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Sutivan lies on the northwest coast of the island of Brač - the highest island in Croatia. It is a small picturesque place with a Mediterranean vibe and beautiful pebble beaches stretching west and a gentle outback covered with multitude of paths. Numerous cultural landmarks, various events and sports activities make it a good place for a pleasant vacation.

Sutivan

Sutivan’s greatest assets are its people. Humble and industrious Mediterranean spirit of our hosts, caterers and people you encounter while you explore our place will make your stay more pleasant. Sons and daughters of fishermen and farmers, nobility and intellectuals have made this small town a small cultural and historical treasure trove of rich heritage and preserved tradition. You can rest assured that we will do our best to reveal our most beautiful secrets. The historic center of Sutivan has has great cultural significance and is thus protected by the laws of the Republic of Croatia as a cultural monument. A walk through the center takes us along the historical path merging with present time and represents a remarkable experience.

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Compared to other places on the island of Brač, Sutivan unique skyline features two churchbell towers, the one belonging to the parish church of the Asumption of Mary, on the Riva seafront, and the other on the hill, by the church of St. Rok, patron saint of Sutivan.

Located in the old part of the Sutivan cemetery are unique catacombs (subterranean tombs) built in 1913. They were designed by engineer A. Nonveiller and are made up of two corridors featuring skylights. The catacombs reflect the level of social awareness of the locals at the time, as the tombs were meant to bury those who did not have graves of their own. Catacombs increased the burial capacity without expanding the cemetery.

Jerolim Kavanjin (1643 – 1714), Croatian poet of late Baroque period came from to the noble Kavanjin family of Split. In his summer house in Sutivan, where he retired to after law and military careers, he wrote the longest work of early Croatian literature (32 724 verses!) called "Poviest vanđelska bogatoga a nesretna Epuluna i ubogoga a čestita Lazara". Later editors referred to it as „Bogatstvo i uboštvo“, which is the subtitle of the original.

The inscription carved above the south entrance to the Kavanjin summer house reads: OSTIVM NON HOSTIVM (FRIEND NOT FOE). With this sign the poet Jerolim Kavanjin declared his home open to friends and all honorable people, an attitude Sutivan has taken pride in throughout its history, as well as today.

In the past, streets and other public areas in Brač towns were commonly paved using pebble stones called “kongul”. In Sutivan you can still find rare examples of this type of public works. The only remaining authentic “kongul” is the small street “Put crikve”, while the other ones have been reconstructed in the traditional fashion. Among those are the small square and street “Perića kala”, “Kala o konguli”, as well as part of the Lučica street and the road above the church of St. Rok. Many country roads had been paved in this way in the past, although not using round pebbles, but rather with rocks cleared from the fields.

Not far from the Likva bay in Sutivan, at the depth of 33 meters, is a wreck site of an Ancient ship from the 3rd century A.D. that carried a cargo of half-finished stone sarcophagi and stone blocks. The ship loaded its cargo in the Ancient port of Splitska, here on Brač, likely headed for the mainland, where the palace of the Roman emperor Diocletian was being built at the time. Smaller artefacts are exhibited at the Public library in Sutivan. Among them is a very interesting item – a dice made of bone. The remaining cargo remains in situ.

Throughout history, population of Sutivan has been made up of fishermen, farmers, craftsmen, tradesmen and intellectuals, each of whom has contributed their skills and vision in order to create the place Sutivan is today. The unique aura of this town throughout history, as well as today, brings many visitors to find peace and inspiration in its small, sun-facing streets, as well as leisure activities along the coast and nature in Sutivan’s surroundings.

Nobel laureate and author Ivo Andrić stayed in Sutivan in 1919, where he was recovering from illness and imprisonment. He spent his days here with the members of the maritime society “Grm” who made him an honorary member. It is believed that he turned those memories into his well known story “Woman on a rock”.

The history of tourism in Sutivan dates back as far as 1927 when Ivan Grubišić returned from immigration in Bolivia to open his hotel “Vesna”. The hotel capacity was 28 guests and it remained open as a restaurant until recently. In 1929 Sutivan already reported 2464 overnight stays , which placed it third on the island, right behind Supetar and Bol – a position it holds to this day.

Sutivan’s central beach “Bunta” used to be called “Češka plaža”, i.e. “The Czech Beach”, named after its most frequent visitors. In the same era, a very ambitious project to bring medical tourism to Sutivan had been launched, but was never fully implemented. Records from 1935 show that Sutivan that year boasted a “Tourism Advancement Society”, two hotels and one tavern, with the total capacity of 23 rooms for 42 guests. 1939 saw 8605 recorded overnight stays. These days Sutivan has the capacity for accommodating 2000 guests and in 2014 it saw 101 000 overnight stays.

In 1874 Sutivan was struck by a great flood, caused by substantial rainfall. At the time, the seafront was blocked by rows of houses, with only narrow passages between them. All the rainwater could not find its way to the sea and thus caused catastrophic damage. In memory of that disaster, doorway to the Ilić house courtyard bears the mark of the water level reached during the flood.

The damage caused by many floods lead to a visionary decision to remove two buildings at the Riva seafront in order to create a wide passage from the back streets to the sea. This street is now known as “Blato”, a popular promenade that reflects awareness of urban development by the locals of that time. This was a decision unique among Dalmatian towns. It was later followed by further opening of roads and promenades along the town’s eastern and western seafronts, which is what created the unique urban development image of Sutivan.

Recently deceased Sutivan native Vanja Ilić participated in the 1948 Olympics as a member of the Jadran swimming club based in Split.

Renowned poet and doctor Antonio Rendić Ivanović, who had the Sutivan library named after him, lived and worked in the Chilean town of Antofagasti. His tireless humanistic efforts earned him a number of awards and recognitions, and many public buildings and streets in Antofagasti and Santiago bear his name. He has published more than fifty poetry books under the pseudonym of Ivo Serge.

Sutivan native Andro Jutronić was a historian and a geographer, as well as the greatest researcher of Brač history. He has authored a considerable number of publications where he revealed unknown data and insights related to life on the island in the past. He was also one of the first sports journalists in Dalmatia and one of the co-founders and longtime editor of the renowned publication “Brački zbornik”.

Award “Tourism Advancement Society”

Records from 1935 show that Sutivan that year boasted a “Tourism Advancement Society”, two hotels and one tavern, with the total capacity of 23 rooms for 42 guests.

In 1837, the first school for boys was founded and three years later officially recognized by the provincial government.

April 23rd, 1875 received a visit from the then emperor Franz Joseph I who sailed over from Split to tour the island on his yacht.

Public reading room “The Sutivan Society” opened its doors on November 21st 1882, the same year the first school for girls was founded. 85 students attended the school that first year.

Fotografije – Studio Gabrić, Franjo Mlinac, Hani Salama