HVAR [ancient: Pharus; Italian: Lesina] (Croatia)

Agricultural and resort island in the Adriatic Sea, off the Dalmatian coast. Founded by the Greeks c. 390 b.c., its capital city, also called Hvar, has been a center of Croatian culture for many centuries. It was settled by Slavs in the seventh century a.d. and has been ruled by Venice, Hungary, France, and Austria since then. It was occupied by Italy during World War II. Its capital, a bishopric since 1145, has a 15thcentury Franciscan monastery. There is also a 12thcentury Byzantine cathedral and a 16th-century Venetian fort on the island.


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