Coordinates: 42°43′43″N 17°52′33″E / 42.7286°N 17.8758°E / 42.7286; 17.8758
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Nickname: The Golden Island
Image of the center of Suđurađ, Šipan, showing houses and moored boats
Šipan is one of the Elaphiti Islands
LocationAdriatic Sea
ArchipelagoElaphiti Islands
Area16.22 km2 (6.26 sq mi)
Length9.1 km (5.65 mi)
Width2.6 km (1.62 mi)
Highest elevation243 m (797 ft)[1]
Highest pointVelji Vrh[1]
PopulationIncrease476[2] (2021)

Šipan (pronounced [ʃǐpan]) (/ʃipɑːn/) (Italian: Giuppana), nicknamed the Golden Island,[3] is an island located in the south of Croatia. It is located 17 km (11 mi) northwest of Dubrovnik, Croatia, and is separated from the mainland coast by the Koločep Channel, which has an area of 16.22 km2 (6.3 sq mi).[4] The island is 9.1 km (5.7 mi) in length, and up to 2.6 km (1.6 mi) in width. It is a part of the Elaphiti Islands, and is the largest island in the archipelago. The name of the archipelago comes from the Ancient Greek word for deer (Greek: ἔλαφος, romanizedelaphos), which, according to Pliny the Elder, used to inhabit the Elaphiti Islands in large numbers.[1] There is, however, no evidence of deer ever inhabiting the archipelago.[1]

Šipan's population was 476 as of 2021, an increase from the 416 people in 2011.[2][5] Its highest point, the Velji Vrh, lies at 243 m (797 ft) above sea level, and is located in the northwestern part of the island. The Velji Vrh is one of two limestone crests, the other being the Kameni Luk, located in the southeast, which surround a dolomite depression, on which olives, figs, vines, almonds, oranges, citrus, and carob[6] are cultivated.[7] It holds the Guinness World Record for the most olive trees relative to an island's size and population.[8]

Šipan can be reached by ferries from Dubrovnik, which also go to Lopud and Koločep (locally known as Kalamota), the latter of which is the southernmost inhabited island in Croatia.[9] There are two ports on the island, Suđurađ (Italian: San Giorgio) in the east, and Šipanska Luka (Italian: Porto Giuppana) in the west.


The island was most likely known as Tauris in the era of ancient Rome. It was also a likely location for the Battle of Tauris, which took place during Caesar's civil war.[10][11] The island's current name, Šipan, was first mentioned in 1371.[12] Later, during the French Revolutionary Wars, the British Royal Navy referred to Šipan as Zupana instead.[13]

The beginning of the connection between Šipan and Dubrovnik was established by the noble Sagroević-Stjepović-Krivonosović-Skočibuha family, at around the 15th century. Although some associate their origin with Herzegovina, according to other sources, that surname is mentioned in Šipan before the fall of Bosnia under Turkish rule in 1463. Two brothers, Antun and Stijepo Sagroević-Krivonosović, were mentioned at the beginning of the 16th century, and the names of their nine descendants were also recorded. All of them were connected to seafaring and sailed throughout the Mediterranean and beyond, to the coasts of England and the Netherlands. Due to frequent conflicts with pirates and other dangers, such a life was risky and took victims. In the end only two sons survived, Vice Stjepović-Skočibuha [hr], who would become the most respected representative of the merchant class of his time,[14] and Marin, a priest who spent his life in Naples and Dubrovnik. The island became a part of the Republic of Ragusa in 1426.[15] The house originally owned by Vice Stjepović-Skočibuha is still intact, and is centrally located in Suđurađ.

During the Homeland War, more specifically the Siege of Dubrovnik, a fort located on the Velji Vrh was used as a defense against the Yugoslav People's Army. Before that, the fort was used by the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Nazi Germany, and the Yugoslav Partisans.[16] As a result of the Homeland War, there are still minefields located on the island today.[17]


Coat of arms of the island of Šipan

Šipan flourished during the Republic of Ragusa when some of the most common activities were shipbuilding, seamanship, olive cultivation, fishing, and viticulture.[18] Though, after a great earthquake, and a fire that destroyed Dubrovnik in the 17th century, the economy of the island began to decline as the island relied heavily on Dubrovnik. The worst economic decline of the island happened during The Great Depression, accompanied by strong emigration. With major investments in the last ten years, the economy of the island is improving and the island is once again experiencing revitalization, though the island is still economically dependent on Dubrovnik.[19]

