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article imageCroatia's festival brings elegance to Hvar's harbour Special

By Paul Bradbury     Oct 7, 2012 in Travel
Hvar - Hvar celebrates its distinguished maritime tradition with the second traditional sailing boat festival in a busy October programme.
It is a waterfront which this summer saw the arrival of the world's biggest private yacht and welcomed Tom Cruise on an impromptu walkabout, but there was a more low-key and elegant sight to the Hvar Town riva on October 6, 2012, as many old traditional sailboats glided into the harbour as part of Festa Forske Pulene, the second traditional sailboat festival.
The festival coincides with the Battle of Lepanto, which took place 441 years previously on October 7, 1571; a decisive battle in the Gulf of Patros, in which Catholic maritime forces decisively defeated the Ottoman fleet.
Sunset approaches as the sailboats moor up in Hvar Town s exclusive harbour
Sunset approaches as the sailboats moor up in Hvar Town's exclusive harbour
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The festival included a race round the Pakleni Islands opposite the town, as well as a night time sail around the harbour, while the headline lecture was given by Dr. Mladen Domazet on "Impetus in Decline: Hvar Sailboats in the Second Half of the 19th Century."
The view from Carpe Diem - Eclipse  the world s largest private yacht  arrives in Hvar.
The view from Carpe Diem - Eclipse, the world's largest private yacht, arrives in Hvar.
Tia Maria Svircevic
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The sailboat festival comes at the end of one of the busiest week the town has known out of the peak summer months, with various cultural festivals being celebrated simultaneously, as reported by Digital Journal.
Cruise posed with numerous fans  who were delighted to find him enjoying the relaxed atmosphere in H...
Cruise posed with numerous fans, who were delighted to find him enjoying the relaxed atmosphere in Hvar Town.
Ana Dujmovic
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The unveiling of a postage stamp in honour of the 400th anniversary of Hvar's public theatre - the oldest in Europe, by the Croatian Post Office underlined the national importance of this piece of Hvar heritage, and its celebration coincided with St. Stephen's Day, the day of the town.
This was immediately followed by the island's newest festival, a three day gastronomic and squid-fishing championship called Peskafondo, which is the latest attempt to prolong what has already been a very successful season for Hvar, which was named by Lonely Planet as its number 5 destination for 2012.
The official squid weighing on the first day of Peskafondo 2012
The official squid weighing on the first day of Peskafondo 2012
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With the season now winding down, many tourism businesses will close for the season, and attention will turn to the family olive groves and the imminent olive harvest.
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