invading Ottoman armies. Since these were eremitic orders living an ascetic life of solitary prayer, these isolated caves, apart from providing a safe hiding place, were a logical choice for habitation. However, the friars and nuns worked hard at making their abodes fitting places for service to God, and thus in this 20 metre long cave four halls were created that comprised a monastery and church. A chapel and an altar were carved into the rock, there are water cisterns, graves and niches for solitary prayer and the walls were decorated with fabulous carvings. So bold, so powerful and well-executed are these carvings that they are clearly the work of a master stonemason. They depict scenes from the New Testament Book of Revelation, also known as the Apocalypse. The Apocalypse is an allegory of the struggle between good and evil played out by characters such as multi-headed beasts, a dragon representing Satan and the heroic Lamb. There are also carved symbols such as a pelican - a symbol of Christian self-sacrifice, as well as angels and lunar motifs drawing on Slav mythology. By portraying these scenes the sculptor spoke of the suffering of Christians throughout history with the benefit of ample personal experience. Visiting this cave is a powerful experience. It’s a steep one-hour hike from Murvica, near Bol. You should allow four hours for the round trip, as there are abandoned chapels and monasteries along the way which are worth looking round. You need a sturdy pair of trainers, plenty of water and adequate sun protection in hot weather. An Englishand German-speaking guide takes up groups once a day, since the walk is quite demanding. Guided visits are best arranged at least 24 hours in advance, and cost 50kn per person, or by agreement for groups. Call Zoran on 091 514 97 87. Vidova gora At 778m, Vidova gora is the highest peak in Adriatic islands. It broods over Bol, gathering thunderclouds, a mystical place since time immemorial. The peak was dedicated in pagan times to the Slavic god of light, Svevid, a deity of war, fertility and abundance. In Christian times it was named after St Vitus (Sveti Vid), who among other things is said to guard against lightning strikes, which makes perfect sense on this lonely hilltop. At the top of the peak you can see the remains of an Illyrian fortress and an early Croatian chapel consecrated to St Vitus. On a clear day a hike to the peak will reward you with a thunderbolt of a different kind: an incredible view. Bol is laid out like Lego at your feet, with the Zlatni rat beach clearly in view. The green bird-like shape of Hvar island lies calmly in the brilliant blue sea, while in the opposite direction you can see the peaks of the Dinaric Alps on the mainland. Vidova gora is an easy one-hour hike from Bol, he best maintained trail starting from the Loggia. You can also reach the peak from the other side from the main road between Nerežišća and Pražnica. Either way, there are many points of interest on the route, and your way is scented by wild sage, rosemary and other aromatic herbs. At the top there’s a konoba serving food and drink. The best time to hike is in spring or autumn, when the sun is not too strong, or in the early morning before the heat of the day. It is possible to reach the peak by road, but if you are blessed with a full set of moving legs, we urge you to work up a good appetite and take the walk, it’s an invigorating experience in itself.

781 89 99. A friendly place with a lovely seafront terrace and a menu offering an escape from the run-of-the-mill. One of the most popular dishes, refreshing on hot days, is the Santo salad: chicken on a bed of lettuce with balsamic vinegar and peanuts, while marinated prawns with peppers and pršut come a close second. Also recommended are the house specials of fillet steak in roast bell-pepper sauce and “mother’s brudet”: a mix of lobster and fish cooked in garlic, wine and tomato. Q April - November Open 09:00 - 23:00 (50 - 150kn). AGB Konoba Gušt Frane Radića 14, tel. (+385-21) 63 59 11/(+385-) 098 42 30 03, info@konobagust.hr, www.konobagust-bol.com. Decorated in a rustic antique style, Gušt is a recreation of a traditional fisherman’s restaurant. It’s known as a haven of good Dalmatian-style cooking, sometimes with a twist: for example, the black squid ink usually used in risotto here appears in a gnocchi dish. The lobster salad is excellent, as is lobster with spaghetti, or try gregada, a delightfully simple dish of top quality white fish cooked with potato, onion and garlic and lashings of olive oil and parsley. Q April 15 - October 15 Open 12:00 24:00. (60 - 150kn). PNB Konoba Mali Raj Put Zlatnog rata, tel. (+385-21) 63 52 82/(+385-) 098 26 58 51. Not the local Indian restaurant but a traditional style konoba on the far western corner where the Zlatni rat peninsula joins the mainland. The name, meaning “little paradise”, is truly apt: this is a delightful, lush garden ringed by stone walls and affording great mountain views. The menu consists of fish, seafood and meat classics, and the octopus is considered among the best in town. Q May October 10 Open 12:00 - 24:00. NB Pizzeria Topolino Frane Radića 1 (Hotel Kaštil), tel. (+385-21) 63 59 95. Topolino’s pizzas are among the best in town, but this restaurant additionally has a wide ranging menu, including excellent breakfasts (e.g. scrambled eggs with shrimps, healthy “wholemeal platter”), and brunch served ‘til 14:00. The standard of food is reliably high, with high quality ingredients used. Service is excellent. Live music livens up the evening atmosphere at this waterfront eatery. Q May - October 15 Open 08:00 - 23:00. (60 - 100kn). AB Ribarska kućica A. Starčevića bb, tel. (+385-21) 63 50 33, info@ribarskakucica.com, www.ribarska-kucica.com. This delightful stone fisherman’s warehouse occupies the tip of a headland with perfect, tiny beaches either side. It’s on the eastern edge of town, before the Dominican monastery. With wraparound sea views, this is a wonderful place to enjoy a long lunch while sea breezes soothe the heat away. This is really a place for seafood, although there are a handful of excellent meat offerings as well. The lobster salad regularly receives rave reviews, while the home-made gnocci with gorgonzola and prosciutto sauce are excellent if you need a more filling meal. This is an excellent place for scampi, either simply grilled or buzara style with wine, tomato and garlic. Don’t come wearing white! Q May - October Open 10:00 - 24:00. (80 - 150kn). PNB Taverna Riva Frane Radića 5, tel. (+385-21) 63 52 36. This family-run restaurant has a 30-year pedigree and enjoys a reputation as the finest restaurant in town. The menu features both local classics and international dishes, including desserts such as semifreddo and panna cotta. The service is highly professional and we found the home-produced red wine excellent, but we were a bit surprised that the seafood tagliatelle was drowned in cream, while the gravy-like green peppercorn sauce didn’t do the tender, perfectly-cooked fillet steak justice. However, the chips were home-made and perfectly cooked in their skins - a delight! Q May - October Open 11:00 - 24:00. November - April 30 Open 11:00 - 14:00, 18:00 - 21:00. (70 - 140kn). AGB Vusio Frane Radića 1 (Hotel Kaštil), tel. (+385-21) 63 59 95/(+385-21) 63 59 96, www.kastil.hr. This stylish summer terrace (which doubles as the breakfast terrace of Hotel Kaštil) is one to choose if you’ve something to celebrate. The concept is top class Dalmatian food using only the highest quality, fresh local ingredients. Even the grill is fired on natural wood from the island. The whole experience is complemented by the stunning sea views and an excellent wine list - a real treat. Try the fresh young cheese škuta as a dessert. Q June - September Open 19:00 - 23:00 (70 - 200kn). AB

WHAT TO SEE Churches Church of Our Lady of Carmel (Crkva Gospe od Karmela) Nerežišća

bb, Nerežišća. Its fitting that Nerežišća, once the capital of Brač, should have the most impressive church on the island. The Church of Our Lady of Carmel dates from the 13th century but was enlarged over the centuries and took on its present Baroque appearance in the 18th century. It has a typical Dalmatian belfry. The church stands on a fine square where public proclamations were once made outside the Prince’s Palace, the centre of the island administration which no longer stands. The church has eight altars. The main altar is made of marble and has a fantastic medieval painting of Our Lady of the Rosary.

Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation (Crkva Gospe od Blagovijesti) Milna bb, Milna, tel. (+385-21) 63 60 44. One of the loveliest Baroque

churches on Brač, Milna’s Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation has some beautiful Venetian paintings from the first half of the 18th century and statuary by Brač sculptor Ivan Rendić, including a stone statue of St Joseph on the main altar and some cemetery sculpture: look out for the tombstone of S. Tomaš and the chapel of the Mandinić family. Mass: 17:00, Sun 10:00. Church of the Ascension of Mary (Crkva Uznesenja Marijina) Sutivan bb, Sutivan, tel. (+385-21) 63 81 96. Sutivan takes its name from the town’s patron saint St John (St Ivan). The village’s first parish church, dedicated to St John, was built on the ruins of a 6th century basilica. A large new parish church was built between 1576 and 1590 in a late Renaissance style, which with later adaptation took on today’s Baroque character. Raised up on a low terrace, its harmonious form and delicate belfry create a landmark on the western side of the harbour. The village’s dead were buried in the church and churchyard until a cemetery was built in the 19th century, but some of the gravestones still stand outside. The church interior is notable for its Baroque elements and beautiful marble altars. The 17th century altar painting of Our Lady of the Rosary is particularly worthy of note. Mass: Sun 10:00. July, August 10:00, 19:00. Q July, August Open 08:00 - 22:00. September - June Open by prior arrangement. Parish Church of Christ the King (Crkva Krista Kralja) Trg Stjepana Radića 7, Selce. The most modern church on the island, Selca’s parish church of Christ the King was built between 1921 and 1955. The imposing church is said by some to belong in a much larger and more modern setting, but the white stone fits in with the dominant architecture of this harmonious little inland town and is an awesome decoration. The church is beautiful inside, its stone walls left unplastered, an oasis of quiet simplicity with decorative capitals and a wooden roof. A statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus behind main altar by Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović is made from the cases of shells left behind from the Second World War, thus creating an ode to peace from a means of destruction. The statue is echoed on front of church in stone. There is also a beautiful statue of the Madonna and Child. The walls of the church are lined with a fascinating display of architectural designs and photos showing how the church was built. Mass: 08:30, Sun 10:30. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. Parish Church of St Helena of the Cross (Crkva Sv.Jelene) Škrip, tel. (+385-21) 63 27 00. Built in 1768 and completed in the early 19th century, this attractive church is crafted entirely from smooth stone. Its harmonious simplicity is preserved in its interior. The most valuable item inside the church is a rare example of a beautiful gilded altar, unfortunately in dire need of restoration. There are two beautiful paintings by Palma the Younger; two more were stolen in 1974 and have never been found. The church’s consecration to St Helena speaks of a local legend that the saint, the mother of Emperor Constantine I, was born here. Behind the church is one of the oldest cemeteries on the island, rich in Roman remains and with two chapels. Mass: Sun 09:30. Q If you would like to see inside the church, please call the Native Museum on 64 63 25.

Parish Church of St John the Baptist (Župna crkva sv. Ivana Krstitelja) Povlja. Povlja’s parish church is built next to the extensive ruins of a large basilica from the 5th to 6th centuries. The basilica’s portal and apse with a three-light window are some of the best-preserved remains from that period. The basilica’s size suggests that this was an important religious centre not only for Povlja and the island but possibly for the mainland too. It possessed an imposing and rare octagonal font covered with a cupola, which along with the baptistry at the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč is the only preserved example of a 6th century covered baptistry on the Eastern Adriatic. The baptistry was incorporated into the parish church of St John the Baptist, and is venerated as the resting place of a saint, St John of Povlja. In the churchyard, the remains of a Benedictine monastery can be seen, together with a defensive tower which was added to protect the complex from pirate attacks: the monastery was destroyed in 1145 by the fearsome pirates from Omiš. Mass: Sun 11:00 except the last Sunday of the month 09:30. The Church of St John and St Paul (Crkva sv. Ivana i Pavla) Ložišća bb, Ložišća, tel. (+385-21) 63 60 44. This picturesque Baroque church was built in 1820 in the midst of the steep cobbled streets and stone houses of Ložišća.

572 19 54, tonci.matulic1@st.t-com.hr, www.toni-dol.info. Toni is famed far and wide as a bastion of excellent quality, simple, traditional cooking. Located in a lush valley, there’s an ample source of fresh home-produced vegetables and meat, and fish is also fresh and expertly prepared. But we recommend you make the trip to Toni for these three things: the friendly atmosphere, the view up to the village which looks as if it’s grown of its own accord from the rock, and Auntie Barica’s Hrapačuša cake. This is a speciality otherwise known as “Dol Viagra” - the combination of almonds, walnuts and caramelised sugar will certainly leave you feeling frisky… Q April - November Open 12:00 - 24:00. (40 - 100kn). B

Donji Humac Konoba Kopačina Donji Humac, tel. (+385-21) 64 77 07/(+385-) 098 68

97 60, ivojugovic@gmail.com, www.konoba-kopacina.hr. Almost unparalleled in its reputation as the best place to eat on Brač, if you only venture into the island’s interior in order to eat here, it’ll be worth the trip. Only fresh, natural food is used, the soups are brilliant and there are fabulous seasonal specials on the menu such as grilled lamb steak with cheese and young broad beans. Although Kopačina is always busy, the service is very friendly so let your waiter guide you to the best thing on offer. Q April - October 31 Open 10:00 - 24:00. November - March 31 Open 10:00 - 22:00. PIGB

Gornji Humac Konoba Tomić Gornji Humac, tel. (+385-) 091 225 11 99/(+385-) 091 225

11 77, info@konobatomic.com, www.konobatomic.com. Hidden away in the middle of this ancient stone settlement is the home of the Tomić family: an 800year-old house with adjoining wine cellar that now serves as a restaurant. In the very barrels you see here the wine you are drinking is matured; and the konoba is full of the scent of woodsmoke from the open fire. Since the family grows vegetable and rears livestock for the restaurant, everything that you eat is fresh and organic, including the bread. Try the veal, or take the chance and try goat meat, you won’t regret it. Q June 15 - October 31 Open 18:00 - 02:00. November - June 14 Open by prior arrangement. (50 - 120kn). NB

RESTAURANTS

RESTAURANTS

or octopus cooked peka style. Call ahead to order the latter and to reserve for larger groups. Q June 15 - September 14 Open 10:00 - 24:00. April 15 - June 14, September 15 - October Open 10:00 - 21:00. (60 - 100kn). NB

Nerežišća Gažul Gažul, tel. (+385-) 098 993 09 43/(+385-) 091 517 23 05. This little

traditional stone konoba is set in the shepherds’ settlement of Gažul, inland on the road between Nerežišća and Gornji Humac. Although Gažul is nowadays only inhabited in the summertime, the konoba is open from February to November but only by prior appointment. Logically enough, the menu is devoted exclusively to lamb, and all the ingredients used in the preparation of your meal are grown or reared by your hosts themselves. A really authentic experience, and delicious too! Q Open February - November by prior arrangement. NB

Povlja Konoba Kala Povlja, tel. (+385-21) 63 90 24. A pleasant and clean little

konoba with wooden benches on the waterfront, well patronised by locals due to the freshness of the fish. For a lighter meal, try a plate of fried small fish (sardines or similar), while the oily fish (mackerel or similar) is a little more substantial. If you’re treating yourself, choose top quality sea fish or scampi. Meat and pasta are also on the menu, but it’s a pity to miss out on a rare chance to enjoy truly fresh fish and seafood! Q April - November Open 10:00 - 22:00. (35 - 120kn). PAGB Konoba Pipo Uvala Luke, tel. (+385-) 098 78 13 58. In a deep inlet on the way to Povlja, Pipo is only reachable by boat (head for the Luka bay near Povlja). A little slice of paradise: a traditional stone house located on the site of an old quarry at the head of the inlet, where all the food on offer is home grown, including the mussels and oysters. The views are phenomenal, there are five little beaches and a playground for the kids. If you fall hopelessly in love with the place, you can rent a room and potter to your heart’s content in one of the family’s boats. Q Apr 15 - October Open 07:00 - 24:00. NB

Milna Fontana Žalo bb, Milna, tel. (+385-21) 63 62 85, 63 63 55/(+385-) 091

520 04 71. Named after Rendić’s fountain in front of the school on the square, Fontana is a family-owned place with a slightly old-fashioned but sunny interior, a pleasant, spacious terrace and cooking that brings in locals and the yachtie crowd alike. Try their green manestra: pasta with seafood sauce. Q June - September 30 Open 08:00 - 24:00. October - November 30, March - May 31 Open 08:00 22:00. (50 - 110kn). NB Galicija Galicija bb, Milna, tel. (+385-21) 63 63 12. A little set back from the waterfront in a green residential area, Galicija’s terrace is an idyllic spot to while away a long lunch. This is a good place for a simple meal of fried sardines, or mackerel, tuna or meat grilled over charcoal. There are a few house specialities such as medallions of meat with asparagus and cheese, meat fondue and refreshing plate salads. Q May - November Open 10:00 - 14:00, 17:00 - 24:00. (50 - 100kn). INB Konoba Smrčeva (Lučice bay) Uvala Lučice, tel. (+385-) 091 422 21 10/ (+385-) 091 335 54 86, 095 526 11 93. Konoba Smrčeva is remarkable not only for its spectacularly unpronounceable name, but also for being run by former Hajduk football star Marino Lemešić, his journalist wife Dragica and their son Leo. The family have gained a reputation for excellent food and a wonderfully unspoilt atmosphere at this out-of-town konoba. To get here by boat, head for the Lučice bay directly south of Milna and keep an eye out for the green sunshade on the left hand side. You can also get here by car: from Milna head for the cemetery, and from the crossroads keep following the signs. Since this is a small place, it’s advisable to call ahead to let the family know you’re coming, and they’ll gladly help you out if you get a little lost along the way. Q May - November Open 12:00 - 22:00 NB

