History of the island of Hvar

Hvar has been inhabited since prehistoric times, evidence of which is provided by painted pottery found in the caves of Grapceva pilja (Humac) and Pokrivenik. Later, the island was settled by the Illyrians, who at the beginning of the 4th Century BC fought with Greek colonists for supremacy. Even today, many burial mounds from Illyrian times remain. The cultural landscape between Vrboska and Stari Grad established by the colonists has been preserved almost unchanged for around 2,500 years. It is unique and has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hvar then belonged to the Roman Empire, and subsequently came under Byzantine rule along with the whole of Dalmatia. In the 7th Century, the island fell to the noble Neretljani family from the mainland, and as a part of this principality, in the 11th Century it became part of the Kingdom of Croatia. In the following centuries Hvar first recognised the sovereignty of the Croatian-Hungarian rulers, then that of the Bosnian King Tvrtko, followed by Duke Hrvoje of Split and the rulers of the Republic of Dubrovnik. From 1278-1797, with one interruption, Hvar was in the possession of the Venetian Republic. Subsequently, the island fell initially to Austria, belonged from 1808-1814 to the French Empire, and from 1814 and for the subsequent century came once again into Austria’s possession, as did the whole of Dalmatia. After the First World War Hvar, and the rest of Dalmatia, fell into Yugoslavian hands. Since then, it has belonged to the Yugoslav Republic and consequently to the independent Republic of Croatia since 1991. As a result of this, in 2013 it entered into the EU.


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