Imotski region

Imotski region is a historical name for an area situated in the hinterland of the Biokovo massif.The fertile Imotsko polje (field) has had a key role in the life of this area. In between its almost flat surface and the Biokova massif (1762 m) there is a spacious karst area with a series of alternating hills and bays. The field and the karst area in its immediate vicinity abound in water. The Vrljika River flows alongside the entire field, and Prološko blato in its north-western part becomes a floodplain area during the cold season of the year. Thanks to them the field offers excellent conditions for agriculture. Several karst lakes for which Imotska krajina is well-known are situated in the karst area north of the field. The area of Imotski is well-known for its tradition and culture. It is mentioned in the famous folklore ballad Asanaginica which has been translated into a number of European and world languages. The Imotski area is also famous for its ganga –a traditional type of singing which originated at the beginning of XX. century. Ganga is a type of singing performed in a way that one singer sings verses and the rest follow him imitating the sound of gusle. Finally, Imotska krajina contributed greatly to XX.century Croatian literature. The greatest credit for that deserves the great poet and writer Tin Ujević (1891 – 1955.). 

Attractions

The lakes of Imotski are two karst lakes situated in the immediate vicinity of the town centre.
The Blue Lake is a sinkhole, about 150 m deep in its southern part and about 290 m deep in its northern part. The water level varies during the year – sometimes its depth reaches more than 100 m, but it is not uncommon to completely dry out in autumn. Then the bottom of the lake turns into a football pitch for the traditional football game played between the teams of players who live in the quarters at the edge of the lake.  Roads (1100 m) which lead to the water were built at the end of the 19th-century.
The Red Lake , named after its formidable red-coloured cliffs, is situated about 1,5 km west of the town centre.  At times its depth reaches up to 300 m, while the total depth of the sinkhole from its bottom to the highest edge is a total of 550 m. Previous research has not confirmed the existence of communication between the waters of these two natural phenomena. 

 

The collections of the town of Imotski preserve remainings from its past and from the past of Imotska krajina. The collection of the Franciscan Monastery is older and richer than the one of the regional museum. It consists of ten separate collections among which the archaeological and ethnographical ones stand out as well as the Pinacoteca with its valuable. A more recent and somewhat smaller regional collection is preserved in part of the Dogana industrial complex in Đirada. In addition to its archaeological, historical and numismatic collections it also contains exhibits from the everyday life of the city and nearby villages as well as the room of the writer Dinko Štambak.

Vrljika is an underground river which flows through Imotsko polje from north-west to the south-east.  Its upper stream is an ichtyological reserve. Its waters are the habitat of the endangered species imotska gaovica - minnow (endemic species) and river crabs. There are several major springs (Opačac, Utopište, Dva oka) in Vrljika’s spring area.  Alongside them is the well-kept Green Cathedral (Zelena katedrala) – an area where celebrations of the Feast of the Assumption are traditionally held. The single-nave Church of Our Lady of Durmiševac was built in the 19th-century along the road, near the spring Utopište in the 19th-century. Among its valuable inventory particularly stand out the wooden pulpit and a copy of the painting of Our Lady of Sinj (oil on canvas, the work of an unknown artist).  

Stećci are medieval tombstones with carved everyday life scenes. A number of stećci can be seen in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as in many places in Imotska krajina (Cista Velika, Lovreć, Proložac, Zagvozd…). The archaeological site near Cista Velika contains the largest and most valuable collection of tombstones in Croatia. There are about 90 well-preserved tombstones at this medieval cemetery (14th – 15th-century). There are seven medieval wells near it. 

Climbing up the northern slope of the Biokovo massif is a special experience for nature lovers. There are a number of marked trails and mountain huts there. It is also worth mentioning the appeal of climbing up to St. Ilia (departure from the Dedići hamlet in Rastovac) and climbing up to St. George (departure from the Milići hamlet in Zagvozd or from the Turija kod Župe park). 

The Imotski gastronomic specialities

The Imotski gastronomic specialities are an important part of the tourist offer in the area. Along with the traditional dishes on the spit and under a baking lid (pod pekom), the most eminent prize is awarded to the best well-known cheese of the Dalmatian hinterland – the cheese from Studenci produced from full-fat cow’s milk from the north-western hilly part of Imotska krajina. In addition to its salty speciality, Imotski is well-known for its almond and walnut sweets. And apart from the Imotski (style) cake, a great popularity enjoy the so called rafijoli – cookies made out of dough stuffed with ground walnuts and almonds with a hint of additional flavouring.