- Published: Monday, 15 June 2015 20:14
Throughout the centuries shipbuilding was one of the most important activities in Korčula. The forests on the island were rich in wood suitable for the building of ships, such as holms oak and pine. Shipyards were mentioned for the first time in the 14th century. From that time on, documents about the continuity of shipbuilding in Korčula are preserved. The locations of the shipyards had an influence on the developments on the outskirts of Korčula. On numerous small shipyards, (škvar), skilled ship-builders from Korčula built vessels of various sizes, assignments and types. Ships were built not only for local clients, but also for ship-owners from Venice and Dubrovnik. The advent of steamships caused the building of big wooden ships to decrease, so that from the end of 19th century the ships built all over the Adriatic coast were getting smaller all the time. As a result of this, the craft of building wooden ships was slowly dying out. Nowadays, only a few skilled craftsmen are available; mostly to repair ships, as they hardly ever build them anymore. As there are no old shipyards left in Korčula, the town itself has expanded onto the onetime shipbuilding sites.