Cultural Heritage of Polače

Polače is the oldest settlement as it dates back to the Greek and Illyrian period. Today, it houses a great deal of buildings from the Roman period. Around the year 1830, the families Dabelić and Nodilo came to Polače and it was expanded along the coast rapidly in the second half of the 20th century. The settlement is located on the walls of the Late Antiquity palace after which it was named, and there are 140 inhabitants there today.

The settlement and port are located in the largest and safest bay, after the Roman Narona on the mouth of the Neretva river. The islets of Tajnik, Ovrata, Kobrava and Moračnik are located in the sea before Polače. Thanks to this exceptionally safe layout it’s known to shelter freight ships in the winter period, and during the summer it’s brimming with yachts and sailboats.

Guvna are the first site above the settlement, built for threshing wheats.

Kaštijo is an old fort and watchtower that protected the port and kept watch over the sea passage into the bay, as a part of early warning precautions against pirates and other dangers. It’s situated to the right of the path to Veliko jezero, up on the hill above the Guvna site.

Archaeological monuments

  • Remains of the Roman vilae rusticae and thermal baths.
  • Late Antiquity residential complex (palace) constructed near the end of the 5th century; registered RST-0057.
  • Early Christian church from the 5th – 6th century; registered RST-0064.
  • Nodilove košare – a sacral edifice from the 6th century; registered RST-0065.
  • West of the antique palace there are two rectangular structures with remains of pilasters; registered RST-0066.
  • Late Antiquity citadel on the hill above the port of Polače.

Hydroarchaeological sites

  • The Islet Ovrata area – antique shipwreck, amphora site, registered RST-0783.
  • The Islet Glavat area – antique site from 1st century B.C. and 1st century A.D. – amphora site, registered RST-0785.
  • Port Polače – antique shipwreck, amphora site, ceramics remains, ship hulls.
  • The Islet Maslinovac area – Late Antiquity amphora site.
  • The Islet Glavat area – antique site, individual finds.
  • Cape Glavat area – antique shipwreck, 2nd century amphora site .
  • Cape Glavat area – antique shipwreck.

Cultural Heritage of the Isle of Saint Mary

Zapračarica – the oldest path from the monastery towards Veliki most and the watermill and the open sea, also known as the Austrian Trail. Used, as the name suggests, during the Austro-Hungarian period, for transport of various materials ranging from firewood to stone and lime, as well as water and produce onto boats, before today’s Branimir Gušić promenade was built.

Klačine is a still and wooded cove where remains of “klačine”, where slaked lime was made and used in building and renovating the monastery and other local structures, are still visible to this day.

Archaeological monuments

  • Underneath the present-day Monastery of Saint Mary there was a previous antique structure – documented in 1917.

Middle Ages

  • Church of Saint Mary – preventively protected – PZ ZDU UP/I-612-08793-07/202.
  • Monastery of Saint Mary – preventively protected – PZ ZDU UP/I612-08793-07202.
  • Remains of medieval defensive fortified architecture on both sides of the isle.
  • Remains of a system of buildings, with visible parts of a fortification and an object shaped similarly to a church or possibly a water reservoir, at the peak of the isle.
  • Two gothic chapels from the 15th century.

Cultural Heritage of Babine Kuće

Njivice – a picturesque cultivated peninsula with the houses of the Stražičić family with a lovely terrace and waterfront, the site of boarding house «Jezero» opened in 1936.

Malo jezero – the part of the lake system most indented into the land, connected to the Great Lake by a shallow and narrow channel through which the seawater flow alternates under the influence of tides. The channel was shored up and slightly dredged during the construction of the Mali most.

Mali most – during the 30s of the 20th century the stepping stones that people used to cross the channel, while the livestock waded through the shallow water, were replaced by a stone bridge. There, in a pit next to the jetty where the boat for Saint Mary’s docks today, weighing and sales of grapes took place.

Cultural Heritage of Soline and its surroundings

Soline is a small settlement at the juncture of the open sea and the netrance to the eponymous channel, which leads past the former watermill and bridge into Veliko jezero, founded by the Sršen family in 1825.

Today, in just 7 family homes, there are around 30 residents. According to lore the village got its name due to salt harvesting there in Benedictine times, as the mouth of the channel is rather shallow and its slopes gentle and suitable for seawater evaporation.

