The arhipelago of Lošinj



An islet opposite to Lošinj, with the expanse of 3,8 km2. The island has been inhabited already from the Roman period. The only settlement is the village bearing the same name, on the eastern coast. The village consists of the older part - Gornje selo, on the edge of the sand plateau, and the newer one - Spjaza, by the coast.

In 1771. only Selo existed, a condensed type of settlement, which was founded in the security of the hill and close by the fertile lands. The village is surrounded with a natural border of bushes, reeds and vineyards. Until the beginning of the 19th ct. single-storeyed houses with one room were the base for the construction works. They were made of dry stone, plastered with red soil and covered with reeds. These houses don't exist any more, just sporadically there appears a type of house which represents a transition from that type of dwelling to the developed type which is in majority today. Those are stone houses, two-storeyed, made mostly of stone from Raša and erected on the model of that type of house existing in other parts of Istria and Croatian Seaside.

The new part of the settlement - Spjaza starts from Studenac, including the part of the settlement which was once called "Zlo selo" and ends at the port. Most of the houses were built on the bases of old wine-cellars, and also continue the older type of living on the island.

The parish was established in 1770. Near by the present-day parochial church of St. Nicholas once stood a Benedictine monastery with the church of St. Nicholas or St. Michael from the 11th ct. The remnant of a mediaeval building, a lunette with a cross is built into the outer wall of today's church. The house on the northern side of the church was probably an old monastic fort. A big wooden Romanesque crucifix from the 12th ct. can be found in the church, which was, according to tradition, found on the coast by the Benedictine monks.

The inhabitants are mainly engaged in wine-growing, but also in fishing. Their living is rather isolated, and they have preserved old tradition in connection to marriage, grape-gathering and carnival.



The only settlement on the island, on the north-eastern coast in the lee from the north-eastern wind due to the neighbouring islet of Sveti Petar, is the village called Ilovik. The village has an environmental value. It developed two hundred years ago, when the labourers from Veli Lošinj permanently inhabited the island, by purchasing the land from the bishop of Osor.

The canal dividing the islands Ilovik and Sveti Petar has from ancient times been used as an anchorage, a place for resting and a "waiting room" for the arrival of a favourable wind on the intersection of outer and interior sailing route on the communication Pula - Zadar.

On today uninhabited island of Sveti Petar the finds of material culture from the ancient times are as frequent as on Ilovik. The remains of Roman rustic villa with installations of the harbour have been established on the coast.

The peculiar closeness of the two islands is attested by the cemetery of Ilovik which is situated on Sveti Petar. The walls of the cemetery are the remains of the Benedictine monastery Sancti Petri de Nembis which developed in the 11th ct. on the late-antiquity basis (Byzantine fortification). An early-Christian sarcophagus was found in the cemetery, as well as larger areas covered with polychromous mosaic, the remains of the original, early-Christian church. On the coast of Sveti Petar are also the ruins of the castle with a tower, belonging to Venetian providure Pasqualigo, from 1597.

Although the islands, especially uninhabited Sveti Petar, are today mostly choked with macchia, described material remains give evidence of former intensive agricultural activity, especially in wine and olive-growing. A neighbouring island of Kozjak makes together with Ilovik and Sveti Petar an inseparable whole. In the vicinity of village Ilovik, on the hill called Straža, there are preserved traces of a fortified prehistoric castle. On the same locality can be presumed the existence of an early-mediaeval, Byzantine fortified look-out. The prehistoric castle is also presumed on the highest peak of the island, called Dida. The vineyard in the region Sišadrije covers up still pretty well visible traces of the sanctuary and perimetral walls of the early-Christian church of St. Andrew. In the vicinity to Ilovik there are the remains of a shipwreck from the period of antiquity, with a cargo of amphorae.



The archipelago of islets - Susak, Srakane and Unije, shelters Lošinj from the open Adriatic, and determines outer historical maritime route perhaps since the time of mythical Argonauts, and the first traces of man's existence on Unije date from prehistory with the ruins of two castles situated on the southern and northern end of the island. A Roman villa with numerous remains of architecture on the very shore of cove Vrulje exists within reach of a fertile field, which even today gives abundant crops.

The most important in the picture of settlements is the play of houses which are with their gables facing the sea, almost without screening one another, in several lines along the depth of the slope. The type of house, with broad façade with a gable, which is longer than the lateral sides and with three axes of opening as a rule, can be found in highest concentration at this very place, and on Lošinj it reaches only to Ćunski, Sveti Jakov and Nerezine, and it is very rare on Cres. The transversal roof with horizontally placed and very short building material (the problem of lack of wood), is the most probable reason for this unique typology of houses which deserves a separate research work.

The Town Of Mali Lošinj Osor Mali Lošinj Veli Lošinj Nerezine Sveti Jakov The arhipelago of Lošinj

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