Meet Mila, the Croatian Heroine That Still Guards the Town of Omiš

Meet Mila, the Croatian Heroine That Still Guards the Town of Omiš

Omiš and Cetina – two things bound together by hundreds of years of history, like prosciutto and the bora wind, or the fine sand and the sea at Golden Horn beach on the island of Brač. This river already knows where it’s going when it emerges from its source at the foot of Dinara Mountain, and that is the Adriatic.

The mighty Cetina will do anything for her love for the sea.

It cuts through the Dalmatian karst, with the help of mountain Mosor that moved aside to let it pass, and then like a crafty stonemason, it cut through rock to create one of the most beautiful canyons in the world, and ultimately surrender itself to the waves of the Adriatic Sea.

Ivo Biočina

In the grey barren land, about ten kilometres from Omiš and near the village of Gata, lies the spectacular viewpoint where you can get a bird’s-eye view of the pirate town below, just like one of the magnificent golden eagles that inhabit the Dinara Mountain.

In addition to the spectacular views, you can also see the statue of Mila Gojsalić, made by the great Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović. The famous Croatian author August Šenoa wrote about her, and her life also served as inspiration for an opera by the composer Jakov Gotovac.

 

The legend of Mila Gojsalić has been around for centuries, and it’s based on events that took place in 1530, when the Ottoman army attempted to conquer the Republic of Poljica. Ahmed Pasha and his army of over ten thousand men were getting ready to deal a final blow to the people of Poljica, when a young girl appeared in the Ottoman camp.

Mila Gojsalić – the Heroine Who Brought Down the Powerful Ottoman Army

Pretending to be in love, Mila Gojsalić entered Ahmed Pasha’s tent. According to folk tales, she was so beautiful that the Ottoman military leader was taken in by her charm and immediately forgot about the war. That night, Mila lost her chastity and honour, but she also decided to make the ultimate sacrifice for her people.

 

When Ahmed Pasha fell asleep, she took a torch and blew up the gunpowder storage inside the camp. The powerful explosion killed the heroine, together with Ahmed Pasha and many of his soldiers.

 

Another version of the story has Mila escaping the camp and jumping to her death from the cliffs above Cetina.

Denis Peroš

Regardless of what actually happened, the locals took courage from her heroic act and defeated the rest of the opposing army. To this day, Mila’s statue watches over Cetina and Omiš. Neither heavy rain nor strong winds discourage her from protecting her people.