Brač

 

 

Brač (Latin Bretia, Brattia; Italian Brazza, Čakavian Broč) is an island in Croatia in the Adriatic Sea in front of Split. With an area of ​​395 km2, it is the largest island in Dalmatia and the third largest island in the Adriatic Sea.

Geographical location
Brac is the largest central Dalmatian island. It is about 40 km long and 12 km wide on average. With a total area of ​​395 km² it is the third largest island in the Adriatic. It is 6 to 13 km away from the mainland through the Brač Channel (maximum depth 78 m). To the west it is separated from the island of Šolta by the Split Gate, and to the south from the island of Hvar by the Hvar Channel (depth 91 m).

The island was built of carbonate-limestone rocks, and was formed approximately 100 million years ago in the Cretaceous period, but only in the Holocene did it become an island. Other types of soil were formed by erosion and deposition, so that today it consists of limestone, sandstone, breccia, clay and red soil.

The highest peak is Vidova gora, otherwise the highest peak of all Adriatic islands (778 m / nm).

Climate
The climate of the island is determined by its position, and it is characterized by all the characteristics of the Mediterranean climate: warm and dry summers and short and mild winters. Brac belongs to the sunniest Adriatic area with about 2700 hours of sunshine a year, somewhere between Split and Hvar. The average winter temperature is 9 ° C and the summer 25 ° C. Snow falls only about 2 days a year and does not last more than 10 hours. The last barrels blow in March, popularly known as the 3 Marche Barrels. In summer, the mistral, better known as the mistral, blows almost every day. Precipitation is more frequent in the interior of the island and on its eastern side. Differences in precipitation range from 700 mm of the annual average for Sutivan, to 1400 mm for Dol. The average sea temperature is 24 ° C in summer and 14 ° C in winter. Since there is no major settlement or heavy industry on the island, there is almost no pollution.

 

History

Archaeological research has confirmed the existence of human communities on the island in the Paleolithic (Kopačina cave between Supetar and Donji Humac). Surprisingly, there are no confirmed Neolithic finds. Later, in the Bronze and Iron Ages, the island was inhabited by Illyrians who mostly lived in the interior of the island, and of which we have preserved numerous forts (the most famous are Rat near Ložišće, Velo Gračišće near Selce and Koštilo near Bol).

Although in the 4th century BC Greek colonization affected both the Adriatic islands and the coast, there is no indication of the establishment of Greek colonies on Brač. The Greeks seem to have been casual visitors to the island, at the place where the main station of the Illyrian trade on Brač was - Vičja luka near Ložišće, where Greek objects were found. Brac was on the way to the merchants who sailed from Issa towards Salona, ​​and also to those who sailed towards the valley of the river Po.

After long battles with the Delmatians, the Romans finally broke their resistance in 9 AD. The province of Dalmatia was founded, whose capital was Salona. Probably due to its proximity, no larger settlement was founded on Brač, although evidence of Roman presence is found throughout the island (villae rusticae, cisterns, watering cans for cattle, wine and oil presses, sarcophagi, remains of the port - Splitska, Bol, Lovrečina bay). The greatest importance for the island, however, was stonemasonry. Rich layers of limestone favored the development of this craft, as evidenced by monuments in the wider area, especially from Salona and Aspalathos. The most important quarries were Plate, Stražišće and Rasohe between Splitska and Škrip. From there, the stone was transported to the port of Split, and then to the construction sites of Salona and Diocletian's Palace. Numerous epigraphic monuments on the island testify to all this.

After Salona was destroyed by the Avars and the Slavs, Brač became a refuge for Salonitan defectors, and shortly after that the Slavs began to inhabit the island. According to a tradition that lasted for centuries, these refugee Salonitans founded the town of Škrip. Politically, Brac was under the Byzantine Empire.

