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Croatia  Hvar

Image1 Hvar island is the most visited island of Croatia. The "Lonely Planet" and other magazines have spoken many times about its good environment and nature. Hvar island is the sunniest island in Adriatic as it is shown by many statistics. It's covered by many pine forests and other vegetation, this is one of biggest particularities that different it from other, mostly barren, places. Lavender, olive trees and vineyards are common also because winter temperatures are the most mild of the Adriatic.

The name of the island is without doubt Greek in origin, from Pharos (lighthouse). From it the Romans derived the name Pharia. The Dalmatian Romans then derived from this Fara, and the newly settled Croats in the early Middle Ages changed this to Hvar, as the old Slavonic consonant f was subsumed by the consonant group hv. The Dalmatian Romans, under the influence of Croatian pronunciation in the medieval documents spelt the name as Quara or Quarra.

At the end of the 11th century the Italians called it Lesina, or in Venetian dialect Liesena or Liesna. This was derived from an old Croatian adjective meaning "forest", which actually corresponded to the appearance of the island at the time of the Neretljani. The eastern part of the island, Plame, has the shape of a cutting edge which gets narrower towards "the top of Hvar" and corresponds well to the medieval Venetian name Liesna which means "awl". This is what it looked like to the Venetian seamen who sailed past the island on their way to the Neretva Channel, near the massif of Krajina where threatening pirates were waiting in their lairs.

A number of other island place-names describe its original wooded appearance. For example, Veil and Mali Garibaldi are derived from the word "grab" (hornbeam); Gin (a name identical to that of the Polish port of Gymea) also indicates a wooded place; Vrbanja and Vrboska are derived from "vrba" (willow), and Vrisnik from "vrijes" (heather). In the 3rd century BC the Hellenistic poet Apollonius of Rhodes introduced the name "Piteyeia", which is probably de rived from "pitys" Greek for spruce, or even from an old Illyrian name for the village of Pitve.
The inscription recording the victory of the inhabitants of Pharos over the Jadasini and their allies, one of the oldest known inscriptions in Croatia, 4th C BC.

Since Hvar lay in the middle of the main sea routes, history has left here many traces, maybe more so than on any other Adriatic is land. The finds from Grapèeva and Markova spilja (caves) have enabled the archaeologists to identify the so-called Hvar culture (around 3500 to 2500 BC). The examples of painted and encrusted pottery, with their various spiral motives, are among the most decorative artefacts from pre-Illyrian times. They are part of the general Aegean culture but were also further developed on Hvar.


The town of Pharos was founded in the deepest bay on the northern part of the island in 385/4 BC by the Ionian Greeks, the Parans, at the invitation of the Sicilian despot Dionysius the Elder on the fourth year after the 98th Olympics. According to Dionysius the Older (the founder of Issa, the first Greek colony in the Adriatic), a suitable base had to be built for military and trade expansion, which would depend on its parent-state, Syracuse. Ancient Hvar also witnessed the first known naval battle in the Adriatic, between the Greek fleet under the command of the eparch of Issa and the native Illyrian tribe of the Liburni, who were defeated and thus lost control of the central Adriatic. An account of this is given by the historian Diodorus of Sicily.

Pharos was predominantly an agrarian colony. The map of land division of the fertile plain of Stari Grad is an exceptional historical document. The basic plot of Hvar land distribution was an elongated rectangle of 80 hectares. It is thus different from the cadastres of later Roman colonies on the main land (e.g. Salona, Iadera, Pola).

After the fall of the Syracuse Empire in the middle of the 4th century BC, Pharos was without protection from invasion by the Illyrians. Between 229 and 219 it be came the capital of the greatest historical personality of the island -Demetrius of Hvar, After the Ro mans had defeated the Illyrian queen Teuta, he reigned independently over the whole region from the Krka river as far as Draè. He made a pact with the Histri against the Romans in 221 to 220 BC. The Romans finally destroyed the walls of Pharos in 219 BC, al though Demetrius escaped to the Macedonian king Filip V. There after, the whole of Illyricum came under the rule of Rome.

