Location

Zaostrog

Zaostrog is tourist settlement on the Makarska coastline, about 35 km from Makarska . Today Zaostrog, as a tourist settlement of the southern Makarska coast, is completely oriented to the development of tourism. Zaostrog is settled permanently by some 350 inhabitants, mostly employed in hotel and restaurant services and tourism. The town has around 750 beds available in private residences, villas, and boarding houses, with a further 600 places at the Auto Camp “Viter”. Located in an evergreen valley and surrounded by the foothills of the Biokovo Range, with spectacular beaches, and with a rich historical and cultural tradition, in the immediate vicinity of numerous attractive destinations for excursions, Zaostrog is an attractive place for a pleasant vacation. It was mentioned for the first time in 1494, but this area was inhabited in the ancient past, as is shown by a granite handle quem from the late Stone Age, discovered at Viter, the hill about Zaostrog, in 1953. Zaostrog was also settled by the ancient Illyrians, as is confirmed by the numerous cemeteries of burial mounds.
 
A rich cultural life existed at Zaostrog in the period of Roman rule, as can be seen from the numerous classical monuments, particularly the stone ones: a relief of dancers and flute players in Illyrian attire, a relief showing the deity Mithras, and two tombstones. After the arrival of the Croats in the 7th century, the settlement received the Slavic name Ostrog, mentioned around 950 AD by the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenetus as one of the four fortified cities of the “Pagania” of the NeretvanPrincedom (Mokron, Berulia, Ostrok, Labinetza). Medieval Ostrog (meaning “fortress”) was located at a high point below Mali Viter, and later a new settlement called Zaostrog developed below the hill of Šapašnik on the north of the Zaostrog plain and to the northwest of the town cited by Porphy rogenetus. In the 15th century, the feudal lords of Zaostrog were Croatian noblemen, the Vlatkovic-Jurjevic brothers, who had a fortified castle at Viter, as is shown by the ruins, the remains of ancient fortifications, particularly a stone threshold with a relief of a hand. In the 17th centuru, the inhabitants of Zaostrog began to settle on the coastline, and finally everyone moved from the upper settlement to the area along the sea after an earthquake in 1962. The old town of Zaostrog contains three churches: the early Gothic Church of St.Barbara with a cemetery in the Roman section, the church of St.Roccus from the 17th century, and the newer church of St. Barbara from 1872. There are a further three small chapels: St.Anthony in the village (1893), the church of Our Lady at Kucina (1911), and St.Elias at Prosik (1894). The largest and most important cultural monument in this area, and even beyond, is the Franciscan monastery of St.Mary.

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