A few minutes walk off of the road from Soline to Veliki most there’s a cave with a wide, partially caved in chamber at the entrance. Although not vast, it is adorned with the typical cave ornaments, stalactites and stalagmites. There are narrow, winding tunnels leading away from the chamber and as they haven’t been fully explored the full extent of the cave is still unknown.

The bridge at the juncture of the Soline channel and Veliko jezero dating from the 17th century was torn down in 1958 to allow passage of larger vessels into the lake, along with the watermill from the 16th century that was built by the Benedictines. A modernized version of the bridge has been rebuilt in 2016.

Archaeological monuments

  • Montokuc Hill – remains of antique fortification; registered in 1953.

Middle Ages

  • Stone cross with a Glagolitic inscription dating from the Late Middle Ages (14th century).
  • Veliki Sladin Gradac Hill – remains of a prehitoric settlement (that kept watch over the spring at Fontana).
  • Antique and medieval forts.

Cultural Heritage of Pomena

Pomena is a relatively recent settlement that formed out of the fishing community of Goveđari populace. With the decision to form a fishing co-op, and the construction of hotel “Odisej” in 1978, the settlement transformed into the centre for admittance of organized groups of vistors to NP “Mljet”.

The only hotel on the Island of Mljet is located in this settlement on the foundations of the fishing co-op and is the central accommodation for approximately 320 visitors.

Archaeological monuments

  • Antique vilae rusticae.
  • Antique burial sites.

Hydroarchaeological sites

  • Islet Crna Seka – antique anchor site.
  • Islet Šilj – antique amphora site.
  • Islet Pomeštak – antique amphora site.
  • Lastovska Cove – antique amphora site.

Cultural Heritage of Goveđari

Goveđari – Near the end of the 18th century, on April 8th 1793 to be exact, according to the Agreement on settlement above the field of Pomijenta, made between the monks of Mljet, representatives of the abbey on one side and three families of Mljet (Basto, Milić) on the other, regulating the relationship between the two sides as well as rights and obligations, and above all allowing settlement and labour and proscribing levies to the Benedictines. Soon four more families (Hajdić, Stražičić, Matana i Sršen) joined the Agreement. The NP Mljet Zoning Plan classifies Goveđari as an etno village thanks to its being well preserved and authentic.

The settlement is reachable on foot via numerous pathways, by car or public transportation line Pomena – Sobra connecting to the ferry and catamaran.

The best views of the settlement are from the main road Polače – Vrbovica from the Jarište crossing up until Vrbovica, and from the Vrbovica – Goveđari road.

At the edge of the settlement, in a pine forest halfway to Babine Kuće, is the Church of Saint Nicholas, constructed at the beginning of the 20th century in 1927, with its parish office on Velika loza on the edge of Pomijenta and Vrbovica. The Goveđari parish was founded in 1897 and its borders coincide with the land registry borders of the Mljet National Park. On the way to the Church of Saint Nicholas, one can see threshing floors and pens for goats, donkeys, pigs and poultry coops. The regional school where children attend the first four classes of primary school is situated along the path into the village.

Velika loza is situated on the edge of the field below Goveđari along with two water-collection cisterns. The date of the end of construction of the parish office in 1927. is taken as the founding of this locale and it encompasses a total of two houses.

The new village cemetery was built in 1954-55, and the old cemetery on the Isle of Saint Mary was abandoned and preserved.

Pristanište is at the junction of the road coming down from Vrbovica onto the Branimir Gušić promenade that continues towards Soline and around the Veliko jezero. It’s here where the offices of NP “Mljet” are.

This central location incorporates:

  • a stone wharf for swimmers and sunbathers, boat moorings and (dis)embarkment of visitors.
  • terraced gardens with autochthonous flora common in the area.
  • a hiking trail to Soline and an educational trail around the Konštar peninsula with tags naming the various plant species along the trail.
  • geological site displaying some of the oldest gelogical layers of the island of Mljet and the path up to the Veliki Sladin Gradac viewpoint.
  • the monument to the liberation of Mljet in WWII.
  • a meteorological post at the peak of Konštar with a viewpoint.

Archaeological monuments

  • atop Mali Sladin Gradac, next to the remains of a prehistoric fortification a Roman burial site was uncovered.
  • between the top of Glavica and Malo Polje a prehistoric necropolis has been discovered; documented in 1917.
  • at Mali Sladin Gradac, east of the village, remains of a prehistoric fortification and a settlement were uncovered; documented in 1917.