After Pharos recovered, in the middle of the 2nd century BC, it sent a delegation to Paros, Delphi regarding a certain epidemic (malaria?), as is evident from the fragments of a Greek inscription. This also refers to permanent tensions between the native Illyrian population and Greek colonists, and also to the division of the island. The inscription mentions the town assembly (boule), the secretary (grammateos), the state treasury, the members of the supreme council (pritanei), rulers (arhontei).

It would seem from all these functions that Pharos state administration was similar to that of Athens, despite the period of Roman rule. One fragment of the inscription states that the Romans reinstated in the polis of Pharos "the laws of their fathers", and gave them a territory to use for 40 years - most probably the eastern half of the plain between Stari Grad and Jelsa. This was below the Illyrian hill-fort of Tor, a fertile area which remained in the hands of the local inhabitants after the foundation of the colony, Diodorus relates that the natives "continued to inhabit an exceptionally fortified place without any disturbance from any body."

Archaeologists believe that this Illyrian settlement was situated on Purkin Kuk (274m) - an impressive hill-fort with strong so-called "Cyclopian" walls - to the west of the village of Dol.
The Romans began a series of campaigns against Illyrian tribes such as the Delmati from the middle of the 2nd century BC. They used the ports of Hvar, as well as those on Pakleni otoci and the wooded Šæedro, for their strategic and logistic purposes. This islet of Šæedro (Roman Taurida) served as a refuge for boats.

In Roman times, the whole island was networked by farming and holiday houses near the springs of fresh water, with a greater concentration of buildings in Hvar, Stari Grad and around Jelsa. The eastern settlement of Suæuraj, in the less inhabited part of the island, preserved its prehistorical way of life until modern times. Vinko Pribojeviæ, in his 1532 Renaissance ode to Hvar and the Slavs, mentioned mosaics, and the Abbe Alberto Fortis in the 18th century mentioned an ancient shipwreck off the furthest promontory. This is the first documented reference in the maritime archaeology of this part of the Adriatic. Roman Pharia, as amicus et socius populi Romani in the 2nd century B.C, was later promoted to the rank of an autonomous municipium, perhaps during the time of Caesar or Octavius who sailed near Hvar in the year 34 BC during his campaigns for Central Dalmatia.

In that period Hvar was a typical island of wine-growers, fisher men and traders, as is confirmed by the numerous archaeological finds - from the pottery fragments in the Grapèeva cave depicting a boat with two sails and a spiral-shaped bent prow, to inscriptions and relief’s. The way of life in Hvar in ancient times can also be seen in the maritime archaeological discoveries connected with the ship wrecks of merchant vessels.

Written sources reveal only a few data about the island in the late classical period. In the early Middle Ages Hvar was, together with other central Dalmatian islands within the state of the Neretljani under Croatian auspices. Venice occupied Hvar in 1147 and established a diocese under the Arch bishop of Zadar. However, Croatian-Hungarian King Bela III managed to bring Dalmatia and Hvar with it, once more, under his rule. This happened after 1180. The Split church synod of 1185 decreed that the Hvar diocese should come under the Archbishop of Split. The Venetians reoccupied the island in 1278, rebuilding the town at its present location, with its own bishop. In 1292 it was decided that walls should be built around the town and the monastery, which was the residence of the bishop. The entire enterprise was finally completed in 1450. However, it was not possible to surround all of the town as it ex tended to two hills, and was divided by the plain Pjaca, which formed at swampy point of the bay which was withdrawn almost as far as the cathedral.

