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City/Town of Dubrovnik

City/Town : Dubrovnik
Region : Dubrovnik & Neretva County
Country : Croatia
Continent : Europe
Population : 42,615
Area : 21.35 sq km
Latitude : 42°38′25″N
Longitude : 18°06′30″E
Visiting Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is both a seaport and the centre of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Its population was 42,615 inhabitants according to census data from 2011. Dubrovnik is nicknamed "Pearl of the Adriatic". Tourism is the most important industry in Dubrovnik so according to data from 2012, there were 45 hotels:- twelve 5* hotels, nine 4* hotels, twenty two 3* hotels and two 2* hotels.
The city of Dubrovnik (Latin: Ragusa) was built on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages it became the only city-state in the Adriatic to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development during the 15th and 16th centuries. Furthermore, Dubrovnik was one of the centres of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists and other scholars.
Today Dubrovnik is the proudest feather in Croatia's tourist cap, an elite destination and one of the most beautiful towns in the Mediterranean. Dubrovnik used to be an independent republic, surviving mostly on trade. It managed to survive many centuries, with constant threats to its territory, particularly from the mighty Ottoman Empire and Venice. As early as 19th century, it was discovered by celebrities as a place to be seen. George Bernard Shaw once said that "those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and find it". Royalty, presidents and diplomats have all favoured the city. The late Pope John Paul II was a fan of Dubrovnik and was even made an honorary citizen. Out of the 23 top luxury hotels in Croatia in 2010, a dozen were located in Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik is steeped in stunning architecture and sculptural detail, and boasts spectacular churches, monasteries, museums, and fountains. A multitude of typical towns and excursions include: The Elaphiti Islands, the attractive town of Cavtat,the Konavle valley, Mljet Island, Korčula Island, Ston and Peljesac Peninsula. The neighbouring towns of Kotor and Perast in Montenegro or Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina also make for intrigiuing day trips.
Dubrovnik was heavily bombed during the Croatian War of Independence from 1991 to 1995. Almost all of the damage has been repaired; however, if you look closely around the old town, mortar damage in the cobblestone streets and bullet marks in the stone houses are visible.
Old Town
  • Roland's Column, (in front of the Bell Tower). A slender stone flag staff of the legendary knight. Also known as Orlando's Column. Ever since its foundation in 1950, the Dubrovnik Summer Festival is officially opened by raising a flag carrying the city's motto Libertus on Orlando's staff.
  • Bell Tower, (after the Ploče entrance to the city). On top of the tower are the famous 'Zelenci' (The Green Ones), bronze statues which strike the gigantic bell every hour. They have been recently replaced with copies and the originals are in the atrium of the Sponza Palace.
  • Sponza Palace, (West of the Bell Tower). Gothic Renaissance palace, one of the few buildings that has maintained its form from before the catastrophic 1667 earthquake. Hosts historic archives. Memorial room of defenders. Open 10AM-10PM. 20 km
  • Rector's Palace, Pred dvorom 1, ☎ +385 20 321 437. Formerly the palace of the Major Council, now houses a museum dedicated to the city's history.
  • War Photo Limited, Antuninska 6. Open 9AM-9PM. An exhibition centre of war and conflict photography. Exhibits change during the season. Stunning images by world renowned photo journalists.
  • Pile Gate, at the western end of the Placa Thoroughfare (Stradun) (Old town). A convenient starting place for your stroll through the Old Town is the Pile Gate. Before entering the Old Town, Fort Lovrjenac, the first among many sites worth seeing in Dubrovnik, provides a good view of the Old Town and its wall.
  • Placa Stradun, (Old town). The Stradun (Placa) is the central street of the city of Dubrovnik and is the place where the old city comes to life. During the day, explore the shades of the perpendicular streets and alleys on its sides, and during the night, take walks up and down the Stradun with an ice-cream in hand. The uniform Baroque architecture of the houses in Placa, with shops on the street level and their 'knee-like' entrances, got its present-day form in the restoration of the City taking place after the disastrous earthquake in 1667, when a large number of luxurious Gothic and Renaissance palaces had been destroyed. The architectural design of Placa reveals effective solutions and the business sense of the Dubrovnik Republic in those difficult times. Today, Placa is still the shopping centre and venue of major events.
  • Big Onofrio´s Fountain. In the western (Pile) entrance of the old town, The fountain stairs are nowadays a favourite meeting place for local youth and where both the tourists and pigeons take rest and refresh themselves with cool water.
  • Old Port. The eastern part of the Old Town of Dubrovnik; some cruise ship passengers are tendered to the Old Port.
  • Fort Lovrijenac, (From the Pile gate, walk away from the city and then turn left down the steps next to Konoba Gallus. Follow the lane down to the waterfront and then climb the steps up to the fort). The monumental fort rises above 37 m high rock. It changed roles in the course of history. The main purpose of its construction was defense, and the main idea was to protect the freedom of Dubrovnik. 30kn, or free with city wall ticket.
  • Aquarium. 8AM - 9PM. 40 kn.
