Vis (town)

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Vis is located in Croatia
Location of Vis in Croatia
Vis is located in Split-Dalmatia County
Location of Vis in Split-Dalmatia County
Coordinates: 43°03′N 16°11′E / 43.050°N 16.183°E / 43.050; 16.183
Country Croatia
County Split-Dalmatia County
Island Vis
 • Mayor Ante Acalinović
 • Total 52 km2 (20 sq mi)
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 1,934
 • Metro density 38/km2 (100/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
Postal code 21480
Area code(s) 021
Vis at dusk

Vis is a town on the eponymous island in the Adriatic Sea in southern Croatia. It has a population of 1,934 residents (as of 2011). The town is also the seat of the eponymous Vis municipality, one of the two municipalities on the island (the other one being Komiža) which both administratively belong to the Split-Dalmatia County.


Vis was established in the 4th century BC as the Greek polis of Issa, a colony of Syracuse, Sicily (which in turn was a colony of Corinth). Dionysius the Elder, the contemporary tyrant of Syracuse, founded the colony in order to control shipping in the Adriatic Sea.[2][3] Ancient Issa developed as the urban and economic center of the Dalmatian coasts, and also served as a military base. The city established several colonies, such as Aspálathos, modern-day Split (which in modern times is the largest city in Dalmatia), and others such as Epidauros (Stobreč), and Tragurion (Trogir). Issa functioned as an independent polis until the 1st 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,[4] English: Bay of Saint George) on the north-east side of the island facing the island of Hvar 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 islet of Host (named after William Hoste) and the peninsula called Prirovo (sometimes spelled "Prilovo"). Other ports are smaller and located in Kut.[5] 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 itself, the main source of tourist income for the whole island.


Vis experiences warm and temperate winters with warm to hot summers with the landward breeze making it the most moderate climate in the Republic of Croatia. The climate allows for Tropical and Mediterranean vegetation, including palms, carobs, olives, grapes and lemons. The average rainfall is about 750 mm (29.5 in) per square meter. The island of Vis has a number of natural sources of drinking water from the natural spring water reservoirs. The island is also home to twelve distinct types of island vegetation. Vis has been marked as one of the ten most environmentally preserved islands in the Mediterranean by the World Organization for Environmental Protection.


Formal area of town of Vis is whole eastern part of the island. Western part of the island is under the authority of Komiža. 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.[6] Recently more and more people work in tourism. The town is also famous for its greenery of palms, the only example on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea.

Notable residents[edit]

  • Niko pl. Giaxa (Jakša)(1845-1905) first national major of Vis
  • Ivan Farolfi (1892–1945), high-ranked official and former mayor;
  • Ranko Marinković (1913–2001), Croatian poet born in Vis;
  • Vesna Parun (1922–2010), acclaimed Croatian poet who was born in Zlarin but spent her childhood in Vis;

Monuments and historical sites[edit]

  • 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 Venice to Austria-Hungary)
  • British Military Cemetery (dating from the British presence during the 1810s)


  • Vis Primary school
  • Until the 1960s secondary schools existed in the villages of Podselje, Podstražje and Marine Zemlje but these were eventually closed because of the lack of students due to drastic emigration that affected the island as a whole. In 1975 a secondary school named after Antun Matijašević - Karamaneo was built. It remains the sole centre of secondary education on the island.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Population by Age and Sex, by Settlements, 2011 Census: Vis". Census of Population, Households and Dwellings 2011. Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics. December 2012. 
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ tz-vis.h/Vis
  4. ^ Dalmatia by Dmitar J. Culic. page 106
  5. ^ Footprint Croatia by Jane Foster. page 258
  6. ^ Migration and Population Decline in the Island of Vis, Croatia 1910-2001 by Ivo Nejasmic & Roko 116. The paper discusses the population dynamics of the island of Vis, Croatia and the geo-graphical, demographic and social characteristics linked to the process. Demographic sta-tistics and the results of the research show the substantial population decline of the island of Vis.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°04′N 16°11′E / 43.067°N 16.183°E / 43.067; 16.183