Explore the charming sights of Hvar, a historic town on the beautiful island of the same name in Dalmatia, Croatia. Discover the most famous cultural attractions, architectural landmarks, and historic styles that’ll reveal a fascinating story of this Dalmatian town throughout the centuries. :)
Enjoy the Views of Hvar
When arriving on the island of Hvar, the first scenes that’ll attract your attention are the refreshing sights of emerald green pines and white rocky coast interlinked with the crystal clear blue Adriatic Sea. Amidst that natural beauty, the charming town of Hvar welcomes you with white stone buildings with orange roofs. The warm orangeness of roofs complements the bright blue of the Sky and the Adriatic Sea. Nature and architecture intertwine, painting a masterpiece in the Dalmatian style. (In the article, A Colourful Journey to Dalmatia, have a look at the colour palette of this picturesque island.)
Whether you prefer the energetic summer holidays or a more relaxed autumn, winter, and spring seasons, Sunny Hvar will greet you with more than 2,700 hours of sunshine a year.
What to See in the Centre of Historic Hvar Town – Top Cultural Attractions
Gifts of Nature, the rich history, and the hard work of the local people (Forani – people of Hvar, in translation from the local dialect) have shaped this top Croatian travel destination. Walking the stone-paved streets and squares of this historic Dalmatian town – you’ll enjoy the views of cultural attractions as well as natural beauties. Here are a few tips on what to see in Hvar town. Let’s go for a walk.
The Sightseeing Starts in Pjaca (the Main Square)
The beginning of this sightseeing walk is Hvar town main square, officially known as St. Stephen’s Square, or Pjaca in the local dialect. This stone-paved historic square covers an area of approximately 4,500 m2, and until the end of the 15th century, it was surrounded only by gardens. Today, near the main square, there are two public gardens (Djardini in the local dialect) that invite you to sit on the benches in the shade of palm trees and enjoy the view of the town centre and the sea.
The Cathedral of St. Stephen
One of the most impressive cultural landmarks is the Cathedral of St. Stephen – the Patron of Hvar, on the main town square. Gothic influences can be seen on the windows, some decorative elements, and the main altar; however, Romanesque and Baroque stylistic elements are also present.
The Historic Theatre of Hvar and Arsenal
The Historic Theatre of Hvar, built in 1612, is the first public theatre in Europe. Visit this beautiful theatre and enjoy all the artistic details adorning its interior. The Theatre is located on the top floor of the Arsenal building (on the main square). The construction of the Arsenal for ships began in the 13th century and its current appearance dates from the beginning of the 17th century when a floor was added to house the theatre. Nowadays, the Arsenal is a place for all kinds of events (art exhibitions, wine fairs, and celebrations, just to name a few).
The Hvar Town Loggia and the Clock Tower
The Hvar Town Loggia was built at the end of the 15th century and renovated several times after that. Decorative architectural elements originate from the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The clock tower, located next to the Loggia, was built in the second half of the 15th century.
Groda – the Oldest Part of Hvar Town
Groda (the Town) is the oldest part of Hvar town, dating from the 13th century. Going for a walk through this historic area, surrounded by Romanesque town walls, you’ll encounter palaces with distinctive Venetian Gothic-style windows, museums, artistic shops, and gourmet restaurants.
The Unique Hvar Lace from Agave
The Benedictine convent has, for over a century, kept the tradition of making the famous Hvar lace from agave. These amazing artworks, created by Benedictine nuns, are inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Beautiful Hvar lace is exhibited in the Hanibal Lucic Art Collection (part of the Benedictine convent) in the vicinity of the main square (Groda).
Have a Look at the Famous Art Collection in the Franciscan Monastery
Take a 15-minute seaside walk from the main square along the promenade, and you’ll reach the Franciscan monastery – a historic architectural landmark housing the famous art collection. In the summertime, the cloister of the monastery also becomes the stage for concerts of classical music.
Take Photos of Spectacular Views from the Spanish Fortress
Fortica (the Spanish Fortress) on the hill above the Hvar town was built in 1557 and was a military stronghold in historical times. Nowadays, this charming fortress is the place to be for taking photos of spectacular views of beautiful Hvar town and harbour. You can reach the Fortress on foot (be prepared to go uphill) or by e-bike.
Picturesque natural sights and historic cultural riches await your visit. Welcome to Hvar! :)
Tour the Landscapes, Towns, Villages, Hills, and Beaches of the Beautiful Hvar Island
If you are looking to rent a stylish holiday apartment that’s near the cultural attractions mentioned in this article, read on.
Holiday Apartments Stipisic is located in the vicinity of the historic centre of Hvar town (about a 2-minute walk from the main square) as well as near the starting point that takes you to explore the landscapes, towns, villages, hills, and beaches of this picturesque Croatian island. Antonio Rent will gladly assist you in sightseeing the beauty of Hvar Island. Discover our offer of cars, scooters, e-bikes – and private tours tailored to your needs. Contact us, and let’s talk.
Author: Danica Maricic, Archi-living.com
Photos by Antonio Rent and Danica Maricic