Cres has been inhabited since prehistory, and there are remains of prehistoric castles which give evidence to the fact. The fortified settlement developed by the coast-line, below the eastern ridge where prehistoric castle and antique fort (Crexa, Crepsa) were situated, on the opposite side to abandoned Old-Christian and early Croatian settlements located in the inlet Lovreška on the eastern side if the island.
Liburns inhabit Cres until the arrival of Croats to these places in the 6th and 7th ct., but there are also traces of Greek, Roman and Byzantine presence. The presence and influence of Greek culture is attested with material remains (amphorae, money), whereas Roman rule left most traces on these territories.
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire and relatively short reign of Eastern Goths, at one period of time Byzantium rules these territories. At the transition from the 6th to the 7th ct. Croats settle in these territories, and in the time of prince Branimir in the 9th ct. they are already governing the whole island. With the occasional breaks, when in Venetian domain, the island Cres remained a part of Croatian state until 1409.
The town develops in the Middle Ages, in 1332. it gains statute, and from 1459., in the time of Venetian rule, it takes over from Osor the function of economic and administrative centre for the archipelago of Cres and Lošinj.
With the abrogation of Venetian rule (1797) which lasted several centuries, begins the period of great changes in socio-economic development of Cres, when the first positive inovations are brought in with short French rule (1805-1814), and initiated processes continue in the period of Austrian rule which lasted more than hundred years (1814-1918).
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