Blato, Korčula

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Blato
Municipality
Blato Municipality
Općina Blato
panorama of town
panorama of town
Blato is located in Croatia
Blato
Blato
Location of Blato in Croatia
Coordinates: 42°56′N 16°47′E / 42.933°N 16.783°E / 42.933; 16.783
Country Croatia
County Dubrovnik–Neretva
Government
 • Municipal mayor Ante Šeparović
Area
 • Total 89.28 km2 (34.47 sq mi)
Population (2001)
 • Total 3,680
 • Density 41/km2 (110/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 20271
Area code(s) 020
Website www.blato.hr

Blato is a town on the island of Korčula in Croatia. It is a municipal centre[1] and can be reached by the main island road from city of Korčula. The road runs through the forests in the middle of the island of Korčula.

Geography[edit]

The town was amphitheatrically built on several hills around a small central valley (40 km away from the town of Korčula). A long avenue of lime trees called Zlinje runs through it, along with the towns public buildings (recently built: school, hotel, bank, shops, municipal building, medical centre etc.). There is a central park that provides exceptional shade during the summer months.

The climate in Blato matches the entire island of Korčula - it is located in the Adriatic which has a Mediterranean climate, characterized by long, quiet, dry and hot summer days with clear, short and mild wet winters. During the entire year the temperatures go below 10 °C in January and February, while June, July, August and September they average above 20 °C. Rainfall is typically Mediterranean, with a peak in late autumn and early winter and a minimum in July.

History[edit]

Blato, which literally means "mud", got its name from its neighbouring field which flooded on regular basis, until 1911. The Blato field was occasionally drained. This created a lake that dried up during summer. The construction of canals and tunnels channelled drainage water into the sea on the north coast. It created conditions for successful exploitation of more fertile land in this region.

The town itself is one of the oldest settlements on the island of Korčula and is situated in the middle of the western part of a field. The area of Blato is believed to have been settled during Roman times. There is a church named "Our Lady of the Field" (Church of Our Lady) located on the Blato Field that has Roman floors that place its beginnings in the 4th century.[2] Archaeological remains of Roman Junianum (agricultural estate) have been discovered.[3]

Also other remains have been found in the local area dating back to prehistoric and Illyrian times.[4]

The worst period in the history of Blato occurred between World War I and World War II, when phylloxera attacked the grape vines, causing them to perish en masse. This greatly contributed to the economic crisis that was happening within the newly formed Yugoslavia. Blato was facing a mass exodus. It was the sixth largest place in Dalmatia, then a region of Austro-Hungary (Blato in 1910 had a population of 8862 ). In 1925, 1200 residents suddenly abandoned their homes and left Blato. Whole families immigrated [5] to Australia [6] and Brazil (especially São Paulo.[7] During World War II Blato was bombed by the Allies.[8]

Municipality of Blato[edit]

The Municipality of Blato, situated on the island of Korčula, administratively falls under the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. The municipality is made up of two places, which are: Blato and Potirna. It has access to the sea on both sides of the island. Once the main port of Blato, Prigradica is located about 3 km north of the town of Blato. The municipality's coastline is 36.3 kilometers in length. Within the area are large cultivated fields and hilly slopes with olive trees and vineyards.

According to the census of 2001, the municipality of Blato had 3680 inhabitants, grouped in two settlement:

  • Blato - 3659
  • Potirna - 21

Demographics[edit]

According to the 2001 census, the municipality of Blato has population of 3,680.[9] The great majority of population are Croats professing Roman Catholic faith.

Economy[edit]

During the long history of Blato, the economy has been oriented around the production of agricultural products, especially wine. Olive oil, wine, carob and fig trees are the most significant products of the region. In the early 20th century Blato produced over 1000 carts of wine and 30 wagons of olive oil for export. In addition, they produced legumes and cereals for their own use. Strong development of agriculture led to the development of ancillary services such as crafts and commercial activities.

After the Second World War, Blato began a new cycle of development. They further developed the metal industry, textile industry, tourism and the agricultural industry. The population continued to decline, albeit more slowly than before. Industrial production in Blato, in recent times has seen a down turn with the closure of the textile factory Trikop. Metal industry and agriculture remains important for the economy. Tourism now plays an important role. Hotels and private apartments in Prizba and Prigadica have given new momentum to the economy of Blato.

The main economic entities in Blato today are:

  • Radež Inc., a company manufacturing marine equipment and steel structures, the largest employer on the island[10]
  • Blato 1902 dd company for the purchase, processing and trade of agricultural products.
  • Small artisans (craft and other services associated in the Association of Craftsmen)
  • Individual agricultural production of wine and olive oil
  • Tourism (rental apartments and houses for rent, hotels)
  • Trade (trade houses and chains)
  • Plumbing Blato dd
  • Eko doo Company for Utilities
  • Schools, municipalities and other government institutions and offices.
Lipa avenue in Blato, Korčula.

Education[edit]

  • Elementary School Blato
  • High School Blato

Culture[edit]

The town is known for a famous sword dance, the Kumpanija, which is performed on April 28, the day of Saint Vincenca, the town's patron saint, Blato Public library, sanctuary, etno-museum, etc.

Notable people[edit]

  • Marija Petković - a nun who was declared blessed, the founder of Congregation of Daughters of Mercy of St. Francis, the only religious community founded in Croatia.
  • Meri Cetinić - famous singer.
  • Momčilo Popadić - a well known journalist and poet.
  • Nataša Cetinić - famous painter who had her studio in Blato's Prigradica.
  • Ivan Milat Luketa- painter from Blato.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Municipality of Blato/www.blato.hr
  2. ^ "Church of Our Lady of Poja". crkve.prizba.net. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  3. ^ Roman Junianum korcula. Arhiv Turističke naklade, 1997-Google books search. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  4. ^ Korcula History-www.korculainfo.com
  5. ^ Croatians in Australia and America (Studies of World Migrations) By Val Colic-Peisker. Google book search. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  6. ^ "History of immigration from Croatia". museumvictoria.com.au. Retrieved October 22, 2009. 
  7. ^ Narrativa épica e imigração by Norma Marinovic Doro).
  8. ^ Barčot, Tonko. "Vlast Nezavisne Države Hrvatske na otoku Korčuli". Institute for Historical Sciences of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Zadar. Retrieved January 29, 2012. 
  9. ^ Republic of Croatia, Central Bureau of Statistics County of Dubrovnik-Neretva, Population by Sex and Age, Census 2001 Retrieved on 2008-06-01.
  10. ^ http://globus.jutarnji.hr/hrvatska/zlatno-blato

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°46′N 17°29′E / 42.767°N 17.483°E / 42.767; 17.483