Brela, Dalmatia, Croatia
six kilometres of natural sandy beaches, small tourist resort situated on the Makarska Riviera. Dalmatia, Croatia
Brela is a small tourist resort situated on the Makarska Riviera. They offer the riches of the crystalline sea, six kilometres of natural sandy beaches, the scent and the beauty of the thick pine tree forest (in large part a natural monument), numerous pedestrian zones which entangle from the walking area along the coast, to the old hamlets, proud of the old Dalmatian architecture, and all the way to the peaks of the mountain Biokovo.
Many writers locate the old Porphyrogennetos' Berulia, or, more precisely, Brelo, in many locations: today's Brela Gornja, Vrulja, Verulja, near the church of St. Nicola (in the field, on the southern part) or as a little village on the elevation near the seaside and in the vicinity of Vrulja.
The name of the place comes from the springwater, called vrilo or vrelo by the locals, and from vrulja, located under the surface of the sea. Vrelo (springwater) is the spring coming out from the land, while vrulja (wellspring) is the springwater under the sea. Our Vrulja is the spring of the anonymous river which has its headwaters in the Biokovo massif, flowing out around twenty metres under the sea surface. Besides this major and the strongest springwater, there are also some smaller and weaker springwaters, mixing with the sea water.
To "Beroyllia" is the oldest written historical and cultural monument of the place, conserved thanks to the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogennetos (around year 950), who mentiones it in Greek language in the book "On the Administration of the Empire", as one of the four fortified cities of the old Narentine principality of Pagania. Brela of that time, besides Makar, Zaostrog and Gradac, is described as four inhhabited fortifications of the old Pagania.
In the charter of Croatian duke Juraj Šubić from the town of Klis, the inhabitants of Brela are mentioned in the latinized word "Brolanenses" from the year 1315.
At the end of the 16th century the foreign sources clearly differentiate "Brehlia superior et inferior", while at the end of the 17th century "Brehgli Dolgni" and "Brehgli Gorgni", i.e. Gornja Brela behind the hill in the hinterland and Donja Brela on the coast.
In the Croatian language, the term Brela is recorded for the first time – as far as we know – in 1694 in Friar Nikola Ursić' s testament.In the year 1993 Brela became an indipendent municipality.
Between the two centuries the inhabitants of Brela celebrated the 1050th anniversary of their written history.
It is important to mention:
Silvan's relief discovered in 1969 in Brela, built in the lintel of the stable owned by Srećko Filipović. The main and the most admired deity of the old Delmatae tribe was the pastoral god Silvan (Silvanus) with his goddess companion Thana. The cult representation of Silvan had the task to assure health and multiplication of the herd. The lower part of the relief is missing, the part of the attribute in the right hand, as well as the edges. On the upper conserved part of the body there are no details and the basic shape of the body is irregular and distorted. The arms are spread: in the left hand there is the shepherd's rod (pedum), while in the right one there is the attribute sculptured in the shape of quadrangle plastic surface with the handle (shovel). This relief today is the part of the private collection owned by Zvonimir Filipović.