HVAR - the island of the sun and lavender
A chilly January evening just makes me think about the one day trip I did last summer to island of Hvar with my family. Known as the Croatian sunniest island (the annul average of sunny hours is 2726) and island of lavender, Hvar is one of the most famous Croatian destinations.
We took the ferry from Split at 08.30 pm and arrived at Stari Grad around 10:20 pm. Since we wanted to enjoy the peace and the scent of nature this time we choose the longer way to reach the town of Hvar so we drove 40 minutes along the southern side of the island.
Our first goal was to visit Fortica or Španjola – the fortress that was built at the beginning of the 16th century (during Venetian rule) above the town. After 15 minutes walk uphill through the trees and plants that reveal the Mediterranean scents we reached the fortress and experienced an unforgettable panoramic view of the city of Hvar, its surroundings and the Pakleni islands.
Agava and Hvar Carob tree
The view of the city of Hvar, its surroundings and the Pakleni islands
The second goal was to find the relief of the winged lion (the symbol of St. Mark and the Republic of Venice) with the closed book.
As other dalmatian towns, the town of Hvar was ruled by Venice 377 years (1420-1797). There are many symbolic interpretations with the possible combination of sword and book:
~ An open book is a symbol of the state's sovereignty (many depictions are of doges kneeling before such representation) and a closed book, however, is considered as a symbol of a delegated sovereignty, and hence the public courts;
~ An open book (and the sword on the ground is not visible) is popularly considered as a symbol of peace for the state of Venice (but this is not corroborated by any historical source) and a closed book and a drawn sword are popular but mistakenly considered as a symbol of the state in war;
~ Finally, an open book and a sword are considered as a symbol of public justice.
Visiting the cities on the Adriatic coast that were almost 400 years under Venetian reign, I saw many lions with the open book, but I have never seen any with the close one. Until now ...
The winged lion of St. Mark with the closed book Užižić Palace (Hektorovic Palace) 15th century
And of course, our third goal was to enjoy beautiful summer day and have some fun ...
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