Feature Article


Best viewed with PC or Mac




A Prague master from the 18th century established stonemasonry in Selca
and one of Brač’s most well-known families



Karmela Devčić


26.03.2018. at 22:30


Recently deceased world-class cartoonist Davor Štambuk (left) and poet and diplomat Drago Štambuk [1]According to our STATUTE our Presidency is composed of a President, two Vice-Presidents and four additional Presidency members.

Since the 300th Anniversary, in 2013, of the signing of the contract that purchased the freedom of the first Štambuk on Brač [2]Brač and SelcaBrač is the Croatian island that the settlement of Selca, where the Štambuk family is originally from, is situated.
A map of Brač showing Selca
, Jan Antonin, his descendants from all over the world have been coming to Selca. Many of them have never seen Brač sculpture before. A Venetian galley oarsman bought by a Brač landlord in the 18th century, earned his freedom and remained on the island. From that same man, Jan Antonin (‘Ante’ or ‘Antun’) Standel Pergher, the Štambuk family vine is derived. All those carrying the Štambuk family name, scattered around the world, from Brač to Chile, are descended from a Czech that arrived as a rower on Brač.

In 1905, one descendant, Vjenceslav Štambuk, founded the first stonemasonry school on Brač in Selca. It was headed by Czech Vaclav Barda in its early years.


Jan Antonín was the first master stonemason on Brač, and together with Barda, who was also originally from Prague, they laid the foundations of a tradition without which, Brač would be unquestionably culturally diminished.


Exactly how Prague citizen Standel Pergher arrived on Brač is not known with any certainty. At that time Venice [3]VeniceThe Republic of Venice, (Venetian Italian: Repùblica de Venèsia). Officially, in Venetian Italian, Serenìsima Repùblica Vèneta, the ‘most serene Republic of Venice’. It lasted from 697 to 1797. The Venetian Banner of St. Mark
had ruled Dalmatia [4]DalmatiaDalmatia, Dalmacija in Croatian, is a coastal region of Croatia whose economy is mainly based on summer tourism. Although it is represented on the Croatian national flag as one of the regions of the nation, as an administrative entity it does not exist and it is composed of four counties. There is some current political pressure in Croatia to represent the regions in the Sabor (Parliament) in Zagreb. The consolidation of the Croatian counties into regions would bring cost benefits in several ways. Firstly, they would require fewer civil servants to run. It is still the case that for citizens to access many central state services in Croatia they need to do so through their county administration. Secondly, the purchase of vehicles and other equipment, as well as any outsourced services, by regional authorities should permit them to buy these items at a cheaper price as they would be buying more of them. The Croatian public do not seem too pressed on these reforms and this may be because many people are employed in the administration of the counties, so there is resistance to such ideas within government itself. They would risk loosing their influence and jobs in any such changes. Corrupt county civil servants  would risk loosing the additional earnings that they are able to elicit in their domain. In any case, the motivations of the Croatian politicians in proposing these changes should be closely scrutinized. It has not been unheard of elsewhere for politicians to profess concern at inefficiency and corruption in public administration, while they plot to increase their influence and earnings, and that of their associates, in ways which may be both legal and illegal.
for three centuries – since 1409. It was still a time of settlement and people were frequently driven to Dalmatia’s small island towns by exile and by wars. At that time, adventures that shaped people’s destinies were not only driven by the seeking of their fortunes. Legend has it that a storm forced the galley [5]GalleysA galley is a type of ship that is propelled mainly by rowing. Suited to shorter journeys in places of changeable local wind, and multiple stops, such as around the Adriatic or Aegean seas, they were highly maneuverable. The oarsmen would rest when the wind was favorable or they could supplement weaker winds and even propel the boat against the wind. The ability to propel the galley with oars in this way meant that it could take the most direct route and there was no need for tacking. One can imagine an official visit from a few Venetian officials who would have been brought to port by a team of forty or so oarsmen. The galley was the motorized transport of the Venetian era and Venice appears to have been the last significant power to have used them, including their cannoned variants. They appear to have been abandoned by the other European powers by the 17th century. A large Venetian galley that Standel Pergher was on to land at Pučišća [6]PučišćaPučišća is both a settlement and a municipality on the island of Brač.The ceremonial flag of Pučišća on Brač.