Murvica Konoba Marija Murvica bb, tel. (+385-) 091 195 87 54. Escapists should

definitely take the trek along the dirt track to Murvica, an oasis of peace with stunning views and a delightful little beach. This delightfully friendly konoba consists of a simple, roofed terrace with an open fire offering good food at reasonable prices, it’s a great place to kick back and relax through a sweltering afternoon. The menu has most of the standard classics, including pizzas and pasta dishes, but for the ultimate experience we suggest you order lamb roast on the spit or veal, lamb

WHAT TO SEE

Pučišća

Hroštule - a traditional sweet Brač speciality

Konoba Lado Pučišća, tel. (+385-21) 63 30 69. A little restaurant with a

nice big terrace, offering local specialities such as žutinica (wild greens, tasty and slightly bitter), asparagus, tripe and bakalar - salt cod, usually served as a stew. The restaurant has its own boat, so you can be sure of the freshest fish here. Q June - October 31 Open 11:00 - 15:00, 18:00 - 24:00. INGB

Selca Agroturizam Hacienda Selca bb, tel. (+385-) 091 894 99 96. A huddle of

beautifully-preserved stone cottages with a delightful central garden. Take a peep into the main building, a fabulous old-fashioned barn-style construction. Family run, everything that reaches your plate is home grown right here, including the fruit from which the renowned sour cherry juice is made. Lamb features high on the menu, roast on the spit, under an iron bell or in true local style, chunks lanced on a špica - a skewer, browned over an open fire. Service is sometimes on the slow side, but the family are very friendly, the atmosphere is pure relaxation and there are even two tiny cottages where you can stay overnight. Q May - October Open 12:00 - 23:00. (60 - 150kn). NB

Splitska Konoba kod Tonča Riva bb, Splitska, tel. (+385-21) 71 77 16/(+385-)

091 534 36 85. This is an old-fashioned stone konoba, family run, with seating on Splitska’s waterfront. It serves traditional Dalmatian food, including specialities made to order such as pašticada (a beef stew with gnocci) or brudet od jastoga:

WHAT TO SEE

It is most famous for its ornate campanile, the design of famous Brač sculptor Ivan Rendić, which was added in 1889. According to local sources, Rendić was commissioned for this project by his sponsors, the Nazor family from Bobovišća na moru. Apparently his payment was 24 bottles of fine prošek dessert wine as drunk at the imperial court in Vienna.

order with Rendić. Meštrović refused to take the order, it seems out of respect for the older sculptor. However, Meštrović’s contemporary Toma Rosandić of Split did not turn the work down. Rendić was left destitute and ridiculed in his home town, and died almost in poverty. Rosandić’s mausoleum, however, is quite spectacular, and the well close by is also a powerful piece of work.

Landmarks

Galleries

Chapels of St George (Kapelice sv. Jurja) Brač is well known for its

multitude chapels and churches. What is less well known is that the chapels dedicated to the island’s patron saint, St George, are connected visually; that is, from any given chapel of St George, you can see the next one. We have yet to try, and would love to hear from anyone who has and who can confirm that this is true! Kogul - Cobble! In some of Brač’s seaside villages you might notice intricatelylaid cobbled streets. These cobbles are known in Croatian as kogule. Postira is particularly renowned for its kogule: the street connecting the parish church with the waterfront is the longest on the island which is paved in this way. It was laid out in honour of the visit of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1875. The smooth, rounded stones and ornate patterns have inspired many a photographer fascinated by the play of light on the stones’ surface, creating sensuous effects. Rock cake The karst landscape of Brač is rich in fascinating geological formations. One of the most stunning is known as the “Kolač”, which is the name of a ring-shaped type of Dalmatian bread cake. Presumably the rock was given this name as it is about as hard as the cakes, which have to be soaked in coffee before eating otherwise they break your teeth off. Seriously, it’s the shape which gives the Kolač its name. It’s made from dolomite, a softish rock related to limestone, and is formed from two rocks leaning together and worn away by erosion and other factors until the giant ring shape was formed. The Kolač is a two-hour round trip hike from Nerežišća and is not too easy to find - be prepared to ask the way.

The catacombs in Sutivan’s cemetery (Sutivanske katakomb e) Su ti van’s

cemetery was built when new sanitary regulations forbade burial within the town. A peaceful spot was selected for the cemetery, overlooking the sea and next to the chapel of St Rocco. Since space was at a premium, underground chambers were built with rows of spaces for graves stacked one on top of another. One half of the cemetery has regular graves covered with stone slabs, while in the other half you’ll spot little roofs with glass in them. Looking down, you can see into the catacombs, where you might see candles burning left by relatives. The entry to the catacombs is through a tiny chapel at the back of the cemetery.

The Chapel of St Peter and St Paul (Crkvica sv. Petra i Pavla) Nerežišća. This

chapel, built around 1400, stands in the centre of one of Nerežišča’s three main squares. A real curiosity: out of the chapel’s semicircular apse grows a pine tree, giving the chapel the endearing air of a sprightly little chicken. The tree is small enough, but has survived there for about a century - a kind of Dalmatian bonsai. The Romanesque and Gothic chapel holds a fine altar relief of the Madonna and Child in stone, the work of sculptor Nikola Lazanić.

The Petrinović family mausoleum (Mauzolej obitelji Petrinović) Approaching Supetar from the sea, one of the first things you notice is an exotic, luxurious building all in white, set amid the pine trees on a headland west of town. Is it a palace? Is it a church? No, it’s the Petrinović family mausoleum. Although it is a thing of beauty, a richly ornamented building with oriental elements, its story leaves a bitter aftertaste with the people of Brač. Ivan Rendić, one of the leading sculptors of the 19th century, had established a reputation as a leading sculptor of cemetery statuary, headstones and mausoleums, especially in his home town, Supetar. Knowing this, wealthy emigrant Frane Petrinović engaged the sculptor to build his family mausoleum. Rendić duly began work. However, the sculptor was approaching the end of his life, his powers were perhaps fading and other sculptors were coming into fashion. Petrinović saw the massive mausoleum of the Račić family in Cavtat by the master sculptor Ivan Meštrović, was impressed and cancelled his

Branislav Dešković Fine Arts Gallery (Galerija umjetnina Branislav Dešković) Porat bolskih pomoraca bb, Bol, centar.za.kulturu.brac@st.t-

com.hr. This art gallery, housed in a 17th century Renaissance and Baroque palace on the Bol waterfront, is named after sculptor Branislav Dešković (1883-1939) of Pučišča. Its collection of art, one of the richest in the country, is focused on artists connected with Brač or inspired by Mediterranean themes, but offering a valuable insight into the development of Croatian art as a whole. The ground floor and gardens are dedicated to sculpture, while on the upper floors you’ll find paintings. There is, of course, a collection of works by Dešković, a sculptor best known for his portrayal of hunting dogs in their instinctively elegant, powerful poses, and all other artists featured are leading Croatian sculptors and painters, making this a vital spot on the island’s cultural itinerary. Look out for the temporary exhibitions which are also held here during the summer months. Important note: Extensive renovation works are currently underway, and the ground floor works are scheduled to be completed by 15 June, enabling that part of the gallery to open as of that date. If all goes according to plan, the opening hours will be: June 15 - September 30 open 09:00 - 13:00, 18:00 - 22:00. Closed Mon. October - June 14 open 09:00 - 14:00, Sat 09:00 - 12:00. Closed Sun. Due to the limited space open for visitors there will be no entrance fee for the time being. Ivan Rendić Gallery Jobova bb,Supetar, tel. (+38521) 63 06 76/(+385-21) 63 00 33, www.knjiznicasupetar.hr. This gallery is dedicated to Supetar resident and leading Croatian sculptor Ivan Rendić (1849-1932). On the first floor of the town’s librar y building, this single room houses a collection of busts and drawings of the sculptor’s many memorials. There are also other designs, such as that for the sublime campanile in Ložišća, as well as artefacts such as a letter from English Prime Minister Gladstone thanking Rendić effusively for the gift of a bust which the artist sent to him. Outside the gallery is a bronze sculpture of a female figure named “Allegory of the Mind”. A visit to this gallery is essential for anyone who would like to get deeper into the story of Rendić, the larger-than-life figure from Brač. You can buy a beautiful coffee table book with the history of his life and photographs of his works. Q July, August Open 20:30 - 22:30. September - June 30 Open 14:30 - 19:30, Tue, Thu, Sat 08:30 - 13:30. Closed Sun.