  • Visia Dubrovnik 5D Theatrum (history and culture), Poljana Paska Miličevića 4 (in the Convent of St. Clare, on the right side at the beginning of Stradun through Pile gate), ☎ +385 20 324-714 (, fax: +385 20 324-714), [7]. 9AM-8PM. Virtual reality technology guides visitors to Dubrovnik through the history and cultural features of the city and wider Croatia.
City Walls
Walk on the walls around the old town, great views. It may be best to visit the walls during the early morning or the late afternoon during mid-summer months as it can become very hot.
Dubrovnik is surrounded by its city walls which are 2km long and famous all around the world. There are 3 entrances: on Stradun by the Pile gate, by Fort Saint John’s and at the Custom’s House gate.
Within the city walls you will see Fort Minceta and Fort Saint John’s on the south-eastern side. Also, within the city walls are Fort Lawrence at Pile and Fort Revelin at Ploce. The main entrance is by the Inner Pile Gates. Minceta Fort is one of the most beautiful cultural attractions in Dubrovnik. It's on the northwest side of the city inside the city walls and was built according to the design of renaissance builder Juraj Dalmatinac. St. Luke’s Tower can be seen by walking along the landward side of the city walls up to Ploce Gate. St. Luke’s Tower has protected the entrance to the Dubrovnik harbour throughout the history of the city.
St. John’s Fort was constructed in the 16th century and it is really worth visiting; on its ground floor you can visit the Aquarium, and on the first and second floors you can visit the Maritime Museum (see below).
Bokar Fort is on the seaward of the city walls. It was designed by Florentine architect Michelozzi in the 15th century. Hours: 08:00-19:00. Entrance fee is HRK150 for adults, HRK30 for children. You can pay by credit card, but they do not take euros.
If you want to avoid paying almost USD25 to see the walls (which are the most impressive attraction in the city), there are ways you can easily get on to the walls for free. After you enter through the main gate, head east walking through the old town like you are aiming for the most southeast corner of the walls. you should come to a wire fence and through the fence you will see people walking along the wall path. Wait for the number of people to slow down or just entertain the bewildered Asian tourists by easily scaling the fence (it's about 6 feet tall, normal fence size) and head onto the wall walk for free.
  • Franciscan Monastery, Placa 2, ☎ +385 20 321 410. 9AM-6PM.. This beautiful monastery with Baroque Church, houses a Romanesque cloister and the third oldest pharmacy in the world.
  • Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, Kneza Damjana Jude 1, ☎ +385 20 323 459. M-Sa 8AM-8PM, Su 11AM-5:30PM. This impressive building is in the Poljana Marin Držić. Supposedly, the original church was built with money donated by Richard the Lionhearted who survived shipwreck on his way home from the Third Crusade. The current Roman Baroque cathedral dates from the 18th Century.
  • Church of Saint Blaise (Crkva Svetog Vlaha). Baroque Church dedicated to the city's patron saint.
  • Church of St. Ignatius and the Jesuit College, (On an elevated square close to the southern edge of the Old Town). Mass held in English daily at 11:00 in the summer.. Ornate Jesuit church, approached via a romantic baroque staircase modeled on the Spanish Steps in Rome (1738). Built between 1667 and 1725 by architect Ignazzio Pozzo, and like most Jesuit churches of the period was modeled on the Gesù in Rome, the mother church of the Jesuits. 
  • Dominican Monastery. Open 9AM-6PM. This is an exceptionally valuable historic complex, which, besides its religious purpose, also represents the important artistic treasury of ancient Dubrovnik.
  • Church of St. Sebastian, (by the Ploče gate). 15th century church built by the Ploče gate since St. Sebastian is the saint protector against plague.
  • Serbian Orthodox Church and Museum of Icons [Pravoslavna crkva i Muzej ikona]. Built from 1865-1877, stands behind impressive wrought iron gates. Houses a number of icons, mainly Byzantine and Cretan. Museum next to church has extensive icon collection. Church admission: free; Museum admission 5-10 kn.
Some museums offer a discount ticket if you visit more than one museum. For example its 70 kn for the Rectors Palace, Ethnographic museum, Rupe and Maritime museum.
  • Bukovac House (Kuća Bukovac), Bukovčeva 5, Cavtat, ☎ +385 20 478 646, [8]. 9AM - 1PM, 4PM-8PM, Sun 4PM-8PM. Closed Mon. Includes works by Vlaho Bukovac (1855-1922), one of the most famous modern Croatian painters. Part of the house is devoted to exhibitions of works by young artists.
  • Dubrovnik Natural History Museum (Prirodoslovni muzej), Androvićeva 1, ☎ +385 20 324 888. 9AM-4PM, closed Sa-Su. The collection of 100 year-old taxidermy specimens dates back to 1872 and may not appeal to everyone.
  • Franciscan Monastery Museum, Placa 2. 9AM-6PM. Houses artifacts from one of the world's oldest pharmacies. 30 kn.
  • Sigurata Convent Museum, Od Sigurate 13, ☎ +385 20 321 467. Upon request. Entry: 10 kn.