Dr. Dražen Štambuk, a former rector of the University of Split
[7]The University of SplitThe University of Split  (Croatian: Sveučilište u Splitu) is situated in Croatia’s second largest city. The historic center of Split is based around the ruins of the Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. The Emperor Diocletian was from Dalmatia himself. One interpretation of  his name, that is not widely subscribed to, is that it means ‘he who see things in two ways’ or ‘he who has two sets of eyes’, this being derived from ‘di’ (two) and ‘ocular’ (relating to eyes or vision). Information that is non-authoritative suggests that some of his busts and statues had a second set of eyes etched into the forehead and it is understood that these modifications would have been made after he had been replaced as Emperor. There appears to be some evidence that such modifications to the busts and statues of Roman Emperors were commonly made after they left their posts. In interpreting the evidence it appears that the modifications, rather than being acts of vandalism, were symbolic and of the artifacts that were modified, the modifications were standardized across the empire for each Emperor when they left office. Typically a particular characteristic of their rule or some interpretation of their name would have been represented or alluded to with the additional etchings. Not every one of a past Roman Emperor’s effigies were modified by such etchings, only some. Versions of Emperor effigies bearing the modifications are believed to have been reproduced as Roman commemorative items.
, has some comment on the local circumstances on Brač at the time of Standel Pergher’s arrival there in 1710. He writes that a local landlord, Matej Nizetić, needed a stonemason, and it was not easy to get a master of that profession to the island at the time. Nizetić had recently bought the quarry of St. Mikula near Selca.


A master stonemason


It was a matter of good luck that the galley, ‘Vendramin’, had a trained Czech stonemason on board. Nizetić negotiated with the captain of the galley and relieved Standel Pergher of his duties by paying the captain 558 Venetian liras. Jan Antonín was not a seaman on a military galley. Vendramin was a general use galley of the Venetian navy [8]The Dalmatian LandscapeA note about the current landscape in coastal Croatia. It has been stated in historical texts that the trees that provided the wood, that comprised the piles, that stabilized the marsh, that formed the foundations of the buildings of Venice, came from Dalmatia. This website describes this method of stabilizing marshland for construction but does not mention Dalmatia. Dalmatia was reputed to be covered in holm oak (Quercus ilex). One of the properties of its wood is that it sinks in water. As it is assumed that the piles for Venice, especially for the larger buildings, would have had to be long to sink deep into the mud, this indicates the use of the trunks of tall trees. Oaks, like many other trees, will only grow long trunks if they are in competition for light with other neighboring trees. Oaks, without this competition, will develop a wide crown, they will not be as tall and will have a thicker trunk. This gives an indication of what any areas in Dalmatia that provided the holm oak for Venice looked like. They would have been densely packed forest with tall trees. No such areas exist in Dalmatia today. Once the trees were removed what was left was rocks and boulders mixed in with red brown soil, up until the layer of the bedrock. This bedrock is predominantly grey in colour, where it is exposed to the air, and can be seen where it is exposed, all over the coast. The mix of soil and rocks can often be seen at coastal building sites where ground work is being performed. This rocky soil is difficult to plough, so what has happened over time is that the rocks have been painstakingly separated from the soil and have been incorporated into enclosure boundary walls, the larger rocks typically having been used in construction. A visual inspection of those boundary wall rocks reveals their marking and boring by roots. On parts of the coast where one can see boundary walls encompassing barren rock enclosures, what is likely to have happened is that the soil, which was in the enclosure, has been blown away by wind and washed away by rain. For information about the remaining holm oak forest in Dalmatia, as well clues as to how Dalmatia would have looked like prior to any deforestation see here. One can see the grass covered ground from the pictures on this website. The grass conceals the hard to work rock-soil mix below it. The land in the pictures is mainly flat so soil is less likely to be washed away, downhill. The area where the photographed woodland is situated, at Stankovci, does seem to have a lower portion of rock in the soil than is the usual in Dalmatia, from the aerial pictures. This may be because that area has been forested for a longer period of time and the actions of roots, over that longer period, have left more top soil and smaller rocks at the surface. Obviously not all of Dalmatia’s forest was removed just to build Venice. There would have always been local demand for firewood and for local tool, furniture, building and boat manufacture..


It is not known how the master stonemason Standel Pergher ended up as an oarsman on a Venetian galley. He may have been convicted of a crime in Prague and could have been subsequently sold to the Venetian navy, which was always short of men to man their ships. Perhaps some misfortune struck him in Venice, or he was abducted and made captive and forced to work on a galley.


Under contract, Standel Pergher had to return the amount to Nizetić that he had paid the galley captain for his release, with work. This he did in three years and two months by working on the building of ordinary stone houses as well as more opulent dwellings on Brač. He then became a free citizen of Venice and continued to work as a stonemason. He came to work with local people in Pučišća where there is a large quarry that is known for its white stone. He would point out that he was originally from Prague and that he had studied stonemasonry there for six years.