Venice put an end to the island's clan structure (such families as the Kaèiæi, and Šubiæi having formerly wielded power) and introduced a communal system. The noblemen of Hvar, Juraj and Galeša Slavogosti rebelled against Venice in 1310. The communal Statute was conceived in 1331. The island again came under the Croatian-Hungarian kingdom in 1358, and then under Bosnian kings and even Dubrovnik - until 1420 when the Venetians occupied it for the third time, together with the rest of Dalmatia. This political situation lasted until the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797.

The bloody people's uprising of 1510, under the leadership of Matija Ivaniæ, was directed against the cruel noblemen and demanded equal rights for all. It lasted for more than five years, and was finally crushed by the Venetian army who plundered Vrboska and punished the rebels severely, as is depicted on a fresco in the Rector's Palace. However, the rhythm of everyday life in Hvar from the 15th to the end of the 18th century was under the strong influence of events on the so-called "Turkish mainland".

For the Makarska littoral which is only a few miles away from the eastern part of the island was occupied by the Turks. La Serenissima (as Venice was called) managed to maintain its "sea wall" against the Turks, despite the desperate economic and demographic situation that existed throughout the whole of Dalmatia. Hvar be came the main Venetian port in the eastern part of the Adriatic. Venice was interested mainly in fortifying the town, which was nevertheless completely devastated, together with Vrboska and Stari Grad, in the attack by the Turkish fleet under the command of the Algerian vice-king Uluz AH in 1571. The main initiative on the island was left to the local noblemen and in habitants, who, in the 16th C, fortified the churches in Vrboska and Jelsa, the monastery in Stari Grad above Hektoroviæ's Tvrdalj (Hektoroviæ's Fortress), a small fort in Suæuraj (in 1613), and two towers in Zastražišæe (in 1624).

Prosperity came to the island in the 16th century, when viticulture was intensified, wine being produced in sufficient quantities both for local needs and for export. Fishing was also an important source of livelihood. In 1512, the people of Poljice produced 4000 to 5000 barrels of salted pilchard and as many barrels of salted mackerel. The historian Pribojeviæ confirms the fact that there were 180 boats for summer fishing, as well as many cargo boats, some of which sailed as far as England.

Shipbuilding was also important. In 1416 King Žigmund asked the island of Hvar to send him skilled shipbuilders in order to build gal leys, galleots, and brigantines. There were 300 caulkers in the 15th century, but this number was reduced to 40 in the second half of the 16th century. The main reason was the devastation of pine woods through fires started by shepherds. The range of nautical domination of the port of Hvar was quite large. In the years of 1853 and 1854 alone some 10,000 sailors under 17 different flags passed through the port. There were four consulates in the town of Hvar at that time: Greek, Parmesan, Papal and Napolitan.

In 1797, Hvar came under Austrian rule until the arrival of the French in 1806. The following year the town of Hvar was heavily bombarded by the Russians from the nearby islet of Galešnik. The Austrians reoccupied the island in 1813 and reigned over it through out the 19th century and the very beginning of the 20th, bringing a period of relative prosperity. A meteorological station was established in the tower of the monastery of Veneranda in 1858. This -the oldest meteorological station in Croatia - helped to promote tourism on Hvar.
The Hygienic Society was founded in 1868, the first tourist society in Europe. Around the same time, all the is land ports were rebuilt: new light houses were erected, malaria-rid den backwaters and inlets were ameliorated within the shores of Jelsa, Vrboska, Stari Grad, Suæuraj and other smaller villages. The first road connecting Jelsa with Pitve and Vrisnik was built only in 1907, while the road from Jelsa to Hvar as late as 1936. Before this the inhabitants of Jelsa travelled to Hvar by ship from Stari Grad via Split! Or they rode on mules and donkeys for eight to nine hours.

One of the fateful events of 19th C European history took place in the Hvar Channel off the island of Vis. The Austrian fleet, whose crews consisted mostly of Dalmatians, under the command of Admiral Willhelm von Tegetthoff, defeated a three times stronger Italian fleet on July 20th, 1866. This was the last naval battle to be conducted in the old-fashioned way "in melee" using the ships as battering-rams.

