is a sandy island with a surface area of 3,75 km2.
It was recorded in sea charts already in the 13th century.
The island most probably come into existence by diluvial
drifts of winds or alluvial deposits of some great river.
The first known inhabitants of the island were Illyrians.
They built a hill-fort on Vela Straža, which is 98 m high
and the highest spot of the island. The Illyrians were
suceeded by the Romans. The island of Susak was referred to
by the roman writer Plinius as a sandy island not far away
from Pietas Juliae, or present-day Pula.
island was recorder for the first time by the name Sansagus
in the "Venetian chronicle" by John The Deacon in 844.
After the collapse of the West Roman Empire in 476 A.D.
Susak was under the rule of the Ostrogoths. From the 6th to
the 10th century it was under the Byzantine rule. In the 8th
century it was inhabited by Croatians. In the 10th century
it was an integral part of the Croatian state, somewhat
later it came under the Venetian, then under the
Austrian-Hungarian, Italian and Yugoslav rule.
the second half of the 11th century (in the year 1070) the
Croatian king Krešimir built a monastery for Benedictine
monks on Susak. The first monks to come to the monastery
were from Osor, but their superiors were from Monte Cassino
in Italy. Through its property and number of monks the
monastery developed into the famous Abbey of St. Michael and
St. Nicholas, which was directly connected with the seat of
the Benedictine order in Monte Cassino. The abbey also
included the islands of Vele and Male Srakane and St.
Peter's Monastery near Ilovik. The abbey was frequently
plundered by sea pirates and uskoks. It was abolished in the
14th century. It continued to exist as a monastery until
1770. The island of Susak and the property of the
benedictines became the property of the Bishop of Osor. He
founded a parish on Susak and built a parish church,
dedicated to St. Nicholas.
The remains of a defence tower, the medieval lunette with
the cross, the crucifix called Veli Buoh (Great God) and the
fragments of the monastery9s window in romanesque style
still remind us of the famous abbey and the benedictine
The evangelistary, known as Evangeliarum Borgianum, whose
fragments are kept at the Vatican's library, was
manufactured in the office of the abbey on Susak in 1081.
The present-day parish church was built on the remains of
the church of the Benedictine abbey in 1770. The sanctuary
of the church was in the chapel of the present-day altar of
Our Lady of Carmel.
settlement Sansego grew by the benedictine monastery. When
the benedictines had left the island it had some 300
The first houses were made of reed and earth and covered
with reed and straw. later on they were built of stone in
the dry-stone-wall style. Spjaža, the lower part of the
village developed during the rule of Austria-Hungary and
Italy. The lower and the upper village are connected by some
The island of Susak is an island of wineyards and reed,
which protects its terraced ground from sand erosion.
Today's Susak has 684 house numbers and 212 inhabitants.
More than 250 houses have been sold and now serve as holiday
are another two sacred buildings on the island - the Chapel
of Our Lady in Mourning at Merine, the graveyard from 1877,
and the Chapel of Our Lady of Annunciationat Arat from 1930.
the peak of its development Susak had a winery, which was
built in 1936, and a fish factory built in 1940. There is a
big lighthouse on Susak, dating from 1881, whose building
dates from the years 1886/87. The people of Susak also have
a beautiful graveyaed called Merine.
The inhabitants of Susak are Croatian. They were
wine-growers and fishermen. They are witty, inventive, smart
and pious people. They are well-known for their old croatian
language and folk costume, particulary the mini skirts that
form a part of the women's both everyday and holiday
Susak had the biggest population after the end of the world
war II (1876 inhabitants). In the 60s the island experienced
intensive emigration. 1395 inhabitants left Susak due to
political and economic difficulties. A new, American Susak
has developed in the U.S.A. in Hoboken and New Yersey.
Around 2.465 inhabitants of Susak live there now.
The emigrants from Susak are kept together by their
religious and social societies: St. Nicholas society of
Sansego, founded in April 1948, Susak Klapa, a sports club,
founded in 1981 and St. Rosary Society of the women.
Susak is unique and interesting in all aspects. It offers
possibilities from excursion, nautical, weekend as well as
health tourism. The people from Susak love their island and
Croatia. Every year more and more of them come to visit
their native island.