Friday, 13 August 2021

Grgur Bučić: The Croatian Scientist Who Measured Hvar's Sunshine Hours

August 13, 2021 - You came to Hvar expecting sunny days and you weren't conned. Meet and thank Croatian scientist Grgur Bučić who started the weather station on Hvar, one of the first in Croatia, which measured how sunny Hvar really is. 

There's nothing worse than when a traveller on a short holiday on the Croatian coast ends up stuck in their hotel room because of bad weather. Unless you want to risk bad weather sabotaging your Adriatic swimming experience, and maybe if you're lucky to get rescued by indoor pools, you should definitely play it safe and go to Hvar. Known for years as the sunniest Croatian island, there couldn't be a safer place to count on a rain-free holiday.

During my time in Hvar town, the forecast showed rain and uncertain weather on the coast, but even the couple of clouds that formed over Hvar quickly dispersed and probably headed over to the mainland, to Split or elsewhere.

In addition to swimming in the Adriatic, Hvar has plenty of heritage and things to see, like the Spanish Fortress (Tvrđava Španjola), lots of churches (such as St. Stephen’s Cathedral), its historical theatre (the oldest municipal theatre in all of Europe, by the way), an archaeological collection in the former Dominican St. Mark’s Church, and the Natural History Cabinet in the Hanibal Lucić Summer Residence – to name a few. In fact, Hvar boasts more UNESCO heritage than any other island in the world.

One of the other interesting sites is also the Former Church and Monastery of St. Veneranda. As Hvar heritage writes, the church was built in 1561 for the needs of Greek Orthodox sailors who were in the service of Venice. Today, the site serves as an outdoor cinema.


The former church tower, the former weather station © Nina Lelas

Right next to it, back in 1858, famous Croatian nature scientist Grgur Bučić established a weather station, one of the first in the entire country. Being part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy at the time, the station was part of the Austrian network of meteorological stations. Thanks to the measures taken under Bučić's expertise, the sunny days of Hvar are not a market scheme to attract tourists in need of clear sunny weather, but an actually very well-advertised scientific fact. In addition, for his experiments with sponge development, Bučić received global recognition, and seven species of sponges, crabs, and fish were named after him. He published articles regarding meteorology and oceanography and also studied insects and marine life. He also pioneered numerous archaeological digs across Croatia, including on Hvar.

Back in 2018, as TCN wrote, the station marked 160 years of existence. Organised by the Hvar Town Library and State Meteorological and Hydrological Service, this celebratory event revealed some interesting historical moments from and about the station. These include polar lights, storms, falling meteors, earthquakes, vineyards destroyed by hail, sunken ships, and epidemics. In 1884, based on data from Bučić himself, climatologist Julius von Hann (often looked upon as the father of modern meteorology) published his work ''Klima von Lesina'' (The climate of Hvar town), the first-ever such book on a Croatian town or area.


Grgur Bučić ©

Today, the Bučić tower is locked, and the path to the church now serves as an outdoor cinema, without that many interesting things to be seen. Could the tower be renovated and showcase the instruments this pioneer station used in the past? Perhaps, and it would certainly be a cool addition to the already extensive offer Hvar has for its visitors.


Veneranda, location of the station, screenshot / Google maps

While waiting to see what the future may bring, it's worth taking a look at this station, not far from the waterfront and the nearby beaches. Express some gratitude and dedicate a refreshing swim to Bučić himself, a brilliant man whose findings gave us scientific, statistical reassurance that Hvar is the sunniest place in all of Croatia.

Learn more about Hvar on our TC page.

For more about Croatian history, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Hvar Suspends Introduction Of 5G Technology, Regulator Says It's Not O.K.

ZAGREB, June 6, 2020 - The Town of Hvar on the southern Adriatic island of the same name has suspended the introduction of 5G technology until an independent and impartial study proves that such technology has no negative impact on humans and the environment, the Town Council decided unanimously earlier this week.

The decision will be submitted to the government and the Croatian Regulatory Authority for Network Industries (HAKOM), which is required to distribute it to all relevant stakeholders operating in the Town of Hvar, the local authorities said on 4 June.

However, in the meantime, the HAKOM regulator has stated that it has not yet received the decision in writing and therefore it cannot comment on its contents of the decision.

Nevertheless, the regulator underscores that any restriction of the development of electronic communication infrastructure for public services is not in compliance with the regulations.

Based on this decision, the Town Council will set up a task force to look over the next six months into a possible causal link between all sources of radiation and cancer.

The decision was put on the Town Council agenda on the initiative of an informal group of citizens following the information that Hvar was included among 13 towns and one island for which HAKOM has issued temporary licenses to test the 5G network.

The decision made by the Town of Hvar took into account the results of a survey conducted by the World Health Organization, the fact that the environment minister for the Brussels-Capital region, Celine Fremault, blocked a 5G rollout in the region until it was shown how this technology affected human health and the environment, the European Parliament resolution on health concerns associated with electromagnetic fields, the Environmental Health Action Plan for Europe, and the Council of Europe resolution on the potential dangers of electromagnetic fields and their effect on the environment. 

On the other hand, HAKOM warns that there are more and more "conspiracy theories" concerning this issue.

HAKOM recalls that it has requested opinions of researchers and experts from relevant institutions on the 5G technology's impact on the environment and the public health and in brief, the conclusions drawn from those opinions are that the impact of this state-of-the-art technology is similar as the impact of previous technologies.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Thursday Throwback: Preseason Stari Grad & Hvar Town, in Photos

As we enter a much quieter post-season in Dalmatia, we reflect on an equally calm preseason on Hvar.

Sunday, 8 October 2017

End Concert Season in Style with Hvar Brass Band Tonight!

A final event to hold onto the summer season a bit longer.