At the mouth of the Cetina River is the picturesque town of Omiš, the center of the Omiš Riviera, surrounded by small fishing towns with beautiful beaches.
In such a small area you can visit a large number of cultural and historical sights (churches from the 10th to 18th centuries, monuments, fortresses, museums, etc.).
Why Omiš is a Must See Loaction on Your Croatia Cruise Vacation
Omiš is a small town and port located at the mouth of the Cetina River, only 26 km south of Split. For those who prefer an active vacation, Omiš is the right destination – rafting on the Cetina River, free climbing, paragliding, diving, sailing, beach volleyball, tennis etc. The ancient Roman cities of Split and Salona are just half an hour’s drive from Omiš, and the beautiful central Dalmatian islands are within your grasp.
Important cultural events are the cultural summer of Omiš, the festival of Dalmatian choirs (klape), pirate evenings and other festive days. Omiš has about 15,000 inhabitants, but during the holiday season the number of people staying here increases threefold. Tourism is the main source of income for the city, which also lives from farming, fishing and food processing. Tourists can find accommodation in apartments, rooms and villas. Also here Croatia offers cottages throughout the holiday season.
Every summer the Festival of Dalmatian Group Singing is held in Omiš. Upriver along the Cetina are the mills of the Radman family encircled with enormous plane-trees and a fishery. Today this is a well-known and popular resort destination for the area of middle Dalmatia.
During winter, Omiš is a very quiet city. Only at the turn of April and May, when the sea becomes warm enough for most swimmers, Omis begins to function much faster and more intensely. Many people from Split and surrounding towns come to the charming sandy beaches of Omiš. Climbers from various countries also appear around the rocks next to the old town. Sports activities such as rafting, kayaking, etc. are starting to be part of the daily program.
The city port was the seat of pirates in the 13th and 14th centuries. During this period it was the most terrifying place along the entire Adriatic coast. The existing trade republics – Venice and Dubrovnik – signed non-aggression agreements with pirates, which involved the payment of huge amounts to the port of Omis. Soon, however, both the Republic of Venice and the Pope decided to put an end to the power of the pirates of Omis by sending crusaders. The first attack was repelled by pirates, while the second ended their rule in the region.
The city was later incorporated into the Kingdom of Bosnia and then sold to the Venetian Republic. After the fall of the Venetian Republic, Omis became part of the Austrian Empire until World War I, except for a 10-year period, in the early 19th century, when the city was under French rule.
The city of Omiš lies on the site where the river Cetina flows into the sea. The significant strategic position initiated the building of a settlement as early as Antiquity.
The Roman Oneum was not endowed with an urban status but many inscriptions, fragments of architectonic decoration and statues have been preserved. In the Middle Ages the pirates from Omiš posed a great threat to navigation, especially to Venetian ships.
Up to the end of the 13th century, it was ruled by noblemen from the Kacic family after whom it was inherited by the Šubic family. From the middle of the 14th century, Omiš recognized the authority of the Hungarian-Croatian king Louis I, afterwards the rule of Bosnian nobles, and from the middle of the 15th century it belonged to the Venetian Republic up to its demise in 1797.
In the 10th century, on the right bank of the river in Priko the pre-Romanesque church of St. Peter was built which has been preserved in its entirety. The church has one nave and its interior is divided into three spaces. In the interior the apse is semi-circular while on the outside it is rectangular.
Over the middle space rises a smaller cupola. The outside church walls are broken down with lesenas while inside the same thing is achieved with niches. It was probably built in two phases. A Benedictine monastery might have stood alongside the building while in the middle of the 18th century a Glagolithic seminary was established nearby the church.
The church of St. Peter is one of the most significant Croatian monuments of pre-Romanesque architecture. The urban structure of Omiš itself derives from the Middle Ages.
The walls from this period were pulled down in the 19th century excepting a small part on the southern side and the Peovica (Mirabela) tower above the city on the Babnjaca hillside. Heavily damaged by lightning in 1797 it has been thoroughly restored.
Without doubt, Peovica is the most typical preserved Romanesque fortification in Dalmatia (13th century). Over the city can be found the dilapidated remnants ofthe Medieval fortress Starigrad which was renovated in the 16th and the 17th century.
The Franciscan monastery was built in the 18th century. In the 19th century, a well-proportioned square was formed along the riverbanks on the site of the onetime western city gates. Its northern side is closed by the palace of the Caralipeo-Despotovic family.
On the riverbank is also the house of the Radman family which holds a significant private collection of stone fragments from Antiquity to the Renaissance as well as numerous objects and works of art from the 18th and the 19th century.
Alongside the eastern city gate is the City Museum with a valuable collection of cultural-historical and ethnographic objects from the city itself as well as from the whole Poljica area.