Statue of Captain Niko vitez (knight) Duboković (1834 - 1912) in Jelsa.
In 19th century a small town of Jelsa at the island of Hvar was at the peak of its economic power, in the industrial, agricultural, cultural, political, and above all the maritime sense, its fleet was the strongest in Central Dalmatia. In 1884 Jelsa had 142 ships of 1550 tons. The most powerful shipowner of Central Dalmatia was captain Niko Duboković. His fleet included eight ocean-going vessels, which sailed all the seas of the world. He was a landowner, shipowner, 44 years he served as mayor of the city, a member of the Dalmatian Parliament, President of the Croatian party, the founder of the First National Reading Room on the islands. In 1873 he built the largest Dalmatian sailing ship in the shipyard at the island of Korčula, and called it after his father's name 'Giovanni D'. During his leadership Jelsa was a progressive municipaliti in the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy.
Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights. In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states. Text by Steve Smith.