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 The Cursed Island

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Registration date : 2008-01-26

PostSubject: The Cursed Island   Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:56 am

By Alice

The Cursed Island Sat 15 Mar 2008 - 19:02

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There's a beautiful city on the Adriatic coast, the city of Dubrovnik. It has its monuments and legends, but the most malevolent one certainly is the legend of the curse Benedictine monks bound to the island of Lokrum. This is a small, very pleasant island in front of Dubrovnik, with numerous buildings of historical value, covered by arboretum (a park that is actually a living collection of various plants). But it has a secret, deadly one.

It all started with French occupation of this part of Europe and their decision to close the Benedictine monastery situated on the island. Monastery was there for centuries and monks were outraged, but they had no choice but to leave their island, because French found three “patricij” (patritzeey, from the Latin patrician, a member of the ruling class in Dubrovnik) to support their claim. Before they left, monks decided to leave something behind. On their last night there, monks started the procession around the island, each carrying a candle held upside-down, cursing out loud every future owner of the island who will obtain it for his own pleasure instead of God’s work. Three times they went around the island and in the morning they left, leaving the trail of wax from the burning candles.

Of the three patricij who helped the realisation of the French plot, one jumped out the window and died, other drowned in the sea and the third one was killed by his servant, soon after the banishing of the monks.

The French period was over and wealthy captain Tomasevich bought the island, but soon his once so prosperous business went very wrong, he bankrupted and had to sell, among other possessions, the island as well. At least he survived.

Next owner was Maximilian Habsburg, younger brother of the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. He discovered and claimed Lokrum after visiting it, in spite the reason for the visit was a bit macabre. Austrian battle ship «Triton» sunk after the mysterious explosion, in front of Lokrum of course, so Maximilian came to give his last respect to dead seamen. Never minding sad occasion, he was delighted with the island and spent a lot of time there, did a lot of building and rebuilding. He invited Otto Friedrich Wilhelm, known as Ludwig II, to join him for a few days on the Lokrum. Soon after visiting the cursed island Ludwig was declared mad by Bavarian council. To tell the truth, he would be proclaimed mad anyway but it’s quite interesting coincidence. While Ludwig was found dead in a lake near one of his castles, Maximilian went to Mexico to find his death. The start of his carrier there was promising, he was sent to Mexico to be the Mexican emperor, believe it or not, but was killed by firing-squad only 3 years after. His wife Charlotte barely survived shipwreck when she was coming back from Mexico to Lokrum. Already half-mad, she developed mental illness after this and died in a mental institution (I think in Trieste?). Now, Maximilian was known by his habit of putting his initials on everything, including doorknobs, so it’s not surprising he carved a heart shape with his and Charlotte's initials inside in a biggest oak on Lokrum. Lightning stroke it, burning out the initials, leaving only drawing of a heart.

The city of Dubrovnik was offered then by Habsburgs to buy the cursed island, but city’s majors remembered the curse and were not interested. There’s always some smart a… smart guy who doesn’t believe in curses, so next owner was rich man named Dujmovich from Poljica, who’s business soon went down, he bankrupted and sold Lokrum to dr. Jakopovich from Budapest. This man climbed the ladder of social and financial success after emperor Franz Joseph himself noticed him and trusted him with some tasks. But soon after he became the owner of Lokrum, it somehow floated out that he stole identity of a dead soldier, that he’s not a doctor at all but a barber, so emperor stripped him of all privileges. It wasn’t long until Jakopovich died, poor and ashamed.

Next, some young hussar officer was given the island, but this one drowned before he reached his new property. A «pijavica» (like small tornado on the sea) came out of nowhere, sinking him and his boat, never to be found.

So Habsburgs regained the island, and it was given to the heir Rudolf and his wife Stephanie. When they first set foot on the island, earth shook and sea got restless. Rudolf had affair with Maria Vetsera and those two died in never really solved mysterious murder and suicide in the castle of Mayerling. It’s no wonder empress Elisabeth decided to offer the island back to the Benedictines but they refused because she gave money to the Dominicans in order to buy it back through them. Kind of trying to cheat the curse. Nevermind, soon she was killed by an anarchist. During her life she visited Lokrum only once, and refused to spend a night there.
Archbishop Strossmayer was interested in buying Lokrum, but countess Elisabeth Windischgratz from Habsburg family kept the island. She ended her life cast out of her royal family, after shooting some singer, her husband’s mistress.

Finally, Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophia decided to spend some time on Lokrum in 1914., but on their way there they stopped to visit Sarajevo...

Now, don’t worry, if you have a chance do visit Lokrum without any fear, the curse strikes only the owners of the island, and the impact of the curse is according to their character.
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