In November 1919, the Italian army occupied the island after much fighting. Their occupation lasted until the signing of the Treaty of Rapallo in 1921, when Hvar, along with almost the whole of Croatia, joined the Kingdom of the Serbs, Croats and Slovenians, which was later called Yugoslavia and succeeded by the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia after the Second World War. The island was modernised in the second half of the 20th century, with all the positive and negative aspects of the modern age. Hvar obtained a new administrative position in the territorial reorganisation that took place after the recognition of Croatia as an independent state (January 15th, 1992).

Its natural landscapes are probably the most magnificent and impressive image of Hvar. The mild Mediterranean Sun shining almost three thousand hours per year, the clear night skies with stars as on one's palm, the azure sea generously revealing the treasurers of the Neptune's underwater gardens, opiate fragrances of rosemary, heather and garden-sage or the song of cicadae at noon, these are the impressions that remain longest in our experience of Hvar.

Sights

  • The cathedral of Sv. Stjepan(St. Stephen)
    Stands on the eastern side of the square and thus greatly enhances its visual impact. The building of the cathedral was begun on the remains of the late-Gothic cathedral of the 15th century, which was built where the former church of St. Maria di Lesna and the medieval Benedictine abbey stood. The bishopric of Hvar was founded in 1147, with its centre in Stari Grad, but in the middle of the 13th century it was moved to Hvar. The first bishop resident in Hvar was mentioned in 1249. This fact not only determined the building of the cathedral and the bishopric, but also the building of the town itself.

    The cathedral was built in stages during the 16th and 17th centuries, while the interior was not wholly completed until the 18th century. It has the characteristics of a Renaissance-baroque style, a monumental facade with a three-cornered gable and a Renaissance bell tower which has a Romanesque style in its ascending stages. The bell tower was built by Nikola Karlic and Marko Milic Pavlovic in the 16th century. The cathedral has three aisles and the shape of a basilica. The sanctuary of the nave is, in fact, the nave of the former Gothic church: the two pulpits, the stone polyptich with "The altar of the Apostles", and relieves "The Scourging of Christ" and the "Annunciation", from the workshop of Juraj Dalmatinac in the 15th century. There are eleven baroque altars, the opposite ones being identical, made by Venetian artists. These baroque altars blend gracefully with the subtle Renaissance interior of the church.

  • The town loggia and a clock tower
    On the north side of the bottom part of the square is the town loggia with a clock tower from the 15th century, which together are the only remains of the former Governor's Palace. The Palace was already completed in the middle of the 14th century as an impressive building with four towers.

    The town loggia was demolished by the Turkish raids of 1571 and rebuilt in a fine Renaissance style at the beginning of the 17th century by the Croatian mason master Trifun Bokanic. The measured harmony of the arches of the facade is underlined by a row of pillars above which, and beneath the bead-moulding of the balustrade, one can see a frieze of grotesque stone heads. From 1868 the loggia functions as a coffee house. Today, the interior of the loggia is decorated in a neo-Renaissance style and serves as a reception hall and exhibition room not only for the hotel "Palace", but for the town of Hvar, as well.
    Of the former four towers of the Governor's Palace, the clock tower from the end of the 15th century, renovated in the 18th and the 19th century, is the only one remaining. The loggia and the clock tower are a part of the "Palace" today, which was built where the Governor's Palace once stood. The only remains of the Governor's Palace are two relieves of the Venetian lion, a large well and a lintel from the Palace chapel from 1612.

  • The Fortress
    The town fortress or a citadel, perched on a hill above the old town and built on the site of the medieval one in the middle of the 16th century, encloses the city walls. In 1579 it was restored after a gun-powder explosion in which it had suffered considerable damages. During French rule some additional reinforcement building was done. The barracks and observation post were built during Austrian rule. Today, the fortress has been reconstructed as a modern tourist complex with diverse facilities. Once used exclusively as a fortified position, the citadel has become a belvedere very popular with tourists, since it commands a superb view of the town with its surroundings, especially by night when the floodlit stone forms of the ancient town appear against the dark skies.

