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One of the leading regional maritime forces and favourite holiday destinations among the Austro-Hungarian nobility

The historical name of the archipelago - Apsyrtides - is associated with a legend about a greek mythical hero called Apsyrtus. While searching for the Golden Fleece, he found death from the hand of Jason, betrayed by his own sister Medea. His body was thrown into the sea and out of these many parts new islands emerged, known now a days as the Apsyrtides.

The history of the oldest settlements on the islands (Lubenice, Osor, Beli) goes back over 4000 years, and the Roman town of Osor was the Bishopric seat in the 9th century.

Having been practically uninhabited until the 13th century, by the 19th century Lošinj developed into one of the leading regional maritime forces, and the town of Mali Lošinj became the second most important harbour in the Mediterranean, after Trieste. The people of Lošinj were esteemed as the best navigators in the Mediterranean. It was in this era that the architectural appearance of the centre of Mali Lošinj was defined, and it has remained almost unchanged to this day.

The first hotel was built in 1887 and called Vindobona, after the Roman name for Vienna.

Because of its exceptional climate characteristics, Lošinj was pronounced a climate health resort, pursuant to a decree passed by the Ministry of Health of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy. Lošinj became one of the favourite holiday destinations among the Austro-Hungarian nobility, who built numerous villas and summer residences which still adorn Lošinj today. The most famous is the Villa Carolina in Čikat Bay, built in 19th century by the Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph I.

Veli Losinj's Tower adorn the small town harbour

Villa Carolina is situated in Cikat Bay on the island of Losinj