Enjoy Hacienda Kridanesa, an open-air gallery of interesting and unique stone pieces, made by Neven Drpić.
You probably know by now that Pučišća are worldly known for its bright white stone which contributed to the beauty of many monuments and buildings around the world (how about that Parliament in Budapest?).
But have you ever explored the artistry of Pučišća’s masters of stone, right here, in the heart of it all? Today, we’d like to take you on a sightseeing trip around Hacienda Kridanesa, an open-air gallery of interesting and unique stone pieces, made by Neven Drpić.
For more than three decades, Neven has been shaping stone into tiny works of art, either souvenirs or intricate decoration.
“For many years, I produced souvenirs, and lately, I have been turning more and more towards the art and stone processing for assembly, as well as assembly itself.“
Neven Drpić, obrt Mozaik
Some of the created items (and there are more than 2000 in total!) are on display at Neven’s hacienda Kridanesa, located just 50 meters below the roundabout (fourth exist if you’re coming from the direction of Supetar), towards Tolia.
For the past few years, Neven has been adding approximately 5 new art pieces each year, to his gallery, and they are not lacking in creativity. Could you imagine having a hat like this at home?!
You’d be advised to wear it at your own risk, but it would definitely be a great conversation starter, wouldn’t it? (:
We wouldn’t want to spoil the sightseeing for you, so we’ll just post a few more pictures to tickle your imagination, and if you’d like to see these (and many more!) interesting pieces for yourself or maybe order some, feel free to contact Neven and arrange a visit.
P.S. Scroll to the end to see our favorite piece ❤
And this one really caught our attention: a game of Ludo, or as we call it here in Croatia – čovječe, ne ljuti se (man, don’t get mad). How amazing is this?! Four different types of Brač stone, used as game pieces, on a game board in shape of island Brač. We love it, and can’t wait to see what else Neven will come up with! How about you?
The village of Gornji Humac is situated inland and is one of the oldest and most prominent places in the history of the island.
The village of Gornji Humac is situated inland and is one of the oldest and most prominent places in the history of the island. The inhabitants are mostly beekeepers or they do livestock farming, as well as cutting and selling timber. Gornji Humac is more than 8 centuries old – it was created by Neretvian people that arrived on the island in the 12th century.
There are a couple of important, very important things to know about this village, so listen carefully – you must must must get yourself some honey! And cheese. And vitalac (explaining what this really is we will leave for some other time). Taverns in Gornji Humac offer great homemade food, with locally sourced produce and accompanied with local wine. Ok, we’ve covered the basics, now on to some other important things to do and see, while you’re here.
Gornji Humac is proud of their 17th-century church of St. Nicholas and a statue of the saint made by acclaimed Croatian sculptor, Juraj Dalmatinac. Inside, you may see a triptych of St. Michael killing the dragon, the Virgin with the child and St. Nicholas. Very beautiful is a local cemetery if you don’t mind visiting the dark side a bit.
If you venture out on a stroll around the village, you just might stumble upon some medieval remains of old settlements Mošuja and Dubravice, and others. Did you know that the name of this village was first mention back in 1250?!
So, if you enjoy exploring the rural architecture, traditions of the island and of course, some tasty traditional food, than you should put Gornji Humac on the map of places to see while on island Brač! Let us know what you liked the most!
Pražnica is a small inland village and also one of the oldest. It is said that this is where the people of Pučišća descended onto the coast. Today, around 400 people live there, 400 meters above the sea level.
Pražnica is a small inland village and also one of the oldest. It is said that this is where the people of Pučišća descended onto the coast. Today, around 400 people live there, 400 meters above sea level.
It is one of the most traditionally preserved places on the island, showing off its rich tradition of farming as well as traditional housing – there are many small cottages and sheds built around houses, to shelter animals during winter.
If you love diving into the rich cultural background, you must visit the religious sights Pražnica has to offer.
The first must-visit stop is the local cemetery, ‘Cimatorij’. Then, there’s the chapel where a famous Renaissance stone relief completed in 1467, is being kept. It is said that this relief came from the workshop of the famous Stonemason Nicholas Florentine. Finish your religious tour with the Church of All Saints, built in 1638, where you will find elements of Romanesque-Gothic style from the 17th century.
Then, there is the church of St. Clement which is located in the center of the beautiful cemetery of Straževnik inhabitants, a medieval village that disappeared because of emigration in the 16th century.
