Is there anywhere more enjoyable to live!
Oh, crazy is everyone who touches your shores
Who may stay and he leaves.
( a fragment), Marko Bruerović, 1792

Lopud is the second largest island of the Elaphiti islands, northwest of Dubrovnik, between Kolocep and Sipan. Economically the most developed island of the Elaphiti is famous as the "island in the middle" (Insula Media).
Area: 4.63 square kilometers
Polačica The highest peak (216m)
Coastline: 11.5 km (of which 1.2 km sandy)


History

At the site of the present tower Spanjola were found fragments of pottery of the Illyrian people. To date are preserved toponyms of Greek origin - Skopelos, Otok (island), Igo, Igalo - Aigialos, Obala (coast), plaza (beach). Names that have been encountered in various forms of Greek origin: Dalafota, Dalafodum. The current Croatian name Lopud is derived from the Roman name of origin Lafota. The remains of the old Croatian culture from the 9th and 10th century are the pre-Romanesque chapels: St. Elias, John the Baptist, St. Nicholas. Many monuments and Dubrovnik historians assure us that the island of Lopud was a Croatian village already in the 9th century. It was probably a small fishing village, which was situated on the south-west of the island just at the point where we find old Croatian church St. Elijah.

Vice Bune

He was an admiral and a diplomat, born on Lopud in 1559. As a splendid seaman, early he got a post in the Spanish king service. He performed many consular and diplomatic affairs for the Dubrovnik Republic at the court of Naples (He became a consul in 1607), Madrid, Milan. He initiated the Spanish Court in 1606 to force Venice to leave island Lastovo which was captured from Dubrovnik in 1602. He received a golden medal as a gratitude from The Republic for his beneficences. He was a master of a part of the Spanish ocean flotilla, an emissary of Phillip II and III in India and Belgium. As a high state official of Spain he became the King’s advisor and the advisor of vice-kings of Naples and Mexico. He was the Knight of Christ’s order. He died at Naples in 1612 at the age of 53 and was buried in the church of the Holy Trinity at Lopud where a memorial tablet is placed according to his testament made in Naples in 1612.

Ivo Kuljevan

To provide cultural and educational work and to create a modern working conditions in school, in the year of 1921. emigrant from Lopud Ivo Kuljevan with his funds raised a stone school building, with a teacher's flat, a reading room for the social life of the locals, and special area for the post office. Furniture for the reading room and the post office was also purchased. The school also received a large garden, for practical work in agriculture curriculum. In desire to contribute to the development of Lopud and life of the locals, Ivo Kuljevan built a coast and a pier for docking ships and boats, which was named "Coast of Iva Kuljevana."

Kristo Martolosić

In the XVI. century Lopud was one of the prominent maritime centers of state of Dubrovnik.
Lopud sailors were known as a skillful and fearless sailors which were distinguished in seamanship not only on their dubrovnik ships, but also on foreign trade ships and war ships.
One of the important naval figures from Lopud is surely Kristo Martolosić. He belongs to an old naval family from the island of Lopud which disposed with a few of their own sailboats. Kristo Martolosić gained naval training on a proven, classic way: traditional sailors' practice on commercial sailing ships.

Old pictures of Lopud



Myths,legends and fables

Miho and lizards
After the second loss of his fleet and all profit the miserable Miho Pracat returned to Lopud to spend the rest of his life in modesty. He sat on a wall sad and deep in thoughts seeing no solution. His company was a small female lizard which tried to climb the wall and fell twice. The third time it finally succeeded. Watching its efforts Miho Pracat made an oath to try for the third time. He tried and achieved a splendid sucess, receiving even more fame,reputation and wealth. He was a great benefactor and meritorious citizien of the Dubrovnik Republic, Benemerito Civi.

The serviette of Karl V

In spite of numerous blockades an eminent and wealthy ship owner Miho Pracat succeeded to transport the grain to Spain with his fleet. Upon his arrival the king Karl V who had just had a shave, granted him the audience. When asked what he wished as gratitude for saving the country from hunger, Miho Pracat answered: ʻʻ I am rich and I need no money; I am the King on my vessels and I need no honour; I am the citizen of Dubrovnik Republic and need no title. As Your gratitude you can give me Your serviette used for shaving ʼʼ. The serviette is preserved in the domiciled Museum at Lopud.

Our Lady of Šunj

On the return from a crusade to Jerusalem, Otton Visconti, a nobleman from Milan met with a heavy storm and got saved at the shores of Lopud in the bay of Šunj. In the roaring sea Visconti vowed if saved to build a church at a site honouring ʻOur Ladyʼ. It was at Šunj and the church he built, got the name ʻʻOur Lady of Šunjʼʼ. The authenticity of the story is proved by the coat of arms with a serpent placed in the church. It is supposed that the bay got its name after the serpent from the Viscontiʼs coat of arms, too. The serpent in Italian is called biscia and it gave the name bišun, šunj. There is another legend of the coat of arms and the church, too. The nobleman from Sforza family disembarked at the uninhabitated island. His son was swallowed up to half by a serpent. His father vowed to Our Lady and the serpent threw his body up. Grateful for this act of benefaction his father had the church built at the top of the hill.

A wretched woman from Lopud

An estate-owner from Dubrovnik sent a sickly son to Lopud to recover. He fell in love with a poor girl there. His father, to avert this love, asked the Benedictines from the island Saint Andrija to take care of his son. Regardless of the decision, two lovers gave each other the word to meet in the future. Whenever he was free he would set the fire near the sea and she would swim there. It worked for a few times but the girl’s brothers soon heard about it and decided to set the fire on their boat and to sail to the open sea.