Jan Antonín had a good reputation and he liked being called ‘Mistro Antonio’ by the inhabitants of Brač. If it was not for his Czech background, and perhaps his great skill as a stonemason [9]Translator’s Note‘and perhaps his great skill as a stonemason’​​ is a qualification provided by the translator., he probably would have been called ‘Majstor Ante’ otherwise. He came from an entrepreneurial Prague [10]PraguePrague is a spectacularly historic and illustrious must see.The Charles bridge in Prague
family. His father was a tanner who made gloves. They lived in the artisan neighborhood of Nové Město [11]Nové MěstoNové Město is ‘New Town’ in English. It was founded in 1348. A fall view of Prague’s bridges from Nové Město in the outer districts of the Czech capital. The neighborhood is now a UNESCO protected heritage site.


As a native of Prague on Brač, perhaps due to nostalgia, he developed a passion for genealogy, which he narrated. He traced the Standel Pergher family name to the German name ‘Stammbuch’, and as the islanders had nicknames for everyone he also became known locally as ‘Štambuk’.


In a Venetian document dated 1713 and called ‘The Contract of Freedom’, a notary noted his name, in Italian, as ‘detto Stambucco’ – ‘called Stambucco’ [12]Venetian LawThe use of detto in the stated legal contract is taken to be a Venetian legal qualification.  In which case, it is assumed to have been used because no Venetian, or perhaps any other official records, confirming the person’s family name were presented, at the signing of the contract. Venetian law in the Italian language applied in Dalmatia at the time. Stambucco is a Venetian Italian language interpretation of the name ‘Štambuk’. The use of detto can also be taken to mean ‘so called’. There may be an element of chauvinism in the recording of the name as Stambucco, and it could have been recorded as such quite frivolously. The Italian interpretation, by the notary, or an official, either of whom are likely to have been Venetian, could have been chosen contemptuously ignoring any other considerations. These include those of local spelling and pronunciation. Alternatively, it may have been thought more appropriate to register the name as an Italian one as the person, to whom the contact pertained, was being conferred free citizenship of Venice. Stambucco may have even been recorded as a flattery or intended as a compliment, if Jan Antonín did not submit it himself..


It took more than two centuries for a Štambuk to be born with the same passion for genealogy that Jan Antonin had. Some thirty years ago, Zagreb dentist Dario Štambuk began studying the genealogy of the Štambuk family.

Marko Todorov
Mario, Maja and Dario Štambuk [13]According to our STATUTE our Presidency is composed of a President, two Vice-Presidents and four additional Presidency members.
. Dario is a Zagreb dentist who began studying the Štambuk’s family genealogy 30 years ago. United in the Štambuk association, they are planning to publish a book on their lineage this year

From Thailand to Argentina


[14]Translator’s NoteThe square brackets (‘[ ]’) indicate the placement of text by the translator to make the citation fully comprehensible in English whilst showing the literal translation and the amendments​​ being made. Enquiring speakers of English may learn something about the structure of the Croatian language from this. If text is removed to make a quote more readable in English, the translator will use curled brackets (‘{ }’), substituting what had been removed elsewhere in the sentence, if necessary. These devices are only used in the translation of directly quoted statements in this article. [by the time that my wife and] I had four children I was wishing that they knew of their [family] origins, especially since there was a war [in Croatia] then [,] where there was a lot of displacement and it was that displacement that​​ prompted me to put [the record of] my ancestors to paper. Because[,] what is written remains in history[,] the rest is forgotten – Dario​​ Štambuk on his motives​​.


Don Stanko Jerčić​​ the priest in Selca Parish​​ released the parish archives there to him in confidence.


​​ He let me sit and study the registers [of births, deaths and marriages] from 1747 onwards​​ for weeks. [Just] Imagine[,] the first child inscribed in them was a Štambuk – Dario Štambuk says and​​ Maja Štambuk,​​ a Zagreb sociologist born in Selca, turning to speak to​​ Mario Štambuk, says – It must be part of the book, we must photograph it.​​ 


All three of these members of the Štambuk association are working together to publish a book on their lineage this year.


Today, the records of more than 1900 people are present in the genealogy data, which Dario Štambuk has elaborately compiled. From that data it is possible to ascertain exactly how each registered person is related to the first Štambuk, Jan Antonín. Interestingly though, in the data, there is no record of cartoonist Davor Štambuk.


