The 5 Must-See Things in Stari Grad
Among many things which sholud be seen on the Island of Hvar, our list of the 5 best attractions in Stari Grad, that celebrates 2400 years of foundation this year, are the absoulte must-see features which should be part of your itinerary while you are on the Island.
1. Petar Hektorović Castle
Petar Hektorović’s Tvrdalj with a fish-pond and a dove-cot over it, is the most famous building in Stari Grad. This renaissance poet built it throughout his entire life and it had the same importance for him as his literary work. There he realized the idea of microcosms – a small, enclosed world where all divine creatures – fish, birds, herbs and people (himself, his friends, a holy woman, paupers and travelers) had a space to live. The Tvrdalj is also a stone book – Hektorović carved more than twenty stone inscriptions in both Latin and Italian (one, which is in Italian – is his own life motto: “Fede e realtà o quanto è bella!” - Oh how lovely faith and reality are) as well as inscriptions in the Croatian language.
2.Stari Grad Plain-UNESCO Heritage
The large plain occupies the island' s central area. Its name kept changing with the successive arrival of new masters. First known by the Greeks as Chora Pharu, it became Ager Pharensis in Roman times, to be replaced by the medieval name of Campus Sancti Stephani (the Plain of St.Stephen). It is now known as Stari Grad Plain. It has sustained the life on the island for thousands of years. The Plain is in fact a cultured landscape, formed by thousands of years of human labor. Its ancient man-made features originate from 24 centuries ago when Greek colonist divided the Plain into rectangular plots of 1x5 stadia, (ca. 180x900m), each fenced in with drywall. The Plain was crisscrossed with major roads cutting through it in regular longitudinal and transveal directions. Today we can identify the point in the Plain, located at a road intersection, from which the Greek surveyor began his measuring.
The Kabal peninsula, whose form resembles the fingers of hand, is located the north-western part of Stari Grad Bay. At the very entrance to the Bay is Kabal cape, an eighty meter high rock and on the edge of the Bay is Stari Grad, one of the safest natural harbors on the Adriatic.
During the crystal clear days you will have the feeling of sailing into some kind of fjord. You will leave behind, on the southern part, high hills that drops steeply into sea and far away, in the depth of the bay is town of Stari Grad.
4.Stari Grad Museum
The Biankini Palace – Stari Grad Museum –was the neo-renaissance family home of the Biankini brothers dating back to 1896. Interior decorations from the period in which the palace was built have been preserved, whilst in the garden there is a century-old Deodar Cedar, which is of the same period as the building itself. Museum collections on the ground floor and upstairs tell us the tales of Stari Grad’s long history.
The hydroarcheologic collection in fact a tale about the sinking of a merchant ship full of amphora that, in the 4th and 5th C., was sailing from North Africa to Pharia of the late antiquity period.The archaeological collection collection of artefacts tell us about the life of ancient Stari Grad – from the 5th century B.C. to the 7th 8th centuries A.D.
The Gelineo Bervaldi Salon invokes the times of the patrician salons from the end of 18th and the beginning of 19th C. whilst the Kapetanska soba (the Captain’s room) from the second part of 19th C. reminds us of the time when Stari Grad was a living port with large sailing ships. The works of art of two painters from Stari Grad - Juraj Plančić and Bartol Petrić together with other 20th C. Croatian painters can be seen in the permanent exhibition of the Juraj Plančić Gallery.
Of the numerous small squares in Stari Grad, the most picturesque is Škor. Almost like a theater coulisse (which it is during the summer cultural events), this square was formed later, during the 17th /18th centuries from a stretch of shallow water, where there was once a shipyard, which was covered and the square took its name from this (škor from škver, in the Dalmatian dialect, means shipyard). Working-class houses with picturesque luminari (roof windows) as well as sulari and skalinade (stone terraces with staircase) which are typical in Dalmatia close the curved space where the mythical Dalmatia lives.