History

History

Due to its mild Mediterranean climate and the closeness to the open sea, island Vis has attracted people from ancient times.

The climate has been ideal for the growth of different cultures and vineyards, and the closeness to the open sea has attracted lots of fishermen that made there settlement on the island.   

Church with the green landscape
View at the sea and town

One of the first mentions of the island Vis dates from the 4th century BC, when the Dionysus, the ruler of the Greek town Syracuse, founded his colony here and named it Issa. It those times this area has an important role in nautical trading and was known for amazing wines. The remains of that colony can still be seen at the locality Gradina, north from the Franciscan monastery at Prirovo.

From the 7th century it was inhabited by the Croats, but in the 10th century it was attacked by Venetian and since then it was a part of the Venetian Republic. During the centuries that followed people started to raise their settlements on the shore that served both for residence and defence. With the fall of the Venetian republic, Vis came under the ruling of Napoleon at 1805. But in the 1810, the British took over the island and made an important nautical trading port at the Adriatic. The remainders of that period are the fortress that were built by the British on the island.

Church on the hill
Island Vis and boat tour around the island

With the fall of Napoleon, island became a part of the Austrian Empire. In 1866 Vis was attacked by the modern Italian fleet led who tried to conquer the island. Vis fought alongside the small Austrian fleet that was outnumbered, but won the battle at the end. The Italian war ship Re d`Italia sinked at the Vis aquatorium. The turbulent island history continued in the World War Two, when it used as a military airbase and it was closed for visitors for decades.