Vrboska is the smallest town on Hvar island. Founded in the 15th century as a fishing harbor, Vrboska is often called ”Little Venice” due to the numerous small bridges the town boasts. Best known for the fortress Church of Sv. Marija (St Mary), here are top 5 must see sites in Vrboska, according to the Vrboska Tourist Board.
Fishing Museum (Ribarski muzej): Founded in 1972 with an aim to preserve the rich fishing tradition in Vrboska, the “Fishing Museum” hosts a large collection of traditional fishing nets, tools and equipment, as well as tools from old fish processing factories. The museum provides a fascinating insight into the harsh living conditions in the reconstructed homes of fishermen.
The Fortress Church of St. Mary of Mercy (Crkva – tvrđava Sv. Marije od Milosrđa): The most impressive architectural jewel of Vrboska, this site is unique in the Adriatic region. The fortress church was expanded and established in 1575 after the Turkish attack led by the Turkish Duke Uluc-Alija in 1571 – looting and burning Vrboska as well as most of the island of Hvar. The fort Kaštilac is from the same era and served as a guard station. The fortress church was established at the expense of the local community to serve as protection against the Turks. Known as one of the most beautiful churches in Croatia and among the most beautiful in Europe from that period, the church has kept some impressive works of art from the Renaissance era, which are now temporarily housed in the parish church of St. Lovre.
Church of St. Lovre (Crkva Sv. Lovre): West of the established church of St. Mary of Mercy is the parish Church of St. Lovre. Dating back to the 15th century, this church has 5 altars and was rebuilt in a Baroque style in the 17th century, keeping its Baroque appearance to this day. The Church of St. Lovre has actually been burned twice (once in 1512 during the rebellion and again in 1571 during the Turkish invasion). Holding one of the richest art collections in Dalmatia, the altars and ceiling of the church are also decorated with illustrations.
Church of St. Petar (Crkvica Sv.Petra): Considered to be one of the oldest churches on the island, St. Petar is situated at the entrance to the port, and mentioned in the Hvar legal statutes of 1331 as a border between Pitve and Vrbanj when neither Vrboska or Jelsa existed. The church was rebuilt under the stewardship of patriarch Harnotić in 1469. The statue of St. Petar, done by Nikola Florentinac, is now kept in the parish church. A copy of the original stands outside the church. The church and the bell above the door were renewed in 1999.
Church of St. Roko (Crkvica Sv.Roka): The Church of St. Roko has a beautiful baroque altar with wooden carvings, done by Bavarian master Urbana de Surgge. Built in 1577 as a vow against the plague, the artistic depictions on the altar shows St. Roko, St. Fabijan and St. Sebastijan. The church was built in a Gothic – Baroque style.
You can find more information on the Vrboska Tourist Board here.