Museums Brač Native Museum (Muzej otoka Brača) Škrip, tel. (+385-21) 64

63 25, centar.za.kulturu.brac@st.t-com.hr. Škrip is in itself a museum with abundant Illyrian and Roman remains and a true Croatian folk flavour given by a scattering of ancient rural cottages. The Native Museum is in a complex of buildings with snow-white stone rooftops beautifully set in a small walled garden. The Radojković tower at its core is a unique and valuable construction with Illyrian foundations and a Roman mausoleum at its base. The defensive upper part of the tower was built in the 16th century during the time of the Venice-Ottoman wars. The Museum’s collection covers: archaeological remains from prehistoric and Roman times; an exhibition of pictures and ground plans of the island’s many chapels; artefacts such as a copy of the Povlja lintel and the figurehead from a cargo ship owned by the Blaca monastery which played a key part in defending Split harbour from an English pirate ship. An ethnographic collection includes an old pasta-making machine, an ancient photocopier from the Postira sardine factory, a decorative cypress dowry chest, a beautiful grey wedding suit and velvet jacket which any fashionista worth her salt would kill to get her hands on, and travel chests used by émigrés starved out by the phylloxera blight for their passage to South America. The exhibits are well labelled in Croatian and English, and the museum guide is friendly, knowledgeable and will tell you more than you’ll ever be able to remember about the museum and its exhibits in perfect English. We definitely recommend you visit Škrip and learn more about the island’s past in this delightful little museum. QOpen 08:00 - 20:00. Admission 5 - 12kn.

lobster cooked in tomato and red wine, served with macaroni. Q May - September Open 09:00 - 24:00. (50 - 250kn). AGB Vala Riva bb, Splitska, tel. (+385-21) 63 29 05/(+385-) 099 710 17 84. Vala has a spacious terrace at the head of Splitska’s harbour, and has no interior dining space. It’s a place for sampling grilled fish and meat, including lamb. They also serve food cooked peka style. Try octopus, if you’re feeling daring - it’s juicy and delicious. Q May - November Open 09:00 - 24:00. (50 - 150kn). B

Sumartin Bistro Dalmatino Riva bb, Sumartin, tel. (+385-21) 64 81 55. If you

enjoy the romance of dining by the water, Dalmatino is the place to be, since its pleasing terrace is set atop a little stone pier. You can keep the nautical theme going with a plate of the fisherman’s favourite, fried sardines, or a grilled piece of tuna, while simple meat dishes such as mixed grill and čevapi - spiced meat patties - keep the carnivores happy. Q Open 06:30 - 22:00. June - October 15 Open 06:30 - 24:00. NB

Supetar Agroturizam Ranjak Supetar, tel. (+385-) 091 631 66 99. This is an

“agri-tourism” venture: a family home open to visitors, exclusively offering home produce prepared by Mrs Rajević, who is a simply fabulous cook. The sweet toothed may be tempted by her “hroštule” - scented fritters as light as a feather, while those keen to taste local specialities might ask for vitalac or tripe. The pleasant garden is in an olive grove and has a play area to keep kids occupied while you munch. Located a few kilometres out of Supetar, on the way to Nerežišća. Q April - November 30 Open 12:00 - 24:00. December - March Open by prior arrangement. N Bistro Palute Porat 4, Supetar, tel. (+385-21) 63 17 30. Palute gets the thumbs-up for its side dishes of home-made chips and tasty rice with vegetables. Another favourite is spinach pasta with crab meat. Palute is on the busiest part of the waterfront, close to the ferry and bus station, and is a good place to pick up a tasty, quick and reasonably priced meal. Nice atmosphere and good value for money. Q June - October 31 Open 08:00 - 24:00. November - May 31 Open 08:00 - 22:00. AGB Konoba Gušti mora Ive Vojnovića 16, Supetar, tel. (+385-21) 63 10 56. Run by a family who are impressively devoted to their customers. Almost everything is made on the premises or by trusted local suppliers, this is a good bet for cheese and pršut. Apart from classics served with an imaginative twist, the menu includes international dishes such as scallops in wine and cognac or pasta with salmon and caviar. Try the pancakes with škuta or baked figs in honey sauce for dessert, and don’t miss the range of home-made liqueurs, mellow and not too sweet. Q July, August Open 12:00 - 24:00. May, June, September, October Open 12:00 - 22:00. NGB Konoba Lukin Porat 32, tel. (+385-21) 63 06 83/(+385-) 091 591 62 88, raull@vip.hr. This simple konoba has a pleasant location on the western end of the Supetar harbour. Lukin serves all the classic fish and meat dishes: we tried the black risotto and found it to be tasty. Soups are home-made, not out of a packet. The interior is in stone and wood, while the toilets are impressively clean and snazzy. QOpen 12:00 - 24:00. Closed January. (20 - 390kn). NB Konoba Vinotoka Jobova 6, tel. (+385-21) 63 09 69/(+385-) 091 207 44 70, kanoc@st.t-com.hr. Vinotoka has an old konoba and a new space across the street which is possibly the loveliest restaurant premises in town: a large raftered space on the upper floor of a building, with windows all around. Vinotoka has a standard menu, the quality of the food is solid and in general the restaurant offers good value for money, though the service could do with being a little more attentive. Q May 15 - October 31 Open 15:00 - 24:00. AG

Sutivan Bracera Riva bb, Sutivan, tel. (+385-21) 63 84 52. The smells that waft

from this pizzeria are a good guide to the tempting pies that are rustled up inside. Bracera is a relaxed little place right on the waterfront by the big wooden fishing boat, and has a pleasant stone interior. Q June 15 - August 31 Open 12:00 24:00. May - June 14, September 1 - 15 Open 17:00 - 22:00. NGB Dora Sutivan, tel. (+385-21) 63 81 97/(+385-) 098 937 73 65, bartul. luksic@live.com. The entrance to the restaurant is amid lush greenery by a little roadside shrine, two blocks away from the waterfront. The lovely terrace affords a full view onto the kitchen area, where fish and seafood are grilled and meat is cooked under the peka - an iron lid heaped with embers. This place has been kept in the same family for decades, and has been rewarded by legions of fans for its excellent food and friendly service. Q June - September 20 Open 16:00 - 24:00 (45 - 150kn). AB

underwater brač The crystalline water is just one reason why Brač is a diver’s paradise. The second reason is the underwater world of wildlife waiting, and the third is the wealth of geological and archaeological places of interest waiting to be explored. Clay amphorae, sarcophagi and blocks of stone speak of shipwrecks that took place in the days when Greek ships traded with the islanders and Roman colonisers exported the beautiful white Brač limestone to construct their grand buildings and monuments. The richest underwater archaeological sites are scattered on the seashore around Splitska, the harbour used for transporting stone to Split. There are several sites to dive from Bol, which has several diving centres. Diving from the tip of the Zlatni rat beach is a good introduction to diving here. Though it may seem that there’s not much to see on the sandy bottom due to the constant action of currents, if you move further out to where the seaweed starts you’ll come across flora and fauna. Be aware that there can be quite strong currents at this location, so you need to be a strong swimmer. Also near Bol, Drasine is an interesting site suitable for novice divers where you can see the remains of a Roman mosaic at a depth of 5 to 8 m, as well as an abundance of sea life hidden in crevices and holes. The rocky and sandy sub-aqua terrain at Golubinja Cove is home to gobies, cuttlefish, wrasse and conger eels. On the island of Hvar but reachable from Bol are Smočiguzica on the Kabel peninsula (the name sounds rather amusing, meaning “Wet Bottom”) and Tatinja. The first is rich in a variety of fish species, while at the second you’ll find coral. Watch out for strong currents in both these places as well. The Lučica bay is on the southwest side of the island between Milna and Bol. There is an underwater cave here with its entrance at a depth of 5m. You can enter at one of two points, which are 2m and 3m wide. Dropping down, you come to a large cavern with a sediment bottom at 42m. Here you’ll find the entrances to two blind tunnels, stalagmites and a siphon which comes out on the land. Divers report swimming with greater amberjack here - powerful fish which can reach up to 2m in length. As experienced divers will know, to reach depths of over 40m and to enter caves, you need specialist training and equipment so don’t try this on your own, kids. The same goes for visiting shipwrecks. One of these is to be found 40m east of the islet of Mrduja, just off the coast of Milna. There’s also a wall here, which is fun to explore. Ptičij rat (Bird Cape), close to Povlja, also has a beautiful wall. This is a geologically fascinating site with underwater caves, channels and springs. It goes without saying, diving can be dangerous and you must seek expert guidance. To dive in caves and other formations you need a permit from the Ministry of Culture. Protected sites are patrolled, and penalties for breaking the rules are stiff. To be on the safe side, please seek guidance from a professional diving centre.

