Supetar is the cultural, administrative and tourist centre of the island, inhabited even during Roman times. In the old parts of Supetar, at Vrdolac and Glavica, the most characteristic buildings are the original, small, picturesque, ground floor or one-storey houses that have completely merged with the landscape. The nobles’ mansions began to be built along the shore in the 18th century. At the beginning of the 19th century Supetar became the administrative seat of the island of Brač. In recent times it has developed dynamically, assuming the appearance of a real island “metropolis”. It provides a series of modern tourist and service facilities and is a tourist destination with a fine natural position and a rich building heritage.
On the small Supetar peninsula of St Nicholas, the walls of an ancient Roman settlement can be seen (a large villa rustica). The parish Church of the Annunciation was built in the Baroque style in 1733 on the foundations of an Early Christian basilica with a nave and two aisles dating from the 5th-6th century. Part of its mosaic can be seen around the present church. The parish church has two valuable reliquaries and several altar paintings by Feliks Tironi (1780 and 1786). Along the Supetar-Nerežišća road there is the small church of St Rocco (1632), and not far from it towards Donji Humac the Early Croatian church of St Luke (around 1100) depicting an early medieval ship with two masts scratched into the plaster.
The first Croatian modern sculptor, Ivan Rendić (1849-1932), was born in Supetar. He made many public monuments all over Croatia, and enriched his native town with several tombstones and statues including the large reliefs Pietà, Christ’s Head, The Angel. The outstanding Croatian writers Ivan Vojnović and Tin Ujević used to come to Supetar and the town was the basis of several of Tin Ujević’s essays and poems. Some of the most beautiful pictures by Ignjat Job’s were painted in Supetar raising the Brač landscape to a symbolic level.
On the small peninsula of St Nicholas, in the Supetar cemetery, is the mausoleum of the Petrinović family, one of the Split sculptor Toma Rosandić’s finest works. This exceptionally beautiful tomb, made of white Brač stone, is one of the unforgettable views when sailing into the harbour. In the Supetar cemetery, outstanding ones are the tombs of Čulić and Radnić families.
The Supetar Summer Culture events contribute a great deal to the atmosphere in the town. The Town Library and the Ivan Rendić Gallery organise cultural events the whole year round, and especially in the summer, when concerts, plays, lectures, literary evenings, book launches and art exhibitions are organized. The Collection of Church Art of St Peter’s Parish church is another Supetar gallery with a permanent display of valuable artefacts. Supetar was named after the Early Christian basilica of St Peter – sanctu(s) Petru(s). St Peter’s Day according to the Roman-Catholic calendar is 29th June, not surprisingly he is the patron saint of the town and this date is also Supetar Day when there are church celebrations and cultural and sports events. Supetar is an almost ideal island community, in which two development aspects are harmoniously interlinked: the urban life of a small island town and the vicinity of Split, the biggest city on the eastern Adriatic coast, with which Supetar is excellently connected both in traffic and in functions.