– He was bohemian, barely remembering the name of his grandfather. This Štambuk loved red wine and the [freedoms of the] sexual revolution more than [the] writing down [of] his ancestry, and [besides,] his grandfather had already left Brač. {He}[Davor] was indeed a citizen of the world – Dario speaking with much sympathy for the recently deceased Davor.


Among contemporary persons bearing the Štambuk family name, that are publicly well known, is​​ Drago Štambuk. He is a poet and diplomat born in Selca.


Dario Štambuk has done a sterling job of compiling the Štambuk data. Apart from listing the first names,​​ nicknames and maiden names of large numbers of Štambuk family members, his data includes the location and dates of their births and deaths (this takes the record to Thailand, through to Egypt, Australia, Bolivia, Argentina and to the United States). He has also compiled a list of Štambuk occupations (the data distinguishes between the stone cutter, stonemason and master stonemason, between the master painter, and the lesser artist. It includes the records of 12 doctors, 16 lawyers and 8 dentists, one Ustaše [15]​​UstašeThe Ustaše​​ (or ‘Ustashe’) are commonly referred to as a Nazi puppet regime, in English language historical texts. They were in place during the Second World War and fought alongside the Axis,​​ against Tito’s​​ ​Communist Partisans​​  with what is commonly recorded as being a ruthless anti-Serbian agenda. See Ustashe genocide. Officially designated as Nezavisna Država Hrvatska (NDH),​​ or the ‘Independent State of Croatia’, this state, whose territories stretched into Bosnia, was headed by Poglavnik (‘Leader’)​​ Ante Pavelić. It provided some troops to support the German army’s efforts on their eastern front. See​​ 369th Croatian Reinforced Infantry Regiment (Wehrmacht) for more details. ​​ For a worthwhile introduction in English about those complex times that is relevant to the Štambuk family and the destruction of their property during the Second World War, ‘Empire on the Adriatic: Mussolini’s Conquest of Yugoslavia 1941-1943’ by​​ H. James Burgwyn is suggested reading. The​​ Ustaše lost the war along with Germany and​​ Pavelić fled for Argentina. He died in Spain in 1959.​​   officer, three​​ Yugoslav Partisan fighters [16]Yugoslav PartisansThe​​ Yugoslav Partisans were a communist guerrilla army under​​ Tito. Typically referred to, in Croatian, as​​ Narodnooslobodilačka vojska​​ (NOV), the ‘National Liberation Army’, with the full title, from 1942, of:​​ Narodnooslobodilačka vojska i partizanski odredi Jugoslavije​​ (NOV i POJ). In​​ English: the ‘National Liberation Army and Partisan Detachments of Yugoslavia’. On the​​ 1 March 1945, this organization was renamed the​​ JNA. two Yugoslav Army [17]Yugoslav ArmyJugoslavenska Narodna Armija (JNA),​​ or ‘Yugoslav People’s Army’, in existence from 1945 until 1992.

As part of this organization’s planning it had a detailed plan for the invasion and occupation of Sofia, in Bulgaria, which was a member of the Warsaw Pact. No doubt the placing of spies, provocateur and guerrilla or special forces would have featured in them. Doubtlessly they had similar plans for all the surrounding countries that would have been backed by the Diplomatic initiatives of the Yugoslav foreign ministry. This aspect of their designs could have faltered badly as by the the late 1980’s Yugoslavia had a diminished itinerary of Embassies, most of them being diplomatically inert Consulates of Limited Responsibilities. This legacy haunted President Slobodan Milošević and it placed him in the position of having to endure NATO bombing instead of participating in diplomatic negotiations. Ultimately, it was Serbia’s longstanding corruption and indiscipline that caused it the lack of a diplomatic dimension, as vested in the Embassy, that lost it Kosovo.
officers, two bishops and four priests – which include both a Jesuit and a Dominican – and, one head of Tito’s [18]TitoTito, whose real name was Josip Broz, was half Croatian and half Slovenian. He headed the Yugoslav Partisans during the Second World War and established the ‘Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia’,​​ Socijalistička Federativna Republika Jugoslavija (SFRJ), in 1943. He remained its head of state until his death in 1980. The ‘Socialist Republic of Croatia’,​​ Socijalistička Republika Hrvatska (SRH),​​ like all the other Yugoslav republics, ostensibly had some autonomy within the Yugoslav federation. The official language of Yugoslavia was​​ Serbo-Croatian,​​ srpskohrvatski. There is some debate about his epithet​​ Tito. On the one hand, Tito was a common male nickname in use in the area around Kumrovec, now in Croatia, where he was born. On the other, it is said to be derived from his brusque leadership style,​​ ti to,​​ in Croatian, can be taken to mean, ‘you that’, or ‘you,​​ do​​ that’.​​ Kumrovec​​ is now a village museum. At the time of his birth in 1892 it was part of​​ Austria-Hungary. The last news is that a Chinese investor was looking at buying it. The Museum of Yugoslavia in Belgrade, Serbia, includes his mausoleum ‘The House of Flowers‘. His funeral was well attended by world leaders.​There is a theory that he was poisoned. Concerns were so great that he could have been that his wife Jovanka, a Serb from Croatia, was strongly advised to note all the details before him being bedridden and whilst he was on his deathbed. She is believed to have recruited domestic and medical staff as observers and to have recorded in detail, all the names of the people he encountered and that were present in the background before his death, as well as what they said and did and how they behaved. Jovanka was confined to virtual house arrest after his death. To attempt to ascertain whether there was foul-play in his death the detailed diary records from that time, and which may be in different places, need to be looked at closely, if they exist, as do his medical records up until the time of his death by some qualified persons, modern experts in poisoning preferably. People present around him at the time who have relevant information or suspicions should be encouraged to come forward. There has never been a public inquiry into his death and this website can provide some indications of a quasi-political and symbolic motive motive for his killing, by Yugoslav communists, if it did occur. However, on its own this information is very weak, and it needs contextualizing, in stages. Some of this information has already been provided by this website. The record of the killing of political leaders by their adherents in the Balkans is unfortunately, long, and even poorly founded inquires of the nature that are being proposed, are more likely to turn up something in the Balkans than anywhere else. Even if it is just the identities of who would have wanted their leader dead.
​​ protocol [19]Chief of ProtocolA Chief of Protocol is a high official governmental position. See this article by the US website Washingtonian on this role..


