History of Silba


by Maša

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe first known inhabitants of the area between the rivers Raša and Krka, and therefore in area of the neighboring islands, belonged to the Illyrian tribe Liburni. They lived at the end of second and in the first millennium BC. Sources mention them as excellent sailors. However, it is not known whether the Liburni from Silba extinct or have been romanized or Romans founded their colony at Silba. Certainly the Illyrian and Roman culture supplements so it can be traced back to the 11th century.   Island of Silba is mentioned in the tenth century by Byzantine emperor Constantine VII. He was not remembered for his political activities, but is better known as a writer who left a significant legacy in historical sources. In his work De administrando Imperio is a detailed description of most of the people who were fronting the Byzantine Empire. Constantine VII. Porphyrogenitus has mentioned Silba as Selbo, probably after the Greek word salbon (sand), and from his work we learn that Silba was inhabited since Roman times. As confirmation of this in the bay of Pocukmarak was found a coin of the Osti copyright Amir Rijavecroman emperor Antonius Pius from 161st year. Some historical sources mention that the island was inhabited back in 8th century by Croatians, but continuous settlements were created in the late 15th and early 16th century. From 827th year Silba belongs to the district of Zadar. In the year 1073rd croatian king Petar Kresimir on application of sister abbess Čika gives Silba to monastery of St.Mary in Zadar. The island later came under the rule of the Venetian Republic, which sells it in 1639th to captain Frano Soppeu for 12,350 golden ducats. Then Silba went to the famous Venetian family Morosini. They held Silba in their possession until the first quarter of the 19th century. In 1838th Morosini sell Silba to Mark Ragusin from Veli Lošinj, who returned as a rich man from America. Due to the 13-year dispute with the locals about taxes, Ragusin decides to sell the island of Silba to the locals so that every man pays in proportion to his possession, a total of 5025 bavarian thalers. The news of the repurchase of the island came on March 19th 1852nd and in memory of this event every year people from Silba celebrate St. Joseph. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASilba experiences its blossoming in 17th and 18th century as a place for sailors and sailboat owners. Strong marine affairs entailed the development of civil culture in the way of habitation, clothing and ornamentation of houses. The prosperity of the old Silba can be best judged by the parish church, in which are held works of art of the highest order, among others works by Titian, Rudolfino and other Renaissance painters. At that time Silba had population of about 1200 inhabitants. Today Silba administratively belongs to Zadar.     A few old photos: