In addition to the natural beauty of Zlatni rat Beach, Vidova gora and sites such as the Blaca Hermitage and Dragon’s Cave, Brač is also famous for its stonemasonry tradition.
Brač stone in the Roman Empire
Ever since ancient times, stone has been dug out from the Brač quarries and used to build notable buildings, the most famous one being Diocletian’s Palace in Split.
During their reign, the Romans built farmhouses, presses for grapes and olives, ponds (watering-places for animals) and quays. Notable Roman remains include two large Roman mausoleums and many scattered pre-Christian and Early Christian sarcophagi.
The island’s main attraction are rough stones piled in walls along the field paths, and some estimate that they contain the same quantity of stone, albeit rough, as the Egyptian pyramids, the total volume being approximately 7 million cubic metres.
Sheperds and labourers have collected stone for centuries in order to clear out the rocks and turn them into arable areas. The cultivation of the land on Brač is associated with the important decree of the Venetian government according to which no man was allowed to marry unless he could prove that he had planted a hundred of olive trees.
Apart from these stone piles and building sites, centuries of stone construction has left marks in almost all forms of life of these people: houses, yards, churches, bell towers, forts, graves, walls, coastal settlements, quays and breakwaters.
Brač stone – cultural heritage
The most prominent Dalmatian Renaissance architects and sculptors, such as Juraj Dalmatinac (George of Dalmatia), Andrija Aleši (Andrea Alessi) and Nikola Firentinac (Nicholas of Florence), also used Brač stone for their creations.
The stone construction tradition has become an inseparable part of the island’s identity.
Stone churches on the island of Brač
Up to 30% of preserved Dalmatian churches are located on the island of Brač.
The Early Romanesque basilicas built at the location of Roman farms and the small churches from the Medieval period grew into settlements, each telling its own story of origin, growth and transformation into modern life.
The cult figure of St George, patron saint of the island of Brač, marked the island tradition of respect for religion, culture and civilization. Locals still visit the motifs such as the previoulsy visible heraldic arms on the Brač municipal grave and multiple Renessaince stone reliefs in the churches to leave candles and olive branches at the altar.
St George on Bračuta (near Pušić)
St Michael (southeast of Gornji Humac)
St Peter (above Dol)
St Nicholas (near Sumartin)
St Martin (near Bobovišća)
St Michael (on the hill near Dol)
Holy Sunday on Gradac (Selca)
Our Lady of Stomorica (near Ložišća)
Read the article about Brač published by American Islands magazine.