E S S E N T I A L C I TY G U I D E S

Brač In Your Pocket Draškovićeva 66 Croatia tel. (+385-1) 481 30 27, 481 10 70 fax (+385-1) 492 39 24 zagreb@inyourpocket.com www.inyourpocket.com ©Plava Ponistra d.o.o. Printed by Znanje d.d., Zagreb Copyright notice Text and photos copyright Plava Ponistra 1992 - 2011. Maps copyright cartographer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, except brief extracts for the purpose of review, without written permission from the publisher and copyright owner. The brand name In Your Pocket is used under license from UAB In Your Pocket (Vokieciu 10-15, Vilnius, Lithuania tel. (+370-5) 212 29 76).

Editorial Editor Višnja Arambašić Contributor Nataly Anderson Assistant Editor Kristina Kovač Researcher Anita Piplović, Blanka Valić Layout & Design Ivana Novak, Gordan Karabogdan Photos Brač In Your Pocket team, Supetar Tourist Board, Milna Tourist Board Brač online, Robert Barilla, Brač Cultural Centre, Andrija Carli Sales & Circulation General Manager Višnja Arambašić Sales & Circulation Manager Kristijan Vukičević zagreb@inyourpocket.com Editor’s note The editorial content of In Your Pocket guides is independent from paid-for advertising. Sponsored listings are clearly marked as such. We welcome all readers‘ comments and suggestions. We have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of going to press and assume no responsibility for changes and errors.


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for sport and leisure, there are nightly folklore performances in town during the tourist season, there’s a summer carnival and a film festival: in short, enough to keep almost everyone occupied. If you’re arriving from the mainland, Supetar will very likely be your first port of call. The town is home to one fifth of the island’s population, a veritable metropolis in island terms. It’s a transport hub and has several large-ish hotels. On the shore to the west of the town centre there are shingle beaches backed by cafés, bars, fast food eateries and nightclubs, as well as sports grounds and play areas. With the island’s main bus station to hand, Supetar is also a good base from which to explore the rest of the island. The focal point of the town is a waterfront lined with cafés, bars and restaurants. A large space in front of the church and clock tower serves as the main square. The parish Church of St Peter and St Paul, often known by its secondary name of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, was built in the 18th century on the site of a basilica dedicated to St Peter (hence the name Supetar) thought to date from the 6th century, and of which mosaic paving can still be seen. The clock tower is named the leroj (pron. “leroy”) and now serves as the atelier of artist Ivo Petrović Michelangelo. At the entrance to the church museum is a statue of St Victor and by the church courtyard of Mother Teresa, both the work of Brač sculptor Petar Jakšić. The church interior is richly decorated with paintings, sculptures. A reliquary of St Victor is paraded through the streets every May 2. To one side of the church

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towns & villages the former rectory now serves as the church museum (see “What to see”). In Supetar, as in almost all the Brač settlements, the influence of art is very strong. One of the town’s best loved figures is Ivan Rendić (1849-1932), a bon vivant and larger than life character widely held to be the father of modern Croatian sculpture. A gallery of his works is on the first floor of the town library building. A statue female figure on the little lawn nearby is titled Allegory of the Mind, created by Rendić for the insurance company Austrian Lloyd Trieste. Just across the street is the chapel of St Martin which is used as an exhibition space. A little further along the quayside is a sculpture called The Water Carrier by Paško Čulo, a contemporary local sculptor. One of the most inspiring spots in Supetar is its cemetery, which like most cemeteries on the island occupies one of the most beautiful shoreline locations, here on a headland west of the town. The cemetery is a museum of sculpture, showcasing many of Rendić’s works, from a relief of the Pietà to sensual female forms, art deco mosaics and ironwork and family mausoleums. Rendić’s own resting place is also here, a restrained stone slab. Visible from the ferry is the white form of the Petrinović family mausoleum, which infuriatingly enough for Rendić was entrusted to sculptor Toma Rosandić when the former had already carried out preliminary work on the project. Nevertheless, Rosandić did a splendid job, the mausoleum is a stunning and most unusual piece of architecture, with rounded, almost Byzantine forms. The same sculptor’s masterful wellhead stands close to the mausoleum. The headland is also the site of Roman buildings such as the Early Christian chapel of St Nicholas, a villa rustica and two beautiful Early Christian sarcophagi. This spot was the first to be inhabited on this part of the coast, but was abandoned in the Middle Ages due to those pesky pirates. Today’s town grew up gradually, populated by settlers from Nerežišća, Donji Humac and Škrip. First a few rows of

three small privately-owned hotels offering an excellent standard of service and accommodation to guests appreciate a tranquil village atmosphere and pristine surroundings. There are numerous sites of archaeological interest around Postira, perhaps the most important being the sandy cove at Lovrečina. Here, close to a freshwater spring lie the ruins of a Roman villa rustica, a Benedictine convent and the early Christian basilica of St Lawrence (5th to 6th century). In the churchyard stands a cross-shaped, canopied baptistry. Around the basilica fragments of frescoes and Early Christian sarcophagi are to be found. This is a delightful spot and the remains are spectacular, we highly recommend a visit. Postira is also a centre of culture on the island. It’s the birthplace of sculptors, master builders and poets. Poet Vladimir Nazor was born in the Renaissance palace on Postira’s waterfront. His first work, “The Angel in the Bell Tower”, was a story about Postira’s parish Church of St John the Baptist. Postira is renowned for its cobbled streets made of smooth rounded stones laid out in ornate patterns, with sensuous forms inspiring many a photographer.

Povlja Approaching Povlja by road, the first sight of the village clustered on a headland and framed by the Biokovo mountains across the channel is rather special. Povlja overlooks the bustling mainland resorts of the Makarska Riviera, which is one reason why the village is a popular destination for day-trippers. The other is the presence of some first-class monuments. Povlja’s parish church is built next to the extensive ruins of a large basilica from the 5th to 6th centuries and the remains of a Benedictine monastery with a defensive tower. Povlja is also famous for two historic documents: the Povlja Charter, written on parchment, documents land possessed by the monastery, a very early example of this type of legal document and the first example on the island written in the bosančica script; and the Povlja Lintel, engraved in the same script by a famous stonemason named Radonja memorialising his contribution to the church, and that of a prince named Brečko who donated land for the building of the church. The original is preserved in the Archaeological Museum in Split, and a copy is on display at the Native Museum in Škrip.

Pražnica Pražnica is an ancient rural settlement laid out in a typical straggling fashion. Here one can most easily hear the diversity of dialects still to be found on the island. The name Pražnica is thought to derive from the word “pržiti” - to scorch, due to the practice of burning vegetation to increase the fertility of the land. Pražnica grew up from even older settlements and the surrounding countryside is strewn with churches and chapels. One of the most remarkable is the 13th century chapel of St Cyprian in Pražnica’s churchyard. The chapel possesses a stone triptych (1467) credited to Nicholas of Florence, a leading Tuscan sculptor of the Renaissance period. This is a remarkably expressive work important in the history of art of Dalmatia.

Pućišća Pučišča, the second largest town on Brač, grew up in the 15th century when pirate attacks on the coast ceased, emboldening the islanders to descend to the shore. The town has been lent a colourful air from a mix of architecture. Peasant cottages perch up the hill while the homes of the wealthy and fine public buildings line the waterfront. Due to the ongoing threat of Turkish invasion from the mainland, thirteen forts were built to protect the town. Some of these are still standing today. Due to the closeness of the stone quarries, and perhaps out of a contemplative intimacy enforced by the need to stay close to the protective forts, a rich cultural life developed in Pučišča. Many writers found their voice here, and the town is the home of stonemasonry and sculpture on the island possessing the only secondary school specialising in stonemasonry in Europe. There is an annual summer music school in the town, and the town was a centre for the development of the Croatian language. Under the loggia of the renaissance palace next to the Ciprijan Žuvetić fort is the door leading to the first Croatian language reading room on the island. In the summer months a festival of culture encompasses everything from classical music, jazz and pop concerts to book readings, theatre and folklore performances. Apart from the school of stonemasonry, the parish church of St Jerome with its

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Postira’s location on a wide bay exposed to the open sea gives the place a feeling of light and space. The name “Postira” is thought to derive from the Latin word “pastura”, meaning “pasture”, while local legend connects the name with the verb “prostirati”, or “to lay out”, referring to the habit of the women from nearby Dol of coming here to wash their clothes at the freshwater spring (“Vrilo”), laying out their clothes out to dry on the shore. This little coastal village is as much an agricultural community as a fishing village thanks to the fertile fields that lie above the town, where olives, fruit and vegetables are grown. Postira has the island’s first sardine factory, which was established in 1907. Today it specialises in canning oily fish such as sardines and mackerel, and employs almost 300 people. A plan to move the factory to new premises on the edge of town was announced in 2010, freeing up the waterfront for tourism. This meeting of the fruits of the sea and the hinterland is good news for the tourist: this is an excellent place to enjoy good food. Postira is fortunate in having

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Novo Selo means “New Village”. Founded in the 16th century, it is thought that the village was settled by refugees from the mainland fleeing from the Turks, as well as inhabitants of other island communities devastated by epidemics. The town is at the top of a hill overlooking the eastern edge of the island, with a wonderful view over the channel towards the Biokovo mountain range. The hill is topped by the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which owes its present appearance to the frontage and belltower added in 1894. There’s a stone-flagged square in front of the church, a local gathering place. All around Novo Selo you can see sculptures set along the roadsides. These are the work of one Frane Antonijević. One of the few self-taught sculptors on the island (the rest are mainly Academy educated), Mr Antonijević is simply compelled to work with stone. His tiny workshop bears testament to his passion. Visitors are welcome and works are for sale, please see “What to see” for details.

