The Lešić Dimitri Palace lies within the ancient walls of the medieval town of Korčula, off Croatia’s coast. The building dates from the 17th-Century, when rich local landowners combined six adjacent houses to create an urban palace.
By the advent of Napoleonic rule, the palace was suffering from neglect. It was soon turned to public use, being used partly as a school. While its fine masonry survived, the many timbered parts suffered considerable damage. Rescue came in the form of a new owner, who bought the palace in 2000, and set about a painstaking restoration with the aim of returning it—precisely—to its former splendor. A dedicated team was formed, including specialist roles covering historical, restoration, and archeological research. A team of four oversaw the architectural design. The result was a deeply sympathetic restoration—a process that took some eight years to complete. The palace’s spacial form and decorative detail were fully retained, as well as the mediaeval town’s distinct fishbone layout.