He has also categorized deceased individuals by causes of death. Nine were killed in the First World War, 24 died during childbirth, one was crushed by Alzheimer’s and 11 died of fever. In the 18th and 19th centuries, the extramarital children of the Štambuk family “were not discriminated against or rejected but[,] rather[,] on the contrary[, they] ​​ were accepted among the Štambuks” says Dario Stambuk.


Every August members of the Štambuk family gather in Selca on Brač, and it is no ordinary​​ family gathering. It is one attended by​​ individuals who, when put together, bear hundreds of surnames. It all started in 2013 when, that year, around 300 people arrived to attend from all over Europe and North and South America.​​ 


It was appropriately symbolic that some three hundred individuals​​ arrived in Selca that year to mark the 300th​​ anniversary of their relative’s, Jan Antonin’s, signing of ‘The Contract of Freedom’, which after purchasing with his labors, he was granted the rights of a free citizen of Venice. All the Štambuk family members from around the world remind Dario Štambuk of that singular, Jan Antonin.


In September 2015 a number of family members organized a trip to Prague. In Novo Mesto, around the church of St. Vojtech, which is a small building originating from the 13th century, gone are the signs of tradition [20]The Church of St. VojtechThe Prague Ticket Office states that St. Vojtech church (Czech:​​ Kostel sv. Vojtěch) is from the 14th​​ century. The church is named after Adalbert of Prague, known as St. Vojtech (Czech: svatý Vojtěch). There are a number of parishes and churches called St. Adalbert in the United States. The Church of St. Vojtech today. It is​​ surrounded by modern four story constructions. Jan Antonín Steinpryda was born in Prague in Novo Mesto on June 4, 1688. He was the son of father Ondrej and mother Anne. ​​


The Croatian vine


In that same church he was christened along​​ with his six brother. They were:​​ Josef,​​ Hynek,​​ Václav​​ Prokop,​​ Majej,​​ Josef​​ Leopold,​​ Augustin​​ František​​ and​​ Samuel František. It is interesting that for every brother, their recorded surnames were different (the variations are: Steinpryd, Stranperger, Staijnpregner, Stanprent, Sstopren, Stanprener and Stayprenner). This is not unusual for that time. That generation of the same family had no females. In the church of St. Vojtech, where the ancestors of today’s wider Stambuk family were baptized,​​ Antonín Dvořák [21]Antonín DvořákA Czech ‘musical nationalist‘.Dvorak
often played the organ.


