The town of Hvar, island of Hvar in Croatia
|The toponym of Hvar comes from the Greek word “Pharos” (Φαροσ), Greek name of the island of Hvar and the Greek colony which was formerly with the site of the current town of Stari Grad, with which it town of Hvar charmed, at the 13th century, the role of capital of the island.|
The former Romans named it in Latin Pharina and, under the Republic of Venice, Hvar named itself in Italian Lesina.
In the Croatian dialect of north - the tchakavien (čakavski) - Hvar is named “Hvor” by its inhabitants.
|The town of Hvar is located at the bottom of a small not very deep bay on the southern part of the island of Hvar, close to the western end of the island.|
Only city on the southern part, Hvar is separated from the other important localities of the island by a mountain range; this mountain range extends over the entire length from the island and form a natural barrier between the localities from the northern coast and those on the southern part.
During the centuries spent, it took several hours of walk through the mountain, or for the veil along the coast, to join Stari Grad or Jelsa. Thanks to the road tunnel completed in the year 2000, the time of transport to the port of ferry of Stari Grad was considerably reduced: only 25 are needed mn to traverse the 18 km which separate Hvar de Stari Grad, and 30 min to reach Jelsa, located at 26 km.
The town of Hvar is surrounded by karstic hills, low in water, where the olive-tree, the vine, the lavender and rosemary are cultivated. These hills fall in an abrupt way in the sea, forming a very cut out littoral, with small gravel beaches in the splits.
Opposite bay of Hvar a small archipelago formed by the Pakleni small islands is.
|In the middle of the town of Hvar Pjaca, driving is sea front to the Saint Stephen cathedral; the city first of all extended, at the 13th century, towards north before being prolonged towards the south of the place as from the 15th century. The two parts of the city meet at the end of Pjaca: the low city is organized around the quays; the high city, dominated by the Spanish fortress, is entirely closed powerful medieval walls. The principal door of the city (del Datolo Carried), date of 1454.|
In 1571, the city was rebuilt after being devastated by the Turks on the way for the naval battle of Lépante.
|The Place Saint Stephen (Trg Svetog Stjepana)|
|The place Saint Stephen (Trg Svetog Stjepana) is the principal place of Hvar, and, with its 4 500 m² of surface, it would be the greatest place of Dalmatia. It extends indeed from the sea front to the Saint Stephen cathedral. The place was built in 1449 by the filling of a marshy arm of the sea which had been drained as of Antiquity.|
The place was entirely paved in 1780 with broad paving stones which point out those of Split or Dubrovnik. The well of the city in the middle of the place, distributed the water of a municipal cistern; it goes back to 1520 and roasts it out of wrought iron which recovers it date of 1780. One also sees on the place a stone column set up in 1446.
The place is bordered at its Eastern end by the cathedral and the episcopal palace, while in north and the south rise buildings and palaces built with 15th, 16th and 17th centuries.
The Saint Stephen place is called the “Pjaca” (of Italian “piazza”); it is the preferred gathering place of the tourists and the inhabitants of Hvar who find themselves there with the terraces of the coffees and the restaurants.
|The Cathedral Saint Stephen (Katedrala Svetog Stjepana)|
|The cathedral, dedicated to the patron saint of the town of Hvar, holy Etienne, is at the end is of the “Pjaca” of which it forms the backdrop; it was built on this site on the ruins of an old Gothic cathedral of the 15th century destroyed by the Turks, and of a monastery Benedictine, the Saint Mary monastery, dating from the medieval time. This preceding church had succeeded a church of the 12th century which had become cathedral when the seat of the bishopric of Hvar had been transferred from Stari Grad to Hvar to the 13th century. The construction of the new cathedral was spread out over 16th and 17th centuries, but the interior was entirely completed only at the 18th century.|
Its frontage mixes the Renaissance style, the style mannerist and the style of the baroque beginning in a typical synthesis of Dalmatian architecture to its apogee; it is the work of two main stonecutters of Korčula; it presents a pinion to three lobes. The bell-tower of the 17th century - more in the Romance style” is the work of local Masters; it rises on four levels, each one more elaborate than the precedent.
The interior with three naves is more clearly of style baroque and date essentially of 16th and 17th centuries. Only remain of the old Gothic cathedral of the parts of the nave.
One notices the stalls of the chorus, out of carved wood, of the 16th century (1572), the pulpit of the 15th century, as well as the crucifix of late Gothic style. In the left side chapel of the chorus a sarcophagus of glass is which presents the relics of saint Prosper (sveti Prosper). The high altar introduces to a “Virgin with the saints”, allotted to Jacopo Palma the Young person.
