Stories and legends of Omiš piratesquality label

Step into the past accompanied by the duchess and mother of one of the most famous Omiš dukes and uncover the stories of pirates, fearless sailors and warriors of the Adriatic Sea.

tour guide icon Story via interpretor
tour guide icon Upon request
theme icon pirates, croatian nobility
single top right single bottom left

Once upon a time, long before the Caribbean pirates, Barbarossa brothers and Blackbeard, there was a town on the shores of the Adriatic Sea whose reputation curdles the blood in your veins even several hundred centuries later.

Known as the den of dangerous pirates and surrounded by town walls, Olmissum was nestled at the foot of a steep stone cliff at the entrance to a mighty canyon and the mouth of an emerald-green river into the sea. Hills hundreds of metres high guarded its back like a giant day and night. The enchanting Cetina river meandered between them, rushing into the final embrace with the sea. From time immemorial, it has fed thirsty karst fields, people and livestock. As the river watered and connected the town with its inland, the sea connected it with the world. The salty sparkling endless sea was only seemingly aimless but in fact, it was an invisible map of the roads to other lands and cities on their shores.

The inhabitants of Olmissum lived in times of turmoil, power struggles, conquests, looting and wars. It took a lot of courage and wisdom to find a way to survive and preserve independence and remain free.

Under the rule of the old Croatian noble family Kačić, they succeeded and managed to resist the greater powers of those times for two hundred years. They ruled the Adriatic Sea and nearby islands with their rowing vessels between the two biggest Dalmatian cities – Split and Dubrovnik. People would enter into agreements with them and sign contracts, even pay levies for unrestricted navigation and peace of arms. They, in turn, recognised kingdoms governing their dukedoms, maintaining the position of equals as the rulers of their respective land and sea. Their boats inspired fear on the extremely important sea route between Venice and Constantinople, i.e. an obstacle to numerous merchant and crusader ships. Wars were waged against them, and the official documents referred to them as pirates.

Join the duchess and mother of one of the most famous Omiš dukes and follow the footsteps of the once dangerous inhabitants of Olmissum, today the town of Omiš. Get to know their defence fort, find out what their famous rowing boats looked like and where they kept them, which script they used, where they sailed to and why piracy as an interesting part of the Croatian maritime heritage is not what you think it is.

Come… if you dare. And don’t forget to bring your chest of gold. Arrgh!


Omiski gusari
Mosorska cesta 11, Omis

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