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Vir (pronounced [v̞îːr]; Italian: Puntadura, Dalmatian: Punta de Ura), an island on the Croatian coast of the Adriatic Sea with an area of 22 km2, lies north of the city of Zadar. It is connected to the mainland via a road bridge. The main village on the island, the eponymous village of Vir, had a population of 1,608 As of 2001[update]. There are two more villages, Lozice and Torovi. The highest peak on the island is Bandira (112 m).
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The first known mention of Vir was in Mare Nostrum Dalmaticum (1069), a charter by king Peter Krešimir IV, where the island is referred to as Ueru (Veru), a word believed to have an ancient Mediterranean origin, meaning "pasture".
Vir is notorious/famous for its overpopulation during the summer holiday season. The cause of this is the fact that there are hundreds of smaller and larger privately owned resort-houses on it. These houses arose in the 1980s after the then Yugoslav government at one point considered building a nuclear power plant on Vir because it was so barren. Because of that, the real-estate prices dropped so low that, atypically, many people could buy a parcel of land there.
Many did; the nuclear plant was never built; this resulted in excessive building of resort-houses. It is estimated that hundreds of buildings on Vir will eventually need to be torn down, because they were built without permits since they were contrary to the urban development plans. In 2006, the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction targeted over 400 such objects for demolition. The demolition caused a minor diplomatic scandal between governments of Croatia and Hungary because many of the demolished/targeted for demolition objects were owned by Hungarian citizens.
However, during the rest of the year Vir is quite a cozy and quiet island. Infrastructure is very good, to satisfy demand during the summer rush. Outside the over inhabited areas, it has places of solitude, the Mediterranean landscape and shore.
The island is one of the biggest described endemic places of origin of house-mouse-borne lymphocytic choriomeningitis in the world, with IFA testing having found LCMV antibodies in 36% of the tested population.
- Duplančić Leder, Tea; Ujević, Tin; Čala, Mendi (June 2004). "Coastline lengths and areas of islands in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea determined from the topographic maps at the scale of 1 : 25 000" (PDF). Geoadria (Zadar) 9 (1): 5–32. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
- Brkić, Velimir (30 March 2009). "Privatni otok - jučer, danas i sutra". Zadarski list (in Croatian). Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- Kalenić, Smilja (2013). Medicinska mikrobiologija [Medical Microbiology] (in Croatian). Zagreb: Medicinska naklada. ISBN 978-953-176-637-1.
- Dobec M, Dzelalija B, Punda-Polic V, Zoric I (2006). "High prevalence of antibodies to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus in a murine typhus endemic region in Croatia". Journal of Medical Virology 78 (12): 1643–7. doi:10.1002/jmv.20749. PMID 17063527.
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