Some Important Hvar Anniversaries in 2014
As with every year, there are some important Hvar anniversaries taking place in 2014, and they reflect the rich history, tradition and diversity of island life.
Among the most important:
500 Years - The Great Rebellion
The Great Rebellion, led by Matej Ivanić from Vrbanj (and later Vrboska) from 1510 - 1514. A popular uprising against the Hvar nobility finally came to an end 500 years ago. Matej Ivanić remains a popular hero on Hvar, and there is a plaque on his house in Vrbanj, as well as one in Vrboska. One consequence of the uprising was the building of Europe's first public theatre almost 100 years later, a place for peasant and patrician alike.
400 Years - The Crying Cross of Vrboska
While the Easter Procession is the most famous on Hvar, Vrboska has its own dedicated procession in March, which commemorates the weeping cross, as witnesses by a local girl in 1614. It was taken as a sign of distress at the disunity between the congregations of Vrbanj and Vrboska at the time, and a procession has marked the event ever since. The 400 year anniversary this March was impressive to witness.
350 Years - the Benedictine Convent in Hvar Town
Surely the quietest residents of Hvar, the Benedictine Nuns have been quietly going about their business on Hvar for 350 years. They are best known for their intricate lace designs, which are made from agave (the same plant is used to make tequila in Mexico), and the Benedictine lace is one of the three intangible UNESCO heritages on Hvar. It is possible to visit a small exhibition of the nuns' work and fascinating photos from their archives between 11:00 and 12:00 daily.
70 Years - El Shatt
One of the more curious stories in Hvar's rich history is the evacuation of some 25,000 Dalmatians to a refugee camp in the Sinai Desert in Egypt, where they stayed for up to two years. Many islanders were born in the desert, an evacuation which began 70 years ago this year.
50 Years - The First Disco Club in Yugoslavia
While some may think that Carpe Diem invented nightlife on Hvar, one of the more surprising anniversaries perhaps, is the discovery that the first disco club in all Yugoslavia opened in 1964, in Jelsa. The founding of Nightclub Amfora will be commemorated with an exhibition being organised by Jelsa art gallery, Dalmacijaland.
It is also worth mentioning two island institutions, which turn 30 this year. Antika in Stari Grad is rightly regarded by many as one of the best restaurants on the island, while the jewelry of Tanja Ćurin has become internationally famous.
*Author - Paul Bradbury
*Photo Credit - Jakša Kuzmičić / Foto For - The Crying Cross of Vrboska 2014