Dubrovnik is a gorgeous city in Croatia that has grown in popularity with tourists in recent years. The architecture in Dubrovnik is truly stunning, there’s a medieval old town to explore and various beautiful churches.
The natural landscape is lovely too. The city sits on the dramatic Dalmatian Coast and is backed by lush and tranquil countryside.
Walls of Dubrovnik
The Old Town is the heart of Dubrovnik and the thick defensive walls that surround it are a fascinating insight into the turbulent times of the past.
Invaders were a constant risk and the power of the sea also needed to be contained. Today travellers can wander on the walls themselves. It takes two hours and costs 150 Croatian Kuna.
I love being able to see and feel history up close like this. It brings the stories to life and it’s a great way to see the vista of Dubrovnik from above.
Stradun Street (also known as Placa Street) is a busy shopping street that is perfect for picking up gifts and people watching.
Locals gather here to chat and chill out with food and beer. Pull up a chair at an open-air café to soak up the atmosphere in modern Dubrovnik.
Check the calendar for national holidays, celebratory processions and feasts will take place on Stradun Street.
Be sure to look down at your feet as you meander in and out of the shops and bars. The limestone pavement has existed since 1468 and the smooth, shiny surface has been trodden by locals for hundreds of years.
The current quaint style of buildings was decided after a devastating earthquake in 1667. It’s a neat, ordered look that has become part of Dubrovnik’s charm.
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The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
The Cathedral is built on the site of a basilica from the 7th century, so it has an ancient history under the foundations and a wonderful example of breath-taking architecture in Dubrovnik.
This 12th-century incarnation was constructed after King Richard the Lion Heart was saved from a shipwreck off the coast and in gratitude presented the city with a large gift.
The cathedral, as it is now, was built after the original was left in ruins by the 1667 earthquake. It is baroque in style and is renowned for its splendid alters, the most notable being the vivid violet marble altar of St John of Nepomuk.
Art lovers will adore the triple panelled painting called ‘The Assumption of the Virgin’. It was completed in the 16th century by an artist from Venice called Titian.
Lovrijenac is a silver stone fortress that sits high on a cliff and looms protectively over the western side of The Old Town.
It used to be the home of 25 soldiers and their democratically elected commander. They presided over a building with 12m thick sea-facing walls and 10 huge cannons. Cleverly, the town-facing walls are only 60cm deep so that the townsfolk could easily destroy the fortress should it be successfully invaded.
The inscription above the gateway reads ‘Freedom cannot be sold for all the gold in the world’ and that’s a fine motto for a civilization to live by!
The fortress is now used during the Dubrovnik Festival as a stage for Hamlet. It is also famous as the Red Keep of King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms in the smash-hit TV series ‘Game of Thrones.’
There is a precious treasure, such as the work of local artists Nikola Bozidarevic and Lovro Dobricevic, housed in this outwardly austere 14th-century Dominican Monastery.
Inside there’s a wonderfully ornate gold crucifix and an elegant Florentine cloister made by skilled local craftsmen in the 15th century. Vibrant stained glass filters the sunshine onto a gorgeous depiction of St Blaise and Mary Magdelene by Titian.
For hundreds of years, this monastery has been home to the devout and a centre of learning for philosophy and theology.
St. Saviour Church
St Saviour Church is a fabulous symbol of the power and comfort to be found in community spirit.
This pale gold and cream coloured church is a bright and welcoming haven. It’s the perfect location for the concerts, recitals, and thanksgiving services that are held here.
It was built in 1520 by local people who had been miraculously saved from a destructive earthquake. Legend suggests that the city’s upper-class women got involved in the construction by hefting building materials into place.
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