Island of BRAC

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Brač (Croatian pronunciation: [ˈbɾaːtʃ]; Latin: Bretia, Brattia; Italian: Brazza; German: Bratz) is an island in the Adriatic Sea within Croatia, with an area of 396 km², making it the largest island in Dalmatia, and the third largest in the Adriatic. Its tallest peak, Vidova Gora, or Mount St. Vid, stands at 778 m, making it the highest island point in the Adriatic. The island has a population of 13,000, living in numerous little towns, ranging from the main town Supetar, with more than 3,500 inhabitants, to Novo Selo, where only a dozen people live. Bol Airport on Brač is the largest airport of all islands surrounding Split.

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Archaeological findings date the existence of human communities on the island back to the palaeolithic (in the Kopačina cave between Supetar and Donji Humac). Nevertheless, there are no traces of human habitation from the neolithic. In the Bronze Age and Iron Age, Illyrian tribes populated the inner parts of the island. Numerous villages existed at that time (but none of them survived).

In the 4th century BC Greek colonisation spread over many Adriatic islands and along the shore, but none of them on Brač. Nevertheless, Greeks visited the island and also traded with the Illyric tribes; Greek artifacts were found in the bay of Vičja near Ložišća. Brač lay on the crossroads of several trade routes from Salona (today Solin) to Issa (today Vis) and the Po River.

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In the year 9 AD, the Romans finally conquered Dalmatia after long fights against the native tribes. Salona became the capital of the new province and, probably because of its proximity to Salona, no bigger villages or towns were founded on the island. Signs of Roman habitation can be found all over the islands, but they usually remain single Roman villas, cisterns, and especially early quarries between Škrip and Splitska. Splitska also became the most important harbour to carry stone to Salona and the whole of Dalmatia. Diocletian's Palace, which later became Split, was largely built with limestone that was quarried on Brač.[1] Also agriculture, especially wine and olives, began in the same era.

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After the destruction of Salona by Avar and Slavic tribes, Brač became a refuge for many denizens of the shore. Tradition has it that Škrip was founded by refugee Salonans, but the town is actually much older than that.

From 1268 to 1357 AD the island recognised the supremacy of the Republic of Venice, and after that they bowed to the Kingdom of Hungary. In the summer of 1390, together with the whole region, they accepted the rule of the Bosnian King Tvrtko Kotromanić, who died the next year.[2] Soon after his death, Hungary claimed the island again. In this whole period, they kept their basic autonomy and old structures - the island was never rich or strategically interesting enough to justify serious intervention. Local nobility administered and ruled Brač and the seat of the council was Nerežišća in the island's center. The leader was selected from the noble families. Only in 1420 did the Venetian Republic reclaim the island, finally sending someone to lead the island.

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Venice ruled for more than four centuries, until 1797, when the Habsburg Monarchy annexed most of its territory in a deal with Napoleonic France. The official language was Latin. During this time, the Bosnian realm fell to the Ottoman Empire and many refugees settled on the islands, especially on Brač. Many towns were founded in that time and the population began moving from the interior of the island to its coast: to Bol, Milna, Postira, Povlja, Pučišća, Splitska, Sumartin, Supetar i Sutivan.

Other towns and villages on the island include Supetar, Bol, Škrip (the oldest village, from pre-Roman times), Pučišća, Splitska, Postira, Nerežišća, Donji Humac, Milna, Mirca, Murvica, Gornji Humac, Dol, Sutivan, Sumartin, Praznica, Povlja, Dračevica, Ložišća, Bobovišća na moru and many more.

Other places of interest are the Blaca hermitage and Drakonjina špilja.

Last Updated on Saturday, 30 October 2010 20:46