Vis (vēs) [key], Gr. Issa, Ital. Lissa, island, 35 sq mi (91 sq km), Croatia, off the Dalmatian coast in the Adriatic. A popular resort, its chief industries are fishing, citrus farming, and wine making. Its chief town, also named Vis, is a picturesque village on the north coast. Ancient Issa was a Greek colony from the 4th cent. B.C. and later prospered under the Romans. From 996 to 1797 it was a Venetian possession, and in the Napoleonic Wars (1803–15) it changed hands among the Austrians, the French, and the British. From the Congress of Vienna (1815) until 1918 the island belonged to Hungary. Two important naval battles occurred off Vis: in 1811, the British won a victory over the French, and in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 the Austrians under Admiral Wilhelm von Tegetthoff thoroughly defeated the Italian fleet. There are many ancient remains on the island, notably Roman baths, mosaic pavements, and several old Roman Catholic and Orthodox Eastern churches.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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