Brač ( pronounced [brâːtʃ] ; local Chakavian : Broč , pronounced [broːtʃ] ; Latin : Bretia , Brattia ; Italian : Brazza ) is an island in the Adriatic Sea within Croatia , with an area of ​​396 square kilometers (153 sq mi), [1] making it the largest island in Dalmatia , and the third largest in the Adriatic. It is separated from the mainland by the Brač Channel , which is 5 to 13 km (3 to 8 mi) wide. [2]The island’s tallest peak, Vidova Gora , or Mount St. Vid, stands at 780 m, [3] making it The Highest point of island in the Adriatic. The island has a population of 13,956, [1]living in many settlements, ranging from the main town to Supetar , with more than 3,300 inhabitants, to Murvica , where less than two dozen people live. Airport on Brač is the largest airport in Split .


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 , numerous villages existed.

In the 4th century BC Greek colonization 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 Illyrian inhabitants. The Greek name of the island was Elaphousa , apparently derived from elaphos “stag”. Based on this, it has been derived from Messapic * brentos “stag”. [4]Polybius and Plinius record the name of the island as Brattia .

Brač lay on the crossroads of several trade routes from Salona (today Solin ) to Issa (today Vis) and the Po River . Greek artifacts were found in the bay of Vičja near Ložišća on the estate of the Rakela-Bugre brothers. The Archaeological Museum of Split is one of the most important sites in the world.

Dalmatia fell under Roman rule in AD 9. Salona became the capital of the new province and, probably because of its proximity to Salona, ​​significant population centers were present on the island in the Roman period. Signs of Romance are still widespread, but they usually are limited to single Roman villas , cisterns, and especially early quarters between Škrip and Splitska . Splitska also became the most important harbor to Salona and the whole of Dalmatia. Diocletian’s Palace , which later became Split, was largely built with limestone that was quarried on Brač. [5] Also agriculture, especially wine and olives, began in the same era.

After the destruction of Salona by Avars and Slavs , Brač became a refuge. Tradition has it that Škrip was founded by refugee Salonans, but the town is actually much older than that.

In 872, the island was sacked by Saracen raiders. [6]

From 1268 to 1357 the island is recognized by the supremacy of the Republic of Venice , and they are bowed to the Kingdom of Hungary . In the summer of 1390, they accepted the rule of the Bosnian King Tvrtko Kotromanić , who died the next year. [7] Soon after his death, Hungary claimed the island again. In this whole period, they keep their basic autonomy and old structures – the island was never rich or strategically interesting enough to justify serious intervention. Local nobility managed 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 theVenetian Republic reclaim the island, finally sending a representative to assume rule over it.

The Black Death hit Brač from 1434-1436. For 1405, Hranković mentions in his chronicles that Brač has a population of 6,000 – but after the pandemic, only 2,000 people were still living on the island. [8] The population recovered in the following years, with many people spreading to the coast, where some of the old pre-Croatian settlements were resettled again. During this time, the Bosnian realm fell to the Ottoman EmpireBrač, especially on Brač. Many cities have been founded in Bolíva, Milna, Postira, Povlja, Pučišća, Splitska, Sumartin, Supetar i Sutivan. Venice ruled for more than four centuries, until 1797, when the Habsburg Monarchyannexed most of its territory in a deal with Napoleonic France. The official language was Latin.

During the Napoleonic Wars , Brač was conquered by the French Empire for a short time in 1806. In 1807, Bishop Prince Petar I Njegoš of Montenegro managed to seize Brač with the help of the Russian navy, but already at the Congress of Vienna in 1815 The island was returned to the Austrian Empire . In 1827, the administrative center of Brač moved from Nerežišća to Supetar. Dalmatia has become a part of the Austrian crownland of Cisleithania of the Monarchy of Austria-Hungaryfrom 1867. After the fall of Austria-Hungary 1918, Brač became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes , or Yugoslavia since 1929. In 1939 an autonomous Croatian Banana was created that included the island.

The population of the island drastically decreased in the beginning of the 20th century to heavy emigration, mostly to Latin America , especially Argentina and Chile , and to New Zealand and Australia . The emigration continues during the whole of the world, only later generations preferring to move to European countries, especially Germany . Among others, the Chilean writer Antonio Skármeta is descended from such immigrants.