Jan Antonín started a family shortly after his arrival on Brač. He married Franka from the Bokanić family who belonged to the lower Brač nobility. They also worked in stone cutting, stone masonry and stone building construction. Thus, what was created with the marrying together of their dowries was passed down through subsequent generations, according to Brač born sociologist Maja Štambuk [22]Translator’s NoteThe original text,​​ attributed to Maja Štambuk, ‘Ova veza ujedinilaje klesarske gene s obje strane’, literal translation, ‘this connection ​​ unified the stonemason genes on both sides’, has been substituted with a statement of inheritance and an allusion to the fact that historically, at least in Selca, neither a female or male dowry was provided as a condition of marriage. Similarly, there is not the tradition there of providing inheritance to only male children, hence the use of the plural word ‘dowries’ in the translation. Each half of the marital couple brought to the marriage what they had. The translator has provided the text as described to raise a point about local customs..


Together they had five sons and three​​ daughters. All the sons were stonemasons. One of them went to work on the neighboring island of Hvar [23]Hvar, Korčula and DubrovnikHvar and Korčula are often considered by many to be the most picturesque of the Dalmatian islands. Hvar town features a castle and Korčula resembles spectacular, if over visited, Dubrovnik, but in miniature. The famed Venetian explorer, Marco Polo, is cited as being born on Korčula. Dubrovnik, coined the ‘pearl of the Adriatic’, remained an independent city state as the ‘Republic of Ragusa’ during the time that most of the Dalmatian coast was Venetian. The two republics were competitors when they were in existence. Dubrovnik lost its independence when French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s army occupied it. General Marmont was made governor-general of Dalmatia, referred to then by the French as the Illyrian Provinces. Eventually he was made a Maréchal de France. It is difficult to underestimate the impact of French rule (1809 to 1814) on Dalmatia. A major French contribution was the building of a winding road that covered almost Dalmatia’s entire length, built by Dalmatians supervised by the French. It was built to a standard width – about the width of a modern single lane. Previously, communications between settlements on the coast were only really possible by boat due to the, sometimes intolerably, rocky undulating terrain. Sections of the French road can be seen from the Adriatic Highway (Croatian: Jadranska Magistrala) that was built during Yugoslavia. It incorporated numerous sections of the French road. There is an unadvertised former Napoleonic military hospital in Zadar and there is a Marmont Street in Split (Marmontava ulica). The longest contiguous section of the original French road is believed to be around 20km long. A toll motorway, the A1, now runs parallel to the coast but many people still use the Adriatic Highway route as it is toll-free and more picturesque.
, where he stayed. He fell in love with Vrbanj [24]VrbanjVrbanj​​ is a village on the island of Hvar. The​​ Wikipedia page​​ about it is only in Croatian. It appears from pictures to be unusually green for Dalmatia with many self-seeded trees that have no horticultural use. Admittedly the photo below appears to have been taken in spring. Here is some guesswork about the reasons for its greenness to highlight some general points.

It is in a partial hollow or depression and it is partially surrounded by low lying hills. Rainfall running off them collects underneath Vrbanj and it is prevented from sinking further into the ground by nonporous rock that is only a short distance from the surface of the land within reach of the roots of the trees, so that the water is close enough to be drawn up by them. If this is the case this means that the settlement will have numerous shallow wells. Additionally, the existence of trees in and around the settlement will increase the volume of water in the air that falls to ground that is not rain, throughout the year. The leaves and branches of the trees in and around the settlement will stabilize humid air and give it some immobility against low winds. The sea nearby provides the humid air. Come the evening, if the air is still stable and the temperature is cool enough, it will settle as dew which will absorbed by the soil and which will trickle off of the rock onto it. In addition, as condensation begins in the vegetated area it will draw in further humid air along as a conveyor, wind permitting, which may cause low level precipitation all along the path of the conveyor. It is believed that this form of precipitation can even begin the process of precipitating moisture from humid air that is higher up, so it can cause local rain under particular circumstances. Dew that remains on the leaves, come the morning, by its evaporation, is estimated to play a role in the photosynthetic process without sacrificing any water that is actually in the leaves, until it evaporates. In this way some additional growth is enabled with the water that is available. It is known that some plants, including edible ones, are adept at making use of this condensation on their leaves. Some even absorb it. Looking at the stone of the houses on Vrbanj in other photographs suggests that it is quite soft and what appears like humidity erosion on the rock can be observed. Vrbanj is humid in still air. This phenomenon where existing plants in and around hollows cause condensation of humid air and its depositing in top soil is an incentive for conservationists to plant selectively in and around them. There is no reason why walls and other structures could not be selectively built to play their part in this ‘humidification’ as well. Where humidity gathers it will produce an environment that is conducible to plant life in dryer climates. In principle the more foliage there is to stabilize the air the more water will go to ground with condensation. One known survival tactic is the placing of nets, the finer the mesh the better, on hillsides and hilltops with a trough to catch the condensed water beneath them.
Vrbanj – unusually green for Dalmatia
 and started the Hvar line of the Štambuk family there. Retired Hvar bishop,​​ Slobodan Štambuk, is in fact a Selca​​ Štambuk and is not from Hvar. He is the product of a marriage in Brač.​​


