A few months before I had the chance to visit the impressive town of Dubrovnik that is located in the spectacular Dalmatian Coast in Croatia.
Surrounded by the Adriatic Sea and protected by the huge Old City’s Walls, Dubrovnik combines beautiful gardens with well-preserved historical monuments and great picturesque buildings.
Best Things to See and Do in Dubrovnik
1. The City Walls of Dubrovnik
Walls of Dubrovnik constitute an extensive complex of walls that is a challenge for visitors to visit it on the whole. These spectacular walls are 1940 meters long, six meters high and extremely thick. There are also six fortresses (Lovrjenac, Revelin, Minčeta, Bokar, St John and St Lucas) all around the walls. The walls date back on the 10th century, and among the aforementioned fortresses, the following four are of great beauty: the Minceta Tower (Tvrdava Minceta), the Bokar Tower (Tvrdava Bokar), the Fort Lovrjenac as well as the Fort Revelin. Round Fort Minčeta protects the landward edge of the city from attack, Fort Bokar and Fort Lawrence look west and out to sea, while Fort Revelin and Fort St John guard the eastern approach and the Old Harbour.The main entrance to Old Town is Pile Gate, built in the 15th century.
2. Stradun of Dubrovnik
Stradun or Placa is the at the heart of the old city and its busiest pedestrian precinct. There visitors and local enjoy their coffee time and wander among the numerous shops located along this walkway. Stradun is 300 meters long and is said to be built in 1468, despite the fact that the area was destroyed to a great extent by an earthquake in 1667, leading to the rebuilding of the old town during 17th century.
3. Dubrovnik Cathedral and Treasury
The cathedral was built in Baroque style by Andrea Buffalini of Rome. Decorated by paintings of Italian and Dalmatian artists from the 16th to 18th centuries, including the Virgin of the Chair by Raphael from the early 1600s, the cathedral unfortunately was destroyed in the 18 18th century due to a devastating earthquake. As a result, in the 18th century, the Cathedral and Treasury was rebuilt over the earlier Romanesque Cathedral dating to the 12th century, which was destroyed in the great earthquake of 1667. Notable for its three aisles, three apses, and splendid interior décor, the cathedral has great magnetism and attractiveness.
The Treasury of the Dubrovnik Cathedral contains 182 relics, gifts from different regents, relics of the head arm and leg of Dubrovnik patron St Blasius, sacral dishes from 13th to 18th century, large number of precious paintings
4. Loggia Square, Dubrovnik
Loggia square is definitely a landmark in Dubrovnik, in the area of the old city, constituting in the past the main market square of the town. This square was built in 1463 and there are plenty of old buildings to be found, including the City Chamber, whose bells were used to summon the officials, or to sound the alarm in case of attack. The building is generally used by the military, as it was used as a guardhouse in the past.
On that square, the following are found: 1) Orlando's Column, built and designed by sculptor Antonio Ragusino, 2) the Church of St. Blaise which was designed by Venetian architect and sculptor Marino Gropelli. Completed in 1715, it was built on the site of the old 14th-century Romanesque church, first damaged by an earthquake and later completely destroyed by fire. The only surviving remnant was the gold-plated silver statue of St. Blaise, Dubrovnik’s patron saint.
5. Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik
Designed by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo of Florence, the magnificent construction of Dominican Monastery in Dubrovnik is dated back to the early 1300s. Surrounded by the city walls of Dubrovnik, it is located in a high spot into the old town of Dubrovnik. Because of earthquake during the 1667, a large part of Dominican Monastery destroyed. After that, the Dominican Monastery reconstructed with the same architecture design, so it reminds a late Gothic cloister.
There is a museum exhibition inside the Dominican Monastery. It houses religious paintings of the Venetian School as well as gold and silver relics that dated back to 15th and 16th century.