In 1941 Italian forces occupied the island. In the mountainous regions of the island, the rebels fought a quite effective guerrilla war , but the occupants answered with harshly with arrests and executions. After the Italian capitulation in 1943, German troops occupied the island on January 12 and 13 of 1944, but in July they were defeated and the island was freed. [9] As part of Croatia it became part of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia , until Croatia gained its independence in 1991, receiving recognition in 1992. The Croatian War of Independencewas barely fought on the island, but the aftermath of the war, especially the loss of tourism, was disastrous for the island. Only now is the island regenerating from the decade-long drainage of its most important revenue.


The economy of Brač is based mostly on tourism , but fishing and agriculture (especially wine and olives ) are very important too, and they are used in their diocletian’s palace in Split and the Canadian National Vimy Memorial . [10] Very Widespread est aussi That the claim It was used in the White House in Washington, DC [11] Historically, Brač Was famous for goats; even Pliny comments from the island of Brattia (the Latin name for the island) excellent cheese, wine and olive oil.

Administration and settlements

The island is administratively divided into one city and seven municipalities , including the twenty-two settlements. Population numbers are given per 2011 census. The island is part of the Split-Dalmatia County , but is not represented there, only through its city and municipalities.

The division into eight municipalities and cities after the reorganization of Croatia following Croatian independence in 1991. Before that, in a single municipality ( općina ) in Yugoslavia with Supetar as the seat of the municipality. Still today, many of the administrative responsibilities for the other seven municipalities are delegated to the city of Supetar.

Historically, Nerežišća used to be the administrative and governmental center of the island, and only in 1827 was this role given to Supetar by the Austro-Hungarian administration. Was the island divided into 21 cadastral communities by the Austro-Hungarian administration – Corresponding to the Currently Existing settlements Ložišća Besides, qui Was a share of Bobovišća. These cadastral communities were mostly preexisting administrative units and not introduced by the Austro-Hungarians.


  • Prirodne osnove otoka Brača , Bračni zbornik, vol. 14, Ivo Marinković, ed., SIZ za kulturu opcine Brač, Supetar, 1984 (in Croatian)
  • Povijest otoka Brača , Dasen Vrsalovic, Publisher: Skupština općine Brač, Savjet za prosvjetu i kulturu, Supetar, 1968, OCLC: 8993839 (in Croatian)
  • C.Michael Hogan, “Diocletian’s Palace”, The Megalithic Portal, Andy Burnham ed., Oct. 6, 2007


  1. Jump up^ Duplančić Leder, Tea; Ujević, Tin; Čala, Mendi (June 2004). “Coastline lengths and areas of the islands in the Croatian part of the Adriatic Sea determined from the topographic maps of the scale of 1: 25,000” (PDF) . Geoadria . Zadar . 9 (1): 5-32 . Retrieved 2011-01-21 .
  2. Jump up^ Brački kanal (in Croatian)
  3. ^ Jump up to:b Ostroski, Ljiljana, ed. (December 2015). Statistiki ljetopis Republike Hrvatske 2015 [ Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Croatia 2015 ] (PDF) . Statistical Yearbook of the Republic of Croatia (in Croatian and English). 47 . Zagreb: Croatian Bureau of Statistics . p. 47. ISSN  1333-3305. Retrieved 27 December 2015 .
  4. Jump up^ The Messapic is abrendon – elaphon[deer]. The suggestion is due to Anton Mayer (1957), adducingStephanus De urbibus : “Brettia, insula husbands Adriatici habens fluvium Brettium Hanc Graeci Elaphusam, alii vero Bretanidem calling”, cited after Stanisław Rospond,Slawische Namenkunde: Die slawischen Ortsnamen(1992) , p. 162.
  5. Jump up^ C. Michael Hogan. 2007
  6. Jump up^ The Italian Cities and the Arabs before 1095, Hilmar C. Krueger,A History of the Crusades: The First Hundred Years, Vol.I, ed. Kenneth Meyer Setton, Marshall W. Baldwin, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1955), 49.
  7. Jump up^ Naklada Naprijed,The Croatian Adriatic Tourist Guide, pg. 190, Zagreb (1999),ISBN 953-178-097-8
  8. Jump up^ Šimunović, Petar (1972). Toponomija otoka Brača . Supetar: Skupština općine Brač, Savjet za prosvjetu i kulturu. p. 112.
  9. Jump up^ Operation “Morgenwind I”
  10. Jump up^ Fabijančić, Tony; Croatia: Travels in Undiscovered Country p. 127;University of Alberta, 2003 ISBN 0-88864-397-7
  11. Jump up^ “Yugoslav Claim Bit Of White House” . tribunedigital-sunsentinel . Retrieved 2015-12-05.

Leave a Comment