"Made in Croatia" Opens as Hvar Celebrates 155 Years of Organised Tourism

By 17 May 2023
"Made in Croatia" Opens as Hvar Celebrates 155 Years of Organised Tourism

May 17, 2023 - A wonderful collision of tradition, heritage, and FINALLY quality tourism content away from the beach, as Made in Croatia opens as Hvar celebrates 155 years of organised tourism. 

Something quite extraordinary happened in Hvar Town on Monday evening, even though it was uncharacteristically raining on Croatia's sunshine island. Indeed, perhaps the rain was a good thing, as it highlighted the event and the new addition to this season's tourism on Hvar. 


The location was a magnificent building on the corner of the largest square in Dalmatia, the date May 15 - exactly 155 years since the birth of organised tourism in Europe with the founding of the Hvar Health Society in 1868, right across the square where today luxury 5-star Palace Elisabeth hvar heritage hotel welcome's Croatia's premier island's luxury guests. 


The building in question is an extraordinary one, and one with lots of hidden layers. On the top floor of the imposing Arsenal is one of the island's secrets that often goes unnoticed by tourists and passers-by - the oldest public theatre in Europe, which opened in 1612, and which has recently undergone a complete renovation. 


Below the building, are Roman ruins which were discovered during renovation works a few years ago. And the main building itself is the magnificent Arsenal, whose name explains part of its illustrious past, guarding the entrance to Hvar's magical centre stage. ITs renovation complete, the Arsenal is a delightful multi-purpose entertainment centre, which has been taken over for the next few months for a quite magnificent exhibition which opened on the 155th anniversary of Hvar's organised tourism story. 


The Made in Croatia exhibition is an outstanding interactive showcase of the very best of Croatian innovation and invention over the centuries, featuring some 38 topics in an original and engaging way. Croatian tourism often falls short of quality content for all the family away from the beach, but here is an outstanding exhibition in a stunning location, which is guaranteed to bring in tourists and locals alike, and to educate and showcase the magic not just of Hvar, but also of Croatia. It would have been easy just to dedicate this exhibition space to Hvar and its considerable offer over the island, but what a fantastic way of representing the whole country in one prime tourist location.  


Our good friends from the Turisticke Price portal attended the opening: Here is what they had to say:

In the historic Hvar Arsenal, one of the trademarks of the city of Hvar, the exhibition "Hvar presents: Made in Croatia" was opened, which presents in one place the builders of the foundations of the Croatian identity, whose inventions, knowledge and ideas have become part of civilizational assets and artifacts of cultural heritage without which today it is almost impossible to imagine the functioning of modern life.


The exhibition "Hvar presents: Made in Croatia" is part of the program by which the Town of Hvar and the Tourist Board of the Town of Hvar commemorate 155 years of organized tourism in Hvar, and the opening ceremony was held on the very day of the founding of the Hygiene Society, the first such association in Europe, a kind of forerunner of tourist boards. that we know today. Back in 1868, spa tourism was the main reason for coming to Hvar, and with this exhibition, we want to focus on cultural tourism. Because Hvar, in addition to the beautiful nature, superb food and wine and vibrant atmosphere, is a city where culture is an integral part of its identity.


This specially tailored exhibition is a unique event in which, through a multimedia encounter with great men, their inventions or works of art that left their mark on the world level, a part of Croatian heritage is presented to the people of Hvar and their guests. The exhibition is on display until July 20.

Originality, visionary, wide application of ideas and inventions were the criteria for selecting the individuals represented at the exhibition. The unique national, scientific and cultural heritage is presented in the curatorial conception of Dr. sc. Anita Ruso Brečić.

@turistickeprice Hvar presents -Made in Croatia This is Croatia ✔️ #glagoljica #nikolatesla #bascanskaploca #slavoljubpenkala #rudjerboskovic #penkala #faustvrancic #lavoslavružička #doramaar #baltazar #ivanmestrovic #andrijastampar #jurajdalmatinac??? #torpedo #zepelin #parachute #petarhektorovic #davidschwartz #haniballucic #modric #drazenpetrovic #hvar #hvararsenal #croatia?? #croatiantiktok #fyp ♬ Memories - Lux-Inspira

Invention and art
The exhibition consists of a total of 38 topics. Some of the topics refer to individuals such as Nikola Tesla, Faust Vrančić, Doraa Maar, Slavoljub Eduard Penkala, Ivan Vučetić and Hanibal Lucić, while certain topics refer to groups of people (from the same field of activity) and separate cultural heritage specific to the island of Hvar and/or Croatia.

The main guiding thought of the exhibition concept is to create links between the inventive and artistic past, present and future. Various works of art, author's designs, patents, archival documents and videos can be viewed in the exhibition, as well as devices and devices created according to the patents and ideas of deserving individuals.

The Hvar Arsenal, itself a cultural asset of national importance, is once again becoming a unique exhibition space and a place for meetings, exchange of ideas, and perhaps inspiration for some new visionaries.


Excellent stuff, and I do encourage you to check it out if you are visiting Hvar before it closed on July 20. 

But that is not the only piece of magic in this most impressive of buildings, for upstairs in Europe's oldest public theatre, the 50th edition of Hvar Theatre Days kicked off (see the program below), a unique opportunity to experience this historic and delightful theatre. 


Hvar's special anniversary was remembered in other ways as well, including a special panel of influential tourism personalities, called Culture in Tourism. Tourism in Culture. From the Hvar Tourist Board Facebook page:

At today's panel discussion "Culture in tourism, tourism in culture", held on the basis of celebrating 155 years of organized tourism in Hvar, there were discussions about the connection between tourism, culture and creative industries, the valorization of cultural heritage and its inclusion in the tourist offer, what is the tourist potential but also what are the challenges we face.


The following participated in the panel:

• Tonči Glavina, State Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sports of the Republic of Croatia
• Renata Tomljenović, Institute for Tourism, Zagreb
• Nataša Bušić, HGK Split – cultural tourism section
• Ivana Vladović, director of Central Dalmatia Tourism Board Director
• Miro Drašković, director of Dubrovnik Tourist Board
• Katija Vučetić, head of the Department for Culture and Public Relations of the City of Hvar
• Damir Kanaet, culture manager and executive producer of the "Made in Croatia" exhibition
• Goran Rihelj, owner and editor of HRTurizam portal, moderator of the panel

Peak season is coming, which will attract a different type of tourist to this most versatile of tourist islands, but these last few days have been a powerful reminder of cultural and traditional Hvar, one of the richest islands in the Mediterranean for its history and culture.