A small community on the island Hvar has posted its own obituary after failing to attract tourists.
Residents in Jelsa located just 30 kilometers from bustling Hvar say their town is dead and have stuck up obituaries in which they blame the tourist board and local politicians for failing to do enough to bring the tourists in…
Speaking to the daily Jutarnji List one restaurant owner said the biggest problems were inadequate promotion of the locality, a lack of tourist information available on the internet and in the town itself, and inadequate cooperation between hoteliers and local wine and oil producers.
As of the 2001 Census, the population of Jelsa district was 3,656, of whom 1,798 were inhabitants of the town of Jelsa itself. Population figures for the other settlements are: Gdinj (119), Gromin Dolac (4), Ivan Dolac (26), Svirče (445), Pitve (81), Poljica (68), Vrboska (526), Vrisnik (215), Zastražišće (230), Zavala (144).
The town of Jelsa lies in a bay on the middle of the north coast of the island of Hvar. To the south of the town are dense pine woods on the sloping hills of the island’s ridge. Jelsa is the only place on the island with an abundance of fresh water, as a result of which there is more luxuriant vegetation here than elsewhere. The agricultural plain lying to the west of Jelsa is the UNESCO protected world heritage site Starigrad Plain.
The old town of Jelsa (Civitas Vetus Ielsae) was mentioned in The Statute of Hvar in 1331. Although the exact location and extent of the ancient Jelsa are not well understood (Ref: nikodubokovic.com/jelsa.htm), remnants of the old protective wall can still be seen on the west side of the Gradina peninsula. Material remains from the Roman period prove the existence of a settlement in the area of Jelsa. Several villas are preserved in the area of Kutac, round St. Rock and in the cove called Carkvica of St. Luke.
On the mountain spur overlooking Jelsa to the south, is the massive fortress of Tor, which was a Greek observation point, standing on an older Illyrian fort (4th–3rd century B.C.). The location is an ideal defensive position as it overlooks the islands of Hvar and Brač as far as Šolta and the Makarska coast. Demetrius of Hvar reigned here for some ten years until the Roman occupation.
Slightly further eastwards, the fortress of Grad (or Galešnik) stands on a high cliff above the ancient road leading to the eastern end of the island. Originally Illyrian, the fort was further developed in Roman times, and still inhabited during the early Middle Ages. Its present name is believed to derive from the nobleman Galeša Slavogosti, who led an unsuccessful rebellion against Venice, in 1310, using this fortress as his stronghold.