Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea, in the region of Dalmatia. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations
in the Mediterranean, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Its total population is 42,615 (census 2011). In
1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik was historically based on maritime trade. As the capital of the Republic of Ragusa, a
maritime republic, the city achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Dubrovnik
became notable for its wealth and skilled diplomacy.
The beginning of tourism in Dubrovnik is often associated with the construction of the late 19th-century luxury hotels in
Croatia, such as Grand Hotel (1890) in Opatija and the Hotel Imperial (1897) in Dubrovnik. According to CNNGo, Dubrovnik is
among the 10 best medieval walled cities in the world. Although Dubrovnik was demilitarised in the 1970s to protect it from war,
in 1991, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was besieged by Serb-Montenegrin forces for seven months and received significant
The historical Latin and Dalmatian name of Dubrovnik is Ragusa, or Ragusium in older form. Ragusa is also the name in Italian, shared
with another Ragusa in Sicily. The historical name in Greek is Raugia or Ragousa .
The current name was officially adopted in 1918 after the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, but was in use from the Middle Ages. It
is also referred to as Dubrovnik in the first official document of the treaty with the Ban of Bosnia Ban Kulin in 1189.
Historical lore indicates that Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century on a rocky island named Laus, which is said to have provided
History refugees from the nearby city of Epidaurum.
Another theory appeared recently, based on new archaeological excavations. New findings (a Byzantine basilica from the 8th century
and parts of the city walls) contradict the traditional theory. The size of the old basilica clearly indicates that there was quite a
large settlement at the time. There is also increasing support in the scientific community for the theory that major construction
of Dubrovnik took place before the Common Era. This "Greek theory" has been boosted by recent findings of numerous Greek
artifacts during excavations in the Port of Dubrovnik. Also, drilling below the main city road has revealed natural sand,
contradicting the theory of Laus (Lausa) island.
Dr Antun Ničetić, in his book Povijest dubrovačke luke ("History of the Port of Dubrovnik"), expounds the theory that Dubrovnik was
established by Greek sailors. A key element in this theory is the fact that ships in ancient times travelled about 45–50 nautical
miles (83–93 km; 52–58 mi) per day, and required a sandy shore to pull out of water for the rest period during the night. The ideal
rest site would have fresh water source in its vicinity. Dubrovnik has both, and is situated almost halfway between the two known
Greek settlements of Budva and Korčula, 95 nautical miles (176 km; 109 mi) apart from each other.
4. Important monuments
Few of Dubrovnik's Renaissance buildings survived the earthquake of 1667 but fortunately enough remained to give an idea of the city's
architectural heritage. The finest Renaissance highlight is the Sponza Palace which dates from the 16th century and is currently
used to house the National Archives. The Rector's Palace is a Gothic-Renaissance structure that displays finely carved capitals
and an ornate staircase. It now houses a museum. Its façade is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 50 kuna banknote, issued
in 1993 and 2002. The St. Saviour Church is another remnant of the Renaissance period, next to the much-visited Franciscan
Monastery. The Franciscan monastery's library possesses 30,000 volumes, 216 incunabula, 1,500 valuable handwritten documents.
Exhibits include a 15th-century silver-gilt cross and silver thurible, an 18th-century crucifix from Jerusalem, a martyrology
(1541) by Bemardin Gucetic and illuminated psalters.
Dubrovnik's most beloved church is St Blaise's church, built in the 18th century in honour of Dubrovnik's patron saint. Dubrovnik's
baroque Cathedral was built in the 18th century and houses an impressive Treasury with relics of Saint Blaise. The city's
Dominican Monastery resembles a fortress on the outside but the interior contains an art museum and a Gothic-Romanesque
church. A special treasure of the Dominican monastery is its library with 216 incunabula, numerous illustrated manuscripts, a rich
archive with precious manuscripts and documents and an extensive art collection.
5. The city of Dubrovnik is a living monument,...
a string of pearls including both material and nonmaterial heritage.
