The first important characteristic of the Hvar festival are the places in which the festival presentations are held. As it entered authentic historical sites the festival became an ambiental radio festival where the fullness of the experience is enhanced by the links and bond between the sounds and texts, and the atmosphere of the setting in which they are presented.
1. Summer Residence of the Poet Hanibal Lucić
The former summer residence of Hanibal Lucić is the most famous among the suburban summer residences of Hvar. It lies on the edge of a historic path which has connected Hvar with Stari Grad for ages. The fortified residence was built in the mid- 16th century. It includes two houses and a Renaissance garden. The landlord lived in the eastern house, while the servants occupied the western house. The residence now houses the Hvar Heritage Museum and the state archives.
2. Ruins of the Dominican Monastery and St. Mark's Church
The monastery and the church of St. Mark were first mentioned in 1312 but today's remains date back to the 16th and 17th century. The Dominican monk Vinko Pribojević held his famous speech „On the Origin and Glory of the Slavs“ in this church. Croatian family graves from the 15th to 18th century are among the ruins of the former three- nave building. The church also served as a meeting place for the „Big Night“ (Veliko vijeće), a municipal assembly of the nobility. The monastery was closed during the French administration in 1807. The apse of the church was converted into a chapel in the first half of the 19th century.
3. City Fortress / Fortica
Together with the city walls, the fortress forms an imposing stronghold. Its construction began in 1278, when Hvar was under Venetian rule. Archaeological finds however suggest that fortified constructions may already have existed in earlier times. In 1551, a new fortress was built on the site of the ancient fortification. Twenty years later, during the devastating attack by the Turks in 1571, the local residents found shelter and protection within its walls. The building was severely damaged by an explosion in 1579 after a thunderbolt had struck the gunpowder depot. It was not restored until the early 17 th century under the reign of Prince Pietro Semitecolo. The Baroque bastions were also built during this period. Under Maria Theresa, the Austrians were last to add barracks to the building in 1775- 1776. Today, the fortress also houses a small museum with an amphora collection.
4. Franciscan Monastery and Church of Our Lady of Mercy
The church dedicated to the Virgin Mary was built in the 15th century as a single-nave Gothic structure in place of the small Chapel of the Holy Cross. It was financed by donations from Croatian nobles and ship captains who came to Hvar. Once completed, it became the church of the sailors, as indicated by many inscriptions by Venetian naval commanders in and around the church. The north aisle of the church with the Renaissance Chapel of the Holy Cross was built in 1536. Inside the church are 16th century altars, a Renaissance sanctuary by Venetian masters, as well as the grave of the Croatian poet Hanibal Lucić. A large painting of the Last Supper, a work by Matej Ponzoni, hangs in the refectory. The monastery also includes a library, a museum collection, and a centuries-old cypress.
5. Radošević Palace
The Baroque Radošević Palace was erected by the Radošević-Radossio family in the 17th century. It was later taken over by the family de Lupis and Doimi. With its openings, low balconies, and the overhanging terrace the north facade is representative of the Baroque style.
6. Veneranda - Former Church and Monastery of St. Veneranda
The church was built in 1561 for the needs of Greek Orthodox sailors who were in the service of Venice. On the initiative of the Croatian Bishop, Girolamo Priulija, a Catolic altar was built next to the Orthodox altar in 1685. The church and the monastery were damaged during the Russian bombardment in 1807. The building complex lost its religious purpose when the French turned it into a fortress in 1811. Later, the Austrians also used the walls as fortification. In 1858, the famous scientist Grgur Bučić established one of Croatia’s first weather stations on this site. In the second half of the 20th century, the complex served as an outdoor cinema.
7. City Lodge / Loggia
Loggia in Hvar was first mentioned in 1289 and referred to again in the Statute of Hvar in 1331. Its location and appearance, however, remain unknown. The construction of the new loggia began in the 15th century and was completed in the 16th century. During the Turkish invasion in 1571, the building was severely damaged by fire but later restored. The elegant facade with its miniature-like obelisks was created by the Late Renaissance master Tripun Bokanić in the early 17th century. During the Venetian rule the loggia served as a courthouse. Public auctions for collecting tax and customs revenues also took place in this building. At the beginning of the 20th century, the once adjacent Governor’s Palace gave way to the spa hotel „Empress Elisabeth“. The loggia then served as a spa salon, cafe, reading room, dance hall and was the meeting place of Croatia’s social elite.
8. Galešnik Island
The first in a row of all the Pakleni islands, at the very entrance of the port of Hvar is Galešnik. From this little island, there is the most beautiful view at the town of Hvar. Its name was probably obtained from Galeša Slavogost, a noble who started the revolution against the Venetian authorities in 1310. In the past it had a strategic importance for defense, as well as attack on the town. In 1806, Russians placed cannons there and launched an attack on the town. A military-maritime fort was erected in 1831. After a maritime victory over Vis in 1868 the island was demilitarized and used as a quarantine hospital of the Hvar harbour. In 1936, it became a prison, and in 1960s the buildings on the island became tourist facilities. In 2005, it was remodeled as an Eco-etno island.
Photos: Prix Marulic Team