Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Dalmatia. It was founded in the 7th century but its golden age was during 15th and 16th centuries when, supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, achieved a remarkable level of development. Dubrovnik is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic and Mediterranean. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. Best time to visit Dubrovnik is during summer and in early fall (it is not so crowdie with tourists and temperatures are not so high).
Historical dimension of Dubrovnik is great. The city is abundant in architectural heritage, such as the Arboretum Trsteno, the oldest arboretum in the world, dating back to before 1492. Also, the third oldest European pharmacy is located in the city, which dates back to 1317 (and is the oldest one that still in operation today). A feature of Dubrovnik is its walls that run 2 km around the city. The walls run from four to six meters thick on the landward side but are much thinner on the seaward side. The system of turrets and towers were intended to protect the vulnerable city. In the bay of Dubrovnik is the 72-hectare wooded island of Lokrum, where according to legend, Richard the Lionheart was cast ashore after being shipwrecked in 1192. The island includes a fortress, botanical garden, monastery and beach.
Dubrovnik is well known as beautiful and interesting city with great sightseeing and food. One of Dubrovnik’s admirers was George Bernard Shaw, who visited the city in 1929 and said: “If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik.” Dubrovnik has also been mentioned in popular film and theater. In the film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with Michael Caine, one of the characters said to have been dreaming of fairy from Dubrovnik. When they spent their vacation in Europe, Dubrovnik is/was a must visit city for many celebrities like Elisabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Michael Douglas and Catharine Zeta Jones, Richard Gere, Tom Cruise, Roger Moore, John Malkovich, Bono Vox, Beyonce and Jay-Z, Prince Edward, Norwegian royal couple King Harald and Queen Sonia and many other.
City walls and towers
Dubrovnik’s city walls were built in the 13th century, are 1,970 metres in length and allow you to walk around the entire perimeter of the Old Town center. The walls also incorporate several towers: Minčeta Tower to the north, Bokar Tower to the west, Sveti Ivan (St. John) Tower to the southeast, Fort Revelin to the east and Fort Lovrijenac on the crag outside the walls. The stroll, offering a splendid view of the open sea, the island of Lokrum and the Elaphiti islands, takes about two hours, with the adventure starting on the west side of Stradun where the entrance is located.
The chief avenue in the Old Town is an interesting attraction accessed from the west through the Pila Gate and from the east by the Ploča Gate. From the very entrance, visitors will come across a number of impressive monuments such as the greater of the Onofrio fountains and Orlando’s column as well as a bevy of bars, restaurants and municipal events.
The fort is located outside the city walls on a 37-metre high crag and is considered a symbol of the liberty of Dubrovnik. It is frequently referred to as the ”Gibraltar of Dubrovnik.” At the entrance is the inscription ”Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro” (Liberty is not sold for all the treasures of the world). In the summer, Fort Lovrijenac is a stage for many theatre plays during the Dubrovnik Summer Games.
This Jewish temple in the city is also a museum and it is considered to be the oldest Sephardic synagogue in the world. The synagogue was built in the 15th century and features exhibits dating from the 16th to 18th century.
Dubrovnik’s best-known church is the one dedicated to St. Blaise (Sveti Vlaho), the city’s patron saint, standing on Luža Square at the site of an older Romanesque church dedicated to the same saint. The church survived powerful earthquakes, fires and Yugoslav Army shelling during the Homeland War. The feast day of St. Blaise is celebrated every year in February, closing with a mass in the church.
The Church of the Holy Salvation (Sveti Spas), the Church of the Assumption of Mary and the Church of St. Dominic are traditional sacral edifices in Dubrovnik offering a unique window into the city’s history and architecture.
Mount Srđ rises to the north of Dubrovnik, its peak at 413 metres above sea level with Fort Imperial, home to a Homeland War memorial museum. On exhibit are all of the weaponry used in the attack launched from this site against Dubrovnik with photographs and video documentation. The elevation offers a striking panorama of the entire city, the open sea and the islands. Since 2010, the most interesting way to get to the top of Srđ has been to take the renovated cable car—in just minutes you can enjoy the amazing view and enjoy a coffee or other refreshment on the terrace: take in the unique panorama and enjoy the cool breeze.
Hit series Game of Thrones was filmed in Dubrovnik as well as Star Wars, Robin Hood and many other films and series.