In 1892 Mali and Veli Losinj became important climatic resorts...
LOSINJ, an island in the western part of the Kvarner Archipelago; 74,68 sq km (length 31 km). There is a bascule bridge over the 11-m wide artificial canal (the Straits of Osor), which connects it with the island of Cres. The northern and southern parts of the island are much wider and larger than its central part, the narrow belt of Privlaka. West of Privlaka, there is a wide bay (5.6 km long and up to 1 km wide), comprising two coves, Kovcanja and the port of Mali Losinj. Cikat is the most popular among several coves south of the bay. The hill Osorscica (with Televrina Peak, 588 m) rises in the north, and Grgoscak (243 m) is the highest top in the south-western part.
In the port of Mali Losinj, the Privlaka Canal has been dug through, so that the island of Losinj is divided into two parts; the canal has been overbridged. The north-western part of Losinj is steep and rocky; due to a lack of indents, it does not provide a good shelter for ships and boats; the central part of the western coast is extremely indented. The eastern coast is much more flat than the western; exposed to the bora in the central part, but with numerous coves in the south-eastern part.
Losinj, once important due to its naval and shipbuilding trades, saw an intensive development of tourism at the end of the 19th century; in 1892 Mali and Veli Losinj became important climatic resorts.
The island of Losinj has been inhabited ever since the prehistoric period (hill-forts at the foot of Osorscica and around the port of Mali Losinj). In the ancient times, the islands Loinj and Cres had a common name, Apsirtides. From the Romanesque period, several small eremitic churches have been preserved (St. Lovrec near Osor, St. James in the village of the same name). The first settlers from the mainland were mentioned in 1280. Pursuant to a contract with Osor, their settlements gained self-government in 1389. The name Losinj was first mentioned in 1384. Parallel with the gradual decline of Osor from the 15th century onwards, the settlements Veli Losinj and Mali Losinj were playing an increasingly important role. In the 18th and 19th centuries, trade, shipbuilding and seafaring on the island developed more intensely. After the fall of the Republic of Venice, Losinj was under the Austro-Hungarian rule up to its breaking off in 1918; under Italy up to 1943. In 1945 the island was annexed to its parent country Croatia.
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