Think you know Brač island? Here are 5 hidden spots that’ll make you think twice!

If you've visited Brač Island before, you might think you know all that it has to offer. But have you really scratched the surface?

Our island is so big and diverse that we like to call it a continent and there are plenty of hidden gems waiting to be discovered. So if you think you know Brač, think twice about everything you thought you knew about our beautiful island.

Getting around Island Brač

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We are sharing 5 hidden spots on island Brač with stories that even the most experienced island traveller will love. So come along with us as we reveal some of Brač best-kept secrets!

Povlja

Povlja is one of the smallest villages on the island's coast located on the eastern side of the island in a deep and calm bay. That feeling of calmness will overtake you when you first come to this place. But the history of Povlja wasn’t peaceful.

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It all started in the 6th century with an early Christian basilica. It is believed it has been built on the site of an earlier pagan temple, and it is thought to have served as an important centre of Christianity in the region during the early Middle Ages.

The basilica is notable for its well-preserved architectural features.

In the 10th century, Benedictines built a monastery on the ruins of the basilica but in 1145 Omiš pirates attacked the island and set the monastery on fire. After the renovation that was completed in 1184,  two very important historical artefacts were created that are still preserved today.

Povaljski Prag is a lintel that they put above the entrance after the renovation. The text on the lintel mentions Brač Duke and the stonemason called Radonja. It is considered the oldest written monument using the Croatian language.

The second one is Povaljska listina (Charter of Povlja), a legal document written on December 1, 1250. It is considered one of the most important Croatian history artefacts.

The Benedictines left the monastery and wealthy estates in the second half of the 14th century due to constant pirate attacks, so Povlja came to life as a settlement in the middle of the 16th century when the attacks stopped.

The local population has always lived from fishing and olive oil production and it is famous for founding the first association of olive oil producers in Croatia in 1900.

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Blaca Monastery and Hermitage

Blaca Monastery was founded in 1551 by monks and hermits from the Republic of Poljica who were fleeing from the Ottoman Empire. At first, it was a simple cave and a scarce piece of land in the middle of nowhere, given to them by the Brač Duke.

Slowly and with hard work, the monks built a monastery, a school, a library, and even a printing press and an observatory with the second-largest telescope in Europe. They were engaged in agriculture, the production of wine, olive oil, and beekeeping.

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In 1781, they bought the largest merchant ship in the Mediterranean, and with an experienced captain from Bol, they sold their products all over the Mediterranean Sea.

There is an interesting story from that time when the son of the captain, Toma Nikolorić, defeated the famous English fleet commander William Host in front of Split. Toma was the captain of one of the Blaca merchant ships, and while he was anchored in Split, the English, who were then fighting against Napoleon, blocked Split. So the French, who were in small numbers in the port, asked Toma to attack the English warship. In the battle of David against Goliath, Toma defeated the English and liberated Split.

All this wouldn't be so hard to imagine if Blaca were not, as we said, in the middle of nowhere. Even today, the Monastery is hard to reach. Nowadays, Blaca Monastery is a popular but well-hidden tourist destination. It is known for its stunning location in a cliffside cave, as well as its rich history and cultural significance. The monastery is open to the public as an ecomuseum and can be visited throughout the year.

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Jakšić Gallery

The story of the Jakšić gallery is the story of a family that has been making beautiful objects from Brač stone for a century. These items include souvenirs, sculptures, jewellery, and other creations.

The Jakšić family has been working in stone for generations, and today they are four academically educated artists and their gallery combines modern and traditional.

In the gallery, you can see jewellery made by designer Ida Stipčić Jakšić, the stone sculptures of the academic sculptor Lovre Jakšić, the paintings and stone sculptures of Doctor of Arts Dina Jakšić Pavasović, and stone works by Dražen Jakšić in his stonemason's workshop.

Different directions of academic education and artistic experience of each of the family members will allow you to get acquainted with a series of techniques and approaches to creative expression during your visit and finally you can buy original and local souvenirs from island Brač.

Island of Brač Museum in Škrip

The Museum of the Island of Brač is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the island's history and heritage. The museum's collections include artefacts, documents, and photographs related to the island's history, culture, and natural environment.

But the most intriguing fact is that the museum itself is a place of great historical and cultural significance as it consists of Illyrian walls and buildings, a Roman mausoleum, and a fortress from the 16th century.

Illyrian buildings and the foundations of the museum date back to 1400 BC, and some studies claim that Škrip has a history of longer than 5000 years, so we like to call it Croatian Mycenae.

The Romans, who were mining stone for the construction of Diocletian's palace in the area of Škripa and Splitska, built a mausoleum at that location.

According to legend, Prisca and Valeria, the wife and daughter of the Roman emperor Diocletian, were buried in the mausoleum.

The Radojković fortress, which was added in the 16th century, was used to defend against the Turks, who never reached Brač.

Baterija Fortress

Baterija Fortification is located on the west side of the island near Milna, where it had great strategic influence in the control of the navigation route from the port of Split.

The Fortress was built in 1806 by the French under the command of the famous Marshal Auguste Marmont. It had few buildings and an artillery unit with six cannons.

Baterija fortification was crucial in the defence against the English and the Russians, and a very important strategic point during the Napoleonic wars in the eastern Adriatic, as well as the last defence for Split and its surroundings.

When the Russian ships arrived, locals, frustrated with the French administration, made a diversion and signalled the French positions to the Russians, helping them win the battle.

Thus, in a short time, Brač found itself under the Russian administration, and the angry Marshal Marmont, in order to minimise the loss, did not even mention this story in his memoirs.

Nowadays, you can take a walking or biking tour and visit the ruins of the Fortress.

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We hope you enjoyed learning about these 5 hidden spots on Brač Island. If you're planning a trip to the island and want to discover something new, be sure to add these spots to your itinerary. 

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