21 Jul Cultural heritage
Civilisation on the island of Brač is characterised by centuries of tradition dating back to Roman agricultural farming and Renaissance construction, the builders and architects of which were inspired by the island’s landscapes and aesthetics. Your arrival here in the south of Croatia is sure to be a genuine experience when you witness the island’s brightness and clarity saturated with the intoxicating scent of Mediterranean and subtropical vegetation, as well as its vast cultural heritage.
Stone from Brač’s quarries has been mined since the Ancient Greek and Roman times and stone used for the construction of important buildings. The most famous of these is located in the vicinity of Diocletian’s Imperial Palace in Split.
Piles of unpolished stones layered as walls alongside field paths are a real attraction on the island. According to some estimates, they are equal in quantity to the existing Egyptian pyramids (although uncut), totaling approximately 7 million cubic meters.
These stones were collected for centuries by shepherds and labourers who worked to clean the karst soil to turn it into arable land. To cultivation of Brač’s land is also related to an important decree from the time of the Venetian rule when no man from Brač was allowed to marry until he planted one hundred olive trees.
The most prominent Dalmatian builders and sculptors of the Renaissance, such as Juraj Dalmatinac, Andrea Alessi and Niccolo Fiorentino, applied their creative genius to Brač stone.
The tradition of using stone to build with has become an inseparable part of Brač’s identity.
Settlements have arisen on the island, centring around early Romanesque basilicas built on the grounds of former Roman estates and medieval Brač churches of modest dimensions, each with its own story of how it came to be, how it developed and how it stepped into the rhythms of contemporary life.
St George on Bračuta (next to Pučišća)
St Michael (south-east of Gornji Humac)
St Peter (above Dol)
St Nicholas (next to Sumartin)
St Martin (next to Bobovišće)
St Michael (on the hill next to Dol)
St Sunday on Gradec (Selca)
Lady of Stomorica (next to Ložišće)
A ‘fjera’ is a local fiesta to celebrate the patron saints of the island and takes place in the towns of Brač during the summer. The celebrations represent the islanders’ relationship towards their cultural and historic heritage.
The day of the fjera is marked by a liturgical celebration and holy procession through the town, ending with public festivities.
15 June: St Vitus. Pilgrimage to Vidova Gora
24 June: St John the Baptist (Jumping over fire) Fjera in Povlja.
29 June: St Peter and St Paul. Fjera in Supetar – Supetar Day and the beginning of the Supetar Cultural Summer that continues throughout July and August
2 July: Our Lady of Mirca. Fjera in Mirca and Gornji Humac; Public Cultural Summer in Pucisca (July, August)
13 July: St Margaret. Fjera in Nerežišća
16 July: Our Lady of Carmel. Fjera in Selca, Milna and Postire: Croatia Rediviva – All-Croatian Poetry Evening
26 July: St Anna. Fjera in Donji Humac.
2 August: Our Lady of Angel. Fjera in Sumartin
5 August: Our Lady of Snow. Fjera in Bol
15 August: Feast of the Assumption. Fjera in Split and in Blaca. Processions in all towns on Brač, and a special pilgrimage to Blaca on the first Saturday after the Feast of the Assumption
16 August: St Roch. Fjera in Sutivan
18 August: St Helen. Fjera in Škrip
26 September: St Cosmas and St Damian. Fjera in Dračevica
30 September: St Jerome. Fjera in Pučišća
This indigenous, old musical form from the coastal part of Croatia represents an intrinsic part of the century-old Mediterranean cultural milieu.
‘Klapa’ singing began to form in the second half of the 19th century, at a time when individual settlements began forming their identities as small seaside towns, and it soon became the widest and most popular form of musical expression in coastal Croatia.
The songs are performed by groups of singers, who are known as a klapa, delighting visitors at evening musical and folklore performances.
The most famous male Brač klapa groups are Boduli, Feštuni from Postire and Volat, while the most famous female klapa groups are Rusulica from Pučišće and Mirula from Selca, in addition to Bracjera, a group from Bol.