We've spent a weekend on the island of Brac recently. We find Brac extremely interesting, and a must-visit destination in Croatia. It's easy to reach the island from the mainland, and if you happen to visit Dalmatia, please plan also a visit to the island of Brac. You won't regret it.
While our impressions of the island are still fresh, we wanted to share with you few interesting facts about Brac Island.
Interesting facts about Brac Island
1 | Brac is the largest Dalmatian island, and the third laregest island in all Croatia.
2 | Vidova Gora Mount, the higest peak on the island of Brac, stands at 778 m. It makes Brac the highest Adriatic island.
3 | There are 25.000 sheep on the island and ‘only' 14.000 residents.
4 | The oldest Wine Association in Dalmatia dates back to 1903, and it's located in Bol.
5 | The only stonemason school still teaching the manual skills of masonry, is located in Pucisca, on the island of Brac.
6 | Ilyrian tribes & Greek colonist lived together on the island in peace. Illyrians inhabited hinterland while Greeks remained at the coast. However, Greeks never had any colonies on the island, but rather used the island as a stop over spot on their sailing routes.
7 | It's believed that Brac was named after deer (Illyrian: brenton, Greek: élaphos). However, there is no evidence that deer inhabited the island back at the time. Must be its robust shape that reminded its first settlers of this noble animal.
8 | Brac had a candy factory. Nice were the times when cost effectiveness wasn't the only business driver :)!
9 | Sculptures: sure with so many quality stones, and a long tradition of stonemasonry, one is not surprised to find so many sculptures and sculptors on the island of Brac. The most famous is Supetar born Ivan Rendić, whose works are on display in the Gallery in Supetar.
10 | When phylloxera hit the Europe in the late 19th century, it ruined the economy and forced many Europeans to leave the continent in a search of a better life in north and south America. This triggered two important events on the island of Brac. First, it didn't arrive to the island of Brac immediately. Wine became scarce and expensive everywhere in Europe. So, people of Brac planted even more vine grapes. The life on the island finally paid off. But not for a long time. The disease hit Brac few years later, leaving its inhabitants literally hungry (as they turned exclusively to viticulture few years earlier). Now it was their turn to emigrate. But guess what, all the good land was already taken by Europeans who moved there few years earlier. This is the reason why the largest community of Brac natives, out of Croatia, lives in the area of Punta Arenas, Chile. This is not only the fact, but Chilean president, Ricardo Lagos Escobar, in 2004 visited the island whose emigrants contributed in building his own country, Chile. This visit is commemorated with a stone plate that can be seen in the Native Museum of Brac.
11 | Hotel Elaphusa, the first modern hotel on the island, was built in 1971. But the communal water supply haven't arrived to Bol until 1976. The hotel company, Zlatni Rat (today Bluesun) used to have its own water tank ship named Jezero (Lake).
12 | Brac has three man made puddles, and two out of three never dry up. This is also remainder that the water on the island is scarce, and that Brac is a farming island (one puddle is surrounded by tall wall to stop animals from taking water). The place is called Trolokve (literally meaning Three puddles), and it's located just beneath Vidova Gora.
13 | Even bee houses are made of stone here. You can see them in Pustinja Blaca & at the Nativ Museum of Brac.
14 | Although there is no river on the island of Brac, there is a small stone bridge across the Veliki dolac gorge. It was built in 19th century during Austrian rule. And it's believed that a river Elafuza or Bretanida used to flow here in ancient times.
15 | The islands of Brac and Solta are only 800 m apart. However, a lack of any direct boat connection between these two islands, makes them very far one from another. In attempt to connect these two islands, locals from both islands created a manifestation called Potezanje Mrduje where leisure boats line up across the channel and compete in a tug the war. A rope is tied around a small post on the island of Mrduja.
16 | The island of Brac boasts almost 20 preserved churches from pre-Romanesque and early Christian period. Majority of them were built from 9th to 11th century. The most interesting ones are: The Church of Holy Spirit in Skrip, the Church of St. John and Theodore in Bol, the Church of St. Michael in Dol, and St. Martin near Lozisce.
17 | The white lime and marble stone from Brac was shipped all over the world, and many buildings feature stone from Brac. Among them the most popular ones are: White House, Diocletian Palace in Split, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and parliament buildings in Budapest and Vienna.
18 | In McKinney, Texas there is a development called Adriatica Village. This Croatia-themed community embodies the spirit and lifestyle of Supetar on the island of Brac.
19 | Zlatni Rat Beach in Bol on the island of Brac is the most photographed beach in Croatia.
Did you find interesting these random facts about Brac? Do you have anything to add? Let us know in the comments below.
8 thoughts on “Random facts about Brac Island”
My grandparents came from Brac in 1800’s and settled in Washington State, USA. Surnames Guich, Borovich, Ursich, Skansi. Do you know where in Brac I would begin to find information about these families? Thank you for any leads…
interesting to look for a family history. Skasni family name usually comes from the island of Hvar, but I guess there were some Skansi in Brac too. I don’t know much about other surnames. Maybe you can contact bishop’s office. There is a guy in Croatia who also investigates surnames, their history, and meanings. His name is Domagoj Vidovic. In this article (in Croatian only) he talks about some family names from Split, and he’s mentioning Skansi surname: http://www.slobodnadalmacija.hr/scena/mozaik/clanak/id/160163/tragom-predaka-pet-tisuca-potomaka-prvih-splicana-zivi-danas-u-gradu (use google translate to help you). Regards, frank
Island Brac is smaller than Malta which has over 2 million people living there :)
Highest peak of island Brac is St. Vid 780m (778m is old info we used to learn in school, latest measuring says 780m), while Vidova Gora is the mountain ;)
I’ve ever heard of this island before, I like the fact that there are more ships living there than people :)
I must second Lauren on that one; the sheep to people ratio is way cool, and lol worthy too. Any spot with a bunch of domestic or flat out wildlife works for me because I’m an animal lover.
Thanks for sharing the neat Brac Island facts.
I’ll tweet this through Triberr.
Thanks for stopping by, Ryan! I too was impressed with that ration. I don’t know yet if this means that there are too many sheep on the island or too little people. Great to connect through Triberr, and our blogs.
I love how sheep outnumber the people like that! Very interesting facts! :)
Thanks, Lauren! It’s awesome, isn’t it?! At least when locals claim to make a great sheep cheese, we can be sure it’s really local :)