Blaca Hermitage: Ultimate guide for exploring the hidden gem

The Blaca Hermitage is one of the most remarkable attractions on the island of Brac and one of the hidden gems of Croatia. It offers a glimpse into a different era when monks lived in harmony with nature and devoted themselves to God and knowledge. It is a place that will inspire you with its beauty, history, and spirituality.

If you are looking for a unique and captivating destination to visit on your next trip to Croatia, you might want to consider the Blaca Hermitage, a former monastery and observatory that stands on a steep cliff on the island of Brac. The Blaca Hermitage, or Pustinja Blaca in Croatian, is a testament to the human spirit and the dedication of the Glagolitic monks who founded it in the 16th century.

About Blaca Hermitage

The Glagolitic Order was a branch of the Catholic Church that used the Glagolitic alphabet, an ancient script originating in Croatia. The monks of this order were fleeing from the Ottoman invasion of their homeland, Poljica, and sought refuge on the island of Brac. They found a natural cave on the southern side of the island, near the town of Bol, and decided to make it their home and sanctuary. They received permission from the local authorities to build a church and a monastery around the cave. They started cultivating the land and producing wine, honey, olive oil, and other products.

Blaca Hermitage was added to the Cultural category on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on January 29, 2007.

The Blaca Monastery grew over time, becoming a center of culture, education, and astronomy. The monks built a library that housed over 11,000 books, some of them rare and valuable. They also established a school where they taught local children how to read and write in Croatian and Latin. One of the most remarkable achievements of the Blaca monks was their astronomical observatory, which they built in the 19th century. The observatory had a telescope that was one of the largest in Europe at the time and was used by the monks to observe and discover various celestial objects, including comets and asteroids. The monks also published their own astronomical journals and corresponded with other scientists worldwide.

The Blaca Hermitage was active until 1963, when the last monk, Father Niko Milicevic, passed away. He left behind a rich history, art, and science legacy that is now preserved as a museum. The museum is open to visitors who want to explore the fascinating life of the Blaca monks and see their impressive collection of books, paintings, musical instruments, weapons, clocks, and astronomical equipment. The museum also offers guided tours that explain the history and significance of this unique place.

How to visit the Blaca Hermitage

To visit the Blaca Hermitage, you have two options, one by the sea and one by the road. Both options require a walk or a hike of 30-45 minutes.

Going to Blaca with a boat

You can take an excursion boat from Bol to Blaca. The boat takes you to Blaca Bay and later back to Bol. From Blaca Bay, the guide will take you for a hike of about 45 minutes along a scenic trail leading to the Blaca monastery. The hike is not very difficult, but it requires some stamina and proper footwear.

Going to Blaca with a car

Alternatively, you can drive or book our excursion from Bol to the Blaca. The trip starts with a drive to the parking spot near the Dragovode village and then hiking for about half an hour.

Blaca working hours

June 16th – September 15th: Every day except Mondays, 9.00 – 17.00. The last admission for visitors is at 16.30.

September 16th – June 14th: Every day except Mondays, 9.00 – 15.00. The last admission for visitors is at 14.30.

Blaca Museum ticket prices

Adults – 7 EUR
Children up to 14 y.o. – 2 EUR

Notes about visiting the Blaca

Instructions for visitors:

  • To get to the museum from the sea or land, one has to walk on a relatively steep 2.5- km-long goat path
  • Sportswear and sports footwear are strongly recommended
  • Since there are currently no food or beverages available to purchase at the museum, it is recommended that visitors bring their own refreshing drink or water for drinking and hand washing.

Excursion options to visit Blaca Hermitage

Frequently Asked Questions about Blaca

How can I reach the Blaca Hermitage on the island of Brac?

To reach the Blaca Hermitage, visitors can take different routes. One option is to travel by car, driving up towards Vidova Gora, reaching parking for Blaca Hermitage, and then continuing on foot for approximately half an hour to reach Blaca. Another option is to take a boat from Bol to the valley of Blaca and then walk for around half an hour to reach the hermitage.

What is the history behind the founding of the Blaca Hermitage?

The Blaca Hermitage was founded in the 16th century by the Glagolitic priests who sought refuge from the Turks. Fleeing from Poljica, these priests established the hermitage as a sanctuary and a place of spiritual retreat.

What is the significance of the Glagolitic priests in relation to the Blaca Monastery?

The Glagolitic priests were crucial in establishing and developing the Blaca Hermitage. Seeking safety from the advancing Turks, they found solace on the island of Brac and dedicated themselves to creating a haven of spiritual devotion and intellectual pursuits.

What is the best time of year to visit the Blaca Hermitage?

The best time to visit the Blaca Hermitage is during the spring, summer, and autumn months (April to October), when the weather is pleasant and conducive to outdoor exploration. However, it’s advisable to check the specific opening hours and accessibility of the hermitage, as they may vary depending on the season.

Are there any accommodations or facilities available at the Blaca?

The Hermitage does not offer accommodations on-site. It primarily serves as a historical and cultural site featuring a museum and a place of worship. Visitors are advised to arrange accommodation in nearby towns or villages on the island.

What can visitors expect to see and experience at the Blaca Hermitage?

Visitors to the Blaca Hermitage can expect to experience a captivating blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and spiritual serenity. The hermitage features a museum that showcases the history and artifacts of the hermits who once resided there. The surrounding landscape offers breathtaking views, and visitors can explore the hermitage’s buildings, including the church, residential structures, and farm buildings.

Is there an entrance fee or any restrictions for visiting the Blaca Hermitage?

There is an entrance fee to access the Blaca Monastery, as it is maintained and preserved as a cultural heritage site. The fee helps support the conservation efforts and maintenance of the hermitage. Additionally, visitors are expected to respect the site’s significance and adhere to any guidelines or restrictions put in place to preserve its integrity.

Are there any guided tours or informational resources available at the Blaca Hermitage?

Guided tours are available at the Blaca Hermitage, providing visitors with in-depth knowledge about the site’s history, architecture, and cultural significance. Our Blaca Hermitage excursion by boat has a planned guided tour of the museum and the Hermitage.

What are some nearby attractions or points of interest close to the Blaca Hermitage?

Brac Island offers a wealth of attractions and points of interest. In addition to the Blaca Hermitage, our Blaca by car excursion also takes you to the Vidova Gora, the highest peak on the island that offers stunning panoramic views.

Can I explore the surrounding nature or go hiking near the Blaca Hermitage?

Yes, the Blaca Hermitage is located amidst a picturesque natural landscape, making it a great starting point for exploring the surrounding nature and engaging in hiking activities. Visitors can venture out on hiking trails that meander through the island’s scenic countryside, offering opportunities to admire the diverse flora and fauna, discover hidden coves, and enjoy breathtaking viewpoints. Obtaining a trail map or seeking local guidance is advisable to ensure a safe and enjoyable hiking experience.

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