The town of Blato
Blato is a town situated in the heart of the island of Korčula, lying 7 km away from Vela Luka and only 4 km divide it from the sea. Regional fish and meat specialties are served in restaurants and agritourist farms along with homemade olive oil and renowned wine.
Blato was founded beside a former lake which used to cover a field named Blato located between the towns of Blato and Vela Luka, which is where the town derives its name from. The word blato was used for a water surface or the space around it in the Old Slavic language. A centuries-old olive tree that is said to be probably the oldest one on the island, grows next to the field Blato. The signpost marking the way to it is visible from the main island road, which connects the towns of Blato and Vela Luka.
Blato has an extremely rich historical heritage. Visit the parish church of All Saints, which was first mentioned in 13th century. A 16th-century Venetian master-painter lushly decorated the main church altar with his paintings.
A wooden statue of the Virgin, which used to serve as a decoration of a ship's bow, is another interesting item, because it is now decorated with gold jewellery which has been donated by believers throughout centuries. The church is located in a vast square and its belfry and loggia dating from the beginning of 18th century can be found beside it.
Romantic secret little streets lead us from the parish church to the Sanctuary of The Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified Petković. Born in Blato, she later founded the congregation of the Franciscan Sisters Daughters of Mercy, which nowadays operates on three continents. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2003.
In the summer season, weekly performances of folk dances, the most famous of which is Kumpanija, take place in front of the church. Kumpanija is a traditional sword-dance. Its origins lie in the exercises of the armies which formerly used to defend the island and the town. The private ethno-house Barilo holds many historical valuable everyday items and decorative belongings to the history of Blato, be it agricultural tools or ceremonial clothing. If you get peckish, the friendly hosts will be delighted to serve you with homemade products made by following old traditional recipes. Afterwards you can go for a stroll in the park and Zlinje, a linden alley. Therefor in 2011 Blato received a county award for the development of the town due to its recently efforts.
While going on excursions, well-prepared and marked bicycle and walking trails will reveal Blato’s natural and cultural heritage. Diving centres in Gršćici and Prišćapac help you organise your paths under the sea.