Bobovisca - The Islands - Croatia

Information for your Holiday in Bobovisca

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The small village of Bobovisca has approximately 20 inhabitants and is 14 km away from Supetar, Brac, the next larger town.

General information

Pronounced Bobovishtcha. This little hamlet, set on the western side of that island just under the top of the mountain, seems somehow squeezed on the sunny slope, overlooking the sea. The fronts of its houses face the sea while their backs are turned to the hinterland and the surrounding countryside where the olive-groves do not green any more, not do the vineyards put forth their leaves. Bobovisca is typical of its rural Mediterranean architecture. Next to those little cottages climbing up the hillside there come the one-storey houses that accompany the road through the settlement. Bobovisca still preserves that developing process from place where shepards gathered in the beginning to an agricultural settlement, such as it is today. The Croatian settlements on Brac's western caost were established relatively late. They developed form the gathering places of Nerezisca?s sheperds. In the beginning the village was called Stanac-Dolac, possibly after its owner Stanac, which is # found in the earliest documents on the island. The memory of this name does not exist any longer but the inhabitants of Bobovisca still bear the slightly pejorative nickname, Stancari.

With the passing of time, a few families settled there near the pools and erected their detached homesteads. The plurality of the thus detatched households even gave the plural form to the name of Bobovisca. The settlement, in time, grew larger. At the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century, Bobovisca, together witht the somewhat younger village of Lozisca, had more than 250 inhabitants, in the 18th century as many as 500, and in 1900 more than 600 inhabitants. Today, after 70 years, it only just has about 70 inhabitants. After coming to be independent, first from the parish of Nerezisca and then, from that of Milna, in 1656 the Boboviscans started to build the church of St. George, for themsleves and for the Loziscans. The former church was of a simple form, with the profiled portals, a rosette on its front and the typical Dalmatian belfry (zvonik na preslicu). When, in 1914, the population was most numerous, they erected the new church on the same site. The architrave from the old church with the inscribed year of 1696 as well as the rosette on the present facade are the only external witnesses of the previous shrine. In the interior of the church there is the polichrome marble antependium of the former altar now built in next to the main altar. To the old church also belong the altar painings of Pieta of St. George and St. John, painted in the Palminian manner, and the Our Lady of Mount Carmel, which is also a Venetian work but from the 18th century.

The research into artistic crafts brings to your ettention the lace, products of amazing imagination and admirable skill, from the 17th century. It is kept in the parish office and is one of the most beautiful and most precious examples of its kind in the whole of Dalmatia. Connected with Bobovisca is the pre-Romanesque chapel of St. Martin erected, like the rest of the old Croatian chapels, on the top of the hill. This French Saint has his temples on the very east of the island (in Sumartin) as well as here on the western side. From his hill-top, hidden in the bluish haze of morning and the flaming redness of twilight, the view glides towards the Gate of Split(Splitska vrata), that, whithin few meters, brought Solta nearer to Brac: to the little island of Mrduja from which many jokes about Bracans came, and finally, to the sea enclosed by Brac, Solta and Ciovo, resembling thus a lake dotten with black and white ships that, from Split, pass by here towards all the seas of the world. St. Martin is a beautiful belvedere between Milna and Bobovisca and it is not far away from the road. The chapel of St. Martin is just one from the row of rectangular-shaped chapels with semi-circular apse and blind arcades with filled-in bottoms that, together with barrel-cault, create the false feeling of spaciousness.

The Gothic Dalmatian belfry was probably erected only in the 14th century. Here is one of the few intersting Brac stone reliefs in which experts, in spite of its bearing a strong provincial mark, see the reflection of the work of the great Nikola the Florentine (15th century), whose activity was of special importance for the town of Trogir set just opposite, on the mainland. The relief, in its smaller left part presents the Madonna and Child and, in its right, a well known scene from St. Martin?s life, when he shares his mantle with Christ in the guise of a beggar. In this relief with its asymmetrical composition and mutually disconnected motives, there are yet may inspired and successfully executed details. As in the 17th century this chapel did not become the common parish church of Milna and Bobovisca, it remained forlorn and neglected, as if on guard, with beautiful views to the sea snd the fiord of the harbour of Bobovisca, going deep inland, like a two-headed snake. Bobovisca na Moru (Bobovisca at Sea). With the arrival of more peaceful times, when the settlements in the interior grew economically stronger, they started building wine-cellars in this gentle harbour. On the southern side of Bobovisca, there is a fortified barouque summer residence of the Gligo family, from the 18th centruy, with many details of the folk architecture. On the northern side there stand the houses of the Nazor family.

Pines, olives, cypresses, aloes and tamarixes in this lonely harbour are just a decorative background to the silence that usedtobe distrurbed only by the chirping of cicades or the bleating of the sheep and goats of the sheperd Loda, who spent all his lifetime wandering through these parts with his flock. Vladimir Nazor, one of the greatest Croatian poets of the 20th century spent his childhood and boyhood in this harbour. It is all so quiet and calm in our harbour, yet those houses with closed doors and shut windows all seem to tell you something; that old black ship almost always moored to the shore, keeps silent but knows and remembers much: those paths and aways seem to murmur about people and mules that passed and wore out their stones. The harbour is always sad and lulled to sleep but rarely gloomy. Its dream is full of some youthfull restlessnes. (VI. Nazor, Prsten (The Ring), 1924) Above the family house, which bears now the memorial-tablet to his memory, the young Nazor erected a memmorial-tower and above the Kargadur, on the cliff, he raised three columns with the linking frieze as a remembrance of his stay in Greece. He often used to visit the Vica luka (The Harbour of the Witches), known for the peculiar, mainly mythological stories that circulate about it: about its having an underground connection with the vica jama, on the Vidova gora (The Vidova Mountain), about the witches that dwell in it and the like. This is regularly the case in places where the populace comes across the traces of, for them, and inexplicable civilization. And, indeed, in the valley behind the harbour we find the oldest remains of the trade between the Illyrian settlers and the Adriatic Greek colonists.

The best of Nazor?s prose belongs to these parts: David and Goliath, Voda (The Water), Prsten (The Ring), Pastir Loda (The Sheperd Loda), etc. Already for years this harbour has been in want of a native museum of the poet. I wish to sit again in the old house, close to my brother and sisters reading a book that gets light from the candle on the table while autumn evening darkens the harbour. and I wish, father, to listen to the chirping of the crickets in the summer afternoon while the village lads descend to the sea, eager for a fight and singing.. And I wish- and this the most- to hear again the sound of stone under the mason?s chisel for then it was the real voice of our creek... ....Just one is left in that little, wild creek back on the island, the rest, perhaps, the winds and waves snatched from me and carried back to the creek. V. Nazor, Povratak u luku, Return to the Harbour), 1923)
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