On the left side two low-reliefs carried out by the workshop of Georges the Dalmatian one (Juraj Dalmatinac) of the 15th century is: “The Scourging of Christ”, inspired of a reason for Georges the Dalmatian one for the cathedral of Split, and “the Annunciation”.
The church understands ten side furnace bridges of style baroque created by Venetian artists: on the right side that of the Hektorović family is noticed framing a Madonna of the 13th century.
Schedules of the visits: 7:00 at 12:00 and 17:00 at 19:00
|The Episcopal Palace (Biskupski dvor)|
|The episcopal palace was built in 1249 under the bishop Nicolas; since this date, the bishops of the diocese of Hvar reside here. In 1571, the palace was destroyed by the Turks; it was rebuilt at the end of the 16th century under the Cedulim bishop.|
The episcopal palace shelters a museum which presents the Treasury of the bishops (Biskupska riznica). This museum consists of reliquaries, tables and old church vestments, embroidered of gold and money of 15th with 19th.
Schedules of the visits: 9:00 at 12:00 and 17:00 at 19:00; except season, 10:00 at 12:00
Tariff of entry: 20 kunas.
|The Church of the Holy Spirit (Crkva Svetog Duha)|
|This modest church presents a touching architecture of awkwardness: the door, the rosette and the bell-tower are not in alignment. The legend wants that it would have been built by means of fragments of architecture coming from churches in ruins of Hvar.|
|The Church Saint Mark (Crkva Svetog Marka)|
|The church Saint Mark was mentioned as of the year 1326; many tombs of the nobility there are found. The church was abandoned in 1808: it is today a ruin which is used as space for cultural events.|
|The Palace of the Vice-chancellor (Loža)|
|The Pale of the Vice-chancellor was at the north-western end of Pjaca, giving on Mandrač. A first common Cabin (loggia communis) is mentioned for the first time as of the 13th century, in 1289, then, again, in the Statute of Hvar in 1331. The Tower of the Clock (Leroj) is the oldest vestige of this palace of origin which counted five turns.|
After the destruction caused by the Turks at the end of the 16th century under the Venetian domination, a new Cabin (Loggia) was built. This new Loggia is allotted to the architect originating in Vérone Michele Sanmicheli and to Masters of Korčula, of which the Master Tripun Bokanić. With its arcades, it is one of the most beautiful buildings of the late Rebirth in Dalmatia.
The Loggia was used later as palace of justice. In 1870, it was transformed into a coffee for the high society. The only vestiges of palace of the governor are the Loggia, two low-reliefs of the Venetian lion, a large well and a lintel of the chapel of the palace going back to 1612. Today, the interior of the Loggia is decorated in a style néo-Rebirth and is used as room of reception and showroom, not only for the Hotel De luxe hotel, but also for the town of Hvar.
In front of the Loggia, the Štandarac column, which dates from the 18th century, is always used as color-bearer: one read there formerly the municipal proclamations.
|The Palace Hektorović (Hektorovićeva palača)|
|The construction of the Hektorović palace was undertaken in 1463 by the family patrician of Hektorović whose descendant, Petar, will become the largest poet of the island of Hvar. The palace was never completed - because of quarrels of vicinity - but what one sees of the frontage presents a late Venetian style Gothic very decorated which illustrates well the golden age of the city at the end of the 15th century.|
|The Convent of Bénédictines (Benediktinski samostan) |
|The convent of Bénédictines, built in 1530, presents a collection of paintings and icons coming from the treasure of the convent and a fiber lace exposure of the sisal plant realized by the nuns.|
Addresses: Ulica Nikola Karkovica, above Hektorović palace.
Schedules: from June to September, the every day except the weekend, of 10:00 to 12:00 and 17:00 to 19:00
Tariff of entry: 20 kunas.
|The Franciscan Monastery (Franjevački samostan)|
|The Franciscan monastery is drawn up vis-a-vis the sea at the end of the course Sridnji (Sridnji rat) in the south of the town of Hvar.|
The monastery and its church, Our-Lady-of-the-Mercy, were built at the end of the 15th century, of 1461 to 1471. The construction of a new church was made possible by the gifts of the ship-owners of the port, after the commander of the Venetian navy in the Adriatic, Piero Soranza, had survived a shipwreck in 1465. The Venetian government took the church under its protection and it became the church of the sailors, and the monastery was used to them as retirement.
The gate of the church of Franciscan is the work of the painter and sculptor Nicolas the Florentin (Dello di Niccolò Delli says Niccolò Fiorentino), a pupil of Donatello; he is the author of the low-relief of the “Virgin to the Child” who decorates the tympanum, whose original is in Zagreb. The Renaissance bell-tower was built at the end of the 15th century by stonecutters of Korčula, whose celebrates it Marko Andrijić and supplemented in 1607 by his Blaž brother.
