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PALAGRUZA, 4223' N and 1615' E – a group of islets and cliffs, 42 NM south of Komiza. Located in the middle of the Adriatic, consists of the islands Vela Palagruza, Mala Palagruza, Sjeverni (Northern) and Juzni (Southern) Kamik and Galijula that lies a bit further and presents the southernest point of Croatia.

According to its geological characteristics it is different than other islands of archipelago, with distinguished flora and fauna species. The most significant is the wood spurge plant of Euphorbia species that covers the greater part of Palagruza, and in the late summer and early autumn months transforms entire island into a beautiful floral world - the plant starts to flourish with the first signs of humidity, while, during summer, completely leafless, peacefully waits for the first fertile drops of rain. That vivid, colorful atmosphere softens rugged and scarce appearance of the island that is from all sides beaten by winds and waves, days of calm are very rare, here.

Palagruza has two bays that make this steep, rocky world into a partly safe docking place: Stara Vlaka, a sandy cove on the north-western part, and a pebbly cove of Velo Zalo, one of the most beautiful beaches on the Adriatic.

Long ago, the ships used to be dragged out of the water onto the shores of Palagruza, to keep them safe when sudden tempests aroused - those were the times of gajeta falkusa, a fishing boat that, in days of favorable winds, sailed, or has to be driven by oars, during less favorable days, from small, but famous, distant fishing town of Komiza.Those boats of hardship, grace and beauty started in regattas on a sound of a cannon from a castle-tower in a harbor. The fastest among them were in advantage to arrive and gain the best fishing position… and it was rowed, without stopping, even to fifteen hours!

Is it indeed needed to add anything more except just a tiny effort of imagination to picture life of those times – Congratulations, dear, brave man!
Because of its position, during the time, Palagruza has been inhabited. The proofs are unique remains that couldn’t be found on no other locality in Croatia.
Vela Palagruza is a real “delicacy” for archaeologists, thanks to whom the secrets have been discovered (brought to the light). Those mysteries witnessed about connections between cultures of Antiquity that were widely interspersed and so much important for the life of that period…and today, as well.

Palagruza has been visited during the times of the earliest agricultural communities (6th millennium B.C.), moving from south Italy towards coasts of Croatia.
From that period date over 40 000 pieces of Greek ceramics, as well as jewelry, money and various objects/artifacts made from bone. Those objects originally represent oaths; they were not of the usage character, witnessing again that Palagruza (among few other localities along the Adriatic) was a sanctuary of a cult.

Sailors, while sailing the Adriatic have had a custom to leave their gifts (oaths/vows) for a safer voyage on that island that was both an important landmark and a shelter.
And what shows that it was the Trojan hero Diomedes’ sanctuary? Thanks to the rare fragments that had, so called, grafi te with the carved inscripts with the name of the king of Argos, warrior and, together with his paternal uncle Heracles and his close companion Odysseus, favoured hero of goddes Athena… Some other written findings speak in fragments about his presence and death on this island.

Nowadays, on Palagruza stands a lighthouse, the biggest on the Adriatic, built in a distant 1875; the building works were supervised by the skillful mestar Marinkovic-Mestrazane, from Komiza.
And the Pope was on this peculiar island; this happened in spring 1177. Pope Alexander III, on his route from the Italian port Vieste to Zadar and Venice, stopped on Palagruza, where the fishermen from Komiza made a modest banquet in his honor. The Pope was delighted, and after having spent some time among them, he left for Komiza curious to see the town of their origins, before continuing his journey.

Because of its endemic species, archaeological findings and particular importance on the navigation routes in the heart of the Adriatic, this archipelago is proclaimed a monument of history and nature.

This is the short story, just started, about the pelagic islands, which are, each for itself, an interesting world worth knowing and admiring.

This is the everlasting story which each of us should compose and continue according to his own experience, born out of touch with these exceptional witnesses of time. But we surely must not forget how important we are in creating and surviving life on them.
Well than, lets sail away, lets touch, let us discover and learn…

Visit to this magnificent archipelago lasts two days, with fishing and overnight onboard. We leave in the morning hours, and in the evening of the other day back we are.
Price: 950,00 kn
Photo http://www.lighthouses-croatia.com/; Ivo Pervan
PROTECT THE MOST IMPORTANT AREAS FOR BIODIVERSITY
A "blue corridor", where biodiversity is particularly high, has been identified. This corridor comprises the islands of Svetac, Brusnik and Biševo with northwestern and southeastern parts of Vis, the southeastern part of Lastovo, with surrounding islands, the western and eastern parts of Mljet, including important fishing areas around Sušac, Jabuka pit and Palagruža archipelago. Let us not endanger the flora and fauna, in order to preserve the biodiversity values of this "blue corridor".
let the blue stay blue
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