Despite being the largest town on the island, SUPETAR is a sleepy place onto which package tourism has been painlessly grafted. Something of an old town survives, its mottled, rust-brown stone houses grouped around a horseshoe-shaped harbour, from where a line of modern hotels leads west along a shal- low, pebble-fringed bay. The small museum (Gradski muzej; daily 10am-noon & 7-11 pm), next to the Baroque parish church, is a mundane affair, and you'd do best to head out to the beaches west of town, long stretches of pebble around a very shallow bay.
Standing on a peninsula screened by dark cypresses just beyond the beaches, the town cemetery is as much a sculpture park as a burial site, thanks in large part to Ivan Rendić (1849-1932), whose eclectic amalgam of Egyptian, Classical and Byzantine styles can be seen on many of the family tombs here.
Rendi6 was one of the leading Croatian sculptors at the turn of the twentieth century and, as a native of Supetar, was repeatedly commissioned by wealthy families to design funerary monuments here, giving the cemetery a uniquely unified sculptural style. The first tomb, belonging to the Cub 6 family, is immediately inside the gate – a dome supported by four squat pillars and bursting with eccentric knobbly accretions which seems almost Aztec in inspiration. More tombs lie east of here in the lower part of the cemetery, where the cupola-crowned Rendić family mausoleum raises a sarcophagus to the skies on solid pillars in a manner reminiscent of Lycian tombs in southern Turkey.
Ironically, Rendić was passed over when the cemetery's grandest sepulchural monument, the Petrinovi6 Mausoleum, was commissioned. Ivan Meštrović turned down the job in protest at the way in which Rendić had been snubbed, and the task eventually fell to Meštrovoć's contemporary Toma Rosandić.The resulting structure is a beautiful piece of sepulchral art: a neo-Byzantine dome pokes above the trees, topped by a kneeling angel, his long wings spearing skywards. The four external pillars carry reliefs of mourners, some playing musical instruments, others bearing flowers. Behind the mausoleum is a well-head, also by Rosandić, bearing a relief of bare-backed strongmen gripping rams by their horns.
The clear waters around Supetar are perfect for diving. The Dive Center Kaktus in the Kaktus Hotel complex – one of the packagey places west of town – rents out gear and arranges crash courses from around 220Kn.
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