Hvar is the town of a unique cultural and historical heritage but also an important tourist resort with a centuries-old tradition in tourism. Main attractions are pleasant climate, a lot of sunshine, natural beauties, various accommodation facilities, gastronomic offer, sports and recreational opportunities, etc. Hvar is frequented both in the summer and winter months, and its very special climate favoured the development of health tourism...
HVAR, a town and port on the south-western coast of the island of Hvar; lies in the cove protected by the Pakleni Islands in the south and a low crest in the north. Climate is typically Mediterranean, without major oscillations; 2,715 hours of sunshine a year. The vegetation is subtropical and very luxuriant (palm trees, myrtle, agaves, laurel, rosemary, pine trees, stone pines, etc.). The newest part of the town developed around the port. The development of tourism began in the 1920s.Today Hvar is one of the most visited tourist centres of Dalmatia.
Hvar is the town of a unique cultural and historical heritage but also an important tourist resort with a centuries-old tradition in tourism. Main attractions are pleasant climate, a lot of sunshine, natural beauties, various accommodation facilities, gastronomic offer, sports and recreational opportunities, etc. Hvar is frequented both in the summer and winter months, and its very special climate favoured the development of health tourism.
Hvar has an outstanding historical heritage - the cathedral, the Franciscan monastery, the Hvar theatre and the fortresses which offer a beautiful view on the Pakleni Islands and the island of Vis. Accommodation facilities include hotels, apartments, boarding houses and campsites. Sports and recreational opportunities are excellent - tennis, table tennis, basketball, boccia, bowling, water sports (equipment rented).
Hvar is famous for its very specific climate with a lot of sunshine, very few rainy days and almost no snow at all. As a rule, hotel guests pay only half a price if it is raining for the whole day and nothing at all if it is snowing (which occurs almost never). Hvar is very much appreciated by those who are keen on bathing in the sea, although there are indoor swimming pools with heated seawater. Tourists are much attracted by a visit to the Pakleni Islands, a small archipelago in front of the Hvar port, where one may enjoy the sun and the sea in one of the solitary, wooded coves. Restaurants and taverns in the town of Hvar offer excellent fish specialities, with exquisite local wines.
Among interesting souvenirs and products of Hvar one should emphasize a unique kind of lace made of agave fibres, which may be bought in the mo-nastery of Benedictine nuns, as well as the famous Hvar lavender, either in form of dried flowers or oil, which may be used as a medicine, fragrance or moth repellent, and rosemary oil.
Traditional cultural events play an important role in the visitor opportunities of Hvar. These are the Hvar Summer (July-August-September), folk music and entertainment programs and fishermen's fiestas. Among religious feast days the most important are the Day of St. Stephen the Pope (2nd of August), with a large procession, also the Municipal Day, then St. Prosper (10th of May), the Holy Cross (14th of September), the procession on Good Friday and other.
The Roman settlement was located near the port (3rd c. BC), and the late antique at the foot of the hill, where the construction of town ramparts started after 1278. In the 13th century the town citadel was erected on top of the hill. In 1551, a new fortress called Spanjol (88 m) was built. The western town gate with a tower was built upon the initiative of the writer Marin Gazarovic (1625). On the hill Sveti Nikola (St. Nicholas), also the location of a watchtower and a chapel, the French erected the Napoleon fortress (241 m, around 1810), and on a cape close to the Franciscan monastery the so-called Baterija (1811).
The centre of the old part of the town was formed in the 15th century. On the northern slope above the square, within the town ramparts, are partly preserved palaces of the Hvar aristocracy. On the southern slope, at the cemetery, is the former Augustinian church, St. Mikula (St. Nicholas), from the beginning of the 15th century.
The most magnificent monument of civilian architecture, the Arsenal, was built in the period 1579-1611 on the location of the earlier one from 1331. Under a large vault (arch diameter 10 m) was the storage for a Hvar galley. In 1612, Duke Pietro Semitecolo built a floor on the Arsenal, which was intended for a theatre house, one of the oldest in Europe. Dramas and operas were performed at the Hvar theatre until 1796; it got the present aspect by a reconstruction in 1880. Today the Arsenal building houses the Modern Art Gallery "Arsenal".
The eastern side of the square is enclosed by the Renaissance cathedral of St. Stephen from the 16th-17th century, a work by local masters. Next to the cathedral is a bell tower from the 17th century. In the middle of the square, in front of the cathedral, is the municipal well from 1520.
The stairway street descends from the north-western part of the square to the Spanjol fortress. At the very beginning of the ascent is Leroj, a clock tower, finished in Renaissance style in the 16th century, with a bell from 1562. Next to the tower is the Town Loggia, finished in 1479 (on the location of an earlier one, mentioned as early as 1289). Next to the Loggia and Leroj stood the Ducal palace, pulled down in 1903. At its location is now the Palace hotel.
On the coast, toward the western part of the port, is the bell tower (around 1550) of the Gothic-Renaissance Dominican church of St. Mark, pulled down in the 1820s; today the church houses an archaeological collection and a collection of stone monuments and fragments. The western way along the coast leads toward the public beach, to the zone of villas and the hotels Pharos and Amfora.
On the eastern part of the town, outside the town ramparts, is the Renaissance mansion ofHanibal Lucic (16th c.). On a cape between two coves is the Franciscan monastery with the church of Our Lady of Charity, built in 1465-1471. Through the cloister one enters the monastery refectory with a collection of embroidery (13th-15th c.), illuminated manuscripts, documents and books (collection of nautical charts of the Caspian Sea, around 1525). Among the paintings, the most notable is The Last Supper, a monumental painting by the circle of Palma the Younger.
A special pleasure are walks toward the Spanjol fortress, as well as to the Napoleon fortress on the hill above the town, which offers a nice view on the surroundings, the Pakleni Islands and the island of Vis.
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