TOWER OF LOVE


In the middle of Silba Island, Marinic's tower stands highly erected. It is a round narrow tower, with outer stone stairs leading to the top. It is also known as the 'tower of love'.
Silba is the only village on the island. In the island's past, women, children and old people were mainly shepherds, while men used to spend all their life at sea, navigating numerous maritime routes and then returning to the island when they grew old, if they didn't get swallowed by the sea before that. They returned to die. They knew both Americas, lands of the Far East, rocks of the northern seas, the coast of Africa and Australia, but they never forgot the song of the island that resembled paradise and the legend of the tower in Silba.
And that tower on the village's summit, positioned in the middle of the park, is a Silban monument of one love affair that reputed this grey-green island sunk into silence. The tower is erected high above the village and has a wonderful perspective. It is related to a story of a certain sea wolf, who left behind him a house, tower and grave. Before his death, he commissioned the tomb inscription saying: 'Petar Marinic, Captain, 1891. Woe be to the one who dares to remove these bones.'
The story tells of how he was a young sailor. His fiancie, Antonia Mauro was also young and beautiful. 'When I return from this long trip - he said to her before departing - we will get married! I will plant a garden around the house, and in the middle of it I will build a little tower with a prospect of the whole island'. He kissed the girl goodbye and sailed away.
Marinic navigated the oceans for a long time, and when he finally returned, lots of children hurried to Silba's pier. Amongst them there was an especially cute little girl. Petar Marinic smiled to her, took her in his arms, caressed her and asked people that gathered upon the quay:
- Whose child is this?
- It is the daughter of Antonia Mauro, your fiancie, who has married your friend. The girl's name is also Antonia!
The seaman saddened, embraced the girl and swore:
- Antonia did not wait for me, but if the mother could not become my wife, her daughter will. I will wait until this child grows up to be a woman.
He was persistent and waited for twenty long years. He ordered the construction of a small tower in the middle of the village, besides his house, on the highest point of the island. He built it of pure stone and surrounded it with a stone wall. Antonia Mauro never set her foot in there. But her daughter walked beyond that fence - hand in hand with Captain Petar Marinic, with a wedding ring on her finger. She was still in the prime of her youth, with dense black hair and great shiny eyes, while he was some thirty years older than her, his hair a bit thinner, but vigorous, upright, still handsome in his maturity.
From their tower, the two of them looked upon the island, ships and sea. Their tower on the garden's summit, sprinkled with sea salt, carried by the wind on stormy days, still stands erect to this very day, as a monument of love. Natives call it - Marinic's tower.