Hvar’s Venetian fort, Fortiza or Spanjola (in local usage), is a highlight of any visit to Hvar town. Its striking position perched on top of a 100m high hill makes it hard to miss, which of course was the point. The climb up to the fort is gentle and pleasant and the views from the top are majestic
If you walk from the square to the north, passing the main city gate or Porta di datallo (Gate of Dates) ascending the stairs through the old part of the city in which there are palaces built in the 15th and 16th centuries you will reach Hvar’s fort Fortica. It takes about 20 minutes to walk from the town up to the fort and it’s a pretty walk. The most direct approach is to take the stairs and climb to a road before taking more stairs.
Construction of the current fortress began in 1282 shortly after the town turned to the Venetians for protection against the pirates rampaging through the Adriatic. Nevertheless it was the town that financed the construction from the proceeds of selling salt. At one point in the 14th century, Spanish engineers participated in the project which is how the fort acquired its nickname, Spanjola. Before its recent overhaul and transformation into a historic monument, the fortress was the site of a popular disco.