-(Croatian: [dǔbroːʋniːk] (About this sound listen historically Latin: Ragusa) is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Its total population is 42,615 (census 2011). In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.
Prosperity of Dubrovnik:
The prosperity of the city was historically based on maritime trade; as the capital of the maritime Republic of Ragusa, it achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, as it became notable for its wealth and skilled diplomacy.
In 1991, after the break-up of Yugoslavia, Dubrovnik was besieged by Serbian and Montenegrin soldiers of the Yugoslav People's Army (JNA) for seven months and suffered significant damage from shelling.After repair and restoration works in the 1990s and early 2000s, Dubrovnik re-emerged as one of the top tourist destinations in the Mediterranean.
Republic of Ragusa:
Republic of Ragusa:
Medieval fortresses, Lovrijenac & Bokar, Dubrovnik before the earthquake in 1667
After the fall of the Ostrogoth Kingdom, the town came under the protection of the Byzantine Empire. Dubrovnik in those medieval centuries had a Roman population. In 12th and 13th centuries Dubrovnik became a truly oligarchic republic, and benefited greatly by becoming a commercial outpost for the rising and prosperous Serbian state, specially after the signing of a treaty with Stefan the First-Crowned. After the Crusades, Dubrovnik came under the sovereignty of Venice (1205–1358), which would give its institutions to the Dalmatian city.
Ragusa purchased the island of Lastovo:
In 1240, Ragusa purchased the island of Lastovo from Stefan Uroš I king of Serbia who had rights over the island as ruler of parts of Hum.After a fire destroyed most of the city in the night of August 16, 1296, a new urban plan was developed. By the Peace Treaty of Zadar in 1358, Dubrovnik achieved relative independence as a vassal-state of the Kingdom of Hungary. Ragusa experienced further expansion when, in 1333, Serbian emperor Stefan Dušan, sold Pelješac and Ston in exchange for cash and an annual tribute. Thus the city became Slavic-speaking city at the moment when her connection with the rest of Europe, specially Italy, brought her into the full current of the Western Renaissance. Between the 14th century and 1808, Dubrovnik ruled itself as a free state, although it was a vassal from 1382 to 1804 of the Ottoman Empire and paid an annual tribute to its sultan. The Republic reached its peak in the 15th and 16th centuries, when its aristocracy rivaled that of the Republic of Venice and other Italian maritime republics.
Ragusa received statutes - trade to Italy:
For centuries, Dubrovnik was an ally of Ancona, the other Adriatic maritime republic rival of Venice, which was itself the Ottoman Empire's chief rival for control of the Adriatic. This alliance enabled the two towns set on opposite sides of the Adriatic to resist attempts by the Venetians to make the Adriatic a "Venetian Bay", also controlling directly or indirectly all the Adriatic ports. Ancona and Dubrovnik developed an alternative trade route to the Venetian (Venice-Austria-Germany): starting in Dubrovnik it went on to Ancona, through Florence and ended in Flanders as seen on this map.
The Republic of Ragusa received its own Statutes as early as 1272, which, among other things, codified Roman practice and local customs. The Statutes included prescriptions for town planning and the regulation of quarantine (for sanitary reasons).
The Republic was an early adopter of what are now regarded as modern laws and institutions: a medical service was introduced in 1301, with the first pharmacy, still operating to this day, being opened in 1317. An almshouse was opened in 1347, and the first quarantine hospital (Lazarete) was established in 1377. Slave trading was abolished in 1418, and an orphanage opened in 1432. A 20 km (12 mi) water supply system, instead of a cistern, was constructed in 1438 by the Neapolitan architect and engineer Onofrio della Cava. He completed the aqueduct with two public fountains. He also built a number of mills along one of its branches.
The city was ruled by the local aristocracy which was of Latin-Dalmatian extraction and formed two city councils. As usual for the time, they maintained a strict system of social classes. The republic abolished the slave trade early in the 15th century and valued liberty highly. The city successfully balanced its sovereignty between the interests of Venice and the Ottoman Empire for centuries.
The languages spoken by the people were the Romance Dalmatian and common Croatian. The latter started to replace Dalmatian little by little from the 11th century among the common inhabitants of the city. Italian and Venetian would become important languages of culture and trade in Dubrovnik. At the same time, Dubrovnik became a cradle of Croatian literature.
Big Onofrio's fountain (1438)
The economic wealth of the Republic was partially the result of the land it developed, but especially of seafaring trade. With the help of skilled diplomacy, Dubrovnik merchants traveled lands freely and the city had a huge fleet of merchant ships (argosy) that traveled all over the world. From these travels they founded some settlements, from India to America, and brought parts of their culture and flora home with them. One of its keys to success was not conquering, but trading and sailing under a white flag with the Latin: Libertarians word (freedom) prominently featured on it. The flag was adopted when slave trading was abolished in 1418.
Many Conversos, Jews from Spain and Portugal, were attracted to the city. In May 1544, a ship landed there filled exclusively with Portuguese refugees, as Balthasar de Faria reported to King John. During this time there worked in the city one of the most famous cannon and bell founders of his time: Ivan Rabljanin (Magister Johannes Baptista Arbensis de la Tolle). Already in 1571 Dubrovnik sold its protectorate over some Christian settlements in other parts of the Ottoman Empire to France and Venice. At that time there was also a colony of Dubrovnik in Fes in Morocco. The bishop of Dubrovnik was a Cardinal protector in 1571. At that time there were only 16 other countries which had Cardinal protectors; those being France, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Poland, England, Scotland, Ireland, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, Savoy, Lucca, Greece, Illyria, Armenia and Lebanon.
