Founded in the 7th century, Dubrovnik experienced a series of dominations, especially those of the Venetians and Hungarians, and it even formed its own Republic, called the Republic of Ragusa.The city of Dubrovnik experienced its highest growth during the 15th and 16th centuries, which is reflected nowadays by the impressive architecture. The old town has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The city shelters the artistic and intellectual croatian elite, and cultural events are frequently organized.
One can only marvel at its marble paths, its baroque buildings and the endless shimmering of the Adriatic Sea. One can also be inspired by a walk along the ramparts that have protected a civilized and sophisticated republic for centuries.
Although the bombing of Dubrovnik in 1991 horrified the world, the city rebounded with a characteristic vigor to delight the visitors again.
Dubrovnik’s ramparts are one of the city’s most famous characteristics : it’s THE attraction not to miss ! Built in the 10th century and reshaped in the 13th and 14th centuries, the walls, some of which are up to 6 meters thick, assured a solid defensive line against invaders. The total length of Dubrovnik’s ramparts is 1.949 meters, which makes them the perfect place for a relaxed walk.
They also offer a spectacular view above the Adriatic sea as well as the interior of the ol city. Being part of the ramparts, two towers ( the Minceta and the Bokar towers) as well as two forts ((Lovrijenac et Revelin) can be visited. The main entrance giving access to the ramparts is located just on the left of the Pile Door and costs 100 kuna, being 13€.
Built on the site of a 7th century basilica, the original Dubrovnik Cathedral was enlarged in the 12th century, allegedly funded by a donation from King Richard Lion’s Heart, who was rescued from a wreck on the nearby island of Lokrum. Shortly after the first cathedral was destroyed in the earthquake of 1667, construction works began and lasted until 1713, giving it a Baroque style. The cathedral is remarkable for its beautiful altars, including the altar of Saint John Nepomucene , in purple marble. It’s religious paintings, including the polyptych of the Assumption of the Virgin, displayed behind the high altar, made in the studio of the 16th century Italian painter Titian, are its most outstanding characteristics.
The Republic of Ragusa was governed by a rector, elected every month. He was housed at the rector's palace, where he received neither friends nor family, devoting himself entirely to his task. Built in the late 15th century, this Gothic-Renaissance style palace contains the rector's office, its private apartments, public rooms, administrative offices and a donjon. During his one-month term, the rector could not leave the building without the authorization of the Senate.
Nowadays, the palace has been transformed in a museum of cultural history, with its rooms, portraits, armorial bearing and skilfully restored coins, evoking the glorious history of Dubrovnik. During the Summer Festival, the pleasant inner courtyard hosts classical music performances. We also find in the rector's palace the bust of Miho Pracat, a wealthy merchant from the island of Lopud.
The large Onofrio fountain was built in 1438-1444 by the Neapolitan architect Onofrio della Cava. Of all Dubrovnik’s monuments, it is perhaps the most famous. While walking through and beyond the Pile Gate, there is the square that contains the large Onofrio fountain. It was part of a water supply system whose source was a well, located 12 km away. Originally designed with many ornaments and on two floors, the fountain was heavily damaged in the 1667 earthquake.