For hundreds of years, Šipan's fishing culture was strong, with it having had a large population of fishermen living on the island. As such, Šipan became famous for its fishing culture. These fishermen preferred fishing european pilchards and tuna.[20] These fishermen are also important in the island's economy.[21] The island also brings in large income from tourism, even though Šipan did not have any tourist attraction until 1980.[20] In addition, the island is home to a film school, which has been operating for 20 years.[22][23][24]


Šipan's highest point, named the Velji Vrh (Big peak), lies at 243 m (797 ft) above mean sea level, and is located in the northwestern part of the island. The 2nd highest point on the island, the Kameni Luk, located in the southeast, is slightly smaller than the Velji Vrh. Both hills are limestone crests which surround a dolomite depression, on which multiple plants are cultivated, such as olives, figs, almonds, and citrus.[7] Šipan also holds the Guinness World Record for the most olive trees relative to the island's population and size,[8] with the island being noted to have over 300 thousand olive trees.[3]

The island is also famous for its wide variety of palm trees, which are located throughout the island.[25][26]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Glamuzina & Glamuzina 1999, p. 89.
  2. ^ a b "Popis stanovništva, kućanstava i stanova 2021" (PDF). Government of Croatia (in Croatian).
  3. ^ a b Letcher, Piers; McKelvie, Robin; McKelvie, Jenny (12 November 2023). Croatia: The Bradt Travel Guide. Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN 9781841621920.
  4. ^ Duplančić Leder, Tea; Ujević, Tin; Čala, Mendi (June 2004). "Coastline lengths and areas of islands in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea determined from the topographic maps at the scale of 1 : 25 000" (PDF). Geoadria. Zadar. 9 (1): 5–32. doi:10.15291/geoadria.127. Retrieved 25 December 2019.
  5. ^ Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Croatia 2017 (PDF) (in Croatian and English). Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2017. p. 45. ISSN 1333-3305. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 November 2018. Retrieved 23 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Ostavio kapetansku plaću, vratio se na svoj otok i razvio veliki biznis: 'Vidio sam cijeli svijet, ali ovo...'" (in Croatian).
  7. ^ a b "Island Sipan". Hrvaska.net.
  8. ^ a b "NEVJEROJATNI OTOK MASLINA Pet razloga zašto posjetiti Šipan". Dubrovacki Dnevnik (RTL Hrvatska) (in Croatian).
  9. ^ "Znate li koji je najjužniji hrvatski otok". rtl.hr (in Croatian). 12 February 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2023.
  10. ^ "The Remnants of Caesar's Civil War: Naval Battle off Tauris Island". TLDR History.
  11. ^ Pseudo-Caesar (1955). "The Alexandrian War". Caesar: Alexandrian war, African war, Spanish war. Loeb Classical Library. Translated by Way, AG. Harvard University Press. ch 45. ISBN 978-0-67499-443-0 – via LacusCurtius.
  12. ^ Naklada Naprijed, The Croatian Adriatic Tourist Guide, p. 369, Zagreb (1999), ISBN 953-178-097-8
  13. ^ "The Gazette". The London Gazette. Retrieved 7 November 2023.
  14. ^ "Vice Stjepović-Skočibuha" (in Croatian).
  15. ^ Southeastern Europe under Ottoman Rule, 1354–1804 at Google Books
  16. ^ "Zaboravljeni topnik: 'Promijenio sam šest država i dvije vojske, ali otok smo obranili s dva minobacača'" (in Croatian).
  17. ^ Kroatië (in Dutch). VBK Media. 30 August 2022. ISBN 9789021576787. Retrieved 7 July 2023.
  18. ^ "Sipan (Goravica)".
  19. ^ "Sipan".
  20. ^ a b "Ribarstvo otoka Šipan nekad i sad" (in Croatian).
  21. ^ "Island Sipan".
  22. ^ "Otok Šipan i ovog se ljeta pretvara u filmsku meku" (in Croatian).
  23. ^ "Završena 19. Ljetna škola filma Šipan" (in Croatian).
  24. ^ "Miro Bronzić o velikoj obljetnici - dvadeset godina Ljetne škole filma Šipan" (in Croatian).
  25. ^ "ŠIPAN ISLAND".
  26. ^ "Elaphite Islands - an island oasis of peace near Dubrovnik".


External links[edit]

  • Media related to Šipan at Wikimedia Commons

42°43′43″N 17°52′33″E / 42.7286°N 17.8758°E / 42.7286; 17.8758