Island Mljet - holiday apartments and houses

Island Mljet lies in the southern Dalmatian archipelago, south of the Peljesac Peninsula, separated from it by the Mljet channel. It has an area 100.4 sq km and a population 1237 inhabitants. The relief is characterized by ranges of limestone elevations and numerous karst valleys and fields (Polacno, Ivanovo, Blatsko, Kneze Polje). South of the highest crest (Veli Grad, 514m) is the largest field zone (Babino Polje). In the extreme north-western part of the island is the submerged valley of Mljet Lakes: Malo and Veliko (Small and Big). Small Lake (area 24 hectares, depth up to 29,5m) is connected with a 30-m long canal with Big Lake. Big Lake (area 145 hectares, depth up to 46m) is connected with the open sea by a shallow, 30-m long canal called Soline. A powerful sea current occurs in both channels, which changes its direction every six hours due to ebb and flow. In the middle Ages, the change of direction of the sea current was used for water mills. In the interior of the island are -another four small, submerged karst valleys, called "blatine" or "slatine" (eel fishing grounds). Larger coves are Luka, Polaca, Tatinica, Sobra, Luka Prozura, Okuklje, Saplunara; along the coast are numerous islets.

The climate is Mediterranean; an average air temperature in January is 8,7 °C (47,7 °F) and in July 24 °C (75,2 °F); the average annual rainfall is 1000-1500mm; the annual insolation is 2580 hours. Forests account for 72 % of the total island area; nice pine forests are best preserved on its north-western side. Major places (Babino Polje, Prozura, Maranovici, Korita, Blato, Ropa, Govedari) lie in the interior, along cultivated fields; the closest coves on the northern coast are used as harbours. Economy is based on farming, viticulture, production of wine, olive growing, cultivation of medicinal herbs, fishing and tourism. The regional road 120 runs throughout the island. Mljet has ferry lines with Peljesac and Dubrovnik.

On the peak of Mali Gradac (close to Babine Kuce) are the remains of an Illyrian fortification. The island was mentioned in Roman times under the name Melite. The remains from that period may be found all over the island - Pomena, Zare, Pinjevica. The ruins of palaces and of an early Christian basilica in Polace date back from the beginning of the early middle Ages. Around 536-537 the island became part of the Eastern Roman Empire. Later it fell under the power of the Nerentani/Narentini and after that under the power of Zahumlje. Small pre-Romanesque churches of St.Pancras, St.Andrew and St.Michael in Babino Polje. In 1151, the grand prefect of Zahumlje, Desa, bestowed the entire island upon the Benedictines (from the abbey Pulsano at Monte Gargano in Apulia), who erected their abbey and church on the islet in Big Lake. The Bosnian viceroy Stephen gave the island of Mljet to the Dubrovnik Republic in 1333; from that time the island was under the power of the duke who resided in Babino Polje. In 1345 Mljet got its statutes. Several churches were built in Gothic style (the parish church in Babino Polje, the Holy Trinity in Prozura, St.Vitus in Korita - all of them dating back to the 15th c.). The ruins of the church of St.Mary of the Hill date back to the transitional period between Gothic and Renaissance (above Maranovici). The profane architecture is represented by several typical structures (Renaissance palace of the Mljet duke in Babino Polje, several Baroque houses from the 17th-18th c. in Korita).

Mljet National Park (since 1960) lies in the North West part of the island, 54 sq km. The park includes the Great and Little Lake and the Soline-Kanal. The lakes are linked by narrow and shallow, artificially enhanced channels of both interrelated and connected to the sea. The National Park holds a large number of plant communities: Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis) and oak (Quercus ilex) with dense scrub. The Large and Small Lake and the Soline-Kanal have special physical properties: the small lake as example has a natural eutrophication process, so in lower depths are no oxygen is present. In the forest live mongooses and the south coast is the habitat of the monk seal. In the south bay of the Great Lake lies an approximately 200m long and about 120m wide island, on that the Benedictine built in the 12th Century a monastery with Mary's Church. The Church of St. Mary has Romanesque characteristics. The lobby with the high reliefs (holy figures) was built probably at the turn of 12th -13th Century. In front is a Renaissance portico with the family crest of Gundulic from 16th - 17th Century. From those days is the square tower, too. At the northeast side of the church shows a Romanesque bell tower. In the Baroque era, the church got two side chapels with altars. The old monastery cloister building with a spacious basement was extended in the 16th Century with a two-floor Renaissance building with a 30m-long terrace on the front page. At that time, the monastery attached (defensive walls and towers at the south). The monastery was 1869 secularized and abandoned, and there was until 1941 the forestry administration of the island of Mljet, 1959-60 they made a hotel out of it. In recent times, the church returned to its sacred function and for the monastery they still search for another purpose. The celebration day of the church is 15th of August. In the Benedictine monastery of Mljet monks tarry, many of them well-known writers from Dubrovnik: Mavro Vetranovic (1482-1576), Mavro Orbini (1614) and Ignjat Durdevic (1675-1737), he described his stay on Mljet in a poem.

The National Park Mljet is a natural phenomenon, because of its scenic beauty and its geological, biological and cultural features the highest level of landscape protection and thus enjoys one of the most attractive island landscapes of the Croatian Adriatic. Moreover, the specific features known for his wildlife: live here fallow deer, wild pigs and mongooses; it seems the whole island in the legends that have been told about them, to have settled. Thus, for example, the apostle Paul and Emperor Augustus stopped here. Today's tourist offer of the island consists of accommodation in guesthouses, cottages and apartments, tasty local food (fish, lobster, cheese and wine), a dense network of scenic hiking trails, with traditional folk songs and pretty costumes and works only with the expression "dream holiday". The ports Polaca and Pomena are traditional targets of boaters.

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