Walled city of Dubrovnik: Pearl of the Adriatic
Known for its blessed natural location and its booming maritime trade, the Croatian town of Dubrovnik was the only eastern Adriatic city-state to ever rival Venice in trade. Such is the prominence of this town that for centuries has been threatened by invaders who have had an eye on its prominent geographic presence and rich trading culture.
Image by nonanet
The fact that Dubrovnik had to protect itself from a large number of invaders is apparent from the giant wall that still stands imperiously around the old part of the city. Yet, today the bustling city offers a multitude of delightful sights and sounds to visitors who delve into its heart.
Much of the old town of Dubrovnik was lost to the massive earthquake of 1667, which left most of the city in ruins. Furthermore some structures still stand tall along with the parts of old town and the wall around the port, ensuring that the old-age charm of this timeless place is not completely taken over by modernity. It is to preserve this rare cultural and historic heritage that Dubrovnik has been classified as UNESCO World Heritage sight.
Here is a quick look at all the sights that await you in Dubrovnik- a mini-guide that takes you inside the walled city.
Walls of Dubrovnik
Image by KnownColor
Built originally to protect the city-state status of Dubrovnik from foreign invaders, the fort-like structure has been vital in enabling Dubrovnik to independently grow as a bustling trading center. The cost of a leisure walk on these walls will cost you just 50 Kuna and it offers some beautiful views of the old town, the harbor and the sea. But be sure that you start early as the gates here close by 7 pm and they will stop you in your track the moment the clock hits 7. But since it runs just a distance of 2km, it does not take all too long.
Take a leisurely walk along the street of Stradun and the old-age charm of the place will surely floor you with its relative simplicity. There are a few shops on the sides that might get you some good deals. The street of Stradun is still preserved in its original form from the middle ages and this really makes it a very unique experience.
Image by peamasher
This historic Gothic Renaissance palace is one of the few buildings that has survived the catastrophic 1667 earthquake and has stayed intact. This is the finest architectural monument of Dubrovnik and is currently used to house the National Archives. The entry fee will cost you just 22 Kuna and all that money is more than well spent as you admire the beauty of the Sponza.
Images by Lawrence OP
Another structure from the period of Renaissance, Rector’s Palace was formerly used as the palace of the Major Council with a Gothic-Renaissance style incorporated in its design. The palace today is used as a museum to showcase the history of the city. Worth checking out on the inside are finely-carved capitals and an ornate staircase.
Church of Saint Blaise
Image by Lawrence OP
Built in the 18th century in honor of Dubrovnik’s patron saint, this is the most beloved church of Dubrovnik and a must visit to understand the local culture and traditions.
Image by Lawrance OP
Built to mainly protect the city from invasions and to act as a center of defense, this impressive structure – dubbed Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar,Â stands on top of a 37 meter high rock and used to serve for various purposes over centuries. Worth taking a look for its imperious presence and unique design, the fort today still stands proudly looking over Dubrovnik.
Bridge of Franjo Tudman
Images by Wikimedia
More in tune with the modern and growing Dubrovnik, the bridge of Franjo Tudjman and the port of Gruz are worth checking out for some of the beautiful sights they offer and an invaluable insight into the fast-paced life of the city today.
The most amazing thing that you experience in Dubrovnik is the sense of turning back time and living in a Europe that has been lost centuries ago.
Thanks to both UNESCO for declaring this as a world heritage site and the effort of the locals to preserve their rich tradition, much of Dubrovnik still looks like a city-state in the Renaissance period. But do not mistake that with the ultra-modern luxurious facilities that it has on offer and superb connectivity that are as good as in any major city across the globe.
Calm and peaceful, timeless yet modern, Dubrovnik seems to have been truly protected from the changing times by its unique wall!