Island Sipan and its summer houses
Sipan is the largest of 3 inhabited islands between the 13 islands of Elaphite archipelago.
It is about 9 km long and up to 3 km wide. This island, like also Lopud and Kolocep, was a well known destination famous for the cultivation of olive trees, grapes, carob and also the ship building.
Till the large earthquake in the 17thcentury, about 7000 people used to live on Sipan.
Today there are not even about 500 inhabitants. The main incoming today is tourism and a little bit of cultivating grapes and olive trees.
This island was listed in the Guinness book of records with most olive trees in view to its largeness.
There are still 42 summer houses and 34 churches visible on this island.
The summer house of Vice Stjepovic-Skocibuha is a protected cultural monument, about 800 m² large and built on a land with about 3 000 m².
The owner was one of the most famous shipbuilder in this area in the 16thcentury.
Because of some misunderstandings in the family, Vice Stjepović-Skočibuha decided to built an own house in 1561. He built it up just beside his fathers’ palace where the dock was situated.
Because he was a very systematic person who used to plan and write everything down, today we know pretty much about his life and plans to built this palace. For example he wrote also down from where he brought all necessary materials, what bricks and stones he used and also who built his house.
The larger house has one floor and that is where Vice with his wife and the children lived. The smaller house was built for the family priest. The chapel was built just near the family house and it was devoted to Saint Toma.
It took about 1 year to built this house. The stone was brought from Korcula and from Sipan nearby the house.
About 15 years after the family house was built, the small tower with 3 floors was built together with a water tank. The second water tank was built about 10 years after.
Besides building his own house, Vice also built other family houses around his own. He wanted to built a kind of settlement so his house would not be the only one open to the sea but to be protected also from other houses around and against the attacks of pirates.
The house and garden together with a wall for protection was finished end of the 15thcentury. There were also a mill, storages, water tank, a pavilion on the terrace, a small bridge and a wall with a wooden walking way that were not preserved.
Still preserved is a large part of the inside furnishing – wall basins, wardrobes, two fireplaces and some stone pillars that used to be around the walking path outside.
The garden was full with fruits and vegetable for the family.
Vice has 10 children but 4 died very early. His children had no sons so this family existed just to the beginning of the 17thcentury.
Today the family Marusic is taking care about the house to preserve it and the interior as long as possible.
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