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Vis at dusk

Vis is a town on the island of the same namemarker in Croatiamarker, population 1,776 (as of 2001). It is the center of the Vis municipality and part of Split-Dalmatia Countymarker.


The first settlement in the place of today's town of Vis was built in the fourth century BC by Greek colonists from Sicily under the name of Issa. Greeks were attracted by Issa's geographical position because it enabled control of shiping in the Adriatic Seamarker. Antique Issa developed as the urban and economic center of Dalmatia and also served as a military base for colonization of places near the present-day town of Splitmarker, such as Stobrečmarker (Epetion) and Trogirmarker (Tragurion). Issa functioned as an independent polis until the first century BCE, when it was conquered by the Roman Empire. After the Roman conquest Issa lost its significance until the late Middle Ages when it was mentioned in several historical sources.


The town of Vis is located in a relatively large and protected bay (Croatian: uvala Svetog Jurja, English: Bay of Saint George) on the north-east side of the island facing the island of Hvarmarker and the Dalmatian mainland. The port of Vis is located in the south-west part of the bay. The port is protected from open sea influence by the small island of Host (named after William Hoste) and the Prirovo (Prilovo) peninsula. Other ports are smaller and located in Kut and Stonca, which are also parts of the town of Vis.

Vis is isolated from its fields (Dračevo polje and Velo polje) thanks to 250-300 m high hills which are important for the local citizens as the main source of incomes from viticulture. Other official parts of the town on the south and south-east coast are villages located on bays such as Milna, Rukavac, Srebrna, Stiniva, Stončica), although some of them have a tendency to become new towns. These bays and villages are, besides the town of Vis itsself, the main source of tourist income for the whole island.


Formal area of town of Vis is whole eastern part of the island. Western part of the island is under the authority of Komižamarker. Area of Vis embraces eight villages: Dračevo Polje, Marine Zemlje, Milna, Plisko Polje, Podselje, Podstražje, Rogačić and Rukavac. Town's council consists of eleven councilors divided currently in three groups; five councilors from SDP - HNS - HSS coalition, three from Independent list of Ante Acalinović and three from HDZ - HSP coalition. Ascendancy is currently held by HDZ - HSP coalition in alliance with the Independent list.


Until the middle of the twentieth century the main sources of income were vineyards and wine production. Recently more and more people work in tourism. The town is also famous for its greenery of palm, the only example on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Seamarker.

Famous people

Monuments and historical sights

  • Rests of antique Issa (thermae, necropolis, theatre, parts of the port)
  • Five Roman catholic churches (Župna crkva Gospe od Spilica, Crkva svetog Ciprijana, Crkva svetog Duha, Franciscan monastery on peninsula of Prirovo and Crkva Vele Gospe)
  • Residences of Hvar and Vis noble families (Hektorović, Jakša, Gariboldi, Dojmi Delupis)
  • War forts dating from various time (from old Venicemarker to Austria-Hungary)
  • British Military Cemetery


  • Primary school Vis
  • Secondary school named after Antun Matijašević - Karamaneo built in 1975. It is the center of secondary school education in whole island because no secondary schools exist in the rest of the island. Until the 1960s schools existed in villages of Podselje, Podstražje and Marine Zemlje which were closed because of emigrating population and lack of students.


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