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!
Palagruza has been visited during the times of the earliest agricultural communities (6th millennium B.C.), moving from south Italy towards coasts of Croatia.
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.
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.
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.
Photo http://www.lighthouses-croatia.com/; Ivo Pervan
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