For over a hundred years the Štambuk family on Brač were engaged exclusively in stonemasonry. It is therefore not surprising that the name Štambuk became associated with the processing, handling and fashioning of the white stone that Brač is known for around the world. Parts of the White House in Washington, as well as the Štambuk palace [25]The Štambuk PalaceŠtambukuova palača​​ in Croatian and​​ Palazzo Stambucco​​ in Italian. Completed 1869 destroyed 9th August 1943 by Mussolini‘s Army. An artistic depiction of the burning of the palace
​​ in Selca itself, were built of​​ Brač stone. The United Nations building in New York, the Vienna and Budapest parliaments, in Zagreb, the Meštrović Pavilion,​​ the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall and the Croatian National Bank building have all had Brač stone used in their construction. The quality of Brač stone has been recognized since Roman times. It was used in the construction of the Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian in Split. It has also been used in the construction of significant buildings in the wider region that surrounds Brač, from Istria [26]IstriaUnlike Dalmatia, Istria is both a region, as represented on the national flag, and an administrative county of Croatia. Its presence cannot therefore be ignored. The Istrian dialect and that of the area around Rijeka is heavily influenced by Italian although it is being gradually replaced by a more standard Croatian, heavily laced with English words. Pure speakers of its Italianized form would be largely incomprehensible to Croats in other parts of the country. Croatia’s third largest city and largest port is Rijeka, in the adjoining Kvarner region, and it matches Zagreb in terms of its urbanity. This urbanity, it can be said, appears to be derived from the nearby presence of Pula, which has a well preserved Roman amphitheater, and it is assumed that many Istrians and inhabitants of Kvarner would agree. Certainly the Croatian army thought that Istria drew in Rijeka into its cultural orbit. However, it is felt that it is not the classical works of antiquity that have etched a softness there, but that it is the avoidance of the later more decadent Roman cultural practices, in their ongoing and modern forms, and their consequences, that has been an instrumental secret in its formation. This is just a personal opinion and the traveler should form their own. One may find on familiarizing themselves with the culture of the larger Istrian urban settlements the culture intoxicating, which would discourage the tee totaler.

As Istria and Kvarner were as far away as it was possible to get from the from the front line in Croatia, during its War of Independence, they suffered minimal material losses and were able to maintain some semblance of a tourist industry during the war years. Kvarner, especially, provided both very good and capable soldiers in that war, and those of the worst sort as well, that could not be brought into line with conventional military disciple. The Croatian Army during the war did note the fact that many of the poorer quality soldiers were from Istria and Kvarner, and attempts to identify poor quality recruits during training and limit their front-line military activities and contact with civilians in areas of operations were made. Certain categories of people were prevented from serving all together and as the army got more organized criminal records were scrutinized to exclude those deemed to be of insufficiently good character to serve in it. Some attempts at providing sociological reasons for why so many recruits from some areas were so low in quality and in usefulness, to the army, were made and Pula’s Roman history is  believed to have been mentioned in them.
to the Bosporus [27]East meets West​​The​​ Bosporus​​ is a sea straight in Turkey that separates European Turkey from Asian Turkey. Turkey spans two continents. Referring to the Bosporus here refers to Turkey.

It is generally agreed that the Turks living is Istanbul on Turkey’s European tip are culturally different to the Turks that live in the larger portion that is in Asia. Some say that the Turks of Istanbul are completely different in character to the rest of the country. People in Istanbul are criticized for seeing themselves as being superior, more modern in their outlook and better organized. However, the border with Greece and Turkey is closed and the remaining land border with Bulgaria is not taken to be the source of Istanbul’s apparent enlightenment.

