Fortresses in the town of Vis

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Fortresses in the town of Vis
The so-called "kaštil" stands out in the port which was built in 1617 by the immigrant, Vicko from Perast. On his own property, nearby, he had already built a house and raised the quadrangular tower to defend his numerous family members and other citizens from Vis, not only from the Ottomans but also from the Uskoks as well who ransacked Komiža in 1614…
On the walls of this tower black points can be seen where the gaps for cannons and rifles were once located whilst on the top angles stick out on the triple consoles of the two vaulted quadrangular sentry-boxes. The door which leads to the interior was situated on the first floor and can be seen on the western wall, along which Perastije's house was later constructed and connected to the tower by a wooden bridge.
In April 1812, the English commander of Vis, George Duncan Robertson, began building a short and oblong fortress with inclined walls over the entrance to the port of Vis that was surrounded by a moat. It was given the name of the English King George III although as it was higher than the other buildings the local people of Vis call it "Fortica".
People entered the fortress having crossed the draw bridge onto an extended base above the moat going through wide doors over which was an arch where the English flag was chiselled in relief with two flowers on either side of it as well. Within the fortress are two courtyards surrounded by moats. On the western moat is a draw-well. On the interior terrace there are semi-circular gaps for cannons and all the walls are secured by loop-holes.
On the southern part from the George III fortress, above Svitnja Bay is an English two-floored round fortress tower known as Bentich after Lord General William Cavendich Bentich, commander of the British forces in Sicily. This name has now almost been forgotten and these ruins today are known as "Terjun".
The third English fortress was known as "Robertson" after the Vis commander, George Duncan Robertson.
The fourth fortress built on George's hill, named after the small church of St. George located in the bay, was called "Wellington" after Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, duke of Wellington, who defeated the French army at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Referring to its name, it is assumed that construction finished after the famous victory, that is, in the last few days of the British being on the island. Its round walls, thinner than those of the the Terjun, were ensured by loop-holes and the interior was reinforced with two traversal walls between which is a round base of destroyed vaults currently walled up by bricks.
On the eastern part of the islet, in front of the entrance to the port, the English constructed a short battery whose ruins are still visible. They named it after William Hoste, young commodore and commander of the war fleet on the Adriatic who ordered its construction in 1811. He stood out in the battle against the French and Italian fleet which took place in front of the island of Vis in 1811 and in the liberation of Kotor from the French in 1814.
The English only strongly fortified the Port which seemed more important than Komiža due to its dimensions and its vicinity to the land which was then occupied by the French.
The main fortress, built by the Austrians on the island, is the battery which extends through the centre of the Port and which in 1930s was called "Levaman" after which this area is named today. Later people started to call it "Our Lady's Fortress".
It was surrounded by a moat and had strongly fortified barracks with loop-holes and a protruding central part on the southern wall. In front of it is a courtyard with draw-wells and a high bulwark walled up by an inclined wall a storage area and gaols are situated.
The battery played an important role in the battle of Vis in 1866 when the Italian fleet entered the Port wanting to conquer the island. Later it was reconstructed and turned into alms house and hospital and its windows were extended and its bulwark was forested. Today the Archaeological Museum can be found here.