Marco Polo’s Birthplace

Korčula’s claimed connection with famed traveller Marco Polo is not as tenuous as you might think. The man who travelled along the Silk Road to Kublai Khan’s China was born around 1254, possibly here, perhaps on the mainland in Šibenik, or in Venice. Polo certainly fought for the Venetians in the famous Battle of Korčula in 1298. He was captured by the Genoese and during his imprisonment dictated his famous memoirs to a literate fellow inmate. Indeed, DePolo has for centuries been a common family name here. The house frequently shown to tourists as Marco Polo’s birthplace is actually a 17th-century structure said to be built on the site of his former home – that shouldn’t take the romance out of what remains a plausible story.

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