Brac: Blaca Hermitage
Sites of historic interest (Monastic Hermitage and Walk)
Founded by monks from Poljice seeking security from Turkish raids in 1551 this site nestles impressively beneath over hanging cliffs on the east side of the steep-sided ravine that runs north from the shingle beach at the back of Uvala Blaca`. Once the site was one of a number of such establishments on the southern shore of Brac, but now it is the only surviving example. For nearly 500 years a monastic and community lived here, bound by strict rules and often by family ties, as generation after generation of young men came to study and contemplate in these remote buildings. The last member of the Blaca Community, Don Niko Milicevice died on the site in 1968 since when it has become a regular visiting attraction for tourists.
There is a small museum, a rustic cafe and the church, built in 1588 and dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption, to see on the site though all (except the cafe) were closed for renovations during our visit in 2011. Regardless of this the site is still well worth a visit and the remains of its terraced gardens, olive groves, pagoda’d gardens and spectacular buildings are impressive to see and evoke another age and a simpler way of life.
By boat to Uvala Blaca then by foot, or by car from the N113 and then by foot.
The site can only be approached by foot either from a car park off an unnamed road off the N113 (30-40 minutes by foot) or from the beach at Uvala Blaca. The walk from Uvala Blaca takes you up through a winding canyon with some areas of limited shade and while the walk (around 2000 metres) rises gently except for the last couple of hundred metres, the valley can concentrate the sun making the walk around 40-50 minutes for the reasonably fit. The path is rough and stoney and we would recommend decent shoes or walking sandals. Also take water with you, you will probably want it both on the way up and down.
The path is marked by red and white paint marks and is part of a network that seems to stretch across the southern shore of Brac from Lucice to Bol.
Otok Brac: on the south shore ca 6nm west of Bol and 8nm east of Splitska Vrata.
Sunday, 24 July 2011