Our Lady’s Battalion is the main fortress built by the Austrians during their reign over the island. It was built in the 19830s, in the very heart of Vis Bay, in a place known as Levaman.
Following the Italian occupation of Vis, this fortress was renamed Batteria della Madonna, as can be seen by the board above the entrance to the fortress.
The fortress surrounded by a 2 m deep trench whilst defence walls are inclined and made of finely worked stone. Entrance to the fortress is from the eastern wing, constructed as an arch, with well worked stone protruding from a wall. The fortress itself was entered by means of a wooden drawbridge into a spacious rectangular courtyard on the bottom of which was a well to supply water to the fortress. In the southern part of the courtyard is an elevated embankment surrounded by a high inclined wall on which there were once cannons. Below the embankment is a lovely parabolic arched vault with storage spaces and a dungeon. The main building is to be found in the southern part with a single storey and floor where command of the island and a barracks for the accommodation of officers and soldiers were situated.
During the remarkable Battle of Vis, which took place from July 18th -20th, 1866, it played an important role, damaging the Italian ship, Formidabile, captained by Simone Antonio Pecoret de Saint-Bon, a French admiral in the service of the Italian Royal Fleet in direct confrontation. The battle ended with the defeat of the superior Italian fleet which lost two of its ships; commanding ship Re d'Italia and Palestro.
In 1873, following the demilitarization of the barracks, an orphanage with a small chapel and a kindergarten were found here. The embankments were grassed over whilst the building’s small windows were significantly enlarged.