The value of Dubrovnik was recognised by UNESCO already thirty years ago, while the Festival of St Blaise joined the List of the
Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in October 2009. The Dubrovnik Republic, which presents the golden period of the
Dubrovnik history, perfectly regulated the City and its life through its statute and other historic documents.
The Republic did not erect monuments to its contemporaries. The seaman Miho Pracat is the only person who deserved this great
honour, while the figure which one sees most often on the monuments of Dubrovnik is St Blaise holding a model of the City in his
6. Leaving its mark on the Republics history, religion offered shelter and solace in the times of trouble and became a symbol of the stone
A visit to huge churches, which revealed the power and importance of religion in the lives of people at the time, the small secluded
chapels in which the sufferings, secrets and joys were shared with the Almighty, and one of Europes oldest synagogues takes us
back into the past, but also connects us with the present day, because church service is organised in the majority of the
Dubrovnik sacral objects.
7. The baroque stairs connecting Gundulić Square with another square named after the great Dubrovnik physicist Ruđer Bošković are
reminiscent of some etymologists who believe that the word baroque originated from the word shell. The one time venue of
Shakespeares play Romeo and Juliet, the beautiful stairs very much resemble the ones leading to the Trinit? dei Monti Church in
Rome from the Piazza di Spagna. Designed by the Roman architect Pietro Passalacque in 1738, the stairs lead to St Ignatius
Church adjacent to the famous Jesuit school Collegium Ragusinum. The Church of St Ignatius - or the Jesuits, as the people of
Dubrovnik call it - is the work of the famed Jesuit architect and painter Ignazio Pozzo, who worked on the church from 1699 to
8. The church was completed in 1725 and opened in 1729. The construction of both the Church and the Collegium began with the funds donated
by a Jesuit from the Gundulić family, yet the donor had died before the designs were completed. The Collegium Ragusinum was actually
founded because the people of Dubrovnik were dissatisfied with the Italian teachers with whom they often came into conflict. As soon as
he was appointed, the Italian born head of the Dubrovnik diocese Beccadelli initiated the opening of the Jesuit Collegium in 1555.
The idea was realised as late as in 1658, after numerous problems with the ownership of the land had been solved. Namely, in order to build the
Collegium and the Church, a large number of houses in the oldest part of the city had to be demolished. This complex is considered to be
the finest Baroque set of buildings in Dubrovnik, and - according to many - in all of Dalmatia. It is thus not surprising that theatre directors
at the Dubrovnik Summer Festival often use this venue as an open-air stage.
9. The green Mediterranean landscape, the azure depths of the Adriatic, white sea cliffs,...
fragrances of herbs growing in the clearings, historical gardens, the aquarium with the most intriguing species of the sea world are a
part of the heritage which the visitors discover in Dubrovnik and its surroundings.
Ecology has become a more and more important part of our life, and the protection of environment and life in accordance with nature
are both our obligation and duty. We take great pride in the outstandingly preserved natural monuments, the worlds bluest and
cleanest sea, the unique flora and fauna, and the fascinating subterranean caves. The arrival in Dubrovnik offers enjoyment in the
azure sea and sky, unique sunsets and natural sights of our region.
10. In only ten minutes a boat from the Old City Harbour will take you to the Island of Lokrum,…
a special forestry reserve under UNESCO protection. A favourite bathing and excursion place in close proximity to the City, Lokrum is
also the exotic and mysterious venue of many legends and stories.
A small lake on the island called Mrtvo More (Dead Sea) is suitable for children and non-swimmers.
Walk to the highest point of Lokrum, the elevation with the star-shaped Fort Royal, built by the French in 1806. The place offers a
magnificent view of the City, Cavtat and the islands.
The roads and walking paths of Lokrum will take you through the botanical garden with an interesting collection of eucalyptuses,
cactuses and succulent plants to the remains of the 12th/13th century basilica, the 15th/16th century monastery with an atrium
garden, and the summer residence of Maximilian von Habsburg from the 19th century with gardens and a park. You will be
enchanted by the woods of holm-oak, flowering ash, Aleppo pine, the old olive grove from the time when the Benedictines ran the
island, gardens and parks.