Žrnovo is a village located about 4 kilometers from Korcula Old Town. It is a small village having just over a thousand inhabitants. The village is spread over a large area and it consists of 4 separate villages/ areas/ hamlets which are Zrnovo-Prvo Selo, Zrnovo-Brdo, Zrnovo-Kampus, and Zrnovo- Podstrana.
Zrnovo is one of the oldest settlements on the island. The prehistoric life that existed in the area was found in Jakasove Spila (cave). The village has numerous small churches one can see walking along the road from East to West. On the very entrance to Zrnovo from the direction of Korcula, there is a crossroad to the right which leads to the area BRDO (Croatian word for ‘hill’). This area is located in the hilly position so there is a nice view over the reset of the village. If one continues to walk you will reach called Kocje-an interesting area, and a good place to walk as it is located among high rocks with unusual dolomite rocks of chalk formation.
Down in the village of Zrnovo – Prvo selo, at the left-hand side is the church of MALA GOSPA and on the very right-hand side, coming from the East, there is an area called BARINA. Barina is an attractive little maze of old houses, paths, roads, and tiny streets that constitute a romantic place to have an afternoon walk as it is a place where some of the oldest houses in Zrnovo are located. Some of these houses are at the moment vacated and empty, due to the trend in the last 30 years of Zrnovo inhabitants to move down to the coast, mostly in Medvinjak bay as well as Zrnovska Banja and Vrbovica bays, as at that was a time of tourist development in the area.
There is a hope that this trend is soon going to be stopped and these old houses are going to revive and regain back their previous beauty.
Further along the main road towards the West, there is a village/ hamlets Kampus(pronounced ‘kampush’) where, on the very top of the nearby hill MRATIN is located village’s mainSveti Martin Church, to which one can arrive by a short stroll along the avenue of cypress trees that leads to the church itself.
This church is known from the historical documents from the 14th century but was completed in the 16th century. Across the road from the church, there is a building of the vacated old Zrnovo school, which is renovated and transformed to State Archive Building for all Korcula Island and Lastovo. This is the place for anybody interested in the history of Korcula and the area to come and have a look through old Korcula documents, which were located all over Dalmatia. Another good thing about this project is that this is going to help the revitalization of the village which was, somehow, slow-down in the last 20 years.
Walking further towards the West, one passes along the field called Biskupija – a very fertile field located between Kampus and Postrana. Postrana is an attractive little area located on the eastern side of the hill, benefiting from a lot of sunshine. The houses in Postrana are built in the rows above each other (due to hilly position) so almost every house has an open view over the surrounding fields of Zlo Poje, Biskupija etc. Church Sveti Rok is in Postrana too, positioned on the small piazza Pod Kostil where local sword dance Mostra is still performed (since 17th century) on the day of St.Rok (16th of August) when a large village feast is going on in the cool shades of large trees on the Piazza in front of the Church.
A fortified house – kastel – of the Banicevic family is located in Postrana too where Jakov Banicevic (Jacobus de Bannisis) was born in 1466. He was a renowned European diplomat, counselor, and the special envoy of the emperors Maximilian I and Charles V, as well as the friend of Erasmus from Rotterdam, Albrecht Durer, and Pietro Bemba. A memorial plaque can be seen on the external wall of his native house.
Another well-known person from Zrnovo is the late Croatian academic Petar Segedin – a writer, who wrote a few books with topics from Zrnovo. The best-known one is ‘ Djeca Bozja’, a funny and sad story about Zrnovo inhabitants at the beginning of the 20th century.
If one would have the desire to walk further from Postrana, one would arrive at the southern coast of the Island Korcula, the area called DEFORA – sunny patch of a row of bays facing south towards Korcula Channel and Island Lastovo, where bays Pavja Luka, Rasohatica, Gostinja Vala and Orlandusa are located. But, let’s stop here, as I will write about Defora region on the new page.