    During Napoleon rule in 1811, a fortress was constructed on the rather higher hill of St. Nicholas the Greater, east of the town fortress. Even today it is called "Napoleon". It was built where the medieval army and naval observation post and a small chapel once were. Today it is an observatory.


    When entering the port from the left side, there is the so-called "batterie de gauche", named after the Tirolean revolutionary Andreas Hofer at the beginning of Austrian rule, on the projecting ridge. It is surrounded by pine trees. Today, there is a monument inside of it, erected in 1945, commemorating the fighters and wounded of the 7th Corps of the Military Hospital. This is one of the earliest monuments of its kind in Croatia.

    On the left side of the port there is the Greek-Orthodox monastery of St. Veneranda-Petka, which in 1807 the French converted into the little fortress called "batterie de droite". The church tower of a former monastery church was pulled down, and a meteorological station erected on the remains. This edifice was turned into an open air theatre in 1953.

    On the little island of Galesnik, at the entrance to Hvar port, Austria built a gun-emplacement in 1836.

  • The arsenal and the shore facilities
    The very early building of the shore facilities and the arsenal was determined by the exceptionally suitable maritime character of the port of Hvar.
    The building of the arsenal was started in the 13th century as a warehouse for the communal war galley. It was damaged by the Turkish ravages of 1571 and by gun-powder explosion in the Hvar fortress in 1579; and finally achieved its present-day appearance in the 17th century. Beside the arsenal a Fontic was built; it was warehouse for the municipal supply of wheat and salt. Its facade is embellished with arched portals.

    In 1612 a theatre was built on the first floor of the arsenal. It is one of the oldest in Europe and certainly the first municipal one as well. Built by the efforts and contributions of all the members of the community, regardless of class, it shows the high cultural standards set by this, in European relations small and rather isolated society.
    Near the arsenal, there is a small enclosed marina "Mandrac" (from the Greek word mandra=sheepfold), which closes the west side of the square, and is mentioned for the first time in 1459. In 1795 the Venetian District Governor Marco Dandalo finished the building of Mandrac by putting Baroque pyramids on the walls around it.

    The stone paved quay, called Fabrika, dating from 1554, stretches from the north-west of Mandrac. This quay, one of the oldest in Europe, was built from monumental stone blocks interconnected by stone grooves. The City Walls from the end of the 13th century, stretch from the city fortress towards the square where they join the third wall in an east-west direction. This wall is practically camouflaged by a series of patrician houses built into it. The City Walls are interspersed with four-cornered side towers, the construction of which lasted, with essential repairs, from the 13th to the 16th century.

    The main city gate (Porta del datolo), leads to the foot of the square, while the east one is in the vicinity of the cathedral, and newer, dating from 1454.

  • The Franciscan monastery and the church
    The monastery is situated on the tongue of land beside the bay called Kriza to the south of the town. It was built between 1461 and 1471 as a retreat for sailors. The cloister, with its monumental rounded arches with a well in the middle, dominates the whole of the Renaissance monastery. The whole complex is surrounded by lush gardens and is walled.