But in place of the old Straževnik still stands the church of St. Juraj and the oldest known bell tower in Dalmatia! Walking through the narrow streets of the village you can hear and archaic speech, ancient Brac’s dialect that is still preserved in the everyday speech of its inhabitants. This speech is very different from the standard Croatian language, so neither Dalmatians can understand it!
Make sure you make time in your vacation to visit this place, it’s well worth it!
The point of visiting Dido’s little gallery isn’t the olive oil – it’s the olive wood and everything that can be made out of it.
There’s an olive shop called Dido (dee-do), hidden in the little street behind Grikula. It nurtures the clean olive oil by keeping it in wood logs as one would put their baby in a crib. The oil received a lot of gold medals at competitions and its cribs have often been chosen as the best souvenir in olive production. Come and try it!
But, the point of visiting Dido’s little gallery isn’t the olive oil – it’s the olive wood and everything that can be made out of it. Fancy some wooden eyeglasses or perhaps a comb? If you really want a unique gift and not one of those “made in China, bought in Croatia” presents, then this is the place.
Dido makes bags, toys, he restores old furniture, and much much more!
Their newest handmade piece is a completely restored/reconstructed German hiking backpack from the 60s.
The base of the “heart” of the backpack was retained, while the old textile was completely replaced with leather, which was completely hand-sewn with a double stitch. The outer part of the backpack has details made of the olive wood called Oblica from the island of Brač.
People from Pučišća live with the stone, off the stone and for the stone. With a centuries-old tradition of masonry, we are proud that we have a stonemason high school – a sculpting academy!
It is often said in Pučišća that people here live with the stone, off the stone, and for the stone. With a centuries-old tradition of masonry, we are proud that we have a stonemason high school – a sculpting academy, which is unique in this part of Europe, but we dare to say – in the world, as well!
In 1906., stone cutting classes took place in Pučišća and Selca, where most of the stone production takes place, and soon, a “School of advanced training in stonemasonry” was established, in 1909.
After the Second World War, stonemasonry on Brač is revived and becomes the strongest economic branch on the island. The first generation in Pučišća was thought the stonemason’s craft in 1946., and the students worked for 6 hours in “Jadrankamen” (stone cutting company), and in the evening they went to school. In 1956., an industrial school was formed, along with a dormitory for students, in Pučišća, since this is where the biggest quarry was.
Since 1991., the training of stonemasons, in now an independent school, was divided into three directions: stonemason technician, stonemason, and surface miner. Stonemasonry technicians attend classes for four years, and after the final exam, they can continue their education at faculties (construction, architecture, mining, art academy, etc.). The training of stonemasons lasts for three years, and after three years of practice, there is the possibility of taking a master’s exam. Training for a surface miner also lasts three years.
Today, this school is attended by students from all over Croatia, but also from neighboring countries. They participate in numerous projects, promoting the school, the craft, the art, and Pučišća in the world.
In 2020., the construction of the new workshop added to the school is underway, making more space for creating works of art, cut in stone.
Pučišća’s stone masters offered to rebuild parts of the Notre Dame cathedral, after the devastating fire. Stonemasons who attended this school have already proven themselves in the restoration of numerous facilities, including churches damaged during the Homeland War in Croatia. Their help would, therefore, be very valuable in the process of restoring Notre Dame.
P.S. Arrange a tour with the school, and you can walk through their amazing workshop, accompanied by one of the Masters of stone crafts. You might get dust all over yourself, but that can be a unique experience as well.
Local artist strikes again! And this time he hits Rome!
Maybe you’ve already seen the handiwork of Josip Radić – his amazing stone belfries of Dalmatia, but now he has created something out of this world – a miniature replica of Rome’s basilica of St. Peter!
The miniature basilica project, made in a 1: 200 model, Radić started creating in 2014. And while the Roman basilica is 138 meters tall, this one is about 200 times smaller, about 200 kilograms heavy, and according to the author’s words, about 8,500 hours of work have been invested in it, persistent and painful, over the past five years.
The Basilica is housed in the church of Our Lady of Botak, a former parish church in Pučišća, where everyone can see it. And you definitely should! Take a look at our gallery, and keep in mind that photograph can never really show it’s magnificence – you simply must see it in person!
There are many reasons you should visit Pučišća, a small village on the island of Brač (Croatia) as soon as you can, but we’ll stick to just 7.
There are many reasons you should visit Pučišća, a small village on the island of Brač (Croatia) as soon as you can, but we’ll stick to just 7, as listed on the blog d.rifter.
