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One of the most popular travel destinations in Croatia, the charming coastal town
of Dubrovnik has a historic walled old town, picturesque islands and beautiful beaches
by the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. Dubrovnik is a first-class holiday
destination that has good opportunities for entertainment and dining.
Once known by the name Ragusa, Dubrovnik was an important centre of maritime trade,
Croatian language and culture in the Middle Ages. Today, the historic old town of
Dubrovnik with fountains, marble streets and baroque buildings is listed on UNESCO
World Heritage List. Walk around the famous, magnificent city walls is a must for
every visitor in Dubrovnik.
The walled Old Town of Dubrovnik is closed to cars and is divided into two by Placa
Street. You'll often hear people referring to STRADUN, which you won't see
on any street signs. It's the unofficial name for the main street Placa that joins
the two main entrances to the Old Town at Ploce in the east and Pile in the west.
With its shining limestone flags and the uniform baroque buildings that line it, it
is itself one of the best known sights of Dubrovnik.
Climbing up at the Mountain Srd is an unforgettable experience. The mountain has a
historic fortress and breathtaking views over the red Old Town roofs.
Nearby Dubrovnik there are the Elaphite islands and the island of Mljet.
The Elaphite islands include Sipan, Lopud and Kolocep.
North of the Elaphite islands is the island of Mljet, part of which is a national park.
The small island Lokrum is a highlight of Croatia’s Dalmatia coast and situated ten
minutes by boat from the town of Dubrovnik. Lokrum is dually honoured as one of
Croatia’s national parks and home to one of the country’s premier nudist beaches.
Thick pine forests have been complemented by cultivated gardens first begun by
Benedictine monks - the monastery here was founded in the 11th century.
There are several small beaches in Dubrovnik near to the city centre. Banje Beach is
close to the Old Town and has facilities like lounge chairs and umbrellas.
The beaches of Dubrovnik offer good opportunities for
kayaking and diving in Dubrovnik. Many beaches have windsurfing schools.
The cuisine of Dalmatia and the islands follows the trend of modern nutritional norms.
The brief thermal preparation of foodstuffs (mainly boiling or grilling) and plenty of
fish, olive oil, vegetables and self-sown herbs found near the sea is why this cuisine
is considered to be very healthy.
Fresh sea fish grilled, boiled or marinated; then there are mollusks (squid, cuttlefish,
octopus), crustaceans (shrimps, lobsters) and shellfish (mussels, oysters, date-shells)
boiled in a fish stew or as a risotto.
Dubrovnik Google map
Of the meat dishes, prosciutto is unarguably unrivaled - pork leg smoked and dried in
nord wind (bora), served with dry, mostly sheep's cheese (famous sorts of cheese are
those from Pag and Dubrovnik) and salted green and black olives, capers and pickled
onions. Lamb is also very highly valued, especially boiled or baked on an open fire.
Accommodation in Dubrovnik spans everything from hostels to hotels but the trend is
clearly towards high-end accommodation.
Many Dubrovnik locals have opened or enlarged their residences to accommodate visitors.
Locally run private accommodation in Dubrovnik can provide excellent value
for money. Accommodation in the Old Town is limited but the experience of waking up in
Dubrovnik's historic centre is unmatchable and sightseeing is so easy. Plus you'll be
able to take advantage of Dubrovnik's nightlife without worrying about transport back.
The City Walls, Bastions and Gates Pile & Ploce
Almost two kilometres in length, Dubrovnik's city walls are among the best preserved
and most attractive on this planet, and a walk along them is an absolute must.
The defences were built between the 8th and the 16th century. The fact that on the
land side they are almost 6m thick in places shows their primary purpose as defence
against attack from the mountainous hinterland.
The Church of St Blaise
The Church of St. Blaise (Crkva Sv. Vlaha) is an 18th-century baroque church on
Luza Square dedicated to the patron saint and protector of Dubrovnik; originally
was built in 14th-century Romanesque, but was badly damaged in the 1667 earthquake
and finally destroyed by fire in 1706.
Inside the church are numerous art treasures saved from the earlier church, including
a gold-plated silver statue of St. Blaise, holding a 15th-century model of the city.
The Onofrio's Fountains (Great and Small)
One of the first spectacular sights that greets you when you enter Stradun from the
Pile Gate is the Great Onofrio Fountain, with its huge central dome and sixteen
water taps all around.
Onofrio's small fountain is an elegant little masterpiece decorated with playful
dolphins that stands near the tower at the other end of Stradun.
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin (Velika Gospa) in Dubrovnik is
an imposing Baroque cathedral built after the 1667 earthquake. Inside are a
numerous important paintings (including one by Titian) and treasury, which is famed
for its collection of around 200 reliquaries.
The Roland's Column (Orlandov stup)
In front of the Church of St Blaise stands a column with a carving of Roland, nephew
of Charlemagne and legend of minstrel ballads embodying freedom and nobility. The
column was raised in 1418, and from that date the flag of St Blaise flew here right
until the end of the Republic. Today you'll see the white "Libertas" flag
symbolising the city's enduring spirit of independence.
The Rector's Palace
One of the loveliest buildings in the city and the seat of the Rector, the figurehead
of the Republic elected within the nobility, whose term lasted for just one month.
The palace's frontage has a delightful colonnade with choir style decorative stone
benches. Inside, a beautiful courtyard is the venue for recitals and concerts.
The palace is now a museum where you can view the richly appointed offices and quarters
of the Rector, as the arsenal, courtroom and prison cells. Artworks, costumes and
domestic objects of that period are exposed.
The Sponza Palace
For many, the most romantic of Dubrovnik's buildings, with its gallery on Stradun
and its mix of gothic and renaissance detail, this was always a public building.
Directly facing Orlando's column, the scene of all dramas of public life, Sponza
housed the Republic's mint and customs house.
The Dominican Monastery
The Dominican order was established in Dubrovnik in the 13th century, and with the
building of their monastery a century later, they became an important part of the
city's defences - the monastery is at a strategic corner of the Old Town.
The interior of the monastery church is delightfully simple, with a sweeping
wooden roof and some fine stone furniture. The Dominican monastery holds an important
library and collection of art including a painting of Dubrovnik before the great
earthquake by local master, as well as important works by Titian, Paolo Veneziano
and Vlaho Bukovac of neighbouring Cavtat.
The Francsican Monastery
The Francsican Monastery
The Romanesque cloister of the Franciscan monastery is an absolute delight, decorated
with the remnants of old frescoes, and with delicate pillars surrounding a garden
where orange trees grow. The monastery is most famous for its pharmacy, among the
oldest in Europe and the oldest one still working. The monastery houses a museum
where you can see original items from the pharmacy, as an extensive library with
precious incunabula, manuscripts, and a large collection of musical notations and
a treasury of artworks.