History of Bol

Brac was inhabited already in the prehistoric times, probably in the Mesolithic, but certainly in the Neolithic, i.e. at the end of the III. Millennium B.C. by pre-Indo-European population, whose main occupation was cattle-breeding. In the II. Millennium, during the time of metal cultures, the island was inhabited by Indo-European Illyrians who were more cattle-breeders than farmers.

The Romans were not founding settlements but were organizing farmhouses (villa Rustica).
At the end of the 8th or the beginning of the 9th century, Croatians from Neretva came to these areas. They pressed the Romanized autochthons Illyrian population.
At that time, island of Brac was under the Franks. At the beginning of the 11th century, the Venetians took over these areas. Mid-century, Brac was a part of the Croatian state during the reign of Petar Kresimir IV.


In the 12th century, these areas were officially a part of Byzantium, but were governed by the Venetians. During the reign of the king Koloman in 1107, Brac was a part of Croatian-Hungarian state. But in 1135, Venice conquered Brac, only to fall under Byzantium again for a short while in 1170, since already in 1180, it again became a part of Croatian-Hungarian state. Andrija II., Croatian-Hungarian king donated Brac to Krk Dukes Frankopans.

Afterwards, Brac was occupied by the Omis pirates. Brac residents asked Venice for protection and were indulged. So on 1 April 1278, these areas fell under Venice and were governed by it until 1358. The same year, Brac was once again a part of Croatian-Hungarian state. Brac continued to change its rulers often. In 1390, it was under protection of the Bosnian king Tvrtko I., in 1394 it was ruled by the Croatian-Hungarian king Sigmund, in 1403 the island was ruled by Hrvoje Vukcic, and in 1413 it fell into the hands of Dubrovnik. Finally, in 1420, Brac was conquered by the Venetians who ruled it under 1797, i.e. until the demise of Venice. Venice was officially respecting their communal structure and allowed all forms of communal self-administration, but in practice it was implemented in accordance with their own laws and bureaucracy, through which it was intensely interfering with internal affairs in the commune. It abolished the provisions of the Common Law and introduced joint legislation under the rule of providur. Brac dukes were mainly impoverished Venetian nobility who came to the island to get rich. They were reducing the communal self-administration and acted arrogantly.

With demise of Venice, the Brac residents believed they were liberated from all obligations and free. However, the same year, Austria occupied these areas and governed them until 1805. With Pozunski peace treaty in 1805, this area fell under French administration which introduced many economical reforms. Nobility was abolished and schools established.

In December 1806, the Russians took over Brac, but already mid 1807, the French returned again, but there was no peace. The English ships attacked the island twice in 1811 and 1812. In June 1811, one English corvette attacked Bol, destroyed several ships at the port and took to island of Vis rich pillage of wheat, oil and wine.

After the demise of Napoleon, on 7 July 1814 Brac again fell under Austrians. In 1823, there was a new territorial division of the island. Brac was divided into 7 municipalities, among which was Bol.
Long and hard battle for Croatian language and for getting united with Croatia followed. Finally in 1883, Bol populists managed to get installed as the managing municipal body. The second half of the 19th century was the time of national awakening. In 1897, Croatian reading room was founded. As of 1 December 1918, Bol was a part of the new country (Yugoslavia) in which their national drams did not realize.

After the tempestuous Second World War, Bol was a part of SFR Yugoslavia, until the establishment of independent and autonomous Republic of Croatia.