Thick pine forests, high poplars (which is quite rare on the Dalmatian islands), nice sand beaches, vineyards and olive-groves render Jelsa and its surroundings a special attraction...
JELSA, a small town and port on the northern coast of the island of Hvar. Economy is based on farming, viticulture, olive growing, fishing, shipbuilding, seafaring and tourism. In the mid-19th century, the marshland around the coast was reclaimed and the new centre of Jelsa was gradually built there.
Thick pine forests, high poplars (which is quite rare on the Dalmatian islands), nice sand beaches, vineyards and olive-groves render Jelsa and its surroundings a special attraction. East of Jelsa is a sand cove called Mina, and on the small Glavica peninsula the public beach Soline. Since the sixties the islet of Zecevo has been frequented by nudists, which makes Jelsa one of the pioneers of nudist tourism on the Croatian coast.
Jelsa has a rich tradition in tourism. The first hotel, Jadran, was built in 1911, and in 1913 the first illustrated guide-book in the Croatian language was printed. Today Jelsa is an important tourist centre. Major attractions of this popular seaside resort include various accommodation facilities - hotels, apartments, campsites - and sports and recre-ational opportunities - tennis courts, tennis camp, miniature golf, boccia courts, water sports, diving school. Important is also exquisite gastronomic offer - fresh seafood and famous wines of Hvar.
Occasional cultural and entertainment programs are organized in the summer months. The major event is the Days of Antun Dobronic (20th of July - 20th of August).
The first habitation grew out around the small church of St. John in the Field, which was in the 17th century reconstructed and converted into a Baroque-style structure of an octagonal ground-plan. A square was formed around the church and it got its present aspect in the period between the 17th and the 19th centuries. The fortified parish church of Sts. Fabian and Sebastian, built in the 16th century, is a three-nave structure covered by a stone barrel vault. One of the Baroque altars is a work by the wood-carver Antonio Porri. The New Park features a monument to the Croatian composer A. Dobronic (1878-1955).
In the vicinity of Jelsa are the remains of a Greek fortress called Tor, and on the locality of Crkvica the remains of an antique structure.
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