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THE AUSTRIAN ROAD

The history of Mljet started from the stone age, it was followed by the ages of Illyrians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Slavs, Republic of Dubrovnik, Austro-Hungarian empire, up to the present times. All these historic periods left their visible relics in the rich local history, as living testimonies of the ancient life on this island. Regardless if they include the rock piles (fortifications), tombs from the Illyrian age or the Palace in Polače, the greatest Roman edifices in Adriatic, following the Arena in Pula or Diocletian's Palace, deeply imprinted traditions of the Republic of Dubrovnik, to the present modern globalisation era, Mljet will always have special memories of the round fifty years of Austro-Hungarian rule.

With the fall of the Republic of Dubrovnik, Mljet was included into the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy along with the remaining parts of Croatia, under direct authority of the government in Vienna. The Monarchy left its mark on all segments of life at the island, primarily by developing infrastructure and the well-thought sustainable development policy. It is a well known fact that in the late 19th century, the Vienna government was very close to decision on eviction of Mljet due to two apparently insuperable obstacles, frequent earthquakes and earth tremors and the existence of a large number of poisonous snakes which presented permanent danger to the population. However, the island remained populated owing to the baron Schilling and the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture in Vienna from 1910 to bring mongooses, the small Indian animals, to Mljet - which turned the previously known "the snake island" into the area where numerous tourists enjoy absorbing every part if the divine nature.

When the Sobre settlement was set as the main port of the island of Mljet and after the introduction of the permanent ship lines with Trieste, Kotor and Dubrovnik,   there was a need to build a wide road to the administrative and business centre, Babino Polje. The road was 6 km long in total and was approx. 2.5 m wide. When the present asphalt road was made, the section of the road from Žukovac area to Sobra remained as a footpath in its integral form due to inaccessible and sloping terrain. This intact part of the Austrian Road, round 850m long, remained as a symbol of an era, testifying on the skills and  persistence of builders of that time.

Another interesting fact of this footpath is the existence of the location at the hill in the southern part where the Austro-Hungarian flag was placed. This location was carefully chosen, because the flag was seen from both seafronts, i.e. the flag was visible both from the Mljet channel and the open sea at the south.

The Mljet Tourist Board traditionally organises an Easter Events. Program includes Egg painting and palm weaving...
We are continuing our Eco Art Festival. Here are the new dates for workshops;
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TURISTIČKA ZAJEDNICA OPĆINE MLJET
Ulica: Zabrježe 2
HR – 20225 Babino Polje
Tel. +385 20 746025 +385 20 744186, Fax. +385 20 746 022
e-mail: tz.mljet@du.t-com.hr
web: www.mljet.hr
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