  • Synagogue and Jewish Museum, Zudioska 5, ☎ +385 20 321 028. This originally Sephardic Synagogue is supposed to be the second oldest still in use synagogue in Europe today. A permanent Jewish community here was founded at the end of the 15th century following the exodus from Portugal and Spain. The Jewish Ghetto was established in 1546 on Jewish street in the old town of Dubrovnik.The community flourished and included respected doctors, merchants and state representatives. Jews in Dubrovnik enjoyed relative freedom, but there were some restrictions on their activities at certain points in history. The Synagogue is tiny and delightful, with heavy velvet drapes and a richly painted, midnight blue ceiling. The museum contains valuable menorahs and Torah scrolls, alongside information on the history of the Jewish community in Dubrovnik. Entry: 25 kn.
  • Dominican Monastery Museum, Sv. Domina 4, ☎ +385 20 321 423. 9AM-6PM. Paintings and artifacts from Dubrovnik's past. Entry: 30 kn.
  • The Sponza Palace Museum (Museum of the State Archives). Entry: 20 kn.
  • The Rector`s Palace Museum, Pred dvorom 1, ☎ +385 20 321 437. 9AM-6PM. Artifacts, paintings and furniture dating back from the time of the Dubrovnik Republic. Entry: 70 kn.
  • The Treasury of Cathedral, Kneza Damjana Jude 1, ☎ :+385 20 323 459. 9AM-6PM. The Treasury has 182 reliquaries which are carried around the city during the Feast of St Blaise. Entry: 15 kn.
  • Maritime Museum, In St. John Fortress, ☎ +385 20 323 904. 9AM-6PM. Considering how vital sailing and shipbuilding were to the growth of the Dubrovnik Republic, this is one of the city’s most important museums. Entry: 70 kn.
  • Home of Marin Drzic, Široka 7, ☎ +385 20 420 490. M-Sa 9AM-1PM and by appointment. Memorial house of Marin Drzic, one of Croatia's most famous writers.
  • The Etnographic Museum (Rupe Granary), Od Rupa 3, ☎ +385 20 323 013. 9AM-6PM. Built in 1590, this is a fascinating building in itself, and the exhibits showcase the economic, cultural and spiritual development of Dubrovnik. The folk costumes and textiles give the best flavour of the region where folk culture is still celebrated. Entry: 70 kn. 
  • Lapad Beach. (Lapad Peninsula) A car free, sandy beach area on the Lapad Peninsula, approximately 3.5 km from the old town, where you can relax in the shade of the numerous trees. At the end of a long pedestrianized street full of cafe bars and restaurants you will see many popular pebble beaches known as Lapad beaches. These beaches are really beautiful and well used. Lapad is definitely one of the most beautiful parts of Dubrovnik and you really must visit it. If you take the headland path to the right hand side of Lapad beach, as you look at the Adriatic, you can walk along a charming little coast path with small concrete 'beaches' and ladders into the sea. These were put in during the Tito era and are ideal for one or two sunbathers. Walking further along is an excellent local fish restaurant - ideal for ending the day. The walk back is not particularly well lit, but perfectly safe.
  • Banje Beach, (Near the Old Town). A well located pebble beach. There's a part with an entrance fee, but also a public part which is always livelier and more relaxed. Great way to beat the heat in the middle of the town. Amazing view to city walls, Old Town Dubrovnik and the island of Lokrum. Beach volleyball, mini football or water polo. You can also enjoy lying on deck chair and having a drink.
  • Lokrum Island, (Take a ferry in Old Town port (ticket at the end of the deck)). If you want to escape from the beaches which can be crowded during summer, then take a ferry to Lokrum Island. Only 10 minutes by boat and it will cost you 60kn back and forth. Last ferry is at 8pm during summer. You can swim in some indicated spots where you'll find ladders to get into the sea. Or just choose a nice spot on the rocks where you'll be able to swim and enjoy the peacefulness.
  • Stradun, Take a walk and enjoy a drink at a cafe on the main thoroughfare of the old town.
  • The Dubrovnik Cable Car as it leaves the Mount Srđ station.
  • Mount Srđ, For a great view of the town. There is a fortress on top which contains a small museum describing its history. There are several ways up:
  • Walk up the winding footpath to the fortress and large cross on the hilltop 400 m above Dubrovnik. Walking up from the old town takes about 90 min. There is lack of signature but ask the local (though most of them will still direct you to take the cable car). The path is quite rocky so use suitable footwear. This is the way you could enjoy the best bird eye's view of the sea, old town etc. When you get up to the panoramic terrace, the view is actually not as attractive as what you see along the way when you hike up. Take the new renovated Cable car and you will be from Down station to Mountain Srđ in less then 4 min. Round trip ticket 100 kn.
  • Go by car via Bosanka village. Follow Jadranska cesta (D8) towards Mlini and drive past Dubrovnik. Turn left to Bosanka village and follow the road up the hill.
  • Visit the Fortress Lovrijenac. It was an essential fortification to the defense of the city from both ground and sea attacks. In order to prevent possible mutiny by the commander of the fortress, the walls facing the city are only 60 cm thick compared to those exposed to enemy fire which were 12 m thick. Above the entrance to the fortress is an inscription that says "Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro" which translates to Freedom is not sold for all the gold in the world.