Island Korčula:

Korčula is an island in the Adriatic Sea, in the Dubrovnik-Neretva county of Croatia. The island has an area of 279 km2 it is 46.8 km long and on average 7.8 km wide and lies just off the Dalmatian coast. Its 16,182 (2001) inhabitants make it the second most populous Adriatic.
The island of Korčula belongs to the central Dalmatian archipelago, separated from the Pelješac peninsula by a narrow strait of Pelješac, between 900 and 3,000 meters wide (illustration, right). It is the sixth largest Adriatic island with a rather indented coast. The highest peaks are Klupca (568 m) and Kom (510 m). The climate is mild; an average air temperature in January is 9.8 °C and in July 26.9 °C; the average annual rainfall is 1,100 mm. The island is largely covered with Mediterranean flora including extensive pine forests.

The island also includes the towns of Vela Luka and Blato and the coastal villages of Lumbarda and Račišce, and in the interior Žrnovo, Pupnat, Smokvica and čara.
The main road runs along the spine of the island connecting all settlements from Lumbarda on the eastern to Vela Luka on the western end, with the exception of Račišce which is served by a separate road running along the northern coast.
Ferries connect the city of Korčula with Orebic on the Pelješac peninsula and Drvenik on the mainland (near Makarska). Another line connects Vela Luka with Split and the island of Lastovo. Fast passenger catamarans connect those two ports with Split and the islands of Hvar and Lastovo. The main Adriatic ferry line connects Korčula with Dubrovnik, Split, Zadar and Rijeka and in summer there are direct ferries to Italian Adriatic ports.
Korčula is the most populous Adriatic island with almost 20,000 inhabitants, although their number has slightly dropped between the censuses of 1991 and 2001. The island is divided into Korčula, Smokvica, Blato and Lumbarda municipalities.

The island was first settled by Greek colonists from Corcyra (Corfu), who named it 'Black Corfu' after their homeland. Greek artefacts, including carved marble tombstones, are to be found in the island museum.
The island was part of the Roman province of Dalmatia until the Great Migrations. In the early 7th century, the Avar invasion is thought to have brought the Slavs into this region. As the so-called barbarians began settling on the coast, the Romanised local population had to take refuge in the islands. Along the Dalmatian coast the Slavic migrants pouring in from the interior seized control of the area where the Narenta (Neretva) River enters the Adriatic, as well as the island of Korčula (Corcyra), that protect the river mouth. Christianizing of the Slavs began in the 9th century, but the early Slavic rural inhabitants of the island may well have fully accepted Christianity later. Accordingly, the population of the island in the early middle ages was described as being in the same group as the Neretvians of the coastal Principality of Pagania (the land of the Pagans).

City Korčula:

The walled old city, with streets arranged in a herringbone pattern allowing free circulation of air but protecting against strong winds, is tightly built on a promontory that guards the narrow sound between the island and the mainland. Building outside the walls was forbidden until the 18th century, and the wooden drawbridge was only replaced in 1863. All of Korčula's narrow streets are stepped with the notable exception of the street running alongside the southeastern wall, called the Street of Thoughts as one did not have to worry about the steps. The town includes several interesting historic sights: the central Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral of St Mark (built from 1301 to 1806), the 15th-century Franciscan monastery with its beautiful Venetian Gothic cloister, the civic council chambers, the palace of the former Venetian governors, grand 15th and 16th century palaces of the local merchant nobles, and the massive city fortifications.
The devout Catholic inhabitants of Korčula keep alive old folk church ceremonies and a war dance (moreška, maresca), once (in the middle ages) performed all over the Mediterranean.
The city is notable for its Statute dating back to 1214 which prohibited slavery, making Korčula the first place in the world to outlaw the practice.
Korčula, like other islands and many coastal cities in Dalmatia, also displays a dual Latin-Slav culture which developed from the late Roman era to the emergence of the modern Croatian state. The island therefore possesses a distinct Adriatic or Mediterranean cultural personality which sets it apart from the mountainous Dalmatian hinterland and continental Croatia further north.