Dubrovnik was founded at the bottom of hill named Srđ (412m) in 6th century and its territory started from the cape Orsula till Dubrovnik’s River. It is one of world famous tourist destinations with particularly attractive historic town centre surrounded by thick walls with bastions, towers and castles (12-18th century) of which the most important are Revelin, Lovrijenac, St. John, Bokar and Minčeta. The city is surrounded by 1940 meters long stone walls that attract visitors for decades but also artists and directors considering that HBO producers choose these walls for shooting popular 2nd season of “Game of Thrones” series.
The walls of Dubrovnik and their line that is irregular pentagon around the city is one of the most famous views from the air. It is assumed from the records preserved that the construction of city walls in present shape started began I n late 12th century. Nowadays the walls are at places high up to 25 meters and are enclosed with 4 corner towers Minčeta, St Luke, St John and Bokar as well with 5 bastions St Jacob, St Saviour, St Steven, St Margarita and St Peter in addition to 12 tetragon towers.
Throughout history Dubrovnik mostly had a status of independent Republic even in times when the rest of Dalmatia fell under Venetian rule. Even in times when Turkish empire expanded to its borders it managed to preserve its independency and status of great maritime force on this side of Mediterranean and Adriatic Sea.
At the entrance to the town on the Panel Gates there is a 14th century statue of saint patron of the city - St. Blaise and from 1979. city core is enlisted in UNESCO’s World Heritage list. This second world’s most visited museum in the open will leave you breathless in view of one of a kind strange mixture of rocky territory and sea, culture and architecture.
Since Dubrovnik attracts most of tourist attention its countryside is mostly unintentionally in the background but the southern part of the Adriatic is similar to Tuscany or famous Provence. Konavle trademark is certainly dense cypress forest. It is traditionally an agricultural area spared of the industrial pollution. Rarely any other region in Croatia as Konavle has such geomorphologic advantages and at relatively small area of 210 square kilometres there is a combination of fertile soil, mountain and rocky area. However those natural advantages and close borders to our neighbours to the east brought Konavle residents troubles in terms of army invasions and two particularly stand out one from 1806 when Montenegrins almost wiped out the area and second in 1991 during Serb-Montenegrin military aggression.
In mid 19th century historic city core of Dubrovnik is interconnected in one unity with districts such as Gruž and Lapad. Dubrovnik countryside is formed by places Koločep, Lopud, Šipan, Mljet, Zaton, Cavtat, Konavle, Orašac, Trsteno, Slano etc…
Peninsula Prevlaka was declared as Nature Park with its impressive Austro-Hungarian fortress at Cape Oštro built in 1850 for artillery defence of Kotor Bay and it should soon become exclusive tourist destination.
Ston walls were build after 1333. when it became a part of Dubrovnik Republic. With its 5,5 km length these are second longest city walls in Europe and longest defensive walls. Ston is perhaps far most popular for its oysters precisely the type – European oyster – OSTREA EDULIS – the queen of all oysters. In Small Ston Bay people cultivate oysters for years.
Main port is located in Gruž Bay that is linked with all major Croatian ports. Most tourists who come to Dubrovnik actually don’t know that when landing at the airport Ćilipi they arrived in Konavle. Cruise ships are welcomed and are particularly important segment of local tourism.
Sacral facilities are the most important part of cultural and historic heritage of Konavle: besides 84 churches particular role in secular and spiritual life of people from Konavle monasteries had. Franciscan Monastery and Rector’s Palace symbolised the strong relationship with Dubrovnik.
The centre of public life is Luža square surrounded by 15th to 16th century Sponza Palace known as Divona or Fondik, St Blaise 18th century baroque church, City Bell Tower and Main Guard. In the middle of the square is Orlando’s column that is showing a knight whose right arm up till his elbow was the official measure of the length called elbow in Dubrovnik Republic. The most prominent secular building is Gothic-Renaissance Duke Palace. Out of all buildings erected before the earthquake and the fire in 1667 what stand out is the Jewish synagogue from 15th century. It Is one of the oldest surviving in Europe. Within the walls there are few monastic facilities and most important ones are Little Friars Franciscan monastery (Romanesque-Gothic cloister) with rich literary fund and famous monastery pharmacy (that existed in 1317) and Dominican monastery with the church decorated by stone Gothic-Renaissance furniture, rich library, numerous valuable paintings and exceptional examples of Dubrovnik goldshmitry (in the form of silver navicella)…
At the front entrance to the old part of Dubrovnik on the eastern side quarantine building Lazaretto attracts attention. It is one of the best preserved buildings of this type in whole Mediterranean, build in early 17th century. From precaution and to stop from spreading the plague and other untreatable infectious diseases once traders and all travellers had to spend 40 days of quarantine in Lazaretto.
Most famous trademark in particular in Dubrovnik is its main street called Stradun that is extending from the main square and is 292 meters long. It is popular meeting place that ends at the bottom with yet another square whose centre is large dome fountain built in 1348 according to the design made by architect Onofria della Cave.
Because of its position and huge massive walls Lawrence Fort is called Gibraltar of Dubrovnik. It protects one small and one of the oldest harbours in Dubrovnik – port Kolorinu. Exact number of 180 steps will take visitors to 37 meters high fortress founded in the first half of the 11th named after the St Lawrence chapel which was located inside the fortress to provide shelter for the guards. Castellan (prefect) of Lawrence Fort was once one of the best paid people in the city and was chosen usually for a month considering that the guards regulations were often changed because of fear of betrayal. Entrance to this fort is through small back door above which famous inscription stands: NON BENE PRO TOTO LIBERTAS VENDITUR AURO – FREDOOM CAN’T BE SOLD FOR ALL THE GOLD IN THE WORLD. In summer days this fort is stage for plays that are in Dubrovnik Summer Festival repertoire primarily for Hamlet.
Dubrovnik Summer Festival - founded in 1950 g. This is one of oldest and most respected Croatian cultural events. The key concept that ensured this festival recognition in European cultural circles is ambience and diversity of stage areas. The beginning of festival starts every year with raising festival flag on Orlando’s pillar and traditionally this happens on 10.07. and ends on 25.08.
Marin Držić – (1508-1567) – born in famous merchant family from Dubrovnik, politically active and culturally engaged he was called Croatian Moliere since he is Croatian best known comedy writer. His best known works are: Dundo (Uncle) Maroje, Novela od Stanca, Tirena, etc…
Ivan Gundulić (1589-1638) – a descendant of one of the most distinguished families in Dubrovnik, grat humanist and Baroque poet who glorified in all his works all the glory and beauty of his hometown His works such as epic story Osman and Dubravka are included in Croatian but world’s literature anthology as well
Ruđer Bošković (1711-1787) - a philosopher, theologian professor of mathematics but worked in astronomy field as wel. He left large contribution to the science with development of his theories such as force theory among atoms that was later elaborated and developed by Michael Faraday. Nowadays Institute for Scientific Research in Zagreb has his name in his honour.