Involvement in the American Revolution:
Territory of the Republic before 1808
The Republic gradually declined due to a combination of a Mediterranean shipping crisis and the catastrophic earthquake of 1667 which killed over 5,000 citizens, leveled most of the public buildings and, consequently, negatively impacted the whole well-being of the Republic. In 1699, the Republic was forced to sell two mainland patches of its territory to the Ottomans in order to avoid being caught in the clash with advancing Venetian forces. Today this strip of land belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina and is that country's only direct access to the Adriatic. A highlight of Dubrovnik's diplomacy was the involvement in the American Revolution.
In 1806, the city surrendered to the Napoleonic army, as that was the only way to end a month-long siege by the Russian-Montenegrin fleets (during which 3,000 cannonballs fell on the city). At first, Napoleon demanded only free passage for his troops, promising not to occupy the territory and stressing that the French were friends of Dubrovnik. Later, however, French forces blockaded the harbors, forcing the government to give in and let French troops enter the city. On this day, all flags and coats of arms above the city walls were painted black as a sign of mourning. In 1808, Marshal Auguste de Marmont abolished the republic and integrated its territory first into Napoleon's Kingdom of Italy and later into the Iliyrian provinces under French rule. This was to last until 28 January 1814 when the city surrendered to Captain Sir William Hoste leading a body of British and Austrian troops who were besieging the fortress.
Dubrovnik Old Town:
Jutting out into the Adriatic Sea with a backdrop of rugged limestone mountains, Dubrovnik Old Town is known as one of the world’s finest and most perfectly preserved medieval cities in the world. For centuries, Dubrovnik rivaled Venice as a trading port, with its huge sturdy stone walls, built between the 11th and 17th centuries, affording protection to this former city-state.
Today, these walls still enclose Dubrovnik’s historic center and it is possible to walk along them to enjoy the best views of the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ and the surrounding lush green islands. Dubrovnik’s Baroque churches, monasteries and palaces; its Renaissance fountains and facades, are all intertwined with gleaming wide marble-paved squares, steep cobbled streets and houses, all of which have also remained unchanged for centuries.
The Old Town attractions:
-City walls – walk around walls of the old city: Old Town Walls; towers/fortresses: Lovrjenac, Bokar, Minceta, Revelin, Sveti Ivan, Clock / Bell Tower + see map here and entrance to the walls info and map https://www.chasingthedonkey.com/
-Palaces: Palace Knezev Dvor, Palace Sponza
-Churches: Church Sveti Vlaho (St Blaise); Church of Saint Saviour; Dubrovnik Cathedral
-Monasteries: Dominican monastery; Franciscan Monastery ; The Cloister ; The Pharmacy; Monastery Museum
-Squares: Stradun / Placa , Luža Square , Gunduliceva poljana/ Gundulic Square
-Monuments: Onofrijeva Cesma, Orlandov Stup (Orlando’s Column), Jesuit Stairs; Bell Tower
-Old port: Porporela – a pier in Dubrovnik’s Old Harbour and Dubrovnik’s Old Port
The Top Things to See And Do In Dubrovnik's Old Town:
Dubrovnik is one of Croatia’s most popular cities. Located on the border of the Adriatic Sea, this city has been listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for it’s incredible Old Town, historic 16th century stone walls, and wonderful baroque style churches. This is a city steeped in a rich heritage of architecture and culture, nowhere more than it’s stunning Old Town. Follow our guide to the best things to see and do in the area.
The best way to see Dubrovnik’s Old Town is definitely from above. The Dubrovnik Cable Car station is just outside the Old Town, but the journey provides a birds-eye view of the ancient streets. However, the real highlight is when the cable car reaches the top.
https://www.visit-croatia.co.uk/ Visitors can look over the entire area, the red-roofed city beautifully contrasting with the expanse of the blue Adriatic.
https://www.priceline.com/home/ It’s particularly popular at sunset when the whole scene is bathed in a beautiful golden glow. There’s also the war museum and a café near the station, making it worth the trip from the confines of the Old Town.
Opening times: vary by month, check website for details
Dating back to 1537, Pile Gate is a stone gate at the entrance to Dubrovnik Old town. This is a constantly busy site but is worth a visit due to its wonderful sculptured stone, Renaissance arches and historic significance. It is exceptionally beautiful when lit up at night, or during the guards, which also happens at night. The gate is right next to the main bus station and on the main street, so crowds can congregate, but it’s worth entering the melee to get a glimpse of the historic sight.
Tired of pounding the streets by foot? Take in another side of the Old Town by kayak. There are plenty of outfits renting kayaks throughout the city, and many routes paddle around the walls of the Old Town, passing near Buza, Sveti Ivan tower, Porporela, Old Harbour, before crossing the bay to the idyllic Lokrum island for sunbathing, snorkeling, picnics and more.
Rector’s Palace https://www.lonelyplanet.com/croatia
Also known as the Knezev Dvor, the Rector’s Palace is a beautiful Gothic and Renaissance building on the edge of the Old Town. Originally, it was a site of defense in the Middle Ages, but when it was destroyed by fire in the 15th century, it was rebuilt as a palace to serve as the seat of the Rector of the Republic of Ragusa. Although parts of the building have been renovated and restored over the years due to gunpowder explosions, fires and earthquakes, it has lost none of its charm and remains a collection of some of the finest architecture in the area.