Sunday, 6 August 2017

Hvar Island, Croatia

I’m inclined to wonder why Admiral Sir Thomas Fremantle isn’t more famous. Hvar Island is another example of the outstanding achievements of his frigate squadron in The Adriatic during the closing years of the Naopleonic Wars. Again, considering that the fortress overlooking its harbour is as formidable as that of Kotor, the success of these relatively small ships in subduing the local French garrisons is quite remarkable.

Like Korčula, Hvar was controlled by pirates and necessarily subdued by the Venetians in the early years of their empire. It also followed a similar path through to the independence of Croatia in 1991.
Last time we visited, we climbed up to the fortress, from which the view is grand. This year it was too hot for such exertions and we contented ourselves with a pleasant walk through the back streets to the monastery and back along the seafront, where boating and water-sports are very popular.

The Old Town is beautifully preserved, with a spacious central plaza in front of the cathedral. Sadly we couldn’t walk up and down it in the relative cool of the evening, because by then we’d already sailed for our penultimate port of call.