Saturday, 5 August 2017

Korčula, Croatia

Above may well be the best of my holiday photographs.

Legend has it that the island of Korčula was settled by Trojan refugees led by Antenor. Whether you want your city to have been founded by King Priam’s adviser might, I suppose, depend on whether you regard Antenor as a hero, an appeaser or an outright traitor, in which latter case you agree with Dante.

It is known that the island was later settled by Illyrians and Greeks, was conquered by the Romans and later became a haven for pirates who vexed the Venetians sufficiently for them to take it over themselves. Its sailors distinguished themselves against the Turks at the decisive Battle of Lepanto in 1571. Captured from the French by the British towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars, Korčula was subsequently held by Austria-Hungary until it was incorporated into Yugoslavia after the First World War. In 1991 it formed part of newly-independent Croatia.

Today the esplanade built by the British is a notable feature of a beautiful city whose fortifications offer just the right sort of romantic atmosphere to inspire fantasy writers, provided they can stand the heat!

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