The old town of Korčula is situated in the south-east of island Korčula, in the eastern part of the Meditarranean. It is a part of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and is one of the most beautiful and best preserved medieval island towns in the Mediterranean.
The first mention of the fortified town stems from the tenth century, however, it is not known when it had been built. According to some authors, the area was inhabited in the time of old Greeks who named it Korkyra. In the Middle Ages it was shaped as a fishbone, in the centuries to come new buildings and ornaments were added to it. Its Statue from 1214 is one of the oldest statues of free towns in this part of Europe.
A famous merchant, explorer and travel writer Marco Polo was born on Korčula in 1254. He was taken hostage and imprisoned in the battle between Venice and Genoa which took place in the Pelješac channel in 1298. Marko had just returned from China at the time. In prison he dictated his stories to his cellmate, Rustichello da Pisa and they were later published under the name of Il Milione ( The Travels of Marco Polo).
Marco Polo family – he had wife, Donata, and three daughters named Fantina, Bellela and Moretta. According to historical records, there was also a mistress – Franchesca. We can still meet descendants of Polo family in Korčula.
Another peculiarity of Korčula is a sword dance Moreška. Every place on the island has its dance but only Korčula has a sword dance. It consists of seven stunning figures ( dances) in which two kings, a white one and a black one, fight for the love of a girl, Bula. Its five hundred years long tradition is kept in the way that only Korčulan citizens can dance it.