#1 IT’S ONE OF THE PRETTIEST SMALL PLACES IN EUROPE
This isn’t just us being biased, this is a fact. Many travel blogs, news portals and such, listed Pučišća among the top 10, 20, or 12, prettiest small places in Europe (proof #1, proof #2, proof #3). And for a good reason! It’s position in a bay on an island sure helps this, but also the centuries-long tradition of stone masonry which is visible on every corner of the village – from stone houses, white roofs (once traditional and usual for almost every house in the village, so much so that one poet once wrote it seems its always snowing in Pučišća) or bright blue, turquoise color of the sea (because of the stone dust from a quarry nearby), and so on. We could go on for ages, but instead, let us share some pictures to prove the point.
#2 IT’S STILL RELATIVELY UNKNOWN
For decades, people of Pučišća focused on quarry and stone cutting. This is why they didn’t pay much attention to tourist promotion, and which is why it is the place on Brač (one of the most popular of Croatian islands) with the least visitors. With the stone cutting industry slowing down, Pučišća are becoming more and more oriented on tourism, making this the perfect time for visit – before it gets discovered as the jewel it is, becoming overcrowded with visitors!
#3 IT’S THE HOME TO ONE OF THE LAST STONEMASON HIGH SCHOOLS
It is often said in Pučišća that people here live with the stone, off the stone, and for the stone. With a centuries-old tradition of masonry, they are proud to have a stonemason high school – a sculpting academy, which is unique in this part of Europe and one of the last ones in Europe, altogether. Students not only from Croatia, attend this internationally renowned school, to craft their skills and learn how to create beautiful art of stone. Wouldn’t you like to attend such a great looking school?!
#4 THIS MIGHT BE THE CLOSEST YOU GET TO THE – WHITE HOUSE IN AMERICA!
Weird, right? It has been said many times that the White House in Washington was built using stones from Pučišća’s quarry. Some documentaries were also made depicting this legend. Not only the White House but also the parliament in Budapest, Diocletian palace in Split and so many more stunning buildings around the world. But, is it really true? The story goes something like this: one Hungarian trader in the times of the Austro-Hungarian Empire allegedly purchased three ships of Brač’ stone and then sold it to the United States of America, to be used for the building of the White House. No concrete proofs are there for this story, but we choose to believe it.
#5 DALMATIA’S BEST DONUTS ARE MADE HERE
Croatian donuts (krafne) look a bit different from what you might expect, but they taste just as amazing. And the legend says that the best ones are made in Pučišća, by Grikula family. You may choose between jelly, chocolate or vanilla filling and we love them the most in the evening, freshly baked, and sold on the promenade.
#6 YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE FREE GUIDE & MAP OF THE VILLAGE, MADE BY LOCALS
A few years back, locals decided to create a “use it” map for Pučišća, since it didn’t have any. This special type of map is made entirely by locals, showing their favorite places, stories, secrets of the village, ones you won’t find on your typical tourist maps. It was written in English as well as the local dialect, which most of Croatians couldn’t understand as well, making it a learning experience, too. The map was made in 2016., updated in 2017., so some of the information is outdated, but still, it is a great source of interesting bits and pieces of Pučišća.
Summers in Pučišća are always filled with amazing music, thanks to the International summer music school Pučišća, one of the longest summer traditions on Brač. Each summer in July and August, for over 20 years, musicians gather in Pučišća to participate in music courses, held for a range of instruments in classical, jazz and pop music. Instructions are delivered by highly qualified musicians from leading music academies and conservatories from Croatia, Europe, the USA, and Russia. And, at the end of these courses, participants perform free concerts to show what they’ve learned.
BONUS REASON | You can stay in a castle or a lighthouse!
Pučišća are known also as the bay of 13 towers, which were built to protect it from pirates, etc. Today, only few remain, and you can even rent one of them for your vacation! If you prefer solitude, then we have an even better option for you – a lighthouse! Now, there really is no sound reason for you to not visit Pučišća this year, agreed?
We could go on and on. But, the best way to enjoy this place is to just visit it. As soon as possible. If you need tips on where to stay, find a perfect holiday home on our website, or information on how to even reach island Brač, click here. Then, explore the rich history and tradition of stone cutting, visit the school’s workshop, try some donuts, buy some stone souvenirs, stop by for a free jazz concert, and just explore. And tell the world the story of the prettiest small place in Europe. PUČIŠĆA.