Island of Brac

Description. Novo Selo, as stated by its name, is a young settlement. Not long ago, in these parts were set the shepherds’ gathering places. The one in Prodoli had 12 dwellers in 1912. Novo Selo is formed today of a few separated groups, which is seen in the names of these settlements Pod Selo (The Lower Village), Nad Selo (The Upper Village), Pijaca, Oklad, Vejalca, Lokvica etc. The village is set on the sunny side of the hill Glavica, near the pond that is already mentioned in the 13th century and which was an important object for the cattle-breeders and a necessary advantage for the development of the settlement itself. Novo Selo stretches along the road that connects Selca to Povlja.

History. Not far from Novo Selo, above its most fertile field of Vejak, there is a prehistoric fort Gracisce with traces of the walls built out of irregulary cut and loose stone. On the southern slope lies the medieval settlement of Podgracisce which is mentioned in the oldest Brac chronicles from 1405. The Croatian settlement followed the tradition of the century-long dwelling which is confirmed by numerous archeological remains in the neighbouring bunje. Later on in the 16th century and the 17th century, with the disappearance of the settlements on the eastern side of the island, probably caused by epidemic diseases which forced the villagers to move to the secluded hamlets and new settlements, Podgracisce disappeared as well. From the historical sources of the 16th century we learn that there were a few smaller shepherds’ hamlets and only eight households in the nearby Selca.
The often repeated statement, that Novo Selo was founded in 1574 when the Venetian authority settled there forty families from Poljica (uscochi da Polaca) cannot be entirely accepted because those families also settled in various other settlements on the island too. More probably seems the supposition, which is supported by the present family-names, that the populace of Novo Selo is composed out of abandoned Brac settlements and the emigrants from the 16th century onwards. Already in 1760 it had 160 inhabitants.

Name. The name Novo Selo (The New Village) is usally given to the settlements created fairly quickly, near an older settlement. Therefore the foundation of Novo Selo is connected to the emigrated populace of the older Podgracisca.
From the mountain of Kopilisce, on which the new cemetery is set, there is a nice view of Gracisce opposite, especially of its southern slope where the Roman settlement Bunje and the medieval village Podgracisce were situated. Both the settlements were located along the edge of Vejak, the largest field in eastern Brac, which stretches towards the sheltered harbour of Voscica. It is surrounded by the hills Zvirje, Zvecevo, Glave, Oakladi, Brig and other localities mentioned in the neighbouring Povlja.

Monuments. The most valuable monuments in the community of Novo Selo are set in Bunje, at the southern foot of Gracisce, under the relics of a prehistoric fort. According to the archealogical discoveries there was also a pagan and an Early Christian, Roman, settlement on the estate of J. Bezmalinovic and A. Skrapac, there are the remains of a Roman estate building, and near the Roman well with a few tombs and sarcophagi, there are many parts of reliefs and pieces of broken columns. One column bears the figure of a goat ( capris laudata Brattia, Pliny the Elder). This points to the preserved cult of the pagan god Silvan, the protector of cattle, for whom the sacrificial posts were built. Near the piscina there is still another formerly vaulted room, and from the estate objects the stone oil-vessels which belonged to the olive-press whose huge grind-stone is now kept in Bunje. Apart from the relics of the Roman walls, parts of mosaic were found, and pieces of cracked roofs and some antique ceramics were found in the surroundings. Two sarcophagi with engraved crosses and the Christian symbols alfa and omega on one acroterion, remind us to the Early Christian period.