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Nerežišća, Island Brač / Nerežišća, otok Brač

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Surnames to be found in Nerežišća, island Brač (NB not all are originally from Nerežišća)

  • Restović
  • Bezmalinović
  • Pavišić
  • Filipi
  • Jerković
  • Vranjičić
  • Janković
  • Kušćević
  • Kuščević
  • Brešković
  • Dubravčić
  • Eterović
  • Franulić
  • Gardilčić
  • Kevešić
  • Martinić
  • Nigoević
  • Bakić
  • Baković
  • Cvitanić
  • Glasinović

HISTORY The region of Nerežišća preserves a large number of prehistoric cairns among which of special interest is the still unexamined fort on the Velo brdo(The High Hill), to the southwest of Nerežišća. Remains from Roman times were found around this place: a larger quantity of coins(solidi aurei) from the 7th century, in the field of J. Bakovic-Namoront, kostirne (Lat. cisterna) dug out in stone near the the destroyed church of St. Andrew on the left side of the road of Supetar. There the remains of the Roman built were found, the relief of the muses and the part of Silvan’s shrine. Behind Velo brdo (The High Hill) are the ruins of the Early Christian church of St. Tudor with the remains or urns, sarcophagi and money in the surroundings. In the neighborhood, in the locality of Polacina (Lat. palatium-the estate house, palace), a bracelet and a gauntlet from Roman times were found. The items discovered are now in Nerežišća. One the basis of numismatic discoveries from Nerežišća the experts think that the Croatians were already here in the 7th century. They came over from the region of Neretva via the eastern part of the island. They remained on the fringes of the plateau, in the biggest valley of Brač (which from the stretches to the foot of Donji Humac, St. Elias, Triscenik up to the Bunje near Dracevica and further via Veli dolac to the sea) where the Romans had lived. The Croats settled on Gradac, above Nerežišća, on the Knjezeravan (The Prince’s Clearing). The petrified adjectival form of this place-name points to great linguistic antiquity. Here was possibly the seat of the Croatian Prince. It is generally held that the Venetian duke Peter II Orseolo promoted Nerežišća into the main administrative centre on the island, round the year 1000. Brač’s chronicler A. Ciccarelli records that the old lodge in Nerežišća had just that year engraved in the Roman number M. The year 1277 is known in Nerežišća for the Omis pirates attack: they set the Brač office building on fire and destroyed the Brač archives so that in 1305 the order came that everything must be restored, among which the burnt bracki statut (The statute of Brač), on the basis of which, from then onwards, the island was governed. In 1294 it was decided to fortify Nerežišća with walls, but this decision of the Venetians was never carried out. The people lived in colonial independence, either as shepherds of the gentry’s herds or as farmers in their fields. The landlords. scattered through the interior of Brač, in the beginning did not differ in their belongings and garments from the rest of their inhabitants. Knezev dvor (The Prince’s palace) was one of the most modest ones in the Venetian Republic. Gradually the differences between the privileged gentry and the oppressed people grew more and more. The noblemen usurped the bigger estates from which they gained bigger incomes based on heavy taxes imposed upon the farmers. With this money they erected luxurious buildings with the main characteristics of the relevant style. Later on there were a few houses in the village that had luxurious period furniture. The special character was given to Nerežišća by the municipal palace, the Prince’s office, the lodge, the prison, a large number of clerks, gentry and the soldiers-all until 1830. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Nerežišća had about 700 inhabitants. In the 18th century, all the villages of the Brač interior came to be more and more depopulated and derelict. The well known Italian travel writer , A. Fortis, in his book Travels through Dalmatia in 1774, writes about how Nerežišća, the main centre on the island, lost many inhabitants and how the deserted houses were exposed to a more severe decline. In 1874 the People’s Society of Nerežišća was founded with the intention of inspiring the awakening of the national consciousness and strengthening the basis of Croatian unity. In 1941 Nerežišća was a place of very strong resistance. The hamlet of Obrsje was the main partisan centre on the island. [P.Simunović]