Peljesac - history
Peljesac has been inhabited in since neolit. There are numerous prehistoric stone findings, ie. stone axes: Cave Grudnja na Poracu between Ponikve and Cesvinica, Spila na Kopnju near Nakovana, and The cave of Prince in Zabrada above Trstenik.
In metal ages the community of Iliri was founded, one of whose branches - Plerejs inhabited Peljesac. They brought the influences of Greek and Italian seamen and establish classical Mediterranean culture on Peljesac.
Another Ilir sanctuary has been discovered near village of Nakovane recently. This is archeologically most valuable Ilir finding because it is preserved undamaged in a cave for almost 2000 years, probably since the time it was abandoned.
In the second century before Christ, Peljesac is invaded by Romans, and continued to be colonized through creation of small communities so called Ville Rusticae along the coast or in more fertile areas of the peninsula. The land was assigned to the inhabitants for cultivation olive orchards and wineyards. Numerous finding from Roman period have been located in vicinity of Orebic, Viganj, Janjina area and Ston.
Getting under the Dubrovnik rule was crucial in the history of Peljesac. Dubrovnik had economical interests as well as strategical, for its proximity to mid Dalmatia region. In 1326 Dubrovnik concers Peljesac, and they buy it off from Serbian Tzar Dusan and Bosnian duke Stjepan Kotromanic, other pretendors.
Dubrovnik rule built modern Ston, under the hill Podzvizd with monumental fortified walls 5.5 km in length. The walls primarily were meant to protect the salt production in Ston, which brought huge profits to Dubrovnik. The salt trade was one of the cornerstones of Dubrovnik power and prosperity.
The feudal economy was introduced to Peljesac, with land divided between noblemen and more deserving members of society, while the regular folks became peasants. A great many of peasants turned to the sea, which lead to Peljesac becoming one of the main naval areas on the eastern Adriatic coast.
The independent Dubrovnik Republic ruled the peninsula with a firm hand for full five and a half centuries since 1358 until 1806 when it was concurred by the Napoleon wars. However, even under the French rule between 1808 and 1814, Peljesac had the same feudal establishment and the Dubrovnik laws, regulations and customs were preserved and respected.
In 1814 Peljesac becomes a part of Austria - Hungary state, and a century later, as a part of Croatia enters the newly created country of Serbs, Croatians and Slovenians. This is to later become Yugoslavia.
In 1991 Croatia voted independence and succession of Yugoslavia. It suffered aggression which was halted in Ston and Mali Ston area, both of which suffered damage.
Peljesac today is a fertile place for growing olives, wine yards, fishes and shells, and a oasis of nature, which is interesting a major of tourists, so tourism became also one of the major routes of Peljesac inhabitants.