Inside the church, one notices the stalls of the wood chorus carved of Franjo Čučić de Korčula and Antun Spio of Zadar (1583), the tomb stones and the balustrades of worked stone, and the rich person jubé baroque with boxes and his paintings of Francesco da Santacroce and Martin Benetović for the upper part (16th century). The side chapel of the Holy-Cross is closed by one jubé of stone finely openwork and contains a “Crucifixion” of Leandro Bassano (Leandro del Ponte, 1557-1622), of the beginning of the 17th century. In the nave, on the right at the bottom of the church, the table of the “Marks of saint François” is the work of Palma the Young person (Jacopo Palma il Giovane). The tomb of the playwright and poet originating in Hvar Hanibal Lucić (1485-1553) is under the high altar.
One joined the museum of the monastery while crossing a cloister with the round arcades, with a well in his medium; the modest museum is sheltered in the refectory of the monks, who preserved his furniture, and in an contiguous room, but it understands invaluable works. In the refectory is preserved an impressive fresco of “Last the Holy Communion” (of 8 m out of 2.50 m), painted at the beginning of the 17th century by a Venetian artist not identified with certainty, probably Mateo Ponzoni (Mateo Ponzone, around 1586-1663, in Croatian Matej Pončun) or Matteo Ingoli (1587-1631), but certainly influenced by Palma the Young person.
The second room presents an alabaster low-relief representing the “Passion of Christ”, realized in an English workshop of the 15th century, rare “an Atlas of Ptolémée”, printed in Nuremberg in 1524, a “mystical Marriage of holy Catherine” of the 15th century (1430) carried out by the school of Biagio di Giorgio da Traù (Blaž Jurjev Trogiranin, around 1412 - around 1448) and a “Lament of Christ” by Palma the Young person of the end of 16th or the beginning of the 17th century.
This second room contains also a collection of invaluable currencies, of which some go back to the Greek period, of laces and old documents, as well as an original clock designed by a monk to shell, not the hours, but the operating cycles of the monastery for the days without sun. The needles turn in the contrary direction of that of our watches and largest the turn of the dial into 90 min instead of 60 makes. The library contains approximately seventy incunables and of many books of 17th and 18th centuries.
In the charming garden which surrounds the monastery one can see an old cypress, with the laid down form, old of approximately 400 years; according to the local legend, it would have been planted by the author of “Last the Holy Communion”.
Since Pjaca, one can reach the Franciscan monastery by a pleasant walk along the quays (Riva) in the direction of the south of the city. The monastery lodges two more monks, of which one is the author of bronze statues exposed in the monastery.
Schedules: from June to September, the every day, of 10:00 to 12:00 and 17:00 to 19:00; from October to May, 10:00 at 12:00
Tariff of entry: 20 kunas.
|The Arsenal (Arsenal)|
|The massive building of the Arsenal faces the sea front in the south-western angle of Pjaca, just beside the port. A first building had been built at this place at the 13th century to repair the damaged warships; it was destroyed by a Turkish attack in 1571. The new arsenal was built between 1579 and 1611; it was an immense hangar: a galley of war could find place there entirely; its large arcade opened formerly on the shipyard where or repaired the ships were manufactured. Side of the sea, the building of the Arsenal is bordered by Fabrika, a broad quay built hones some which makes the turn of the port (1554). On the northern side of the Arsenal, behind a frontage with the arched doors, is Fontika, the old municipal store where the reserves of wheat and salt of the city were kept.|
In 1612 - at one time when only the aristocrats had access to the culture - prince Pietro Semitecolo decided to create, on the first floor of the Arsenal, a municipal theater (kazalište). This construction celebrated an agreement signed in 1610 which marked the end of centuries of conflict for the equal rights between the middle-class and the nobility whose Hvar had been the theater: above the entry of the theater these words were engraved: “anno secvndo pacis MDCXII” (In the second year of peace, 1612). It was the first municipal theater of Balkans and one of oldest of Europe. The entry is done since the terrace of the View-point located above Fontika.
