historical survey


3rd-2nd millenium B.C.

Rich finds from caves, and especially from Vela špilja in Vela Luka, witness the development of the Neolithic culture and its maritime links with other parts of the Mediterranean.

2nd - 1st millenium B.C.

Illyrian tribes inhabit the island, from whom "gradine", fortifications on the hills, graves, and other archeological finds have been preserved.

6th century B.C.

the first Greek colony by the name of Korkyra Melaina; to differentiate it from Korkyra (present-day Corfu), the adjective Melaina (dark, black) denoted an island completely covered by wood.

4th century B.C.

The second Greek colony with the still extant "psephisma from Lumbarda".
This stone tablet describes the decision of the assembly to found and build the town, to divide the land among the settlers, and confirms the agreement for peaceful coexistence with the Illyrian inhabitants.
This inscription, found at Lumbarda, is the oldest written document on Croatian territory and is now housed in the Archaeological museum in Zagreb.

229 B.C.

Corcyra Nigra or Black Korčula - comes for the first time under Roman rule.
The peace is disturbed at times by the successful pirate campaigns of the Illyrian tribes in Dalmatia, who make war against Rome with varying success.

34-35 B.C.

The Roman military leader Octavian - later the emperor Augustus - attacks Illyrian Korčula, occupies it and kills or sells as slaves all the inhabitants of the island.
The Illyrian state ceases to exist at the time of the Emperor Augustus, and the eastern coast of the Adriatic becomes part of the Roman province of Illyricum.

925.coronation king tomislav


At the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Korčula comes under the reign of Theodoric, king of the Eastern Goths, in 480.

5th century

The ancient Christian church on the islet of Majsan is the earliest proof of Christianity in Korčula.


Korčula within the province of Dalmatia comes under the reign of Byzantium at the time of the emperor Justinian.

8th century

The beginning of the settling of the Neretvans, a Croatian tribe, on the island of Korčula, which is given the name of Krkar.


The Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus writes about Croatian Krkar on the island of Korčula.


The Venetians pay dues to the Croatian kings who allow them to sail along the Adriatic coast.

1214. "Statuta et leges civitatis et insulae Curzulae"

The issuing of the Statute of the town and island of Korčula - "Statuta et leges civitatis et insulae Curzulae"; a code setting out the life and administration of the town and the island of Korčula, and the legal foundation of Korčula's commune autonomy.


The Venetian duke Petar II Orseolo conquers Korčula and a period of Venetian rule begins and lasts until 1420, interspersed with periods of reign by Croatian, Croatian-Hungarian, Zahumljan and Bosnian rulers.

1125 - 1180

Korčula is under the reign of Venice.


the Venetian nobleman Marsilius Zorzi takes Korčula under his command and confirms the Korčula Statute of 1214.

This period of Venetian rule lasts until 1358.


The great Venetian traveller and explorer, Marko Polo, is born in Korčula.


The great naval battle between the Genoese and the Venetian fleets takes place in front of the town of Korčula;
the Venetian fleet is defeated, and the Genoese have, among their prisoners, the great Marko Polo, who is freed on payment of a big ransom in 1299.


The foundation of the Korčula diocese.

15.08.1571. Battle of Korčula
The battle of Lepanto Forteca - Fort Wellington The Brotherhood All Saints Kanavelić Tower

Prior to the Battle of Lepanto, a big Turkish naval squadron, under the leadership of the Algerian vice-king Uluz-Ali attacks Korčula. Although the Venetian duke and the mercenary military crew fled from the island, the Korčulans themselves were made ready by the priest Antun Rozanović for Korčula's successful defence. The Korčulans consider this great victory as one of the most significant dates in the history of the town and the island.


The foundation of the Brotherhood All Saints.

1420 - 1797

The longest period of Venetian rule over Korčula.


The successful defence of Korčula from attack by the Neapolitan King Ferrante I of Aragon.


The town and the island of Korčula suffer from the Great Plague.


The best known Korčula poet and comedist of the Baroque period, Petar Kanavelić, is born (died in 1719).


the fall of the Venetian Republic to Napoleon.


Austrian rule over the island.


French rule; the building of roads and fortifications.


The attacks by the Russian fleet.

20.06.1866. Battle of Vis
The battle of Vis-Issa St. Nishola's monastery Korcula in 1922. Korčula in SHS

The great battle between the Austrian navy under the leadership of Tegethoff and the Italian fleet under the command of Persano, near the island of Vis, ends with the defeat of the Italian admiral, which brought about the military defeat of Italian political aspirations concerning the eastern coast of the Adriatic. Many seamen from Korčula took part in this battle.


The Foreca tower on the hill above Korčula town was built by Royal Marines.
Korčula is under the rule of the British Navy.


Korčula is under Austrian rule as part of the Kingdom of Dalmatia.


The Korčula diocese is nullified by the abolition of the Dubrovnik archbishopric.

19th century

"People's Revival in Dalmatia"; political life in Dalmatia, and thus in Korčula, is characterized by the struggle for the unification of Dalmatia with Croatia; the concept of a national Croatia and the concep of "autonomaši", confflicts with Italian national interests in Dalmatia.


After local elections the commune of Korčula passes into Croatian hands;

the following years witness the foundation of Croatian cultural societies;

the teaching of the Croatian language progresses etc.

19th century

Korčula lost much of its strategic importance with the decline of Venice and the decline of traditional professions;

the emigration of numerous shipbuilders and stone-masons begins.

29.10. - 15.11. 1918

After the fall of the Austrian Empire Korčula finds itself in the newly created state SHS - the state created by the south Slav peoples from the territory of the former Austrian Empire which, under pressure of Italian and Hungarian territorial expansion and its own political weakness, joins the Kingdom of Serbia on December the 1st 1918.
Thus the state of south Slavs under the Serbian dynasty of Karađorđević was created, later named Yugoslavia.

15.11. 1918

The first Italian occupation of Korčula;

resistance of the islanders against this occupation.

19.04. 1921

Under the Treaty of Rapallo, Korčula is taken away from Italy and annexed to the state of Yugoslavia.

06.04.1941 - 13.09. 1944The Second World War
Korčula -Dalmatia 2nd World War Korcula Hotel De la Ville Croatian War of Independence

The Second World War The Second World War begins for Korčula with German and Italian attacks on Yugoslavia.
Korčula is occupied by the Italian army and annexed to Italy.
After the fall of the fascist regime in Italy (13.09.1943) Korčula is free until 22.12. 1943, when German troopes, occupy it; in April 1944.


Massive emigration from the island of Korčula takes place as a consequence of the general social and economic crisis;

the population of some of the villages is halved.


Post-war renovation and the building of modern shipyards do not give work to all those who are seeking it;
the lack of work and the unfulfilled hopes from the war period are the reason for further emigration - mostly to Australia and New Zealand.


The development of tourism and the building of modern hotels, together with the development of other economic branches;
emigration from the island finally stops, and the population starts to grow again gradually.
Korčula joins in the general development and progress.


The Croatian Sabor (Parliament), elected by free multi-party vote, is in session for the first time.

December 1990

The first Croatian Constitution is proclaimed.

19.5.1991 - 93% of the citizens of Croatia vote, at the general referendum, for the sovereign Republic of Croatia.

1991. -1995

During the Croatian War of Independance (1991-1995) island of Korčula was not occupied but a large number of refugees from occupied areas were housed situated in Korčula Town hotels for several years.
The life on the island was more difficult due to the traffic blocades.