Organized government of Dubrovnik at the Elaphites

The government in the suburban parts of the Dubrovnik Republic was in charge of rectors that were called rural rectors (comes) and the territory within their rule was called principality (comitatus or contea). Very important strategic were ruled by captains (capitanus), and the area was called captaincy. Šipan, Lopud and Koločep were two captaincies. The governmental and territorial rule of the Elaphites (Šipan, Lopud and Koločep) changed during these periods. At the beginning it was called the Principality of three islands (trium insularum) or simply the Principality of the Islands (Insulae).

Fortified island’s strongholds

They were built in the 16th century for defense from pirates and the Turks particularly after the attack of the Turkish fleet on the islands Šipan, Lopud and Koločep in 1571 when islands were devastated and many islanders captured. Due to frequent attacks, the Dubrovnik government ordered three noblemen to go round the whole territory of the Republic and define the sites where the forts should be constructed for the people to shelter in case of attack. The bay of Lopud was defended from a fortress located at the foot of the highest peak (The Spanish fort). The Franciscan monastery on Lopud also had a fortified and defensive function. It controlled the entrance to the harbor and the passage of sea channels. Its defensive wall was built in 1516 and the quadrangular fortress with watching towers at each corner and vaulted interior was constructed in 1592. It could take the whole population of the island. It had the underground tunnel which led to the sea. Above the settlement of Lopud there is the Spanish fortress of St. Šimun from 1511. The church ‘’Our Lady of Šunj’’ had its defending tower in front of the entrance and at the estate of Miho Pracat there was also a defensive tower.

Church of St. Marija od Špilice

Above the harbor there is the Franciscan Monastery built in 1483 with the Church of St. Marija od Špilice, a cloister with octagonal pillars, a fort from 1599 and a defensive wall from 1516. The Church of St. Marija od Špilice was built by donations of Lopud noblemen and their coats of arms, carved in marble, are placed in front of church main altar. The main altar keeps a wooden sculpture of Our Lady with Saints. The Venetian artist Pietro di Giovanni painted the polyptich of Our Lady with Saints in 1523. Nikola Božidarević, the most significant painter of Dubrovnik painting school made a wooden altar painting in 1513 showing St. John the Baptist, St. Mary with Christ and St. George. The painting at the side altar with Our Lady of Carmel is the work of an unknown artist from the 15th or 16th century. The altar of the Holy Cross is done in Carrara marble and is probably brought there from the chapel of Miho Pracat. St. Roc is a work of the Italian artist Girolamo Santacroce and his son Francesco in the 16th century. One of the side altars has the painting Crucifixion, the work of Bassani’s workshop. A painting with Our Lady in Flowers’ Wreath is a work of a Flemish school and the painting of St. Anthony from Padua in the manneristic style is a work of Venetian school. Wooden choral pews are a very valuable artwork by local carvers from the 15th century. In the church there is also a monstrance with angels, a work of Dubrovnik goldsmiths from the 15th century. The bell-tower of the church is 30 m high and has three bells from the 16th century.  








Church of Our Lady of Šunj

Over the beautiful bay of Šunj there is a Church of Our Lady of Šunj, built in the 15th century with several additions done till the 17th century. The main altar has twelve life-size wooden apostles with Our Lady. According to a legend, Miho Pracat brought these figures from Westminster during the conflict between the Catholics and the Protestants in England. At one of the six side altars there is a painting of the Holy Family from the 17th century, a work of Dubrovnik painter Blasius Antonio Držić with initials BAD. The altar painting on wooden panel shows Our Lady with a Child and Saints and was painted by a well-known artist J. Palma Older. The painting Annunciation is a work of an unknown early Baroque painter from Umbria. All Saint’s altar has a painting by Venetian school showing St. Katarina the Martyr. The painting of Madonna of Mercy is a work of Byzantine school and it is carried on St. Marko’s Day every year in the procession to the Church of St. Marija od Špilice. The baptistery from the 16th century is done in white marble. Beside the church there is the churchyard. The first churchyards were inside churches till 1808 which can be seen on the grave’s inscriptions and coats of arms. The oldest was found in the Church of St. Ilija from the 9th century.



Holy Trinity Church

At the entrance to the harbor is the Gothic-Renaissance church of the Holy Trinity. This church has an unfinished bell tower. If we go inside, we will notice that this chapel had its own choir, five altars and a sacristy. On the left side of the main altar is a bricked sarcophagus where in Latin is written: '' To Vicku Bune Petrovu, Christ's knight, which has with virtue surpassed dignity under two Spanish kings, Philip second and third, who undertook the difficult sailing on both worlds and wanted to gain fame to his name. And so, while he was long amused in India by spreading the faith and defending the faith in Belgium,while in both duties he carried out the task received from his kings, invited by the royal nod to Naples and designated as a royal adviser after many carried efforts, he passed on to another life and by the provisions of his will, he was transferred here at home and here he lies and waits for the sound of a trumpet, to invite him to life. Harmonious family raised this monument. And he was barely 53 years. Died 12th of November year 1612. '' 

Church of St. Nikola

The Dominican monastery with the Church of St. Nikola from 1482 is placed in the middle of Lopud. The church is single-naved with later erected bell-tower 30 m high. It has a Renaissance portal and a rosette decorated with acanthus leaves. The church was reconstructed in 1994 after the Serbo-Montenegrin aggression on Croatia. The church had a painting showing the Annunciation by Nikola Božidarević which is presently housed in the Museum of the Dominican Monastery in Dubrovnik. There is a polyptych at the main altar with a wooden sculpture of St. Nikola.