Skrip

Trip Start Jun 06, 2012
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Trip End Oct 31, 2012


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Flag of Croatia  ,
Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Note: If you want to see a larger version of any of the pictures, just click on the picture and a new window will open. I know I repeat myself a lot in the introductions to blog posts, but I never know which one will be the first one someone reads. 

Today Bill and I took an afternoon trip to Skrip and visited the official museum of Brac.  Settled by the Illyrians in the 11th century, Skrip is the oldest settlement on Brac. However, there is evidence of people living in the area well before that. Archaeologists have dated the wall to the right from the Bronze Age, approximately 1,400 BC, and the museum curator, Andrea, pointed out bones from the inside exhibit from pre-historic times.   
 


    
The museum building itself is a story of history. At its base is a wall built by the Romans in the 4th century AD. Notice the uniform blocks and their symmetrical placement in contrast to the construction of the Bronze Age wall. Then on top of the Roman wall is a tower, built by the islanders in the 16th century to defend against invading Turks. The villagers would stand atop the tower and throw boulders or boiling oil down on those trying to breach the walls. 









  
  
 
 
The tower is not the only fortified structure in the village. The Cerinic Castle  also helped with protection. Skrip, like all the other original settlements on Brac, was built in the middle of the island on high ground not only for protection from foreign invaders but also for protection from pirates located on the mainland. It wasn't until after two-thirds of the island population was devastated by the plague that people moved toward the coast. 

But what is truly amazing to me about Skrip in particular and Brac in general is that things used in Medieval times were still being used in recent island history. The press below, first used as an olive press and later as a wine press, is located in the courtyard of the museum was operational and in use from the Middle Ages all the way until 1979 when the building was dedicated as the island's museum. Just think about that. The Middle Ages until 1979. I have a hard time even beginning to visualize that. At any rate, in 1979, the work of the press at the museum was turned over to the one that now stands in the middle of the village.  I don't know if this more recent press is still in use or not. I guess I should have asked, but by the time I had processed the fact that the one in the courtyard had been just stopped being used a little over thirty years ago from the Middle Ages, Andrea had moved on with her talk. 

Due to Andrea's excellent, in-depth commentary, the tour of the museum took almost two hours. We learned a lot about the history of Brac and saw numerous artifacts dating from pre-historic times to the not-too-distant past. In fact, there was so much information, we decided that we will have to go back and hear it again - maybe more than once. I am going to include some pictures from the inside tour. With some, I will be able to tell you a little about them, but with others, the pictures will have to speak for themselves because I do not remember their stories.         


 
Hercules was an important god to the Romans and often decorated the tombstones of more prominent citizens. 












 
 
To the left is the prow of a battleship. The figure of the woman lost her arm during a sea fight. Below is a cannon carriage, which was used to move a merchant ship's cannons to wherever they were needed most. 













 

                                                       

   
 A home mill was an asset and set a villager apart from the rest because it gave her the opportunity to get a portion of the grain of others who asked to use it as opposed to having to pay to use someone else's. 
  
   











The swords in the case were used by Croatian police officers in the 19th century. 
 




 






 

The plaques to the left were once attached to buildings. They alerted the fire department that the owner had pre-paid for fire protection. In case of a fire in the village, the fire fighters would save the buildings with the fire plaques first.








 
Villages often formed community co-ops. This was one village's bank. It was a community safe where all the villagers would lock up their valuables. 








  
             






 
Among Croatia's many rulers was the Austrian Empire. To the left is a bust of the Emperor Franz Joseph and a chest decorated with the empire's crown. 


 
 
 
 
























 
 
 
After we left the museum, we strolled along a path away from the village where I shot some photos of the back of the museum, a valley on one side, and the Adriatic and the Mosor Mountains on the other.   



























  
 
Facing back toward the village, you can see the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, the original Skrip chapel, and behind it, the steeple of the church of St. Jelena (Helena) the Crusader. Walking back toward the village, we stopped to get better pictures of the chapel and discovered that there was another one right next to it. The original chapel was built in the 4th century. The one next to it was built in the 7th. Neither one is in use today.      
 



















 
  St. Jelena's, dedicated to the mother of the Emperor Constantine, is the current village church.






  
The last thing we saw before we left were Roman sarcophagi. I have no idea who had been buried in them nor do I know what happened to the bodies. If Andrea told us, I missed it. As I said earlier, there was such a ton of information that I just don't remember it all. I will go back next year.   















I don't know how many of you reading this will ever get to Brac, but if you do, a morning or afternoon in Skrip will be well worth the time. 



 
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Comments

Vic and Angela on

Great discription of a very special village and historic site. Love the photo's how about a short review on how bill enjoyed walking with walking buddies Vic would love that if you get the chance also if you want me to put a link to your travel blog on our Globetrotters site so other avid travellers can benifit from your great blog. let me know. have a great trip home both hope to see you back in Milna next May happy travelling. We are getting ready for our trip to California next week can't wait to get away from all this rain rain rain.
Regards A and V

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