Toretas are dry-wall structures built in a specific way – by piling stone panels in a circular manner. They are covered with conic trusses.
In historical times, they served as a shelter from rain. Also, people used to eat, rest or keep their farm tools in them.
The largest one on Korcula is 4.23 m tall. In the vineyards of Smokvica, similar structures can be found which are known as ‘toretas’.
There are five ‘toretas’ in Smokvica. Meje are stone terraces – dry-walls. They are a testimony of intense agricultural activity, farming and winegrape cultivation. They are incorporated with the landscape in such a degree that they look like a part of it.
Almost every hill on the island is covered with ‘meje’, particularly on the south side of the island.
One cannot look at ‘meje’ without a strong sense of admiration for the patience and hard work of the people who built them.
Today, except for useful purposes, ‘meje’ also present a natural beauty that will surprise many visitors. If you decide to explore the hills surrounding any of the places on the island, you will found many stone houses, also built with the drywall technique.
These houses were used to facilitate working in the fields. The remains of the villas of the rustic and noble castles proved to be the proof of Smokvica for its fertile land and beautiful nature has always attracted.
Here the noblemen built their economic complexes and resorts. The well-known Korčula poet Petar Kanavelić (1637 - 1719) had his summer residence in the Smokvian field, where he found poetic inspiration in the smells and sounds of nature. The building was built in the 17th century and its purpose was rural-economical.
The complex included a summerhouse, a tavern, a tavern and a barn. The summer house is a one storey house with a large ground-floor tavern, and above the door is the coat of arms of the Venetian nobleman Gaetan Dolfin who married Kanavelić's widow Catherine inherited the estate. Three shielded dolphins, a trademark of the Dolfin family, are on the coat shield. In the immediate vicinity of the summer residence there is also the church of Saint Anthony (17th century) with baroque decoration on the top of the facade.
Prapatna field with elaborate vineyards and olive groves, pine trees and cypresses, pitomo Mirje, rich archaeological site, and the hill of Sv. Elijah with the remains of an old church surrounding the mansion gave the poet a rich inspiration. Songs in which Petar Kanavelić praises the beauty and power of nature are written on this very property. Also, most of the songs from the Brotherhood Song of Our Lady of Kandalor, which are still part of the church singing, are written by Petar Kanavelić, the greatest poet and comedian of the island of Korcula. Remains of villa rustic and nobleman castle are the proof that Smokvica was always attractive for its fertile soil and beautiful nature.
The nobleman built their estates and retreats here. Korcula poet Petar Kanavelic (1637 -1719) had his summer house in one of Smokvica fields where he found poetic inspiration in the scents and sounds of nature.
The structure was built in the 17th century, and was meant to be a countryside residence, as well as a small independent economy. The complex included the villa, tavern, the "throat", and barns.
The villa was a single-story building with an elongated ground tavern, with the crest of the Gaetano Dolfin Venetian noble family above the entrance, who inherited the property by marrying Katarina, the widow of Kanavelić. The crest depicts three dolphins, the trademark of the Dolfin family.
In the nearby area is the chapel of St. Anne (17th century), with a baroque distaff at the top of the facade. The poet was greatly inspired by the Prapatna fields, with its vineyards, olive groves, pines and cypresses, and Mirje, a rich archaeological site, as well as the mount of St. Eliah with the remains of an ancient chapel embraced by the villa.
The songs in which Petar Kanavelić uplifts the beauty and strength of nature were composed at this very complex. Also, a large portion of the songs from the Bratimska songbook of the Lady of Kandalora, which to this day remain an integral part of the ecclesiastic worship, were written by Petar Kanavelić, the greatest poet and playwright of Korčula.