BRUSNIK, 43°00’ N and 15°48’ E, the uninhabited island, 12 NM west of Komiža on the island of Vis, and 2NM southwest of the island of St Andrew/Svetac (pronounced Svetatz).
The island is 320 m long, 205 m wide, with the highest point at 30 m above the sea level. Besides the islets of Jabuka and Kamik it is one of the smallest in this part of archipelago.
Since 1951, the island has been protected as a Natural monument, so rare and exceptional due to its geomorphology, but also because of its flora and fauna of which some species are endemic.
Both parts of the island are made of conglomerates formed from the fragments of eruptive rocks glued with limestone bond while the central part is mainly of massive diabases. In the hollow there is a small valley with the submarine parts intersected with channels through which emerges the seawater to the surface. This phenomenon used the fishermen from Komiza as an advantage; they circled with stones some of the parts with the seawater, forming thus (this way) small basins for keeping lobsters, so called “jastozere”. Those jastozere were ideal for keeping the catch for several days, while they could continue fishing in the waters of Brusnik, during autumn and spring.
During late autumn and winter when the strong southern winds blow, the valley on the island fills with the seawater making (forming) thus two islets (out of one).
This is just a small part of the story about this island and its existence in this world. Many a native fisherman would tell you, those strong, brave men with their webs full of dreams about a better tomorrow with much more laughter, instead of the every day’s worries they faced.
SV. ANDREW (Svetac), 43°01’ N, 15°44 ’E, an island in the open sea, 14,5NM of Komiža on island of Vis, surface 4,6 km2, shoreline 12 km. The highest peaks are Kosa (316 m) and Standarac (307 m). Island’s slopes dive into the sea up to 100 m.
Island is covered by dense Mediterranean vegetation – evergreen under bush, thick Holm oak- and Aleppo pine-forests.
The coasts are mostly steep and rocky with several caves; some were home to the Mediterranean Monk Seal (Monachus monachus), which has since vanished.
Clefts and holes in inaccessible cliffs of Svetac and the islet Kamik are choice for a nest of a rare bird species Eleonora’s Falcon that is especially fond of islands.
Despite its inaccessibility this island, according to the archaeological findings was populated even in prehistory. Sv. Andrija was an important landmark in terrestrial navigation on the route from both sides of Adriatic. The importance of this island is visible from the way it was presented on the ancient maps (from 13. to 19. century) – larger than it really is. In the antiquity, the route that touched Tremiti Islands, Gargano Peninsula, Palagruza, Sv Andrija, Vis… leading farther toward Otranto or vice versa, today could be named Diomedes’ navigational route, because the worshipers of Diomedes’ Cult left their marks on all the above-mentioned places.
Benedictines have left traces on this distant island, too: on the fertile plain Poje (200 m above sea level) there are ruins of the monastery and chapel with a graveyard, though in the present time it is very hard to recognize them…All that remains are stories and legends, as it is the one about the Illyrian Queen Teuta: after she has lost her throne, she was banished to this island and has built the castle-fortress here, spending her time in leisure or bitterly counting days of her loneliness, ashamed, left only to her memories…
This is the island of strong and wild beauty that slowly conquers man, turning him into a slave and not the master – the proof you find in rugged hands of those who fought to survive on this island and with its sea.
So it is from the ancient times and so shall it remain.
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