Mljet (pronounced [mʎɛ̂t]; Latin: Melita, Italian: Meleda) is the most southerly and easterly of the larger Adriaticislands of the Dalmatia region of Croatia. The National Park includes the western part of the island, Veliko jezero, Malo jezero, Soline Bay and a sea belt 500 m wide from the most prominent cape of Mljet covering an area of 54 km2. The central parts of the park are Veliko jezero with the Isle of St. Mary, Malo jezero and the villages of Govedari (179 inhabitants), Polače (123 inhabitants) and Pomena (50 inhabitants).
According to the 2001 census, Mljet has population of 1,111. Croats make up an absolute majority with 97.93% of the population.
In the 16th century, the monastery was the center of the Mljet Congregation (Congregatio Melitensis or Melitana), gathering all the monasteries of Benedictine monks in the area of the Republic of Ragusa. The first president of the Congregation was Mavro Vetranović, the abbot of the Mljet monastery and the famous poet. Another great poet was abbot there – Ignjat Đurđević in the 18th century. As time went by, the Benedictine monastery on Mljet lost its importance, while the seat of the Mljet Congregation moved to Sveti Jakov near Ragusa.In 1809, during the rule of Napoleon, the Mljet monastery was disbanded. When Austria took over the island, it placed the forestry office in the building. Between the world wars, the building was owned by the Ragusa (Dubrovnik) Bishopric. In 1960 it became a hotel, and in 1998 it was returned to the bishopric.The island has a long history of eco-damage. In order to ease their transport problems, the monks dug a channel to the south coast, from the lake Veliko Jezero, thus turning both fresh-water lakes into seawater-based ones.The second incident involves mongooses. Small Asian mongooses were introduced onto the island in the early 20th century in order to reduce the venomous snake population (the island was apparently completely overrun). Whilst the mongooses completed this task, they also disposed of pretty much all the birdlife of the island. To this day, the island is notably short of hedgerow birds such as sparrows. Mongooses are a hazard for domestic poultry, and are also known to cause damage in vineyards and orchards.
Goli Rat is Mljet’s westernmost point
Mljet lies south of the Pelješac peninsula, from which it is divided by the Mljet Channel. Its length is 37 kilometres (23 mi); its average breadth 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi). It is of volcanic origin, with numerous chasms and gorges, of which the longest, the Babino Polje, connects the north and south of the island. Port Polače, the principal harbour in the north, is a port of call for tourist ferries. Mljet contains one hotel – The Odisej (from the Greek Odysseus) in the north-west corner of the island.The northwestern part of the island includes an inland sea as well as a small island within it. It has been a national park since November 12, 1960.Ancient Greeks called the island “Melita” or “honey” which over the centuries evolved to become the Slavic name, Mljet (pronounced [mʎɛt]).Over 84% of the island of 98.01 square kilometres (37.84 sq mi) is forest. The island’s geological structure consists of limestone and dolomite forming ridges, crests and slopes. A few depressions on the island of Mljet are below sea level and are known as blatine (“mud-lakes”) or slatine (“salt-lakes”). During the rain seasons all blatine are filled with water and turn to brackish during dry seasons.The climate is Mediterranean; an average air temperature in January is 9 °C (48 °F) and in July about 24 °C (75 °F).Source: Wikipedia