Hvar town is without a doubt the busiest town on the island of Hvar. Known for the glitz and glam which appeals up to 20,000 visitors a day during the summertime, this 13th century town has plenty to offer.
Because the crowds are calming and the alleyways are widening, we thought we’d give you the top 5 sites to visit in Hvar town, as chosen by the Tourist Board of Hvar. Afterall, the summer crowds may hinder you from getting to see any of these sites anyway…
Fortress (Španjola): Built in the 16th century on the hill above the town, this fortress is definitely a favorite in Hvar. The fortress was reconstructed in 1579, and a hike to the top will bring you to the collection of amphora and other exhibits from antiquity and the Middle Ages. Let’s not forget the view of the Pakleni islands from the top – a definite winner!
Hvar Cathedral (St. Stephen’s Cathedral): Today’s cathedral is the remains of a Gothic church from the 14th century. Its 15th-century pulpit, the stone polyptychs of St. Luke and The Flagellation of Christ, as well as the late Gothic crucifix, have all been preserved. St. Stephen’s is a triple-aisled church with a nice 17th-century bell tower. The cathedral is dedicated to St. Stephen, pope and martyr, patron of the diocese and the city of Hvar. Hvar’s cathedral is also the parish center.
Hvar theater (and Arsenal): One of the first municipal theaters in Europe, the Hvar theatre was founded in 1612. Situated in the Arsenal building (a space for repairing of galleons, and a storage of various seafaring tools), the theater’s exterior is mostly preserved in its original form, with the internal architecture from the 19th century.
The Franciscan Monastery: Founded in 1461, this 15th-century monastery has a 16th century bell-tower made by a well-known family of stonemasons from Korčula. Inside the monastery you will find a rich display of museum exhibits including collections of Greek, Roman and Venetian coins, liturgical items, atlas, amphora, and more, as well as paintings by Venetian artists. The monastery is also known for its painting of the Last Supper.
Benedictine Monastery: This convent dates back to 1664. In 1664, two nuns of the the order came to Hvar from the island of Pag with a task to begin a convent practice in the area. Establishing the nunnery, the Hvar Commune of 1534, with donations from the residents, encouraged its building. Today, the monastery is especially known throughout the world for its skill of lace making: a tradition they’ve had for 100-130 years, passed down from generation to generation.