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3. Sućuraj during Venetians (fighting the Ottomans)

Fort Fortica from 1613Fort Fortica from 1613
Drawing of the Sućuraj from 1613Drawing of the Sućuraj from 1613
Drawing of the Sucuraj harbour and fortressDrawing of the Sucuraj harbour and fortress from 1635
Monumental plate from 1655Monumental plate from 1655
Church of St. Anthony from 1663Church of St. Anthony from 1663
Remains of the Bishops palaceRemains of the Bishops palace from the 17th centur
Drawing of the Bishops palaceDrawing of the Bishops palace

Sucuraj between three countriesThe Venetians dominated the island Hvar from 1420 to 1797. The second half of the 15th century is the most difficult part of the history of Sucuraj. After the full of Bosnia, Turks occupied from 1464 to 1482 the Neretva valley, Makarska coast and came to the doors of Sucuraj. Sucuraj became the eastern end of the Venice republic. On the coast where the Turks, peninsula Peljesac were under the Republic of Dubrovnik, so Sucuraj was between three countries.

Sucuraj was under blows from the Turks armed-ships from Neretva and the coast, while the other places on island Hvar where not attacked. In these hard times, Sucuraj was robbed and burnt three times. The first time was in 1526, evidence of that is in the oldest saved document in the monastery archive dated 26.04.1526. The citizens were killed, taken as slaves, while some escaped. From a developed port-town, Sucuraj became devastated. Everything started from nothing.

The renovation of the village started, some of the citizens came back, and new inhabitants arrived fledging from Turk attacks on the coast. The second time the Turks robbed and burnt Sucuraj in 1539, after the people from Sucuraj with Omis pirates and Senj ''uskoks'' started active piratical actions. Pirate actions became a constant way of opposing the Turks and the Dubrovnik Republic.

After 1539 the reconstruction of Sucuraj starts again, and admission of new settlers feeding from Turks. In April 1570 1000 "uskok" and "hajduk" fighters gathered in Sucuraj and with 50 various vessels and 1 Venice galiq left to attack the Turks in Neretva valley but they did not succesed. After this came the deadfull 1571 when the Turks attacked Korcula, Stari Grad, Vrbovska and Jelsa. On the day 07.10.1571. Took place the big sea-battle of Lepant in which the Christian flote defeated the Turks, this became a turning-point in the war and the end of Turk prevail on the Mediterranean Sea. Several fighters from Sucuraj took part in this battle.

At the same time Turks from Neretva attacked undefended Sucuraj, burnt down for the third time the monastery and village, killed or took as slaves the citizens who did not escape. After these three devastations and killings the old inhabitants of Sucuraj vanished. Sucuraj is in ruins, all the houses in Gornja Banda and the new ones in Donja Banda (peninsula Gubavac) whose colonization started in 16th century.

Sucuraj is rebuilding for the third time, new inhabitants are arriving from the coast, fleding from Turks. After this devastation the Venice administration ordered the building of a fortress (fortica) to protect the harbour and village. Fortica was built in 1613, and finish in 1635. It had 10 canons and a regular military crew (photo). Life in Sucuraj became safer. Donja Banda in now more occupied than before, and the houses in Gornja Banda are rebuilt.

The 17th century was gold age of Sucuraj history. In that time the village became an urban town with all necessary buildings and a big harbour. In this century Sucuraj had 4 churches and 3 monasteries. The population coming from areas under Turk occupation came with Francis priestess. As the coast was under Turks the bishop of Makarska fra Bartul Kacic Zarkovic took care of his flok from Sucuraj. He built a palace (Bishop's palace) ruined in the 2nd world war. Bishop fra Bartul died in 1645 and was buried in the old church St. Geroge. The death of the bishop the people of Sucuraj lost the popular spiritual and national leader, creator of modern Sucuraj. In the hall of the new St. George church is a monumental plate written in "bosanica" (old Croatian writing), which was put up in the honour of the bishop in 1655, by the duke Petar Kulusic – a Sucuraj-warrior, legendary leader of all pirate, hajduk and uskok units in Krajina and on Hvar.

The Francis priestess from Zaostrog built in 1663 the baroc church of St. Anthony, which still exists. In 28.04.1664. The Turks attacked Sucuraj and captured 12 men, but the people of Sucuraj made a counter-attack and liberated the captives and captured some Turk soldiers. After this the Turks never came to Sucuraj again and the economic evolution of Sucuraj began.

In the 18th century the glory and economic power of Venice falls so the market goes from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and India, so it is an economic stagnation in Sucuraj.

History of Sućuraj:
1. Antique Sućuraj (Illyrians and Romans)
2. Sućuraj in the Middle Ages (arrival of Croatians)
3. Sućuraj during Venetians (fighting the Ottomans)
4. Sućuraj in the 19th century (Austria, France and the Austria-Hungary kingdom)
5. Sućuraj in the 20th century (3 wars, 6 states)

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