Dubrovnik Old City
The rich culture and history of Dubrovnik has given this historic town a place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The present medieval town was built in the 13th century and has remained virtually unchanged up to the 21st century.
The present historic town has existed since the 13th century and since then little has changed. Tall fortifications surround the town and the sense of medieval enclosure is strengthened by the existence of only two entrances, Pile and Ploce. Both lead to the Stradun, a cobble-paved promenade often buzzing with humanity.
Many visitors enjoy people-watching whilst sipping coffee in one of the numerous cosy cafes on the Stradun. This beehive of humanity is itself watched and guarded by the statue of Dubrovnik’s patron saint, St Blaise (Sveti Vlaho).
Although currently quaint, in the last decade of the 20th century, enemy shelling of Dubrovnik caused significant material damage, yet thanks to international aid and local efforts, the historic town of Dubrovnik was carefully restored and rebuilt to its former glory.
Yet don’t take our word for it, the only way to fully appreciate Dubrovnik’s captivating splendour is to see it yourselves! We invite you to come and visit the Pearl of the Adriatic to experience it fully.
Most visitors enter into the medieval town through the Gates of Pile - which brings them straight onto the Stradun. At the beginning of the Stradun is the Fountain of Onofrio from 1438. On the right of the fountain is the Franciscan Monastery, containing a pharmacy from 1391, still amongst the oldest in the world and remarkably, still dispensing prescriptions.
At the other end of the promenade lies the column of Orlando, a favourite meeting place for the locals. The column is close to the baroque church of St. Blaise and the Sponza palace. Nearby is the city museum, housed in the Rector’s palace (1441) that contains many valuable historic exhibits.
Further on opposite the palace through a narrow street, the visitor arrives at Gunduliceva Poljana, a square which every morning hosts a lively market. Within the square is an 18th century Jesuit Monastery. This is a convenient place to head to the historic port and start exploring the 2 kilometres long city walls, which have protected the town for centuries and still remain outstandingly preserved.
Dubrovnik’s charm holds an eventful and lively history. Before being absorbed into the Napoleonic Empire in 1806, Dubrovnik thrived as a sovereign merchant state for over 700 years. Its trade routes reached as far East as India (where it had consuls in Goa) as well as West Africa in the Cape Verde Islands. Shrewd diplomacy allowed the Dubrovnik state to establish relations with the Tudor court, Correspondences from Queen Elizabeth I can be seen on display in the town museum. It was this mixture of political and economic success that made the contemporary Venetian empire perceive Dubrovnik as its serious competitor for dominance of the region.
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