    The former spacious refectory and a small, adjacent room have been turned into the monastery museum. Along with a collection of old books and coins, the famous "Last Supper", a work belonging to the Venetian School of Palma the Younger from the end of the 16th century, has the strongest claims on the attention of the numerous visitors.
    There is a 300 year old cypress tree of impressive size and of magnificent shape in the garden in front of the dinning-room. From the garden there is a superb view of Hvar harbour and the Paklinski islands, which is unforgettable, especially at dusk.
    The monastery church of Our Lady of Mercy was built on the site of the former small chapel of the Holy Cross in 1475.
    The bell tower, of a fine Renaissance style, is the work of an artist from Korcula. It is one of the four church towers in Hvar which are considered to be the most beautiful in Dalmatia.
    There is a Renaissance portal on the facade of the church which has a fine relief of "Madonna and Child" in the tympanum dating from the middle of the 15th century. It is from the workshop of the Renaissance sculptor Nikola Firentinac.
    The interior of the church has two sides. The nave is divided into two by the wooden reredos and the choir. There is a polyptych on the high altar by the Venetian artist Francesco de Santacroce (1516-1584). In front of the altar is the tomb of the poet Hanibal Lucic, the author of the first Croatian secular drama "Robinja" ("The Slave-Girl"). The wooden choir stalls are among the oldest in Dalmatia. They were made by the artist Franjo Ciocic of Korcula and Antun Spija of Zadar in 1583.
    On the upper part of the reredos there is a cycle of six scenes from "Christ's Passion" by Martin Benetovic (1607), a writer of comedies and an organist, and the author of "Hvarkinja" ("The Woman of Hvar" and "The comedy of Rastoc"). On the lower part of the reredos Francesco de Santacroce painted the cycle of paintings from Mary's life. On the south wall of the nave there is a painting directly opposite in the side aisle. The chapel of the Holy Cross has a Gothic vault and is divided from the aisle by a late Gothic stone screen, a work by Petar Andrijic. There is a colourful and resplendent painting of "The Crucifixion" by Leonardo Bassano (1560-1623) on the altar, which is one of the most valuable paintings of the Hvar collection. The monastery was damaged by the Turks (the attack of Uluz Ali) in 1571, but was soon repaired in 1574. The wall round the monastery dates from 1545, and the series of little baroque chapels that stretch from the monastery to the town, were built by the commander of the Adriatic fleet Marin Capello in 1720.

    At the end of the series of little chapels a street of characteristic paving stones goes through the outlying district to the main square. This is a picturesque street intersected by a series of smaller transversal streets, usually in the form of a flight of steps, edged by stone buildings ranging in style from Gothic to Baroque.

    Image2Stari Grad | Stari Grad is the collective name for several small towns which grew and were later abandoned at the same place. It is located at the end of a bay on the northern side of the Island.
    A thousand years long history of the Town has left many monuments in the urban structure of the Town. Stari Grad (Faros) is historical heart of the island Hvar, ancient Pharos.






    Image3Vrboska | Vrboska lies in a picturesque cove at the end of a long bay. It is surrounded with pinewood forest and lovely beaches. The churches of Vrboska house the greatest cultural treasures of the island of Hvar.
    The village offers an unusual sight on a karst island: houses rising on both shores of a channel spanned by several small bridges.
    Vrboska was developed in the 15th century in.a deep wooded bay on the north side of the island and is situated on a narrow channel extending inland from a wide and well protected bay on the north ern coast of the island.
    It is the "parent" settlement of Vrbanja, and the surrounding villages (Svirèe, Vrisnik, Pitve) - "whose inhabitants wanted to fish pilchard" are in the vicinity.
    "Šæiga" - the ebbing and flowing of the sea in winding backwater with its islet in the middle - indicates any change in the weather just like a barometer.
    The first permanent inhabitants built picturesque bridge houses, small stone streets, and the church of St Mary below which a small port was formed dating from 1465. Its renaissance structure occupies a large site and is a unique specimen of its kind on the Adriatic. The paintings which decorated the church are temporarily kept in the other parish church in order to protect them against dampness. The roof structure of the church surrounded by a crenulated wall is a good vantage point for a breathtaking view towards the mountains in the south and towards the east and the open sea. The original memorial tablets within the church still survive. The graves, marked with beautiful baroque numbers, include also several graves of commoners. A grave in the apse bears the coat-of-arms of parson Petar Fabric from 1737 and the inscription NE DIFFERAS AMICE — HODIE MIHI CRAS TIBI (You won't be different, friend — Me today, you tomorrow).
    The most enthusiastic promoter of the port building was Matija Ivaniæ, who owned a boat, and who was later to be the leader of that popular rebellion. Some inhabitants decided to secede from the parish of Vrbanje and built their own church of sv. Lovrinac. The church of St. Laurence (Sveti Lovrinc) was also built in the 15th c. but has been twice enlarged, — in the 16th and again in the 17th c. when it acquired its present baroque appearance and the beautiful baroque choir. So in the future the two groups of people gathered around two different churches.

