Secret Jewel of Brač Island
Croatia is a land of over 1000 islands and some of the most beautiful are located just a short boat or ferry ride from Split. The island of Brač is home to the exquisite limestone that was used to build Diocletian’s Palace in Split and the United States White House. One of the most popular attractions on the island is the Golden Horn Beach, a mesmerizing white pebble beach that is often at the top of Europe’s and Croatia’s Best Beaches lists. Its unique shape is always changing due to the wind and sea currents. The island is also known for its delicious wines, rich history, gorgeous landscape and charming villages.
One particular small town on the island is not very well known and unfortunately, often gets overlooked by visitors who have precious time to spend visiting only the most popular attractions. Ložišća is located on the west side of Brač, indented from the coast into the strong Dalmatian rock. This quaint village is a prime example of traditional island architecture, characterized by stone houses and steep cobbled streets and has managed to splendidly preserve its rural features throughout centuries. Its most prominent feature is the beautiful bell tower of the church of St. John and Paul, whose origin story is the perfect example of the stubbornness that people from Dalmatia are known for.
The tale of the bell tower is quite a fascinating one. Story goes that once the town was settled and a church was built, local villagers invited the well-known Croatian architect of the time, Ivan Rendić, to design their bell tower. Upon arriving to a town meeting to present his modest and simple ideas for a village tower, the architect accidently gave the locals a glimpse into his portfolio where they saw the design that we see standing today. They immediately exclaimed that was the bell tower they wanted, while Mr. Rendić tried to explain that this specific design was made for Venice and was much too grandiose and expensive for them. Well, as you might imagine, the villagers and their proud and hardheaded Dalmatian mindset would not back down and they got the magnificent design they wanted, even though it meant spending many years collectively paying for the tower through wine and olive oil trade.
The majestic bell tower of Ložišće remains the dominant feature of this small picturesque village and is considered one of the most beautiful bell towers in all of Dalmatia. It is definitely worth a visit if you are looking to explore the hidden treasures of Island Brač.