Occupying a headland just southeast of Hvar Town's ferry dock is the Franciscan monastery (Franjevači samostan; Mon–Fri 10am–noon & 5-7pm), founded in 1461 by a Venetian sea captain in thanks for deliverance from shipwreck. There's a small collection of paintings in the former refectory, including a melodramatic, near life-size seventeenth-century Last Supper by Matteo Ingoli of Ravenna, which covers almost the entire back wall, though in terms of expressive power it's outdone by the smaller and more tranquil Mystical Wedding of St Catherine painted in around 1430 by a follower of Blaž Jurjev of Trogir.

Next door is the pleasingly simple monastic church, with beautifully carved choir stalls and a fanciful partition of 1583. Built to separate the commoners from the nobility, the latter is decorated with six animated scenes of the Passion by Martin Benetović, a local seventeenth-century painter, and a brace of less expressive polyptychs by Francesco da Santacroce. Look out for the extravagant dragon candle-holders that push out above the panel detail below. The floor is paved with gravestones, including that of poet and playwright Hanibal Lucić by the altar, identifiable by the fleur-de-lys and dove's wing of the fam ilycrest. In the small side chapel, there's a moving Christ on the Cross by Leandro Bassano.

 


The Pakieni otoci
There are 3km of rock and concrete beaches east of Hvar Town in front of the big hotels, although if you want to swim it's better to head for the Pakleni otoci ("Islands of Hell"), a chain of eleven wooded islands just to the west of town, easily reached by water taxi from the harbour. Only three of the islands have any facilities, and even then only a few simple bars and restaurants: jerolim, a naturist island, is the nearest; the others are Marinkovac (with two popular beaches, Zdrilca on the northern side and U Stipanska on the south) and Sveti Klement, the largest of the Pakleni, with a sandy beach at Palmiiana. A smaller number of water taxis serve the other islands, but your need to take your own food and drink.


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