Komiža is the second largest town on the island of Vis. About 1500 people populate the village. The first written documents originated from the twelfth century. During the second half of the twentieth century the island was a military zone forbidden to outsiders. Until recently, the island was not burdened with tourism or the intense building trades of the mainland. Because of the islands isolated past, today Vis is one of the pearls of Croatia’s Adriatic Sea.
Komiža is the first place that was visited by Pope Alexander III. In the year 1177 fishermen from Komiza were fishing the Palagruza islands. The Pope sought shelter from a storm, at the islands, on his way to Venice. The fishermen transported the Pope from Palagruza to Komiza. Where, at that time, he concecrated St. Nicholas Church.
Until recently the village of Komiza was supported by the efforts of fishermen and to a lesser extent agriculture. The hard work of the local fishermen, catching and processing the pilchards, provided the resources to build everything you see today in this picturesque little village.
Before World War II there were seven factories in Komiza for processing fish. Over time they merged into one, «Neptun». Until recently that was the biggest and most important economic resource in Komiža, but it’s been completely ruined in transformation.
Tens of thousands of descendants of Komiza have pioneered the fishing communities along the west coast of the United States. The fishing traditions of Komiza founded the tuna fisheries of the southern ocean and the salmon fisheries of the northern ocean.
In spite of modernization, ancient fishing memories, tools and customs are saved in the fishermen’s museum. This museum contains the biggest collection of fishing apparatus in the world, and a restored example of Komiža’s gajeta falkuša «Cicibela» – a unique style of boat, symbolic to the fishermen of Komiza.
Komiža has become an exclusive touristic destination. With an intimate atmosphere and a rich assortment of culinary delights, more and more guests are attracted to this hidden treasure. A poetic fishermans town with the most sunny days in a year, with hundred year old carob trees, picturesque stone houses, medicinal mediterranean plants, rosemary, garden-sage, lavender, ladys grass, and vinyards cover the hillsides, surrounding this pearl on three sides, protecting the village from storms. An oasis of biodiversity found on the list of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as among the ten heavenly places in the Mediterranean.
Hot summers and soft winters, woods of pine, vineyards, orchards and fields, scarps and caves, picturesque and hidden coves offer visitors the opportunity to be Robinson Crusoe in the temporal heart of Europe.
Scenes under the surface of the sea are even more impressive. In the depths of Vis’s quiet kingdom, in contrast to the rich world of sea life, you will find the resting place of ships from the former Italian and Austria-Hungary fleet. Shipwrecks from the first battles of armoured ships from 1886. Also at rest are American fighters which in 1944 replaced the wild blue yonder with the cobalt blue depths of the Adriatic.
Who once comes to Komiža, is forever called to return.