Korcula and Stone Masonry
About Korcula and its Stonecarving and Stone Masonry heritageSkills of stone masonry and stone cutting is Korcula's heritage developed for hundreds of years, dating back from the times when Illyrians were inhabiting this area. In Pupnat and on island of Majsan (Korcula archipelago) are still to be found remains of simple dry-stone dwellings and walls built by Illyrians.
There are various stone quarries on the island. Most of them are around villages Lumbarda and Zrnovo. Famous ones are located on the Island of Vrnik, where strong stone masonry tradition exist in families for generations. See photos of stonemasonry and stone craft around the island.
In all these places local people still dig-out large blocks of stones to build and repair their houses and walls, as well as to pave their gardens, patios and streets.
Above image is still from video of stonemasonry on Badija (Korcula) from 1967 - click to watch
Having a lot of available stone on the island, people in Korcula villages continued for long years to built their houses and animal barns in technique of dry stone walls.
To construct and erect such a wall, the locals are using technique of building two parallel walls, one from inside and other form outside simultaneously filling the space in between with rubble, to make sure wall is sturdy and capable to endure weathering and heavy human and animal traffic.
These walls are used to mark edges of individual properties as well as to keep most precious fertile soil into one place. If one goes anywhere around island of Korcula one will see numerous dry-stone walls built by locals. These stone walls are locally called 'meja' (pronounced 'meya'). Tiny animal barns, usually built to make home for goats, donkeys and chickens, are locally called ' kucice'. There is a lot of 'kucice' around island, but most attractive ones are in Pupnat and Zrnovo. The roofs of 'kucice' barns are covered by thin stone-tiles, specially dig-out from quarries for this purpose. Each of these animal houses is uniquely built with a lot of attention to details, carefully premeditated and adjusted to environment.
Visual patterns created by 'meje' and 'kucice' are pretty and meditative. Those patterns reminds us of unintentional visual impact of human actions on natural environment and for viewer they almost acts as a basic land-art.
There are couple of good places in vicinity of Korcula town to view 'mejas' and 'kucice' from above: Forteca and Sveti Anton hills as well as from Grubinjac. , where little cafe is made in similar style, but using concrete to keep walls together.
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