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Vis ( ; ; Italian, Venetian : Lissa) is a Croatianmarker island in the Adriatic Seamarker, with an area of 90.26 km² and a population of 3,617 ( ). Of all the inhabited Croatian islands, it is the farthest from the coast. The highest peak of Vis is called Hum, 587 m high.

There are two towns and municipalities on the island, Vismarker (1,960 inhabitants in the municipality) and Komižamarker (1,677 , both located on the seacoast. There are smaller settlements on the island's interior: Podselje, Marinje zemlje, Podšpilje, and Podstražje.


Vis was inhabited by the time of the Neolithic period. In the 4th century B.C., the tyrant of Siracuse, Dionysius the Elder, founded the colony Issa on the island. Later, it became an independent city-state, and even minted its own money and founded its own colonies elsewhere. In the first century B.C., the island was held by the Liburnians, a Venetic tribe.In the 4th century BC Syracusan Greeks colonised the Island Its importance in the region ended with the first Illyro-Roman war (29-219 B.C.. Having sided with Pompeus during the period of civil struggles in Rome, became an "oppidum civium Romanorum" in 47 B.C.

A part of the Byzantine Theme of Dalmatia, in 925 Croatian Monarch Tomislav took over administration over the island of "Ies". After the death of Croatian ruler Krešimir, a war of succession erupted and the Narentines under Serbian Prince Časlav Klonimirović took the island by 948, however they managed to rule it for only a short period, as the Byzantines restored control. Brothers of Serbian ruler Stefan Nemanja Miroslav and Stracimir made raids on Vis in 1184 and 1185.
The island then passed, for several centuries, under the rule of the Republic of Venicemarker, until 1797. During this time large settlements developed on the coast (Comisa, now Komiža and Lissa, now Vis). Administratively the island of Lissa was for centuries bound to the island of Lesina, now Hvar. The Venetian influence is still recognizable in architecture, and many words In the local Croatian dialect are venetian in origin.

After the short-lived Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, with Italian as the official language, it passed under the rule of Austrian Empiremarker. It maintained its Italian name of Lissa. At the end of World War I, it passed under Italian rule in the period 1918 and 1921, according to the Treaty of London, and then was ceded to Yugoslavia following the Treaty of Rapallo, even though Lissa was at that time mostly populated by Italians. Almost all its population was re-located to islands and cities in Italian Dalmatia, shortly after the exchange between Lissa, assigned to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, and Lagosta, assigned to Italy.

Re-occupied by Italy between 1941 and 1943, at the end of the World War II the island returned to Yugoslavia. In 1991 it became part of independent Croatiamarker.

The sea to the north of the island was the stage of two battles:

During World War II, Vis was at one point the main hideout of Josip Broz Tito, the leader of the Yugoslav resistance movement. During the war the island was mined. After the war, the Yugoslav People's Army used the island as one of its main naval bases. After Croatia became independent, its navy did not reclaim most of the facilities, and the many abandoned buildings are being used for civilian purposes, including modern happenings. In 2008, 34 mines from World War II were cleared from the island.


Main industries on the island are agriculture (mainly viticulture), fishing, fish refinement and tourism.

Around 20% of arable land on the island is covered with vineyards. Autochthonous vine species cultivated on the island are Plavac Mali, Kurteloška and Bugava.

The sea around Vis is rich with fish, especially blue fish (sardine, mackerel and anchovy). Komiža fishermen of the 17th century developed their own type of fishing boat, the Falkuša which was used even in the second half of the 20th century because of its excellent features.

See also


  1. First Croatian online peljar
  2. Statistical yearbook for 2006 of Central bureau of statistics of Republic of Croatia
  3. Article at site dedicated to Vis and Komiža
  4. Article at official Komiža site
  5. General information on Vis
  6. An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis: An Investigation Conducted by The Copenhagen Polis Centre for the Danish National Research Foundation by Mogens Herman Hansen,2005,Index
  7. Wilkes, J. J. The Illyrians, 1992, ISBN 0631198075, page 183, "... We may begin with the Venetic peoples, Veneti, Carni, Histri and Liburni, whose language set them apart from the rest of the Illyrians. ..."
  8. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites (eds. Richard Stillwell, William L. MacDonald, Marian Holland McAllister), ISSA (Vis) Croatia, Yugoslavia. A town on an island of the same name in the central Adriatic. It was settled by Illyrians, who were under the domination of Liburni from the 8th to the 6th c. B.C. At the beginning of 4th c. B.C. it was colonized by Syracusan Greeks as part of a plan of Dionysios the Elder to control the Adriatic. During the 3d c. Issa founded the emporia Tragurion (Trogir) and Epetion (Stobreč) on the Illynan mainland. Its predominance in the region lasted until the first Illyro-Roman war 229-219 B.C. when it became a pawn in the battles of greater powers. In the civil war it sided with Pompey and consequently lost its privileges and autonomy in 47 B.C. when it was reduced to the rank of the oppidum civium Romanorum and was dependent on the newly founded colony at Salona. As a polis Issa minted its own money, and these coins of many types had wide circulation. The town, situated on a slope on the W side of a large bay, was defended by strong Hellenistic walls, still visible in an irregular quadrangle (265 x 360 m) that enclosed an area of 9.8 ha. The street grid and foundations of houses have been found. The necropolis has yielded many pieces of the pottery, including some from S Italy. The wall of the cavea of the theater, built in the Roman period, is incorporated into the present Franciscan Monastery. It could seat about 3000 persons. Inscriptions, statues, coins, and pottery are preserved in the archaeological museums at Split and Zagreb.
  9. Vis: uklonjene 34 mine iz II. svjetskog rata
  10. Economy of Vis

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