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Built alongside a large fertile field sweeping down from the crest of a large hill that forms the very backbone of the island, Nerežišća is an old community with a strong agricultural tradition. The town occupies a strategic spot at the intersection of roads connecting all the other island settlements. For eight centuries Nerežišća was the administrative and religious centre of Brač and proudly maintained its independence under Venetian, Hungarian and Croat-Hungarian rule. Life on Brač was governed by the Brač Statute, a document dating from the 13th century. Nerežišća flourished in the Middle Ages, and eventually a class of wealthy landowners emerged. The island was governed from the Prince’s Palace (Knežev dvor) which once stood next to the parish church. You can still see a stone column bearing the Venetian lion which served as a base for a flagpole outside what was once the palace. In the 19th century the local nobility lived a comfortable life here, furnishing their fine houses in the manner fashionable in that period. Apart from the rather stunning parish church of Our Lady of Carmel, dating from the 13th century, a notable sight is the little chapel of St Peter which has a small but not insignificant pine tree growing from the roof of its apse. Also close to Nerežišća is a system of reservoirs named “Trolokve” or “the Three Lakes”. These for centuries provided water for the people from the Nerežišća, Bol, Dol and Pražnica territories. Today they are deserted, the lunar landscape is populated only by sheep and the occasional herd of semi-wild ponies.

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for the newcomers to farm. The villagers therefore became skilful seafarers and fishermen. The tradition of building wooden boats here continues to this day. Among the settlers arriving from the mainland were Franciscan monks who arrived in 1645. In 1747 friar and poet Andrija Kačić Miošić initiated the building of a new monastery here when he was elected abbot of Sumartin. The monastery has a pleasing atmosphere, modest gardens and vegetable patches, and is well worth a visiting for its museum collection (What to see). The attractive, tall Church of St Martin you see today by the monastery was built between 1911 and 1913 on the site of an older church. As a plaque outside testifies, in 1944 the monastery was taken over for use as a German hospital and the monks were forced to leave. The bell tower of the church was destroyed in the extensive bombing of the town and rebuilt in 1955. Sumartin still enjoys a direct connection with the mainland thanks to a regular ferry to Makarska. With its laid-back atmosphere, clean sea and shingly coves, it’s a good holiday place for people who prefer an authentic village atmosphere to a bustling resort.

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Summer evenings in Supetar are lively: children run around the square, grownups exchange news on the waterfront, tourists select their spot for an evening meal and swifts scream overhead. The stone buildings turn pink in the setting sun, and the feeling is a very relaxed one. The town beaches offer ample facilities

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the Dračeva luka hermitage (also 1512), the Silvio or Dubravčić convent (1497) and Stipančić convent (1416). The monastic complexes are now disused, having been abandoned between the two world wars as their inhabitants moved to less remote places. If you are interested in sacral architecture, history or spectacular scenery, a walking tour of this group of monasteries is highly recommended. The Blaca hermitage is also within hiking distance from Murvica. See “What to see” for more information on both Blaca and the Dragon’s Cave.

Tiny Murvica can be reached by a dirt track from Bol or from the sea. The hamlet is a collection of houses backed right up against a rocky slope, overlooking fertile fields and grapevines which stretch right down to the water’s edge. By the shore, stone homesteads lie among vineyards enjoying views of the vivid blue channel towards Hvar. Murvica is an excellent starting point for exploring the monastic colonies that were formed close by in the 15th century. At that time the Ottoman armies succeeded in invading inland areas across the channel, forcing Christian communities to flee. Many of them ended up on Brač. Monastic colonies found shelter in the karst caves above Murvica, and from there indefatigably began to build their communities. The oldest of these made its home in the Dragon’s Cave (Zmajeva špilja or Drakonijeva špilja), founded between the 9th and the 12th centuries. The cave is one hour’s steep hike uphill from Murvica, and if you can cope with that we strongly suggest you visit. The other communities are (moving from west to east) the Dutić convent (founded 1512),

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We hardly dare tell you what awaits you when you set eyes on Ložišća for the first time, for fear of spoiling this spellbinding moment. However, since our job is to provide tourists with information we’ll just have to risk it… Built on the crest of a hilltop and cascading into a valley, the stone village is spectacular enough in itself. But rising from its heart like a delicate stone lily is an ornate bell tower. It’s certainly the most ornate and most spectacular campanile on the island, and perhaps for miles around. Ložišća is a rare example of rural Mediterranean architecture absolutely untouched by modern life and in a spectacular setting. But it stands half deserted, its façades crumbling and its gardens, vineyards and olive groves neglected. It’s a place of beauty and of sadness.

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The youngest of Brač’s settlements, Sumartin was founded on 11 November 1646 when refugees from the Dalmatian interior and from Bosnia and Herzegovina arrived, fleeing from the wars between the Venetians and the Turks. The origins of the citizens of Sumartin can still be detected in their dialect, which is closer to standard Croatian than that elsewhere on the island, as well as in their folk dress and customs. The village is more strongly connected with the sea than many other Brač settlements, the reason being that there was no land available in the interior

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Splitska is a quiet village where houses with lush green gardens bump right up against a shallow fishing harbour. There are two reasons to visit Splitska. One is to enjoy long summer days strolling along the quiet waterfront to reach a rocky cove which you may just have to yourself, and evenings over a simple meal and a glass of wine, and perhaps a game of chess or cards. The other is to see the ancient Rasohe quarry, where in Roman times slave workers carved into the rock face a relief of Hercules, a symbol of strength and a demigod with the power to protect communities from harm. Splitska in Roman times acted as a port from where the white Brač stone was taken to Split, among other things for the construction of Diocletian’s palace. In the waters around Splitska, great pieces of stone lie on the seabed, accidentally fallen from the Roman ships. Although there is evidence of settlement as early as the 13th century, at that time pirate attacks prevented the communities that tried to settle there from putting down roots, forcing them to retreat to Škrip. The town started to grow around the 16th century around the fortified manor of the Cerinić family, which still stands on the waterfront, one of the best preserved fortifications on the island today. Splitska also gained a palace, the seat of one of the Brač princes.

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Gothic façade and attractive red cupola is worth visiting. Next to the parish church is the red town hall building, guarded by two stone lions. The rectory houses the Povlja Charter, an important historical document (see Povlja). The cemetery church of the Blessed Virgin Mary has an impressive relief of the Madonna and Child. A 16th century waterfront palace belonging to the Dešković family now serves as a luxurious small hotel. Brač sculptor Branislav Dešković was born there; you can see his works in the art gallery named in his honour in Bol. An inland village but so close to the sea you can smell it, Selca is full of life. The town square is dominated by the stunning parish Church of Christ the King (1921-1955) built in a neo-Romanesque style, with decorations drawing on Early Christian and gothic architecture. On the lovely, elongated stone square in front of the church shade is provided by palm, fig and other Mediterranean trees. Here there is another pleasant, simple church of Our Lady of Carmel built in the 18th to 19th centuries. Stone plaques on the wall of the square opposite testify to an annual symposium of poets held here. Every year one poem is chosen to represent the spirit of the meeting. A plaque is raised in the poet’s honour with a few lines of the poem engraved thereon. Selca has a lovely little marketplace, a pitch for boules and a park with the world’s first monument to Leo Ilych Tolstoy, raised just one year after his death. The area around the parish church is also decorated with statues, including a bust by leading sculptor Anton Augustinčić of politician and impassioned supporter of Croatian independence Stjepan Radić (1871-1928). Selca developed a rather cosmopolitan outlook in the 19th and 20th century. Martin Kukučin-Bencur, a leading Slovak writer, worked in Selca as a doctor from 1893 and was a member of a cultural society called Hrvatski sastanak (“The Croatian Meeting”) under the patronage of progressive bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer. Selcan students who studied in Prague and Graz brought home new ideas from the mainland. Selca is still today a centre of culture, nurturing sculpture, poetry and literature. Selca’s orderly urban centre looks very different from in the village’s medieval beginnings, when it was a highly dispersed community of individual homes and tiny shepherds’ hamlets. Some such hamlets still exist today, such as Smrčevik, Osritke, Nakal, Nagorinac, Nadsela and Zagvozd. If you are interested in seeing them, from Selca take the road to Gornji Humac and turn off where you see the sign “Zaseoci”. The isolated, self-sufficient homes there afford the best picture of the very beginnings of habitation on the island.

