Imotski history  

Imotski coat of armsImotski town originates from years 845-864 when the Imotski fortress was built during Trpimir's rule of medieval Croatia.   Zupania ta Hemotha, with it's fortress as a center can be found in the Byzantine Emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus chronicle, "De administrando imperio," written between 948-952 A.C.  It is unknown if the town existed outside the fortress walls at that time.
There are scarce written documents mentioning Imotski before year 1500.  In one document from 1246. g. officer Radoševic is mentioned as a commander of Imotski fortress.  In a document from 1378, Dubrovnik republic asked  Imotski duke Embrich to send 1000 soldiers to Ston to help out in their fight with Venetians.  Imotski duke Embrich has proclaimed castello of Hum territory (castellanom terre Chelmi) or future Herzegovina.  The first person from Imotski is mentioned in a register from Split in a connection with a dispute: "judices de terra Kalm nomine Grubac Maslouic, Nelipce Rubcich et Crasimir de Ymota" or in translation "Judges of Hum Grubach Maslovic, Nelipac Rupcic and Krasimir of Imotski."

Imotski fortress also belonged  to Herzog Stephen of Santo Saba or Hrvoje Vukčić Hrvatinić at the beginning of the 15th century.  From 1435-1466 Hum was ruled by Herzog Stjepan Vukčić Kosača.   Kosača has lived in Imotski old fortress which was repaired by a man called Ljubomir.  Wilkinson in his "Dalmacia and Montenegro" writes that: "A stone was  found in one of the walls with an inscription recording its restoration by Lubomir* who is supposed to have been a Bosnian prince, before the Turkish invasion".
           NON QUE"

Stjepan's son Vladislav took the fortress from him in 1452 after a quarrel because of Stjepan's wild life.

During the Turkish rule, starting in year 1493, the fortress was renovated and served as an important military post.   Imotski town was a small town with approximately 130 houses according to Memibegović description from 1624:  "Imotski is a small town without walls, the fortress with the town around could have about 130 houses, together with few villages nearby near river Imotski, which enters in a lake, all together around one thousand souls..."

Topana and Imotski in 18th century under Turks
Imotski at the beginning of the 18th century.
Mosque means it is still under Turkish occupation.

After the defeat of the Turks on August 2, 1717 the Venetians took power and have installed their own administration, the trend that has been followed for the next two hundred years by various rulers.  The fortress continued to have a military importance and had a military commander living there.   The Venetians have started building the town shortly after the liberation.   The parts of Imotski between Topana and Ante Starčević street and "Skalini" and Modro Jezero were formed during that time.  There are still houses built during their rule to this day.  There are few records preserved from those years, including the first maps drawn by Pietro Corir.
Imotski in 17th century
Map of Imotski, first half of 18th century
The first census, archived in Split dates from year 1744.  "Stato del Anime di Borgo Imoschi", states that there were 18 houses with  82 souls, all living outside Topana fortress.  Famous outlaw (hajduk) Stanko Sočivica chose Imotski to build a shop and house, house known as Ciciljani house, in 1745 after robbing his Turkish master in Trebinje region.  The Venetians ruled Imotski for eighty years and were replaced by Austrians in 1797 after the former were defeated by Napoleon.  Nine years later Napoleon was victorious in war with Austria.  He conquered Dalmatia bringing long lasting changes.   The first elementary school opened in Imotski 1807 and the health system was improved.   To stimulate commerce the roads were improved.  To this age people are fond of "Napoleon road" that runs parallel to mount Biokovo. 

Katastar 1835Austrians again took possession of the Croatian lands in 1813 displacing the French.  There were many significant changes during more than hundred years of second Austrian rule.  Imotski  was fully formed during that time.  The map of Imotski from 1835 shows fully formed older part of the town.  The coat of arms originates form the second half of the 19th century.  It was created after the People Party has defeated the foreign rule  oriented parties.

The church played very important role in the history of Imotski and Imotski County.  The Franciscans came soon after the defeat of the Turks and contributed significantly toward the development of the town.  The old St.  Francis of Assisi church was built between 1727 - 1736.  The campanile was added in 1850.   The works on the new church have started in 1863, after it was decided that the old church was insufficient for the needs of the growing town and its nearby villages.  It was completed in 1904.   Red tiled roof was put in year 1890, in part determining the origin of one of the first Imotski panoramic photographs.

Imotski 1847
Johan Högelmüller, Erinnerung an Dalmatien,
Wien 1841-1847, lithography copy. 
Old church at the right with church bells on beams.

Imotski in 1880ies
Imotski photograph from Rina Mirošević collection, 1880-ies.

Under the Austrian rule the town got petroleum lamps, canalization, and running water.  A first hotel was built by Dunda family.  Even a brass orchestra and a public reading room were founded in 1870.   At the beginning of the 20th century the Austrians with Frantz Joseph as a ruler left impact on Imotski architecture by building its Court House, County House, High School, and the Modro Jezero trails.   The town continued to grow spreading towards east, being blocked with the Modro Jezero on the west.   The Austrian occupation ended with the end of WW I, when the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes was formed.   That proved to be an unsuccessful experiment, but the town has experienced the continued growth and development.   After the WW II the communists came on power, but even them were unable to keep Yugoslavia together.  After 1991, Imotski belongs to the state of Croatia, closing the full circle after nine hundred years.

kostela piazza
Pazar quarter at the beginning of 20th century.
Ante Starčeviċ street in 1913