On my Game of Thrones Tour, I learned about the island that is a 15 minute ferry ride from Dubrovnik. Lokrum, is a lush and, basically, untouched island that is extremely cursed and haunted.
Once upon a time, the island was only inhabited by Benedictine Monks. They lived on top of a hill in their monastery for a stupid long time, until one day, Napolean, that French short guy who was building the French Empire, conquered Croatia. Although for the rest of Europe this was no bueno, Dubrovnik accepted Napolean, hoping that through these actions he would help the city instead of hurting it.
Help he did, but in addition to Dubrovnik, he wanted to own and take Lokrum, which involved kicking the Benedictine Monks out.
Coming from a Benedictine High School, Benet Academy (#GoRedwings ha), I know very well not to mess with these monks, but apparently, Napolean didn’t think so. Maybe it came from his Napolean Complex, or maybe he was just stupid.
Basically, he made the monks leave even after they warned him. So on their last night on the island, all of the monks lined up at night in their spooky ass hoods and circled the island 3 times with their candles lit, but they held them upside down. Reciting, in Latin, something that went along the lines of “Whoever owns this island will be cursed forever, until every drop of wax is recovered from the island, etc, etc”.
Basically, the Benedictine monks were savage.
Napolean took the island, and shortly after, he lost everything and his empire. The next victim was Maximillian, emperor of Mexico for a bit, and his wife, Charlotte. Needless to say, good ol’ Max bought the island for Charlotte as a birthday gift and a lot of bad shit happened.
Three miscarriages, a lunatic sister, and her husband’s assassination later, and poor Charlotte was alone, mad as the mad hatter, on this island where she wrote letters to the Pope about how cursed the island was and how it was responsible for her miserable existence.
Some say today that Charlotte’s ghost still haunts the island … OOoOOoooOooOooOOOOOoo
While some people believe at night Charlotte’s ghost is still there, trying to understand the meaning behind her miserable life, I know for sure that what all of you genuinely need to be afraid (at least during the day) are the ginormous bunnies and peacocks.
Actually, although the bunnies look like they were shot with gamma rays and that they could easily gnaw your arm off, they are nice and mind their own business.
What you actually need to be afraid of are the peacocks. They are extremely agile, fast, and can hop the rocks better than people can. I am convinced that they have adapted to the island and are, therefore, the predator and we, humans, the prey.
Maybe that’s also my very large fear of birds speaking. But, as we sat around the secret lagoon appropriately named, the Dead Sea, we looked up and were surrounded by peacocks. I felt as though this is what it must feel like to be the kids in Jurassic Park when they are stuck in the kitchen and surrounded by the Velociraptors. I wish I were kidding.
Besides the peacocks stalking us, Lokrum is actually stunning and I understand why so many people wanted to own it. We wandered around the island and found an array of rocks that acted as a sort of playground. We hopped from rock to rock and dipped our toes in the water, while we all wished that it were slightly warmer so that we could just jump into the water.
It’s also easily accessible. The ferry is only 15 minutes and 160 Kuna round trip, which adds up to about 21 euro. Not the most ideal, but Dubrovnik has gotten very expensive recently due to the boost in tourism.
Definitely hit Lokrum on one of your days in Dubrovnik! You only need about two hours there, but it’s totally worth it to see and worth it to just say you explored a haunted island.