Here were played of the authors such as Miksa Pelegrinović, Hanibal Lucić, Petar Hektorović, Martin Benetović or Marine Gazarović. The theater continued until 1796, a year before the fall of Venice, then it was closed and the building was used as barracks; it reopened in 1803: the current decoration, designed for the Italian opera, goes back to this time. The building of the Arsenal and the theater were renovated in 2009.
|The Fold (Mandrač)|
|Mandrač is a small basin, surrounded by stone walls, intended to shelter the small boats during the storms; it was built at the 15th century on the west coast of Pjaca; Mandrač was mentioned for the first time in 1459. In 1745 the Venetian governor of the sector, Marco Dandolo, supplemented the construction of Mandrač by raising small pyramids on the walls which surround it.|
The name of Mandrač comes from the Greek word μάνδρα which means cattle shed or stable; one could translate mandrač by “fold”.
|The Port of Hvar (Luka Hvar)|
|The port of Hvar is located in a picturesque natural bay protected at the south by the chain from the Pakleni islands; that makes a haven of peace for the boats of it all the year during. Moreover, its site with the crossing of the sea routes of the Adriatic - at the same time East-West and North-South - made of it, in all times, an ideal base for military operations or commercial. In old times, the fleets were those of the Venetian marine or merchants of the circumference of the Mediterranean, North Africa and Black Sea, and even as far as the Atlantic coast. Today, they are fleets of yachts of luxury and sailing ships. The marina accommodates a certain number of events all the year, including a regatta of the New year.|
The 310 m length quay which borders the port is called Fabrika; the part is quay named formerly Molo Vivaldi. It is one of the oldest quays of Europe: its construction began in 1554 to be used as a basis for the Venetian fleet; all the townsmen had the obligation to give one workday to help with its construction. Whole construction was a technical prowess for the time; even the submerged parts were built with stones learnedly arranged, while the emerged part is a typical example of the Renaissance style of construction, paved stones limestones laid out in honeycomb. The last restoration of the quay goes back to 1795.
|The Residence of Summer of Hannibal Lucić (Ljetnikovac Hanibala Lucića)|
|The residence of summer of the poet and playwright Hannibal Lucić (around 1485-1553) is in the countryside, outside the ramparts east of the city. Built in 1530, it is a good example of a country house of the Rebirth with closed garden and dependence. It is transformed today into museum.|
|The Bay of Dubovica (Uvala Dubovica)|
|The picturesque bay of Dubovica is to 8 km east of the town of Hvar by taking the road towards Sveta Nedjelja. The hamlet of Dubovica is not accessible in the car: it is necessary to leave the car at the edge of the road and to descend a small stony path which goes down towards the hamlet and its beach in less than 10 min.|
Dubovica comprises some houses of fishermen, a projecting chapel and manor in the sea which dominates bay: it was the residence of summer of the family patrician of Kasandrić (17th-19th centuries). The bay is bordered by a charming directed beach of small rollers full south, and has interesting underwater funds.
A restaurant of the hamlet proposes a Dalmatian kitchen of quality.
|The Islands Pakleni (Pakleni otoci)|
|The archipelago of the islands Pakleni (Pakleni otoci), or islands Paklinski (Paklinski otoci), is located at a few hundred meters in the south of the entry of the port of the town of Hvar. These islands and small islands are familiarly named the islands of the Hell (“pakleni” means infernal), but they draw actually their name from the antiquated word “paklina”, which means “tar”, in reference to the resin of pine, formerly used for the caulking of the ships, which was collected on these islands. The islands are indeed covered with a forest of black pines and pines of Alep. The Pakleni islands are protected areas.|
The archipelago of the Pakleni islands is approximately 10 kilometers length; it consists of rocks limestones, with a very cut out littoral. Navigation between the islands is difficult and dangerous because of strong currents, in particular in the south, and of the presence of many small islands and reefs.
|Since the western end of the archipelago, marked by a headlight, while going towards the east, one meets: Vodnjak Mali more in the west, Vodnjak Veli in north, then the group of the Travna small islands, Paržanj, Borovac, then the largest island: Sveti Klement, then, in the south, Dobri, Vlaka, Stambedar, Gojca, Borovac, Marinkovac, Planikovac, Sveti Jerolim, finally, opposite the town of Hvar, on the other side of the channel: Gališnik and Pokonji Fraud with its headlight, the small island more in the east to only 2 km of the port of Hvar.|
Largest (5 km²) and the most developed islands, Saint-Clement (Sveti Klement), also named the Large Island (Veliki Otok), has the summit of the Pakleni islands to 94 meters of altitude, beautiful splits and a rich vegetation with the scents of rosemary. Saint-Clement understands three hamlets inhabited during the tourist season: Palmižana, Momića Polje and Vlaka. Palmižana is a picturesque hamlet which attracts many visitors its restaurants, its marina of 200 boats, its splits, its rocks flat and its beach.
The island of Marinkovac shelters a hamlet of some houses, Ždrilca, and two splits which make a less attended excursion of it and more wild than Saint-Clement.
