The first dwellers in the Omišalj area were the Illyrians. In the 1st c. AD they were conquered by the Romans, who ruled over the entire Krk and remained there until the arrival of the Croats. Some hamlets developed after the settlement of the Croats from the mainland in the 15th c., at the period of Turkish conquering. According to some sources, in 1527 Omišalj had about 1195 inhabitants. The firs mass-emigration took place in the 19th c., as a result of the abandoning of sailboats and the appearance of steamboats.
In the Middle Ages the Omišalj castle was entitled to a wider area, all the way to Dubašnica. People also inhabited the south-eastern coast, in Voz and Vošćica, as it is evinced by the remains of a small Venetian fort. People mostly lived off fishing, what we can see from the old photographs of tuna boats dating from those times. The toponym "Piškira" derives from the Italian term (peschiera - fish pond) which reminds us of those tuna boats. The small settlement Njivice was most probably first inhabited already in the ancient times, and it is mentioned for the first time in 1474, in the grant of prince Ivan VII Frankopan.
Voz - fishermen`s harbour
Voz - the remains of the Venetian fort
The economic strength of Omišalj laid in its fields. Besides agriculture, cattle-breeding and olive growing were also important parts of economy, and afterwards maritime affairs and forest exploitation. Omišalj held the place of the first maritime-characterised settlement on the island for a long time. In the 19th c., at the time of the construction of Rijeka's port, a considerable income was collected from the exploiting of the stone-pit from Ert peninsula.
During the 70s and the 80s, the projects of the infrastructure, industry and tourism development were initiated on the island of Krk, and especially in the Omišalj district, to an aim of economic welfare. In the year of 1970 the airport "Rijeka" was built, and in 1973 the bridge connecting the island of Krk and the mainland. These communications made it possible for the port and Adriatic petrol terminal (JANAF), and also a petrochemical complex (DINA) to be built, the significance of which surpasses the sole Krk area. All of this resulted in making this region not only a strong industrial zone and a communicational structure of the northern seaside, but it also made it a significant catering and tourist centre. Therefore it is no surprise that the number of inhabitants in Omišalj and Njivice increased in the course of the last fifty years, so that according to the census from 2001, Omišalj district numbers 2977 inhabitants.
© Ineco, 1995./2005.