Island Vis

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Vis (pronounced [ʋîːs]; Greek: Ἴσσα; Italian: Lissa) is the most outerly lying larger Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, and is part of the Central Dalmatian group of islands, with an area of 90.26 km² and a population of 3,617 (as of 2001). Of all the inhabited Croatian islands, it is the farthest from the coast. There are two municipalities on the island, with seats in its two biggest coastal towns: the municipality around the town of Vis (pop. 1,960) covers the eastern part of the island while the one centered in Komiža pop. 1,677) covers its western half.The main industries on the island are agriculture (mainly viticulture), fishing, fish refining and tourism.

Geography

Vis is the most outerly lying larger Croatian island in the Adriatic Sea, and is part of the Central Dalmatian group of islands, with an area of 90.26 km²[1] and a population of 3,617 (as of 2001). Of all the inhabited Croatian islands, it is the farthest from the coast.[2][3] The highest peak of Vis is called Hum, 587 m high.[2]There are two municipalities on the island, with seats in its two biggest coastal towns: the municipality around the town of Vis (pop. 1,960) covers the eastern part of the island while the one centered in Komiža (Italian: Comisa; pop. 1,677) covers its western half. There are also several small villages in the island’s interior, including Podselje, Marinje zemlje, Podšpilje, and Podstražje.[4]

History

Balkan Air Force aircraft at Vis Air Base during review by Marshal Tito

Vis was inhabited by the time of the Neolithic period. In the 4th century BC, the Greek tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysius the Elder, founded the colony Issa[5] on the island. Later, it became an independent city-state, and even minted its own money and founded its own colonies. In the first century BC, the island was held by the Liburnians.[6] In the 4th century BC Syracusan Greeks colonised the Island.[7] Its importance in the region ended with the first Illyro-Roman war (29-219 BC). Having sided with Pompeus during the period of civil struggles in Rome, became an “oppidum civium Romanorum” in 47 BC.The island then passed, for several centuries, under the rule of the Republic of Venice, until 1797. During this time large settlements developed on the coast (Comisa, now Komiža and Lissa, now Vis). Administratively, the island of Lissa was for centuries bound to the island of Lesina, now named Hvar. The Venetian influence is still recognizable in architecture, and many words in the local Croatian dialect are Venetian in origin.[citation needed]After the short-lived Napoleonic Kingdom of Italy, with Italian as the official language, it passed under the rule of Austrian Empire. It maintained its Italian name of Lissa. At the end of World War I, it passed under Italian rule in the period from 1918 to 1921, according to the 1915 Treaty of London, and then was ceded to Yugoslavia following the provisions of the 1920 Treaty of Rapallo.[citation needed]The sea to the north of the island was the location of two battles:

Vis was at one point the main hideout of Josip Broz Tito, the leader of the Yugoslav resistance movement. It was occupied by Yugoslav Partisans under the command of Tito and by a British flotilla in 1941 and 1943. At the end of World War II the island returned to Yugoslavia. During the war the island was mined. Allied fighter planes were based at a small airfield that was also used for emergency landings of Allied bombers, including an American B-24 flown by George McGovern. After the war, the Yugoslav People’s Army used the island as one of its main naval bases. After Croatia became independent in 1991, its navy did not reclaim most of the facilities, and the many abandoned buildings are being used for civilian purposes. In 2008, 34 mines left over from World War II were cleared from the island.[citation needed]

Economy

Vineyards on Vis

The main industries on the island are agriculture (mainly viticulture), fishing, fish refining and tourism.[2]Around 20% of arable land on the island is covered with vineyards. Autochthonous vine species cultivated on the island are Plavac Mali, Kurteloška, and Vugava (the indigenous grape of what is now known as viognier).[8]The sea around Vis is rich with fish, especially blue fish (sardine, mackerel and anchovy). Komiža fishermen of the 16th century developed their own type of fishing boat, the falkuša which was used even in the second half of the 20th century because of its excellent features.[8]Source: Wikipedia

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