The top attraction in Stari Grad is the Hektorović Tvrdalj, the ‘castle’ built by one of Croaita’s most famous poets, Petar Hektorović (1487 – 1572). Situated at the back of the largest square in the town, close to the court, Hektorović built an original legacy, and carved pithy and witty sayings in stone around the building in Latin, Italian and Croatian. The entrance bears the inscription: “Petar Hectorović, son of Marino, at his own expense and by his own effort built this for the use of himself and his friends.”
With a long sea-facing wall preventing it from attack and intrusion, entering the courtyard is something of a surprise, and includes a large fishpool and herb garden. The main gardens have gradually been replanted over the last twenty-odd years with an astonishing variety of Mediterranean plants. Horses often graze in the paddocks alongside the gardens. There is a display of historical tools and agricultural equipment in an enclosed area to one side, and one can climb up a small tower nearby to look over the property. The house itself, which boasts one of the earliest indoor toilets in Europe, is not open to the public, but the gardens and fishpond are a delight to visit, especially in summer, when they are a refreshing oasis of shady peace to shelter in.