Korcula undoubtedly holds a privileged position among the Croatian islands. There are perhaps more legends, tales, and monuments here than anywhere else. The famous travel writer Marco Polo was born in Korcula.
According to legend, the Trojan hero Anthenor established Korcula in the 12th century BC, and ancient Greek and Roman writers speak of the city of Korkyra Melania, established by Greek colonists from Cnidus. The island has a number of renowned towns, including Korcula, Lumbarda, and Vela Luka.
There is much evidence of a social life on Korcula even in the 13th century. The Statue of Korcula, signed in 1214, prohibited the slave trade for the first time in Europe. It also spoke about the order and management of the city. The people of Korcula were famous stonemasons, shipbuilders, and seafarers, and left their mark in stone works, sculptures and buildings all over Dalmatia, but they saved their best works for their own city.
There are late Gothic and Renaissance buildings, and Baroque examples from the 17th and 18th centuries. It took local builders 150 years to erect the Cathedral of St. Marcus, the most valuable building in Korcula. In its long history, the town streets, laid out in a regular herringbone pattern, have seen many battles. Nowadays, each summer they come to life with the old knight's dance of Moreska, dating from the 15th century. The dance evokes the battles with the Moors, and was popular all over the Mediterranean, but today it has only been preserved on Korcula. Representing good and evil, the white and black kings fight with their armies for a maiden. Fortunately, the white king prevails.
In Blato, situated like Rome on seven hills, there is another, equally interesting knights' dance called "Kumpanija" (Company). It symbolises the struggle for freedom.