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The historical centre of the island is built on a small peninsula which narrows the passage between the island and the mainland to a bare 1270 metres. The obvious possibility of controlling the navigation of galleys and sailing ships along the eastern coast of the Adriatic at this location was the reason for the foundation of a small town-fortress, to render this important service to various masters. It developed rapidly in its present form from the 13th century. This century saw the proclamation of the Statute, the coming of the dukes of the Venetian family Zorzi, and the area of Marko Polo. From that time on the town walls and towers are ever higher and stronger, and houses and churches ever loftier and more gracious. The town is at the peak of its might in the 16th century when it could "receive 6.000 inhabitants". Building is fairly concentrated; "the whole city enclosed by walls does not surpass by in its surface one modern football stadium"; some experts compare medieval Korčula and its narrow streets with Manhattan. The town impressed many medieval writers and travel writers, and it deterred, through its fortifications, many invaders.

The walled town is entered today most often either across Punat (the Bridge) and Fosa (the Ditch) through the Tower of the Land Gate dating from 1391. The present bridge was completed in 1863, replacing the old wooden draw bridge. At the same time, the present gate inside the tower was opened, thus marking incorrectly the end of all wars 130 years ago!

Above the entrance of the Land Gate, there are two symbols marking Korčula's history: a bas-relief with the winged lion of St. Marco, as a symbol of the reign of the Venetian Republic, and the stone tablet commemorating the 1000th anniversary of the coronation of the first Croatian king Tomislav. Through the Land Gate, one enters the Brothers Radić Square, where the important public buildings of medieval Korčula are situated: the Town Hall from 1525 - always in constant use - the Chapel of Our Lady of the Snow from 1531, with a stone tablet from 1934 commemorating the defence from the Turkish fleet in 1571, the house of the town surgeon from 1530, the church of St. Michael from 1412/1651, the house of the brotherhood of St. Michael with its valuable works of art, and with documents from the rich history of this brotherhood, and the slim stone column in honour of the duke Michieli dating from 1569. The triumphal arch in honour of the victorious proveditor of Dalmatia, Leonardo Foscolo, is against the interior wall of the Tower of the Land Gate in

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