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Ložišća

On the road between Nerežišća and Gornji Humac, follow the turning for Gažul and you’ll come to a collection of stone shepherd’s cottages, inhabited during the summer months when the sheep are sent out to graze. The hamlet is still in use today. In summer a stock breeders’ fair takes place, where the island’s prize sheep, goats and cattle take part in a raucous beauty contest. With local food and drink aplenty, it’s great fun, visit if you can!

This is one of the oldest settlements on Brač. In the nearby Kopačina cave the discovery of Stone Age implements are some of the earliest signs of human habitation in the central Adriatic. The village grew up close to the cave on the nearby hill Humac, screened from view of the pirate ships which terrorised the coast. Walking through the village, you can see the original roofs of the stone houses covered with stone slabs which give the place a primordial feel. In the gardens you can see even older field houses (bunja), shelters made from field stones heaped using a dry stone technique. On top of the hill is the Church of St Mary which boasts a 13th century Romanesque fresco believed to have miraculous powers. Under a shade of a beautiful tree is a great big stone table, a feature of almost every village and for generations the centre of social life. Nowadays, Donji Humac is celebrated as a centre of sculpture and gastronomy. The Jakšić family, who for generations have worked with Brač stone from the nearby quarries, have their home and atelier here. In their gallery you can enjoy sensuous stone forms and abstract art, see stylish jewellery and even fashion made of stone. They hold an international symposium of sculpture every two years, donating the results to the island communities and thus contributing to Brač becoming a big sculpture park. In Donji Humac, witty sculptures line the steps between the parish church and the Kopačina konoba.

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activities and sport of all kinds. Bol is also Brač’s oldest coastal settlement, the only one of any size on the island’s southern coast. There is much evidence of settlement by the Romans, who lent the place the name of Vallum denoting a settlement fortified by earthen defences or possibly the coast. The town boasts a Dominican monastery (1475) with a museum and a beautiful garden, and there are several churches containing beautiful artworks. A genteel life grew up over the centuries, and Brač boasts some fine mansions and palaces, most notably the 17th century (??) renaissance-baroque palace that now houses the Dešković gallery, one of the richest art collections in Croatia. Add to these the 18th century Lode Palace, the Loggia, a collection of fisherman’s cottages, an 18th century windmill, a hilltop Illyrian fort and the fine building of the first winegrowers’ collective in Dalmatia (now being brought into use for the public, so you’ll have ample access to the renowned Bol Plavac), and we would argue that Bol has plenty to offer for history and culture buffs. There’s even a curiosity called “Kuća u kući” or “The house within a house”, an illustration of what can happen when a dispute over a piece of land gets out of hand…

The highest village on Brač, Gornji Humac is a straggling collection of stone houses with large yards fenced by dry stone walls, for centuries a centre of stock breeding on the island. It is surrounded by the remains of ancient villages such as Gradac, Mošuje and Straževnik. Unlike those old hamlets, Gornji Humac did not succumb to the plague in the 15th and 16th century, and life has continued to prosper to this day. This is a simple rural community dedicated to the daily tasks of raising livestock and growing vegetables, with few modern refinements. That is exactly why Gornji Humac is another essential stop on a tour of the finest cuisine that the island has to offer. Absolutely everything you eat here is fresh, local and home-made. On the main square of Gornji Humac there’s a simple church with a square tower, uncharacteristic of Dalmatia, with a flattish bell tower recalling the church architecture of Tuscany.

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Donji Humac

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This is the picture postcard one, sometimes derided as “just a beach”, but oh, what a beach... Known as Zlatni rat (“the Golden Cape”), it’s a triangle of shingle that changes shape with the winds and tides and juts out into a perfect azure sea. A pine forest grows along the spine of the cape providing an oasis of scented shade. Bol’s beach may not be for you if you can’t bear summertime crowds, but its great for watersports, adventure

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Bol

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Coasting downhill along a cypress-lined road, you pass through a fertile valley before coming to a little fishing village huddled along a deep inlet. At the point where a stream runs into the sea is a monument by sculptor Mirko Ostoja (Dol, 1921-2009) to Vladimir Nazor (1876-1949), one of Croatia’s greatest poets and writers, whose parental home was here. Nazor was deeply inspired by the childhood days he spent here, by the peace, the mysticism and the island’s characters such as the shepherd Loda. Above his family home, Nazor erected a memorial tower as well as a faux Acropolis as a memento of his three sisters and their travels in Greece. Across the harbour is the pleasingly simple 18th century fortified manor of the Gligo family. Bobovišća na moru grew up when the inland communities of Bobovišća and Ložišća became stronger and needed an outlet to the sea. Today it’s a relaxed little place with almost no commercial tourism, offering a complete escape from the bustle of modern life.

Dračevica, an inland hamlet, is a relative youngster in Brač terms, founded in the 16th century by refugees from the mainland who settled here by order of the Venetian doge. A number of pools provided water for the inhabitants: there are three wells on the main square. Quiet Dračevica has a simple parish church and a little chapel dedicated to Saints Cosmas and Damian, holy physicians believed to protect communities from plague. Today Dračevica seems almost deserted, its community devastated in the 19th century by the phylloxera plague which destroyed the vineyards and robbed the people of their livelihoods. However, you can see signs of homes being restored and life returning to this little rural idyll.

Dol is an iconic stone village. Its houses are dug into the rock, serried in rows so that they appear to be growing up the hillside, blending in with the caves that overhang them and with the colours of the landscape. Set in a fertile valley, Dol is still a farming community that offers you the chance to enjoy deep peace and the contentment of home cooking using the freshest local ingredients. Deep in the rocky karst landscape, natural freshwater accumulations were discovered close to Dol which for centuries provided drinking water for Postira, Supetar and Sutivan. When a water main was brought over from the mainland forty years ago, this local water source was locked up by the water company. Opened in April 2010 for exploration, a small shrimp-like creature was found - a new species endemic to the island. Around Dol are a number of hilltop chapels. The oldest is St Michaels (Sv. Mihalj). Surrounded by sarcophagi, the chapel’s door itself is made of a sarcophagus with the base sawn off. It’s easy to understand why the Romans felt this high spot, brooding over its surroundings and attracting thunderbolts, was an appropriate resting place for their dead. Today, with the bleating of multitude sheep, the scent of wild herbs and the wind all around, you can still feel a special mystical atmosphere.

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Bobovišća na moru

towns & villages

Peaceful, romantic Milna was once a centre of industry on Brač, and today is a restful holiday resort and marina. The coastal settlement was founded by the inhabitants of inland Nerežišća who sought relief here from the harsher weather inland. Due to its sheltered position, protected from harsh winds and almost never covered by snow. Milna is on a double-headed inlet, which apart from offering exceptionally good shelter to boats from bad weather has two fertile valleys produced by silt being washed down the mountains by the rain. The town grew up in the 16th century around a fort and the Church of St Mary, both built by the wealthy Cerinić family from Nerežišća. The fort is the square building with a colonnade often referred to by the locals as Anglišćina, or the English castle, although it has no such roots. The church is an attractive baroque confection with an open sided belfry. Milna was once a rather busy industrial centre. 19th century Milna was an important centre of shipbuilding on the Adriatic, turning out the sturdy wooden bracera - a typical Dalmatian boat originating from Brač island. However, this industry died with the advent of the steamboat. The town was once a stop on the Venice to Split steamboat line, and was connected to the mainland by ferry until the 1980s. An old fish processing factory is still in use today, turning out some delicious specialities. The grand buildings you’ll see lining the waterfront are the homes of ship owners and sea captains. Towards the north end of the harbour is a renovated stone cottage, once the trading premises of the monks from the Blaca hermitage, their window onto the world. Although Milna’s golden age has passed, the marina and the tourist trade bring many summer visitors. Brač is so close to the mainland that many residents of Split have a second home in places such as Milna, often intending to retire to the island. However, the lively voices emanating from the attractive primary school suggest that this is by no means a population intending to slide into oblivion. Visitors will certainly take a second look at the pretty fountain in front of the school, the work of famous Brač sculptor Ivan Rendić. A monument on the waterfront celebrates poet Tin Ujević (1891-1955), whose mother was from Milna. Ujević, one of the greatest Croatian poets of all time, also a translator and essayist, was an eternal bohemian inspired by the spirit of the Mediterranean throughout his life and career. Milna has a 5km coastal footpath leading to some delightful beaches and coves. To the south of the town is an inlet named Osibova, reckoned by locals to be the cleanest spot for bathing on the island. There is also a chapel there, as well as the ruins of an older one. In front of Milna’s bay lies the islet of Mrduja. Many legends surround it, but a fact is it used to be set alight to guide ships safely through the narrow channel between Brač and Šolta to their destination at Split harbour. In 1806, the citizens of Milna also used fires to aid the Russians in defeating Napoleon’s fleet, warning them of the number of enemy ships. Following the victory, the Russians established a base in Milna, which for one year enjoyed the status of island capital under the Tsar.

