Happy 2400th Birthday to Stari Grad!

Stari Grad 2400 Celebrations and Days of the Bay Festival This year marks the 2,400th anniversary of the founding of Faros by Greek settlers. It’s Stari Grad’s official entry into recorded history, although there was actually an Illyrian settlement in place already. If only they’d also written things down, we’d probably need 3,000 candles on…

The waterfront at Stari Grad

Going back in time – the old town of Stari Grad

Stari Grad is an old town. If you wind back time by a couple of thousand years to the turn of the millenium, you’d find that settlements on the island consisted of Illyrian hillforts, mostly away from the coast, though the castle at Hvar town directly overlooked the harbour. And then there was Stari Grad,…

Tor with Jelsa below

Tor and Galešnik – a bit of a hike

The ancient Greek colonists of Faros were not altogether firmly settled, despite their clear legacy of agriculture on the island. In fact the Stari Grad Plain was constantly under threat from the local Illyrian tribes who really didn’t want them there. High above the town of Jelsa, the Greeks built a big strong watchtower with…

The wonderful vegetarian platter

Waterside lunch at Eremitaž

We came across the Bistro Eremitaž (that’s Hermitage with a Croatian accent!) when we went sketching at a little beach out on the north shore of Stari Grad. We read the menu, looked at the inviting shady terrace overlooking the water and thought – we must come back and eat here sometime. Two years later,…

Massive walls at Purkin Kuk

Purkin Kuk – a prehistoric hillfort

Following my previous blog on Hvar’s drystone walls, I’m moving backwards in time beyond the Greek colonists to the Illyrians, who lived here before them. Between 2,000 and 1,000 B.C. the population began to settle on hilltops. Their huts were defended by ditches and stone ramparts some of which were massive. One of these hilltop…

Rock Rose with admirer

Flowers, Flowers, everywhere

Hvar in spring is just a complete flower-lover’s delight. Other kinds of lovers would be delighted by it too, but we’ll leave that for a different post. On a recent walk to an ancient Illyrian hilltop site, I could not resist the charm of so many different kinds of flowers. I took some pictures, but there…