The Straits of Bosporus – where East meets West


At the time of​​ Jan Antonín’s​​ arrival, Selca only had about 260 inhabitants but its population grew rapidly. The Štambuk family line extended from generation to generation and they came to possess their own quarries and clientele, which were inherited, along with the stonemason’s craft. The increasing presence of stone cutters and stonemasons on Brač soon made Brač stone the most important aspect of the local economy. The markets for Brač stone products expanded beyond Europe which made the Štambuk family increasingly affluent. So much​​ so, that the education of their later generations at major centers of European learning, such as Vienna and Prague, could be afforded. The renewed connection with Prague, as a result, formed the basis of a relationship between the​​ later generations of the​​ Štambuk family and their relatives there.​​ 


Stonemasons, and sculptors also


There are many Štambuk sculptors. In 1879,​​ Andrija Štambuk, an émigré to Chile, carved a major monument honoring dead
Chilean soldiers [28]ChileIt is believed that this was at the​​ beginning of the ‘War of the Pacific’​​ (Spanish:​​ Guerra del Pacífico​ 1879 to 1884) and that the sculptor was branded a defeatist, or similar, as the sculpture was fashioned at the beginning of that war. Unconfirmed information leads us to believe that it is now located in the Chilean presidential palace.
The standard of the President of Chile
Placements in tribute. Obtain your government’s travel advice before travelling. You can also get information from the US Department of State, but advice may be may be politically biased. Similarly the British Foreign Office has travel advice and the European Commission publishes a list of the travel advice web pages of the member states.

. Maja Štambuk mentions that Romeo M. Štambuk, who also emigrated to South America, left a monument there​​ in memory of his mother. She says this, spontaneously turning to look at the statue of Mother and Child by​​ Gorislav Štambuk, who studied in​​ Kosta Angeli Radovani’s [29]Kosta Angeli RadovaniKosta Angeli Radovani​​ was a formally recognized Croatian sculptor academic who taught.A Croatian postal stamp featuring a Radovani sculpture​​ class. The sculpture is carved in Brač stone and it is kept by Dario Štambuk in his dental practice in Zagreb [30]In Zagreb and need a dentist?Fillings, crowns, bridges, implants and hygienist.

Phone: +385 1 481 242
Adresss: Petrinjska ulica 31, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Working Hours:
Monday – Thursday: 14:00-20:00
Friday: 9:00-13:00
& according to need, by agreement



Gorislav Štambuk was the son of a stonemason and his father was wonderfully familiar with stone. ​​ Gorislav was said to have come to Radovani‘s academy as a finished sculptor. He only held solo exhibitions which were accompanied by excellent reviews.


According to Maja Štambuk, it was painter and builder​​ Ivan Kanova Štambuk, who lived and worked in Selca at the end of the 19th​​ century​​ that fashioned all the ornamental stonework of the Štambuk palace. She calls this his greatest work. A​​ master of stonemasonry and of building, he constructed the​​ Mali Palac [31]Mali PalacLiterally ‘the Small Palace’.The Small Palace today,​​ in Selca,​​ which was the property of his parents. He built Selca’s cemetery chapel, also fashioning headstones, and was contracted to shape and install the facades of various buildings in Sarajevo.


In 1943 the Italian army set fire to Selca,​​ destroying about 85 percent of the houses in the settlement, including both palaces. To date the larger buildings have not been renovated.

Another Štambuk mentioned by Maja Štambuk is stonemason Karmelo Štambuk. He is from the generation that established the first stonemason’s school on Brač. Recognizing his particular talent, his brothers sent him to Prague.​​ There he graduated from the Prague School of Art and Industry [32]Schools of Art and IndustryThe ‘Prague School of Art and Industry’ is a direct translation of the Czech,​​ Pražská umělecká a průmyslová škola. Schools of ‘Art and Insdustry’​​ still exist in the Czech Republic today although these colleges refer to themselves as ‘Academies of Arts, Architecture and Design’​​ in English versions of their websites and they describe themselves in Czech as, Vysoká Škola Umělecko-průmyslová. Still teaching foreign students where he received two categories of certification [33]Translators’s NoteThe original text reads that ‘he graduated from two departments of the Prague School of Art and​​ Industry’. In the English text the translator is stating explicitly what is suggested. That is, that he received two categories of certification..

He exhibited at the first Dalmatian art exhibition that was held in Split in 1908 [34]The First Dalmatian Art ExhibitionThere were other exhibitions in Split prior to 1908 but what made this one a first was that it drew artists from across Dalmatia, instead of just from the area around Split. The translator suspects that this exhibition was only made possible with the arrival of improved communications, in the form of the telegraph or telephone, which would have happened in Dalmatia, at around that time.
, and shortly afterwards at the ‘Unheroic Times in Defiance’ exhibition in Zagreb, in​​ 1910. These exhibitions also featured the works of Meštrović, Bukovac, Rendić and Celestin Medović​ [35]Famous Croatian Artists of the 20th CenturySee Ivan Meštrović,​​ Vlaho Bukovac,​​ Ivan Rendić​​ and​​ Mato Celestin Medović. Of these Croatian artists Meštrović won the greatest international acclaim.
Meštrović at work



References   [ + ]