    Vrboska was badly damaged first by the Venetian fleet in 1510, in a reprisal against the plebeian rebels , and later in an attack by Uluz-Ali in 1571. Only Jelsa and Hektoroviæ's Tvrdalj managed to defend themselves against this famous commander who was in charge of part of the Turkish fleet before the battle of Lepanto. The church of St Mary was soon after fortified, and represented a strong defence on the large area above the port. This church-fortress is an unique cultural and religious building built outside established precepts. The church of sv. Lovrinac was also reshaped obtaining its final appearance in the 17th century. It exhibits masterworks of the Venetian Renaissance and Baroque, and some more recent local paintings. The most significant is the polyptych on the high altar by Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), and the painting of Our Lady of the Rosary by Jacopo Bassano (1516-1592). There are also three paintings by the Croatian Celestin Medoviæ (1859-1921) from Kuna on the peninsula of Pelješac.

    The village offers an unusual sight on a karst island: houses rising on both shores of a channel spanned by several small bridges. In the channel itself, in the centre of the village, stands an islet (342 sq. m). A whole network of walking paths lead under the thick shade of pine-trees down to the swimming beaches. Beyond the channel the bay widens towards Jelsa in the south-east (40 min. away) and Glavica promontory in the north.

    The oldest houses dating from the 15th c. are of Gothic style or have Gothic ornaments. Some of them still show traces of devastating fire, — a reminder of the fights during the popular uprising (1510—1514) and of the Turkish naval attack and devastation in August 1571.
    The original development of the harbour began in 1465 due to the efforts of the popular leader and local ship owner Matija Ivaniæ, who kept a ship in Vrboska and built a house there in 1468 (on the southern shore of the channel).

    Image4Pakleni-islands | The name of this tiny archipelago (about twenty islets right opposite the town of Hvar) which extends undulating along the south side of Hvar comes from the word "paklina" (melted pine resin for 'rasping' boat plating).
    This archipelago is the most beautiful part of the Hvar Riviera.

    Scedro | Island of Šæedro has two deep and well protected bays. The ruins of the Dominican monastery could be seen- founded, together with a hospice for sailors, in 1465, and abandoned in the 18th century can be seen in the bay of Mostir. The Latin name of Šæedro was Tauris from which derived the Italian Tauricola - Torcola. According to the Statute of 1331, the island was communal property and reserved for general pasturing.

    The land was very fertile because of the dew and because it was overgrown with woods for centuries. The pine woods to the east are very attractive. There is still visible an old quarry at Stare Stine, while gypsum was picked up on the island to adorn the Baroque chapels of the cathedral. Šæedro is an island 2,700 m off the coast, has a total area of 900 hectares and two well sheltered harbours which played an important role in Adriatic shipping history due to their protective qualities (štedri in old Slavonic means charitable; hence the name Šæedro). The islet offers pleasant walks, good swimming and beautiful views, especially on its western side (lovely view of Hvar's high mountain ridge especially at sunset). Šæedro's highest point is 110 m above sea level. The climate is milder than in Hvar and, due to night dew, grain crops used to be grown here in old times (see a plough from Šæedro in the Ethnographical Museum in Stari Grad).

    The islands historical monuments include well preserved Illyrian tumuli of imposing dimensions (known as Kodunje gomile because of the large number of a kind of snail called kadunjaci found on them) and the remains of a Dominican monastery and church of St. Mary of Charity (from the island's name) from 1465.