Agrotourism Viganj

olive growing, enology and active vacation in Viganj

Viganj history

Viganj as the village was first mentioned in land registry books from Republic of Dubrovnik in 1336th as Vigel and Vighen, although is much older origin. For only the origin of the name Viganj is related more then one legend. According to one, it is related to the name of the neighboring villages Nakovana and Kuciste. The legend says that once upon a time lived three brothers, the sons of blacksmith, one of which is inherited “kuciste” (the house and garden), another inherited viganj (blacksmith’s bellows), and the third succeeded nakovanj (anvil), so where each one settled where given names for each villige. However, this is a legend from new ages, and in this area has never existed blacksmith’s activity. There is an opinion that the name is not associated with the blacksmiths activity, but beacouse of frequency of wind, especially in the summer, this area is reminiscent of the blacksmith’s bellows, and therefore is named Viganj.

Most likely, however, that the name itself comes out of nobelman called Viganj which is mentioned to live in that time.

The remains of flint and other archaeological artifacts indicate that the Viganj and Nakovana was inhabited in the Neolithic. Probably it was the same group of people who lived in Nakovana and periodically went down to the sea in search of food. During ancient times Nakovana with Iliyrian settlement on a hilltop “Grad” (town) dominated this entire area, controlling the maritime routes. Due to better control of channel Illyrians from Nakovana built many fortified guardhouses on the mountain peaks above Viganj, and in the narrowest part of the Pelješac Channel, Cape St. John. Along whit those guardhouses, the number of piles in Montun (part of Viganj/ montun = pile) area, and tombs from the same period in the area of Dol and Bililo (parts of Viganj), as well as debris of caramics show that already somewhere in the V.century BC. Viganj existed as permanent settlement of local Illyrians. Unfortunately all of these remains were destroyed by modern buildings, and we can only imagine and presume the size and significance of this settlement. Probably it was a tradeing settlement where the local Illyrians traded with the Greeks from their colonies in Lumbarda on Korčula, as evidenced by the remains found in Nakovana. The evidence about development of trade in this region is sinked galley with loads in front of St.John area.

The fate of the Illyrian settlements in Viganj probably followed the fate of the other Illyrians in the area. With the arrival of the Romans in the First century BC Illyrians are either expelled or enslaved, while the rest is romanized. Archaeological remains show that untill arrival of the Romans, life in Nakovana was blooming, but in the next few hundred years life here was extinguished, a center of life moves on shore.

During the Roman rule, retired war veterans receive credits, in the form of estates in the conquered countries, where they builld their country houses – villa rustica.

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