I Capture the Moment
JELSA, Hvar, Croatia – The International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) has now designated the Municipality of Jelsa on the island Hvar as the first International Dark Sky Community (IDSC) in both Croatia and Southern Europe. With this designation, Jelsa is now internationally recognized as the 37th IDSC for its exceptional commitment to protecting dark skies from light pollution.
“The Municipality of Jelsa is setting a high standard for other communities in this country and region of the world to follow,” remarked Ashley Wilson, Director of Conservation of IDA. “We are pleased to recognize Jelsa as a distinguished leader in demonstrating that proper use of lighting can benefit both human wellbeing and the nocturnal environment within and outside our communities.”
The Municipality of Jelsa, comprising a total of 12 settlements, is situated in the middle of the island Hvar and covers an area of 121.2 km2. The town of Jelsa is situated in a bay in the middle of the Hvar’s north coast. There are dense pine woods on the sloping hills of the island’s southern ridge, and the agricultural plain lying to the west of Jelsa is the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) world heritage site Starigrad Plain. While the exact period is not well known, extant archaeological materials during the Roman period and a reference in the 1331 Statute of Hvar prove the existence of a settlement in this area for the past several hundred years. Modern Jelsa is a town with many small businesses and an important tourist center on the island.