The oldest municipal theatre in Europe is 400 years old on the island of Hvar, a fact being celebrated as part of a busy October programme.
Better known for its beaches, sunshine and celebrity draw, the island of Hvar started a strong October tourist programme with the celebration of 400 years of the oldest municipal theatre on October 1, 2012.
The theatre, built in 1612 during the rule of Duke Petar Semitecolo, is perhaps the island's most famous reminder of its rich cultural heritage, and sits on the first floor of the impressive Arsenal building which guards the entrance to the town's main square.
The Hvar public theatre was built in 1612. and is the oldest public theatre in Europe, less than 100 metres from the after beach parties.
In honour of the anniversary, Hvar Town was decked out in special anniversary flags bearing the logo of the theatre's 400 years, and a series of cultural events has been planned to celebrate the historic date.
The flag to commemorate 400 years of Europe's oldest public theatre is raised in Hvar Town.
Mayor Pjerino Bebic, whose recent exploits to raise the profile of the island internationally have included conferring honorary citizenship on Beyonce's baby Blue Ivy, was on hand at the flag raising ceremony, before heading into the Arsenal for a performance of Green Shutters.
Digital Journal spent the day soaking up the atmosphere in the town, which recently welcomed Tom Cruise during an impromptu visit, but the main celebrity on show was the theatre itself. Currently undergoing renovation, a performance was held in the theatre (see the video below for a snapshot of the dress rehearsal).
The celebration comes on the eve of St. Stephen's Day, one of the most important days in the Hvar Town calendar, and it was marked with a special mass in the impressive Hvar Cathedral.
Following the St. Stephen's Day festivities, the town will embark on three more festivals in quick succession as Hvar attempts to prolong the season. The Gariful Hvar Peskafondo 2012 will start on October 3, and will feature squid hunting and a range of gastronomic events. It will be followed by the second traditional sailboat festival from October 5, while summer will be officially over with the Adio Ljeto football tournament on October 8.