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History of the town

Omiš is a small town in the very heart of Dalmatia, situated on the left bank of the mouth of the Cetina river, which - forcing its way through the stone walls of the surrounding mountains – forms an impressive canyon opening a passage from the mainland to the Adriatic Sea. Such contrasts are rarely to be found elsewhere - by its mere location Omiš is already a true attraction of its own right.

It is situated only 21 km to the southeast of the biggest Dalmatian city – the city of Split, and given its central position it represents a prefect starting destination on the voyage to to discover the beauties of Dalmatia, its islands, its proud history, cultural heritage and natural wonders.

The history of this small town is quite long and very interesting. The relatively small area of the town treasures quite a lot of cultural and historical sites to be seen: churches dating back to the period from the 10th to the 18th century, numerous monuments, fortresses, a museum and many other...

The historical centre of the town is situated on the eastern bank of the Cetina river, but in ancient times it was most probably located more to the north from the present centre, namely in the hamlet of Baučići.
The medieval town of Omiš had the name of Olmissium, Almivssium and it developed right beneath the fortress of Stari Grad – Fortica, which is located at the very peak of the Omiška Dinara mountain and has been preserved to the present day. Due to the dangers of attacks which it faced both from the sea and from the inland, the town of Omiš was surrounded by fortifications, and one of its proud „guardians“ at the time was also the fortress of Peovica – Mirabella.

In the medieval period, during the 12th and the 13th century, the town of Omiš and its infamous pirates were ruled by the powerful dukes of the family Kačić. At that time the pirates of Omiš launched attacks against papal galleons and merchant ships of the powerful Venice, Dubrovnik, Kotor, Split....
In the 15th century the dukes of Omiš finally acknowledged the rule of Venice, but preserved their own autonomy. They paid a tribute to the Venetians and fought frequent battles against the Turks.

After the fall of Venice, Omiš came under the rule of Austria, and in 1805 with the Treaty of Pressburg (today’s Bratislava) between the French and the Austrians it was put under the rule of the French. In 1813 it was again taken over by the Austrians, under whose rule it remained till the beginning of World War I.

The medieval fortifications of the town were pulled down in the 19th century, but their remnants are still visible today (the eastern fort of Turjun, the eastern town gate..) and the spirit of past times can still be felt everywhere you go...