Friday, September 6, 2013

Jelsa and St. Ivan's

When we started camping on Hvar years ago, Jelsa was our "go to" city.

Forty minutes from the campground, we made big grocery runs there, found internet cafes before they had it at the campground, the kids bought birthday presents for me, we wrote postcards, went for at least one evening of ice cream on the square each vacation, and even watched our boys "busk" with their guitars and a drum box...and they made money at it!

It's a quieter town, even with tourists. When you're there you feel like you can almost blend in with the locals, enjoying coffee on the square as if it was in their living room.

We weren't planning to stay in Jelsa on this boat trip. But because of wind, we didn't make it to our other destination and ended up there instead. Which was fine with me because it not only has that "hometown" feel about it, but holds lots of sweet family and friend memories.

The place where we used to get ice cream has expanded into a full restaurant now, so we had an awesome breakfast there the next morning, with the largest lattes of the trip - whoohoo!!

Afterward we set off through the little streets to explore a bit.

It's a bit like when you're in your own town and you get into your routines and just go to all the same places rather than explore it for quaint, unusual or delightful sites that you'd have to search for. Since we'd never really gone anywhere but the main square and the markets, we decided to wander and see what else was in Jelsa.

It's definitely not short on cute, quaint, tiny passageways. I found myself wanting to linger and soak it all in, letting my imagination come up with the stories of different ones who have passed over those worn stones.

One passageway led to another and before we knew it, we'd landed on what we'd find out later was called "St. Ivan's Square".


I barely had time to take the photo below when Dave called out to me, "You've got to come in here". (For a better view of the little square you can take a look HERE.)

It wasn't what was in the church that was impressive.

In fact, as you can see there is some sort renovation, or something, going on inside.

There were two things that made it unique and delightful.

One was the cross at the front. I wish I knew the story behind the items that are nailed there. We stood for a while looking at them, trying to imagine what the story could possibly be. Any creative ideas?

**My sister-in-law just posted a comment with the answer! How did we miss that?? Thank you Kristi! Each item most likely represents each of the twelve disciples!

The other delight of the tiny church was the acoustics. What it lacked in beauty, it made up for in sound. Oh. So. Beautiful!!

I'm sure many voices have rung out from there over the centuries, singing praise to Jesus.

And we added our own, singing "Praise God from whom all blessings flow". It was a "good for the soul" moment that will linger in my heart for days, I'm sure!


  1. They are all items from the crucifixion story. Soldiers spear, wine sponge on a stick, sword from ear cutting, bag from 30pc silver, lots cast for clothing, rooster crowing, etc. Not sure about the ladder and pliers - maybe to take him down.
    So fun seeing Jelsa again. The sun was just coming up when we caught the 0630 ferry to visit you.

  2. Beautiful singing, Connie! Totally thought it was just a picture of you pretending to sing, til you mentioned about listening all the way to the end to hear the birds. Then I clicked and was able to see the video.

  3. Oh Con...I just loved listening to you sing AND hear the birds singing with you! Thank you for sharing this! LOVE IT!!!! My heart and spirit are smiling!!!