Saint Jerome (Sveti Jerolim), or Jerolim, is closest to the Pakleni small islands. The island was used with the Middle Ages by the Franciscan monks to produce salt. It from now on is reserved to the naturists.
The Pakleni islands are a popular destination for the visitors with boats, especially the yachts, offering many peaceful splits for the sports of diving, underwater fishing or swimming. One can go by boat-taxi in these three islands since the port of Hvar: Saint-Clement (50 kunas return ticket); Marinkovac (35 kunas return ticket); Saint Jerome (30 kunas return ticket). Departures the morning of 9:00 on 12:00, return in the end of the afternoon; duration: 30 min for Saint-Clement.
|The Ramparts (Zidine)|
|Hvar is protected on the terrestrial side by ramparts and two massive fortresses built on the hills located above the city. These fortifications were required by the Venetian ones in 1278, in return for the protection which they granted to the island of Hvar, in order to create, on the southern part of the island, a haven of peace for their fleet. These fortifications of the 13th century were increased with the wire of the centuries; they extend since the fortress until the principal place where they join a third wall of East-West direction. The walls are reinforced by rectangular turns whose construction was spread out 13th at the 16th century.|
|The Spanish Fortress (Tvrđava Španjola)|
|One of the hills to the top of the town of Hvar is crowned by a fortress known under the name of Fortica or of Spanish Fortress (Tvrđava Španjola).|
The construction of this fortress, such as it today is seen started in 1282, at the beginning of the Venetian domination. The funds to finance the construction of the work came mainly from the trade of salt. However 1551 had to be waited until so that the building was completed, as testifies the date to it to the emblem of the Republic of Venice and the weapons of the city placed above the principal door in the south. The name of “Španjola” (Spanish), probably comes owing to the fact that in the 14th century of the Spanish military engineers took part in construction.
The Spanish fortress was built with the site of fortifications illyriennes, dating from first half of the first millenium before J. - C., and of later Byzantine fortifications, probably dating from the reign of the Justinien emperor, whose traces are still visible on the wall of the south.
The architectural diagram complexes fortress is due to the difficulty of the ground. In the beginning there were four round towers, of the buildings for the storage of the gunpowder, of the cisterns, a prison, a small chapel dedicated to saint Jean-Baptiste.
At the time of the great Turkish attack of August 19th, 1571, the city was plundered and burned but almost all the inhabitants of Hvar could take refuge in the fortress and keep the safe life.
However, on October 1st, 1579, the lightning struck the explosives magazine, and an explosion caused serious damage with the fortress and new destruction at the city hardly rebuilt after the attack of the Turks: many public buildings today dates from the rebuilding after the explosion.
The fortress was restored at the end of the 16th century. During the French domination, the work was reinforced and increased. Until second half of the 19th century the fortified town was increased again. Under the Austrian domination, the fortress was used like barracks; the interior buildings go back to this time. When the town of Hvar lost its military importance, Španjola was given up and neglected.
Starting from 1971, total measurements to restore the buildings were undertaken. Today, Fortica was completely renovated and transformed into a modern resort with a museum, a restaurant and a discotheque.
One goes up to the fortress by a path which makes it possible to discover the doors of the old city, then curves between the sisal plants: to assemble the steps which pass in front of the convent Benedictine and to follow the path until at the top of the hill (40 min return ticket). The visit of the buildings is of a limited interest, except the visit of the old dungeons, but the sight on the city and the green Pakleni islands is splendid.
Schedules of visit: 9:00 at 22:00
Tariff of entry: 20 kunas.
|Strong Napoleon (Tvrđava Napoljun)|
|On a hill close to the Spanish Fortress - a little higher (228 m of altitude) and located at the North-West this one - is a small named fortification Fort Napoleon. It was built in 1811, under the French occupation of the Napoleonean troops, on a site where a medieval church dedicated to saint Nicolas rose before, the patron saint of the sailors. The place offers an ideal observation post dominating the sea.|
Strong Napoleon shelters today an astronomical observatory of the faculty of geodesy of the University of Zagreb.
|Strong the Battery (Trđava Baterija)|
|Under the French domination was built, in 1811, on the course of the Cross (Križni rat), a fort intended to protect the port from Hvar on the southern part. Under the Austrian domination, the work accepted the name of Baterija Andreas Hofer in memory of the execution, in 1810, of the resistant Tyrolean. Today it is simply named “Baterija” and is mainly in ruin.|
|Weather and forecasts|
|The Maritime transport|
|There are regular services of ferry between the port of Hvar and the wearing of Split, and the islands of Brač, Korčula, Lastovo and Vis.|