The over a thousand year old history of Dubrovnik is visible in every part of this city. The city is a living museum and a live stage, and has an ideal connection between its historical past and the modern day. It is surrounded by medieval walls that are 1940 metres long and are preserved in their original form. They are open to visitors and are the city’s greatest attraction. Since 1979 the town has been under UNESCO protection.
Dubrovnik is mainly a cultural destination, which asides from monuments of interest, offers a series of cultural events and festivals. Dubrovnik is a destination where you can enjoy a rest, and has extremely good air connections with all the larger European centres. Dubrovnik is a city that charms, a city that you fall in love with and always return to like new, to discover more unique experiences.
What to see…
Church of St Blaise
Was constructed in the flamboyant Venetian Baroque style. It was constructed by the Venetian master Marino Gropelli, on the commission of the Dubrovnik Senate which requested a new church on the site of the old 14th century Romanesque church.
Damaged during the earthquake for the first time, the church was destroyed completely by the devastating fire in 1706. Everything disappeared in flames, apart from the silver statue of St Blaise, which was saved by some miracle. After the years spent in exile at the Church of St Nicholas at Prijeko, the statue was returned to its old place in 1715. The people of Dubrovnik added the following inscription on the statue all other statues made of gold, silver and bronze melted in the fire, while the saints statue was miraculously undamaged. The statue is one of the most important statues in Dubrovnik, and the model of the city which the saint holds in his hand reveals the city architecture at the time. St. Blaise has been honoured as the patron saint of Dubrovnik from the 10th century.
On the western side of the city, under the protection of the city walls and the unconquerable Minceta Fort, is the Franciscan monastery Male brace (Little brothers). This monastery and the Dominican one are a cultural, artistic and historical legacy of the Dubrovnik Republic. The old Franciscan monastery was once situated outside the city walls in the suburb of Pile. However, due to the threat of war which threatened the Republic in the early 14th century, the Franciscans were forced to move into the city, demolish the old monastery and build a new one within the protected city walls. The construction of the monastery began in 1317 and lasted many years.
The most recognizable landmark that define the physiognomy of the historical city of Dubrovnik and give the city its characteristic and world known reputation are the untouched city walls; the walls surround the city with a total length of 1940 metres. This complex fortress, one of the most beautiful and solid fortress systems on the Mediterranean, is composed of a range of forts, bastions, casemates, towers and freestanding fortresses. The walls were constructed during difficult times when the city and Republic were in constant danger; the walls have been maintained today not only because of the knowledge of the skilled construction workers and the constant care provided by city dwellers that maintained and rebuilt the structures as needed, but because of the brilliantly reputed diplomacy in Dubrovnik which managed on many occasions to avoid dangerous measures taken by enemies against the Dubrovnik Republic.
The Dubrovnik Old Town is completely surrounded by walls and fortresses, including the Old City Port. The history of the fortifications in Dubrovnik goes back to the early Middle Ages.
The famed Dubrovnik Stradun, or its official name Place, is the favourite walking area for all the people of Dubrovnik, especially the young, and for tourists from all over the globe. It would be a shame to pass up a walk along Stradun, as this would mean missing an unforgettable experience in the city. It was constructed after the great earthquake of 1667 in the accelerated program to reconstruct the city. It was given a placid and wide appearance, both dignified and beautiful in the simplicity of its stone architecture. Prior to the earthquake, Stradun was lined with lovely and luxurious palaces. After the earthquake, the ruined city had to think first about continuing the life and defence of the city, and all the reconstruction projects were focused primarily to those goals. All of the houses built along Stradun were built according to the project approved by the Republic Senate. They are all virtually of identical height and bear almost identical facades and similar layouts, as each house had to have several shops on the ground floor. Here the trading spirit of the Republic shines through.
Where & what to eat…
Croatia's coastal cuisine is unique in that most of its produce is organic and Dubrovnik’s location on the Dalmatian Coast makes it a great seafood destination.
The tradition of grilling and roasting fish and delicacies of the sea has been carried down from generation to generation, where the taste of the fish depends on the grilling technique and the type of wood chosen. There is also the Dalmatian olive oil method of cooking, gradelavanje, which gives the fish a particular and fantastic taste. All along the coast and the isles, the fish menus are unrivalled - even the humble sardine will never taste quite so delicious. Many Croatian fish restaurants have their own fishing boats, so you can be assured of the freshness of the fish.
Konoba is the Croatian word for “cellar,” as in wine cellar — now used to describe a tavern-style restaurant serving up traditional food and drink. Picture dimly lit rooms with stone walls, wooden benches and folk art.
For those interested in trying some of the Dubrovnik signature meals, it is essential to taste the green menestra, a smoked meat and cabbage stew. No fish lover can resist the famous Dalmatian octopus salad, black risotto, shellfish or grilled sardines. All the fish specialties are made of freshest fish from the Adriatic depths and shellfish grown in unpolluted sea. And for those with a sweet tooth there is a variety of beloved local desserts such as Dubrovnik Rozata (crème brulee Dubrovnik style), Ston cake, kotonjata (quince pudding), arancini (candied orange rind) and many others.
What to buy…
You can find many souvenir shops with original souvenirs of stone, sea sponges, Croatian olive oil, and wines. You can also find a terrific collection of ceramic product and traditional jewelry.
Lavander - Croatian lavender is already a brand and for sure one of the Croatia’s most wanted and quality souvenir. As such it represents Croatia all over the world.
You can find lavender in everything from chocolate to fragrant beauty products.
Olives - Olive trees and olive oil are occupying a special place on Dalmatian coast.
Everywhere you go you’ll be surrounded by olive trees, very well known for its symbolic – hope, peace, eternity, holiness, splendor and of course – the magnificence of the Mediterranean.
Wine - In Dalmatia, the Greeks and Romans first started growing vines, and Croats continue and improve it. The entire history of Dalmatia is closely connected with the production of wine, literary, artistic, economic and political.Winemaking represents the main branch of production in Dalmatia.
Processing of grapes is done in modern wineries and cellars.
Dalmatian wines are the best quality because of the abundance of soil crag and solar heat. The most famous sorts from this area are Plavac mali and Pošip.