Saint John Paul II in Selca

Reason 117: one of the first statues of saint John Paul II

This morning, Pope Francis canonized Popes John XXIII and John Paul II.

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Artist: Kuzma. Kovačić; photo courtesy of Tourist Board Selca, by Daniel Troha Photography

John Paul II was revered by Croatians. The people of Selca built a statue of him back in 1996, out of gratitude for his support during Croatia’s bid for independence.

And today they celebrated his canonization.

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Photos courtesy of selca.hr

WWII Partisans remembered

Reason #105: the Selca elementary school is dedicated to the fallen Partisans

Elementary school in Selca was built in 1982. and dedicated to the local men and women who were killed in World War II on the side of the Partisans – National Liberation Army.

The plaque and stone relief inside the school:

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“Besmrtni kao ovaj dragi kamen. Uspravni jarbol u plovidbi vijeka. Vi ste ovih zora svjetlo i znamen.”

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“Spomen školu podiže narod ovog kraja da bi svjedočila pokoljenjima kako se rađala sloboda ove zemlje. 

My grandfather’s name on the commemorative plaque – Vjeko Štambuk (Miloša). He died in 1945. Just days before the war ended.

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Get away from billboards and neon advertising

Reason #94: miles and miles of billboard-less space

One of my absolute favorite things about living on an island like Brač, after having lived in cities all my life: there is hardly any advertising, especially no billboards and neons.

Look to the north…

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Look to the south…

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All clear.

OK, some can be seen in a few of the bigger places on the island, especially in and around Supetar. And a few more will pop up during the summer, targeting thousands of tourists who visit the island in July and August. But that’s still nothing.

But some people might miss the sight of big city advertising. Some people might get super annoyed at the kinds of alternative sights Brač has to offer… Such as…

Bob Squarepants & friends balloon fest. Really annoying, all those happy faces…

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Pizza place advertising. For a pizzeria that hasn’t been open in years. So that’s annoying…

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Street name plates in stone. If you don’t like stone, it’s really annoying…

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Art at the side of the road in Novo Selo. Really annoying, as all art should be closed inside galleries…

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Mess behind a mechanic’s in Radonja, plus, trash container advertising. Really ugly annoying. Everything in the world should be tidy and neat…

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UPDATE: I checked yesterday, this particular mess has been cleaned up. So, that’s annoying. But there’s definitely other messes out there, don’t worry.

Same goes for this old Fićo (Fiat 600). Rally old and annoying…

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This cageball sign written by hand. Cost nothing probably. That’s annoying…

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My uncle’s socks in fresh air and sunshine. Annoying…

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This hand painted sign advertising a restaurant in Povlja. How annoyingly adorable and unique…

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Some joker mocking poor cows. Annoying when someone has a sense of humor…

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This guy’s selling home made vine in Postira. With a home made sign for it. How annoying…

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Annoying cyclists who are amused by their own shadow…

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Bags of olives waiting to be taken to the press. Annoying stuff. Olives should be seen only properly packaged in jars with fancy stickers on them…

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Trees in meadows. No advertising anywhere. How annoying…

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Donkeys. Just standing there. Not advertising anything. Probably annoyed because of it…

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So, there. If you think you’ll miss looking at billboards while stuck in a traffic jam and inhaling exhaust fumes on your way to work, you definitely shouldn’t move to Brač ;)

 

Saint Anthony watches over us

Reason #74: St. Anthony will make sure you don’t get lost in the woods

St. Anthony of Padua, patron saint of lost stuff and people.

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“Saint Anthony, pray for us!” it says on the iron cast door.

Catholics are into their saints, as you might already know. And Mary, of course.

On Brač that means that you will often find chapels and altars such as this one. Most of the time they’re built spontaneously by people. Either on their property, or just along paths and roads.

This one of Saint Anthony is one of my favorites. It’s so DIY and imperfect, yet so organic and fits in perfectly.

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If anyone local is reading this and knows who built it, please let me know. Thanks!

 

Jesus Four Nails

Reason #18:  Jesus crucified by four nails

Continuing with the Jesus theme… What would you say to the question: How many nails are holding Jesus up on a cross? Me and everyone I’ve asked in Croatia have said ‘Three’. That’s the image we were used to, growing up, I guess. So this statue of Jesus in Selca has always been confusing to me. I was sure that the artist made a mistake.

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Then I found out about the ongoing debate about the Holy Nails and that there’s still no definite answer to the question, even by the Church – was Jesus hanging up by three of four nails. Four definitely seems slightly more comfortable, so I hope it was four.

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And this spot is called “By the cross” and in times before mobile phones and when we used to go on foot a lot it was used often as a meeting point on the way to the beach. So, one would say for example: “Wait for me by the cross and we’ll go together.”