In the 12th century, Croatia was annexed to Hungary with its Dalmatian towns, but Brač still retained political independence for a long time. From 1268 to 1357, the people of Brač recognized Venetian rule, and then Hungarian-Croatian rule, always retaining their communal self-government and old privileges. In 1420, a long-lasting Venetian administration began throughout Dalmatia, with the exception of the Republic of Dubrovnik.

By the 13th century, Brač's self-government had developed into a communal administration with its own organization, administrative services and regulations. At the head of the commune stood a prince who had previously been chosen from among the island's nobles, and was later sent by Venice. The supreme authority, the Grand Council, consisted of all the nobles of Brač. Next to it there was the Small Council and the Council of the Wise. The seat of the commune was in Nerežišće. Along with the Nobles' Assembly, the People's Assembly also met, which had much smaller rights.

The official language was Latin, but everyday Croatian, like everyday Scripture and that of official documents, was Croatian Cyrillic, with which the Povaljska listina in 1184 was written, the oldest and most important preserved document of medieval Brač.

In the Middle Ages, the population of the island was engaged in cattle breeding, forestry, agriculture, fishing, stonemasonry and trade. Venetian rule on Brač lasted for almost four centuries, from 1420-1797. The decisive event was the conquests of the Turks, who in the 16th century rushed all the way to the sea.

After the fall of Bosnia, the population fled to Dalmatia, and many further to the islands, especially to Brač, and among them the people of Poljica and Omiš stand out. Then the settlements of Brač were moved from the interior to the coast of the island, and new settlements were created: Bol, Milna, Postira, Povlja, Pučišća, Splitska, Sumartin, Supetar and Sutivan.

Recent history
After the cessation of the Turkish threat in Dalmatia in the 18th century, the coastal settlements of Brač developed into small towns. The nurseries of literacy and culture were the monasteries in Povlja, Pučišća, Sumartin, Bol and in the hermit settlements in Blaci, Dračeva Luka and others.

The French administration on the island of Brač (1805-1813) followed the collapse of the Venetian Republic in 1797 and lasted until Napoleon's collapse in 1813. With the Congress of Vienna in 1814, Brač and all of Dalmatia belonged to Austria. In 1827, the Austro-Hungarian administration moved the main administrative role from Nerežišće to Supetar.

In the spring of 1941, Brač was occupied by the Italian army. The following year, national liberation committees were organized in all places and combat actions were taken against the occupiers. The Italians therefore arrested and shot the population and burned Selce (a terrible fire, described in the poems), Novo Selo, Gornji Humac, Pražnica, Pučišća, Dračevica and Bol.

 

After the capitulation of Italy in the fall of 1943, the people disarmed the Italian army and liberated the island for several months, until the arrival of the Ustashas (in October). In January 1944, the German occupation took place. In June 1944, a landing began from Vis on Brač, which housed 1,800 German soldiers. By July 18, 1944, the whole of Brač was conquered and liberated.

Brac in the Homeland War
In the summer of 1991, Croatia was attacked by the Yugoslav army. After the conquest of the artillery battalions of the Yugoslav Navy (JRM), in October 1991 the coastal artillery positions on Šolta were arranged and occupied, which soon after operated in the Naval Battle in the Split Channel from the beginning of the Homeland War. The battle took place between the forces of the Croatian Navy (HRM) and the much superior forces of the JRM on 14 and 15 November 1991 in the Split Channel.

The people of Brač organized defense units and began diversions on warships set up in front of the island, which bombed the western part of Brač (around Milna and the Brač side of the Split Gate) and Split on 14 and 15 November 1991. A young war veteran on the island was killed. Defenders from Brač then shot down 2 Yugoslav Army planes. The defenders of Brač also took an equal part in further fighting and resistance to aggression on all Croatian battlefields.

After the war, the island of Brač became part of the Split-Dalmatia County, and was administratively divided into the town of Supetar and the municipalities of Milna, Sutivan, Nerežišča, Postira, Bol, Pučišća and Selce.