Stari Grad: Tacoma’s newest Sister City

Mayor Antonio Skarpa and Mayor Victoria Woodard.

Tacoma’s newest Sister City is one of Europe’s oldest cities, more than 2,400 years old.  It is Stari Grad, which means “Old Town,” and was founded by Greek colonists in 385 BC. Many Tacomans who settled in Old Town have ancestors from Stari Grad.

Last month, Mayor Victoria Woodards and a small delegation arrived in Split, Croatia, and took a ferry to meet Mayor Skarpa and members of his city council on the island of Hvar. With the beautiful sunshine and clear blue waters of the Adriatic, Mayor Woodards said she felt like she had arrived in paradise. 

After visiting city hall, the officials took the delegation to the Stari Grad Museum, which is currently hosting an exhibit titled “Fishermen and Shipbuilders from the Island of Hvar in the New World,” featuring the fishermen and shipbuilders of Hvar and their spread to the New World. Discussions with Branka Bezic, producer of the exhibit, confirmed that the exhibit will be brought to Tacoma in 2020. Conversations were also begun to establish a student exchange program and the possibility of a maritime sports event. Both Stari Grad and Tacoma officials were excited to meet one another and plan future activities together.

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