Unesco record-breaker

21 Jun 2024
An island where culture and heritage have ben distilled over the centuries, Hvar is unique in offering so many UNESCO-listed sites and traditions in such a small area.  As far as tangible heritage is concerned, the Stari Grad plain with its surviving evidence of ancient Greek field division, makes on the list. When it comes to intangible cultural heritage, Hvar is represented by Croatian lacemaking, the Mediterranean diet, the Mediterranean tradition of Dry Stone Wall building, and the practice of Klapa or a cappella choir singing.

Most specific of the practices included on Unesco's intangible culture list is the Za križen (Following the Cross) processions that have taken place on Hvar over Easter time for the last 500 years. Beginning at 10pm on Thursday before Easter, six processions leave six parishes in the centre of the island (Vrbanj,Vrboska, Jelsa, Pitve, Vrisnik and Svirće), making a circuit of the six parishes before arriving back at their starting point in the early hours of Friday morning. It has always been a male-only affair. Participants in the processions are clad in white tunics to mark their membership of centuries-old religious brotherhoods; the job of carrying the cross is considered a great honour and locals will register decades in advance for their chance to lead their procession.

Hvar's UNESCO Listings

1.The Stari Grad Plain

Photo by Stari Grad Tourist Board

2.'Za križen' – Following the Cross 

Photo by Jelsa Tourist Board

3.Hvar Lacemaking

Photo by Hvar Tourist Board

4.The Mediterranean Diet 

Photo by Hvar Tourist Board

5.Dry Stone Walling

Photo by Hvar Tourist Board

6.Klapa Multipart Singing

Photo by Hvar Tourist Board



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