6. The Franciscan Church and Monastery, Dubrovnik
Another popular religious place, that you have to visit in Dubrovnik, is the Franciscan Church and Monastery. The oldest part of this historic site is dated back to 1100s. During the 1600s the Monastery became bigger and one of the most valuable libraries in Croatia constructed.
The Franciscan Church and Monastery of Dubrovnik house a lot of rare manuscripts that are more than twenty-thousands. Inside the Franciscan Church and Monastery, there is a magnificent pharmacy from medieval period, which was opened in 1317. Here, you will find many different kinds of old jars, measuring devices as well as mortars. Finally, an interesting museum is opened into the Franciscan Church and Monastery of Dubrovnik, where there are historic and art exhibits.
7. The Rector's Palace and Cultural Historical Museum
The Rector's Palace of Dubrovnik was designed by Onofrio de la Cava in 1435. Today it houses the Cultural Historical Museum of Dubrovnik. The Gothic and Renaissance architecture styles were used for the design of the Rector's Palace. It has been destroyed many times in the past. Specifically, it destroyed by a gunpowder explosion after its completion, later by a fire, and finally by an earthquake in 1667.
Nowadays, the well-preserved building of Rector's Palace with its central courtyard is an amazing and interesting place that you have to explore. Visit the Cultural Historical Museum of Dubrovnik and learn more about the daily life during the Republic of Ragusa that dated back to the medieval times. Admire beautiful paintings that were created by Venetian and Dalmatian artists. Expect for the Cultural Historical Museum of Dubrovnik, here you will find the bust of Miho Pracat, who was a merchant and born on the island of Lopud.
8. Fort Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik
Outside of the City Walls of Dubrovnik, the Fort Lovrijenac, which is also known as St. Lawrence Fortress, has been built on a high rocky place over the Adriatic sea. It is one of the most significant fortresses in the Dalmatian Coast of Croatia.
This is an impressive 37-meter fortress that is dated back to the 11th century, when the city was under Venetian sieges and they try to take under their control the city. The architecture of is very and its position had played an important role in the city’s defence strategy. Fort Lovrijenac consists of three terraces with triangular shape. The access is possible through two bridges and a main thick gateway. Fort Lovrijenac is not only an important sight of Dubrovnik, but a popular summer festival is also organized and takes place here. So, people can enjoy theater and music performances under the beautiful summer sky of Dubrovnik.
9. The Large Fountain of Onofrio and St. Saviour Church, Dubrovnik
The Large Fountain of Onofrio with its Gothic and Renaissance architecture styles is one of the most important historic attractions in the old town of Dubrovnik. It was constructed in 1438-1444. Nowadays, this impressive sight is smaller because of the earthquake in 1667. This magnificent fountain was part of the city’s water supply system that carried water from the Dubrovacka river.
Behind of the Large Fountain of Onofrio there is the 16th-century St. Saviour Church. This church is one among a few buildings that survived the earthquake of 1667.
10. The Cable Car of Dubrovnik
If you have a free day, then you may visit the high mountainous hills that are located above the city of Dubrovnik. From this high spot you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Dubrovnik’s Old Town and Elaphiti Islands drinking your coffee or eating something. About ten minutes the journey with cable car lasts.
In addition, on the top you will find a 19th-century Imperial Fortress, which was built when the city was under French control. Today it houses the interesting exhibition of Homeland War of 1991-1995. There are exhibits about the city’s defence against hostile forces.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik
If you want to stay in a budget place with clean rooms and excellent service, then the Hotel Perla is the best choice for you. It is about ten minutes away from the old town of Dubrovnik by bus. There is a bus station close to the hotel. Another affordable places for accommodation are the Hotel Petka and Stella Apartments. Just a few-minutes bus ride from the Old Town, you can stay at the Berkeley Hotel. This modern hotel with spa and pool provides all amenities to the customers. Here, you can enjoy your accommodation, as there are convenient and clean rooms. Another excellent choice for accommodation is the Hotel Zagreb, which is close to the old town of Dubrovnik. Click here for more budget accommodation places in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
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