|In prehistory - as of the middle of the 2rd millenium before J. - C. - there was a colony close to current Makarska. It is thought that it was a stage used by the Cretan ones on their way to the Adriatic (the road known as “road of amber”). However, it was only one of the ports having bonds with the large Mediterranean, as shows it by a copper shelf with systems of measurement Cretan and Egyptian; a similar shelf was found in the Egyptian pyramids.
The first inhabitants of Makarska which one has testimonies were Illyreens, arrived at the 4th century before J. - C. They founded the village of Muccurum. During the era illyrienne, the area of Makarska was part of the broad alliance of tribes directed by the tribe of Ardéens, founded at the 3rd century before J. - C. in the area of the river Cetina (Omiš) to the Vjosë river in current Albania.
At the 3rd century after J. - C., the Romans were made main from the Adriatic by demolishing Ardéens into 228, but it took them two centuries to impose their domination. The Empire Romain sent his soldiers veterans to settle in the conquered area.
At the 4th century, Makarska appears in the Table of Peutinger like the port of Aronia, Inaronia; but Muccurum is mentioned as a larger colony which developed in the more inaccessible part of the mountain of Biokovo, undoubtedly on the borders of the Roman civilization. With the site of Muccurum, with one kilometer of current Makarska, the village of Makar is today. It is then a stage on the coastal road of Salone (Roman capital of Dalmatia) with Narona.
Thanks to its strategic geographical location, Muccurum became an important center.
After the division of the Empire in 395, this part of the Adriatic coast was integrated into the Roman Empire of the East.
Makarska appears on the acts of the Synod of Salone of May 4th, 533 after J. - C., when the diocese of Muccurum (Makarska) was created.
In 548, Muccurum was destroyed by the army of Ostrogothic king Totila. The Byzantine Emperor expelled Goths of the East (Ostrogothic).
During the 7th century, Slavic tribes conquered the territories around the rivers Neretva and Cetina and created the principality of Neretva. Makarska, under the name of Mokro, was the center of this principality.
These Croatian tribes settled along the shore, became excellent sailors, and were delivered to the hacking. These intrepid pirates attacked Venetian with such an effectiveness that the doge of Venice Pietro Candiano 1st, sought to punish the activities of piracy of the ships of the city by sending his fleet; but it was overcome in Makarska on September 18th, 877.
For their ships, the Venetian ones last during a time to pay in Narentins - inhabitants of the principality of Neretva - a right-of-way on the Adriatic.
Towards 950, the Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogénète, in his work “Of the Administration of the Empire” (De administrando imperio) names Narentins, Arentanima, or Neretvanima, and their countries, Pagania. Their cities are named: Moroko (formerly Muccurum), Verulia (Gornja Brela), Ostrok (Zaostrog), Slavinac (Lapčan close to Gradac), and they control these islands: Meleta (Mljet), Psara (Hvar), Bracis (Brać), Hoara (Sušac), Jis (Screw) and Lastovo.
For the period of the principality of Neretva a port known under the name of Makar developed on the coast.
Under the reign of Croatian king Petar Krešimir IV (1058-1074), Makarska is attached to the Kingdom of Croatia. At the 12th century, Makarska is still controlled by Croatian kings, then hungaro-Croatian.
At the 14th century, benefitting from the competition between the Croatian leaders and their fights for the power (1324-1326), Bosnien Ban Stjepan Kotromanič annexed the coastal region of Makarska. Makarska will remain under the cut of the Bosnian sovereigns with 14th and 15th centuries.
During the 15th century, the Othoman Turks undertook the conquest of Balkans. In order to protect his territory from the Turks, the duke Vukčič gave, in 1452, the steps of Krajina and Neretva to the Venetian ones.
However, the coastal area of Makarska was conquered and destroyed by the Turks in 1499.
The name of Makarska is quoted for the first time in a Turkish document of 1502 of Muhammad Musina, telling how the nuns of Makarska were authorized to repair their church.
Later, the Turks made, during a time, of Makarska the center of a Turkish province (nahija). To defend oneself against the Venetian ones, the Turks strengthened the city in 1568. The Turkish fortresses with Makarska were built in the fields of the famous architect Hajrudin, the author also of the bridge of Mostar. The city was surrounded by walls protected by three turns.
A chart of Makarska in engraving, of the Italian cartographer Camocio (1572), illustrates the Venetian attempt at recovery of Makarska after the battle of Lépante in 1571; it is the oldest representation of the aspect of the city which one preserves.
Makarska remained occupied until 1646. One period of alternate domination lasted until 1684; the Turkish threat ended in 1699. During this period of many buildings, especially crowned, demolished under the Turkish yoke, were renovated and restored.
The area of Makarska remained under the cut of Sérénissime until its fall in 1797. The area was given to the Austrians by the treaty of Campo-Formio (1797). The Austrian army entered Makarska and remained there until Napoleon took the top.
The French arrived at Makarska, on March 8th, 1806 and remained there until 1813. It was one era of prosperity, of cultural development, social and economic. Under the French domination of the laws on education were promulgated in Croatian language - for the first time in several centuries; schools were open. To this time the obelisk set up in honor of Marmont marshal goes back, who is now located at the western entry of the city.
After the Napoleonean defeat, the Congress of Vienna allotted Makarska to Austria-Hungary. At the 19th century, Makarska knew a strong growth, a financial and cultural development. However the Austro-Hungarians imposed a policy of Italianization.
After the fall of the Empire Austro-Hungarian, Makarska was integrated into the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. In 1914, the first hotel was built, initiating the tradition of tourism in the area.
During the Second World War Makarska was part of the State independent of Croatia. It was used as port for the national marine and was the seat of the central naval Command of the Adriatic, until it was moved in Split.