Stari Grad (literally Old Town) is a town on the northern side of the island of Hvar
in Dalmatia, Croatia
. One of the oldest towns in Europe
, its position at the end of a long, protected bay and next to prime agricultural land, has long made it attractive for human settlement. Stari Grad is also a municipality within the Split
The most ancient part of Stari Grad falls within the UNESCO Protected World
Heritage Site of the Stari Grad Plain
, while the entire municipality lies within the surrounding buffer zone. Stari Grad was originally named Faros by the Greek settlers from the island of Paros, who arrived in 384 BC. It is thought that the name may come from the previous inhabitants of the area.
The 19th century was peaceful, and a time of prosperity for the entire island. However, the advent of phylloxera destroyed the island's grapevines, and the town's sailing vessels could not compete with the new steam ships. Large numbers of people moved away to start a new life elsewhere. Today, Stari Grad is again rebuilding itself, this time with tourism as the main focus. The town has much to offer visitors - a beautiful location, glorious weather, fascinating history and a great base to explore from, by land and sea.