Island Hvar Landmarks – What to visit

Island Hvar boasts a long and rich history. Various conquerors fought for supremacy on the island because of its extremely important position. Greeks, Romans, Venetians, Austrians, Croats ruled the island and left behind an indelible mark.

So let’s look at the most interesting buildings on the island.

Hvar Cathedral

Island Hvar katedrala

The Cathedral of Hvar is located on the central square in the town of Hvar, St. Stjepan (Pjaca).

Its present appearance was gained through the 17th and 18th centuries. Gothic, Renaissance, Mannerism and Baroque styles are the synthesis of which represent the cathedral.

In the 13th century, the church has proclaimed a cathedral when the bishop moved his seat from Stari Grad to Hvar. Besides the cathedral, there is a bishop’s palace and a museum.

Renaissance bell tower the landmark of the town of Hvar was built by local craftsmen between 1549 and 1550.

City Fortress – Fortica

Island Hvar fortress

On the hill over the old part of the town of Hvar, the town fortress rises. Hvarans call it Fortica (from the Italian Fortezza = fort). It was once central
defense fort of the town of Hvar together with the city walls.

The construction of today’s fortress began in 1282 when the Venetian government issued an order for its construction. The fortress was built slowly and long, and in 1551 it was mostly completed. When in 1571 Turks attacked the town, almost all of the Hvarans in the fortress found the shelter and saved their lives.

In the second half of the 19th century, the town of Hvar lost its military significance and the fortress was abandoned. Nevertheless, in 1971 the fort was restored and adapted into an exclusive catering facility.

Franciscan monastery Hvar

Island Hvar samostan

At the initiative of the Hvar bishop, in 1461 the Franciscan monastery was established as a sanctuary for sailors.

In the monastery is a museum rich in exhibits, such as collections of Greek, Roman and Venetian coins, or rare examples of the amphora. Also in the museum, you can see the glorious picture of the Last Supper sized 2 x 8 meters. Hvar’s Last Supper is a work by the Italian painter Rosselli.

The monastery is also known for its more than 300-year-old cypress, located in a monastery garden.

Dominican monastery Stari Grad

Stari Grad dominikanski samostan

In 1482 a Dominican monastery was established in Stari Grad and later
there was built the new church of St. Peter.

Several paintings of extraordinary artistic value are preserved in the church (among other things, “Laying in the grave”, a work by famous Venetian painter JR Tintoretto from the 16th century).

Pond Petra Hectorovica

Stari Grad tvrdalj

The fortress of Petar Hektorovic (1487-1572), with its pond and pigeon above it, is the most famous building of Stari Grad.

Petar Hektorovic, renaissance poet built it steadily almost obsessive throughout his long life.

The building is made of hard stone, without redecorated ornaments, with many stone inscriptions in Latin and Croatian (the first Croatian inscription in stone written in Latin).

Church of St. Mary Jelsa

Island Hvar crkva u Jelsi

Church-Fortress of St. Mary originates in 1331. The originally Gothic church was expanded and fortified in 1535 for the purposes of defense against the Turks. Today the parish church has four chapels: two larger from the XVII century and two less from the XIX century.

Church of St. Mary of Mercy, Vrboska

Vrboska crkva

Church of St. Mary of Mercy is the most impressive architectural work in this place, unique in the Adriatic region. The fortress church spread and established in 1575 after the Turkish attack when Vrboska was robbed and burned, as did most of the island.

The church has a shape of fortresses with the observatory and the loophole,
and from the top of the fortress, there is a beautiful panoramic view of the surrounding places and fields.


So in this article, I try to show probably the most interesting buildings on the island Hvar. How much I was successful will judge those who will read the article.

When you settle in Vela Stiniva Bay, in bad weather it’s nice to make a trip around the island. You will need about an hour to reach the town of Hvar and visit Stari Grad, Jelsa and Vrboska on your way back.

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