Dračevica

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This tiny hamlet, perched on its hillside overlooking the coast, is an idyllic spot for anyone who appreciates rural stone architecture. Bobovišća grew up as a collection of shepherds’ homesteads. These industrious folk engaged in growing olives and grapevines, and tended fertile vegetable gardens, hence the name deriving from bob, the Croatian word for “broad bean”. Bobovišća at the turn of the 20th century was a community numbering several hundred souls, but like so many island settlements today it is sadly depopulated. However, it’s a wonderfully well-preserved little place, so we recommend stopping for a stroll to admire the view and the stone cottages and gardens. The Church of St George was built in 1914 on the site of a 17th century church, while the pre-Romanesque hilltop chapel of St Martin affords a stunning view over the narrow channel between Brač and Šolta, especially at sunset. Bobovišća is well known for its intricate lace, a craft that has been practiced since the 17th century. Some fine examples are kept in the parish church in Hvar town.

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Bobovišća

The Kopačina konoba is famed far and wide for its delicious, authentic island cuisine. From May and throughout season the konoba hosts a festival of lamb. Every Thursday a big buffet is laid on with lamb prepared in a million different ways. This is the real deal, authentic and delicious Brač cuisine. The Kopačina cave is about twenty minutes’ walk from Donji Humac, heading northwest. The cave was probably chosen as a shelter due to the spring outside the cave’s mouth (covered up when the village’s well was built). Stone Age implements, ceramic fragments and a bronze axe suggest continuity of prehistoric life here, while burial mounds, graves, sarcophagi, a mausoleum and three Early Christian chapels showing human activity in Roman times. Close by is the “Vodna jama” or “Water Abyss”, also a rich find of prehistoric artefacts and with a naturallyoccurring formation: a human face made of rock.

The town boasts a Dominican monastery (1475) with a museum, collection of rare books and a beautiful garden, and there are several churches of note including the monastery church of Our Lady of Mercy with its raftered ceiling, picture of the Apotheosis of St Dominic by Tripo Kokolje, a local artist, and a 17th century Tintoretto painting “Mother of God with Saints”. The pre-Romanesque church of Saint John and Theodore, built in the 9th and 10th centuries on the site of a 6th century chapel where fragments of frescoes were found. The town cemetery (1828), sited in an attractive cove, is also a good place to pass a contemplative moment. With its south-facing aspect, azure seas and dramatic location under the glowering peak of Vidova gora, Bol is a town of openness and light. There are several large but pleasant hotels, a scattering of good restaurants and a brace of lively bars where you can dance into the small hours. If you need to get away from it all, you can explore the string of delightful shingle beaches along the coast, visit the fascinating Dragon’s Cave and Blaca monastery, or hike to the Adriatic’s highest peak, Vidova gora, where you’ll be rewarded by splendid views of the town, the golden cape and Hvar island.

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Brač is not dominated by one settlement but is dotted with inland and coastal communities. While the coastal resorts now play a leading role in the island’s economy due to tourism, the inland settlements are much older. They provided shelter from the pirates that marauded the coast, and the settlers were able to make a living from raising sheep and growing crops once they had cleared the rocky soil. For centuries the island was governed from its interior. So, although each coastal resort has its own charm, visiting the inland settlements will give you the true flavour of the island. Here, we try to give you a feel for each place. For more detailed information on the sights please turn to the “What to see” pages.

towns & villages Milna

towns & villages

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towns & villages

towns & villages

towns & villages peasant cottages were built; then, following fortification by the Venetians in the 16th century, tall town houses appeared on the waterfront. The town developed rapidly due to its excellent position opposite Split’s harbour. In 1828, Supetar became the island’s capital.

Sutivan With its broad skies, overlooking the Dinaric Alps on the mainland, with good light and bracing white pebble beaches, it’s not difficult to see why Sutivan developed a tourist trade quite early in the island’s history. The first hotel was built in 1927, and two years later the town was the third busiest resort on the island, following Supetar and Bol. Sutivan still holds this position, despite having no functioning hotels. There is ample private accommodation, thus Sutivan is a good choice for those who enjoy the chance to experience the local atmosphere. An early form of tourism is visible in Sutivan’s beautiful summer residences. The poet Jerolim Kavanjin (1643-1714), a resident of Split whose mother was from Sutivan, completed his summer residence here in 1705. It’s fair to assume he found Sutivan’s air energising: he was responsible for writing the longest poem in the Croatian language - all 32,658 verses of it. Sadly, the Kavanjin palace is now in an advanced state of decay. Although Dalmatia offers so much of what is needed for a full and healthy life, the forces of history have sparked great waves of emigration. Thus, so many of the beautiful, historic buildings you’ll see here are suffering the same fate: scores of heirs, co-owners of the property, are scattered over the globe, and if they were all alive and traceable it would be difficult enough to decide the fate of these properties. Let’s hope a solution is found in time to prevent these marvellous buildings succumbing to the ravages of time.

Another prominent if rather less spacious building on the waterfront is the 17th century Marijanović citadel, a squat tower with a sundial on its southern face. A blue plaque on this building indicates that tourists can rent a room here. Sutivan also boasts a fortified palace built by the Nadali-Božičević family in 1505. Although this extensive building has undergone many changes, at least it is in good repair and is a charming sight. There is a large park on the south side of the palace. Also of note is the Definis complex which once had a luxurious Biedermeier interior, a medical library and some fine miniature portraits. The complex is currently undergoing renovation. And perhaps the most unusual home in the town is a windmill, denuded of its sails, which is now someone’s rotund beachside home. As is the case with many settlements, Sutivan is named after its patron saint, St John (Sv. Ivan in Croatian), since the earliest church in the locality, a 6th century Early Christian basilica, was consecrated to St John the Baptist. Today’s chapel of St John (11th century) stands close by this site, and is notable for its ichthys, a primitive drawing of a fish, the oldest Christian symbol. The remains of a monastery are also nearby. In the heart of the town rises the parish church of the Assumption of Mary in pale yellow and white stone, which together with its stone-flagged courtyard takes on warm hues in the early evening sun. And it’s certainly worth the seven minute walk uphill to the little votive chapel of St Rocco with its cemetery with catacombs. Lest we end on a note that suggests that Sutivan is anything other than lively, we should tell you that the town is particularly noted for putting on a host of events. See our Culture and Events pages to find out what’s on. And last but not least, this is a brilliant place for adventure sports: see our Sport pages.

Škrip Apart from the tiny shepherd’s hamlets, Škrip is the oldest settlement on Brač and is a rich archaeological and cultural depository, a testament to human habitation from Illyrian times to the present day. The name comes from the Latin word “scrupus” meaning the large rough stones mined in the nearby quarries from which the place is built. Škrip has a wild, primeval beauty juxtaposed with beautifully preserved peasant architecture with snow-white roofs evoking a strong sense of nostalgia. Brač’s Native Museum is here - a visit is an absolute must if you want to better understand the island past and present. See our “What to see” pages. Building in Škrip started in earnest during Illyrian times, as the remains of massive defensive walls confirm. It is thought that their purpose was to keep the Greeks out: the Illyrians happily traded with the Greeks, but fiercely defended their independence. Then followed the Romans, who in their imperial confidence felt little need for fortifications and so expressed their spiritual side instead. There is a mausoleum in the base of the tower in the museum complex, there are countless sarcophagi in the area (so much so that they are used as domestic receptacles), there is an inscription in the graveyars, there are sacrificial monuments and it is believed that a Roman temple lies under the graveyard. The pond hollowed into the rock by the cemetery is just one of many that the Romans made on Brač to ensure a supply of water. Following the arrival of the Croatians, apart from the peasant homesteads two stately homes were built in the 16th century: the complex around the Radojković tower (the latter in fact being made up of layers from all three eras) and the massive Cerinić fort. These fortifications served to defend Škrip during the Ottoman-Venetian wars. The parish church of St Helen of the Cross was built at the turn of the 19th century. In the cemetery behind are two small churches, the basilica of the Holy Ghost and the chapel of St John (in ruins). The edge of the cemetery affords a spectacular view over the karst hills. In this eerie, windy spot you feel as if you are somewhere very ancient, a million miles from the ice cream parlours and arcade games of the beach resorts.

MINI-GUIDE

2011

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Brac In Your Pocket mini - guide