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Jelsa

Photos and description

Jelsa is a town on the island of Hvar, situated in a Bay on the North coast. To the South of the city looms a dense pine forest that stretches on the gentle hills of the island. Jelsa is rich in fresh water, that is why it is more lush compared to other areas of the island of Hvar. Plain Starigrad-Paklenica, lying to the West of Jelsa is part of world heritage by UNESCO and is under protection of this organisation.

On the mountain towering over Elsau in the South, is the massive fortress of tor. It stands on the site of the old Illyrian Fort 4-3 centuries BC a Little further East is the fortress of Galesnik - it stands high on a cliff above the ancient road leading to the Eastern end of the island. Originally Illyrian, the Fort was further developed by the Romans, was then used for protection from the sea during the early middle Ages.

The present town of Jelsa was founded as a port for the village Pitve in the 14th century. The first houses were built around the Church of St. Michael in the North Bay, and on the South side of the group of houses was built around the Church of St. John. From fishing and agricultural activities of local residents gradually turned to shipbuilding and shipping, what quite a few have succeeded. Elsa became the administrative center of the district.

The wetland area began to dry after 1830, arranged city Park, on the coast built town hall and the city Council. Today Jelsa is a bustling town with many small businesses, an important tourist center of the island of Hvar. The tourist business "officially" started in the mid-19th century, although it is known that it liked to rest during the Roman Empire. The oldest hotel in Jelsa dates back to 1911.

In Jelsa there are a number of historical monuments, worthy of attention. St. Mary's Church 1331 year was restored in the 16th century and in the 19th complemented by a bell tower and a modern façade (the original Renaissance façade can be seen on paintings of the 17th century, housed in the Church). A wooden statue of the virgin Mary in the altar brought here from the Blue region in 1539 by refugees from the mainland. St. John's Church is a small octagonal building of the 17th century. Beautiful square and adjacent streets with houses of the 16th-19th centuries are the best-preserved part of Jelsa, Renaissance and Baroque. The area, which bears the name of the people, is located in the city center near the waterfront here has a natural source of Slatina, has been known since ancient times.