Published: 22.11.2014.

Modified: 22.11.2014.

Island of Hvar, the most populat Middle dalmatian island, with the most sunny days in the year is the proud to have UNESCO World Heritage Site! In July of 2008, Starigrad Plain was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List

This is a cultural landscape that has remained practically intact since it was first colonized by Ionian Greeks from Paros in the 4 th century BC. The original agricultural activity of this fertile plain, mainly centering on grapes and olives, has been maintained since Greek times to the present. The site is also a natural reserve. The landscape features ancient stone walls and trims, or small stone shelters, and bears testimony to the ancient geometrical system of land division, the chora, used by the ancient Greeks, which has remained virtually intact over 24 centuries. 

In the summer of 385 B.C., a group of around a hundred families was sent from the town of Paros on the island of the same name in the Aegean Sea toward the Ionian Bay, as the Greeks referred to the Adriatic Sea, to establish a colony there. Their destination was the island of Hvar, formerly named Fiteja, and they were led by Okist who was, among other things, in charge of proper land division to the settlers in the new settlements. Amidst the plain, in a place from where you can see almost the entire plain, is a marked starting point - omphalos. By using groma, a simple surveying instrument, the plain was surveyed and divided into parcels of 1 x 5 stadia, which is approximately 180 x 900 meters. They also carved boundary stones bearing the names of the parcel owners, but the island and coastal Illyrians did not like such division so they attacked the town in 384 B.C. However, the Greeks defeated the Illyrians, which enabled them to gain control of the entire Starigrad Plain, the largest fertile plain on the Adriatic islands. The settlers soon began to erect ancillary buildings and lodgings in the plain, on their own estates. The luxurious ones date back to the Roman era – so far, they have discovered remains of around sixty of them.

Today, Starigrad Plain represents the best preserved ancient Greek landscape in the Mediterranean. While on the Island of Hvar do not miss to visit Starigrad Plain - also known to locals as Starigrad “Ager”.


Croatian National tourist board

Local tourist board