Come to Svirče Where the Donkey Brays!

Day of Bogdanuša in Svirče
Saturday, 22 June 2013

By Ivana Krstulović Carić,
(original text published on OTOK HVAR,

If the legend of the village name is true, it tells us that shepherds from Vrbanj playing on flutes (Croatian “svirala“) came and settled here, or alternatively that the name comes from the word “svir“, meaning “source” or “spring”. We will probably never know, but in any case, that’s not as important as what Svirče means today and what its future holds.


The village of Svirče

Svirče sits on a hillside opposite the village of Vrisnik, blending beautifully into the rural landscape. Some would call this the new Tuscany or Provence. But really, we’re just the island of Hvar and not anything else! The one and only – unique and original. We have survived through the centuries of popular uprising, Turkish attacks, wars and occupation, american pests: oidium, peronospora and phyloxera, economic crises…

The hands of our forefathers have shaped this area. Vineyards, olive groves and lavender fields, woods, streams, interlaced with dry-stone walls fascinate everyone who comes here. We ourselves are so bound up in everyday life that we forget to admire the beauty that surrounds us, we forget that our history and our heritage gives us a strong foundation for the future!

Zoga falo

A game of Zoga falo

Svirče, today, has a lot to offer. Svirče contains many stories that we are just beginning to tell the world. Our village is alive with old traditions, such as kolendanje, visiting our friends and neighbours on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, singing traditional songs. In July, we have the annual St Mandalina village celebrations.  Young people here have not forgotten the old game of Zog Falo or handball. Diligent hands continue to renew the stone terraces, fighting for every square inch of arable land, because living on an island is not easy. The earth is poor, the climate unpredictable. In such an environment, the centuries have shaped an entirely different wine grape, deservedly called bogdanuša (God-given).

Why? Because it knows this island, because it feels good here. The best wine is produced on the rather poor, red soil in the stretch between Svirče and Vrboska.

Pjaca - degustacija bogdanuše

Celebrating Bogdanuša in the pjaca

Light and fresh, God-given for summer, for company and song. Let us celebrate it, in its heartland of Svirče, on our island of Hvar, 22 June 2013 in good company, with songs from Klapa Veli Kamik, a game of Zog Falo and an exhibition of paintings “Famous Svirčani”.

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