The beautiful Badija Island
There is something about the Badija Island that it makes it amazingly charming. Maybe it`s the love and connection from the locals. You can always find someone there swimming or just chilling. Or it is just the simple beauty of it`s monastery or simple nature with wild deers roaming around. Maybe all of it together! 🙂 That is why we wanted to make it closer to you and write some of it`s amazing history. So here we go.. 🙂
The island of Badija, about 1 square km in size is located in the Pelješac channel, a mile east of the city of Korčula. In medieval documents the island is referred to as Scoleum Sancti Petri.
The name as we know it today – Badija (tal. Abbazia, Abbadia = Abbey) for the first time occurs in the 18th century and was given because of the Franciscan monastery that was built earlier in the 15th century. For the locals Badia is known by the name “Otok” simply meaning Island.
Earlier archaeological findings suggest that Badija was inhabited as early as prehistoric time. In 1959. long flint knives were found accidentally at the Lokva archaeological site and are exhibited today at the City Museum of Korčula.
The first written trace of Badija is found in the will of Vlahe Ivanović from 1368. where he states that on the island of Sv. Peter he has built Our Lady’s Church (St. Mary) and took care of it as rector and patron.
The Franciscans of the Bosnian Vicariate erected a convent next to the church of St. Mary and it was mentioned for the first time in 1392. in the will of Bishop Ivan of Krk from Korčula-Ston. In 1394. the Grand Council of Korčula gave the monks the bay on the island and the terrain in the sight of the church, and this grant was extended to the whole island of Badija in 1398.
The monastery complex significantly changed its appearance in the early 20th century. In the year of 1906. The Franciscan Institute was founded and the monastery was expanded. Three years later, in 1909. a private lower gymnasium was opened in the monastery, and in 1922. an orphanage with an elementary school and a boarding school with dormitories. The upgrade of the main building was finally completed in 1927. and to the southeast a gymnasium hall was built.
After the Second World War, the monastery was confiscated from the Franciscans by the army. Before the Franciscans left the monastery, they divided the monastery relics into other Franciscan monasteries with the hope of returning one day.
When the JNA army left Badija, the Korčula municipality handed it over to the Physical Alliance culture in Croatia and in 1957. the interior of the monastery was redecorated for that new purpose. Hotel company “Korčula” took over the assembly in 1985.
In 1991. after almost 41 years, first Holy Mass was held and in 2003. the whole assembly was handed over to the Franciscan Province of St. Jerolim to which it belonged before. In 2006. it was assigned to the Franciscans of the Province of Herzegovina for 99 years, who are planning to thoroughly renew it and use it as a center of spiritual renewal.