The island of Lokrum in Dubrovnik | Paradise on earth with a thousand legends

Effective part of Dubrovnik we can not overlook is the fascinating and mysterious island of Lokrum and visit the ancient monastery founded by Benedictine monks in 1023. It is a very green island, a romantic beauty, an oasis of peace, sun, sea, creeks, forests of pine, laurel and lush subtropical vegetation. The island is cloaked by a deep sense of mystery and is the subject of many legends which help to increase the interest. Not only natural but also the historical and mythological interest. According to one of them, in 1192 Richard I of England (the Lionheart) found safety on the island after a shipwreck on the way back from the Crusades and in gratitude decided to build a church on the island . However, under pressure from the citizens of Dubrovnik the church was not built on the island but in the city itself.

Lokrum

Lokrum

Lokrum

Lokrum

Even more interesting is a second legend which originates from the time when Napoleon dissolved the Benedictine order and hunted all the monks who then lived on Lokrum. From there began the legend which has it that the monks expelled put a curse on the island, smeared the perimeter of melted wax in a strange procession. The curse hit anyone looking to own and live on the island.

Lokrum Island Dubrovnik

Lokrum Island Dubrovnik

Lokrum Dubrovnik Golden City

Lokrum Dubrovnik Golden City

After Napoleon the monastery and the island came into possession of the Habsburgs and the Archduke Maximilian renovated the monastery in neo Gothic style, making his summer residence decorated with plants and animals imported from South America and Australia. From there began a series of tragedies starting with the Archduke that was assassinated in Mexico. Later the house was passed to private until it was re-acquired by the Archduke Rudolph of Habsburg. Rudolph also died in tragic circumstances. His mother donated the island to the Benedictines until the property was purchased by the principles Windischgrätz. Through subsequent marriages, families and strange events, Lokrum returned as a dowry to a member of the Habsburg family and it was for this reason that the Yugoslav government asked for the seizure. The dispute was smoothed with a large compensation for the family but the widespread legend of the curse of the island did not fail.

Lokrum Sundown Dreams

Lokrum Sundown Dreams

Lokrum Last Goodbye

Lokrum Last Goodbye

The ancient mansion has been transformed into a museum and botanical garden included in the nature reserve which is part of the island since 1964 and in 1976 became a special reserve of forest vegetation. In the ancient monastery today you can also find a restaurant. There are boats coming in every 30 minutes and from there there are several itineraries to visit the island including one that leads to the so called “dead sea“, a small lake in the center.

Lokrum

Lokrum

Lokrum

Lokrum

Lokrum photos: Caleb Williams, Nikola Cakelic, Rafal K., Ivica Vulelija, Stu, roblfc 1892.

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Categories: Seas and Oceans, What to See

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