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Omiš - The Pirate Town


During the Middle Ages Omiš was infamous for its pirates whose ships brought fame to them because they were built for attack and fast return into the mouth of the Cetina river, protecting the town from foreign invasion. At a very early date neighbours of the Corsairs of Omiš, the highlanders of the Poljica Principality, became their allies, enabling them to harass the sea trade without fear of a sudden attack by land.

In spite of various alliances against Omiš pirates, including the Pope, Venice, Split and Dubrovnik, it was not until 1444 that Venice managed to capture the old pirate town. It happened owing to the approaching Turkish force that made the amber way dangerous, almost impossible. It also meant the decline of the power of the pirates. Deprived of their prey, they lost their strength and the reason for existence. The danger from the Turks became more and more serious. Yet, despite the fact that they conquered the nearby hinterland, Omiš had never fallen into their hands.

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