Most Amazing Sights in Dubrovnik – City Walls and Forts
The first of the sights in Dubrovnik we’ve chosen, are city walls which have surrounded and protected the city and citizens of Croatia from imposters and are a major landmark of the city and the country. They have suffered a lot of modifications and additions through the history and because of that they are considered as one of the great fortification systems in the Middle Ages. These are a major attraction in this town, which attract a lot of visitors because it is one of the most preserved fortification complexes in Europe. The walls are long 1940 meters on which are located sixteen towers and five forts.
Here you can also find bastions. On these walls is also the second most attractive museum which is in open air. These walls are open for visitors in all periods of the year. The walls have three entrances the first is next to the St Lukes Church located on the east, the second is next to St. Saviors Church at the Pile entrance to the old city and the last is next to the Maritime Museum which is located at St John’s Fort. If you take a walk along these city walls you will see the wonderful forts which were used to defend the Republic of Dubrovnik.
In Dubrovnik were built five forts Bokar, Minceta and St John in the complex of the city walls, while the other two were built outside the walls like Revelin in the east and Lovrjenac in the west. The fort Minceta, located on the highest point of Dubrovnik protected this city from the north. It was a symbol of defense and the flag here was waved all the time. In the southwest is the fort Bokar which is in the corner of the city walls turned towards the Lovernjac. It was built in the 15th century for protecting the small City harbor from the west: the Pile Bridge and the moat.
Nowadays here you can find collections of stone fragments. St John’s Fort is a fort built in 1346 for protection of the southeast. On the ground of the fort is located an aquarium while on the first and second floor is the Maritime Museum. Also this fort also has a lighthouse on the top called Porporela- meeting place of lovers and also bathing place for the residents. From this lighthouse we can see the Fort Revelin stinting in the eastern, outside the city walls. One wooden bridge and a stone connect this fort with the land and another stone bridge connects it with the city. Surrounded with the wall, forts and the sea Dubrovnik was difficult to take over.
via flickr by Bokeh & Travel licensed CC BY-NC-SA 2.0
Although Revelin was constructed very early it has not been as big as it is nowadays. Today’s enormous dimensions were reached in the 16th century. The interiors of the forts and also their terraces are important for Dubrovnik Symphony, Orchestra and also for the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. The city walls have been preserved even to today note because they were constructed by good workers but because of the constant care from the dwellers of the city that maintained and rebuilt the walls when it was needed. These walls were preserved mainly due to the diplomacy of Dubrovnik that did not allow these walls to be taken down by enemies.
Fortress Lovrijenac – One of the Best Sites in Dubrovnik
This fort is located in the west of the Old City on a tock with 37 meter high. It is a strong symbol of the survival and freedom of Dubrovnik, because it was used for the defense of the city. It is located outside the city walls and it is one of the most visible places of the city, because you can see it from the old city, tourist information square and the bus shops. It is considered as one of the most impressive sites in Dubrovnik, which is had been of prime importance due to its defense from the west and also from attracts from both the sea and the land. On the entrance there is a framed inscription saying: Freedom is not sold for all gold in the world but written in Latin.
The construction of this fort it is believed to have started in 1301. Today Lovernjac is known for the Dubrovnik Summer Festival open venues suitable for works from W. Shakespeare. In search for a suitable place for theatre productions, this fortes was perfect for that. This tower is especially suitable for plays like Hamlet, and its performance on these fortes is unforgettable. It is between the two entrances of the city, from the land and from the sea. There has been a beautiful legend about the construction of these fortes. In the 11th century Venetians tried to build a fort on this same place but they did not succeeded because they were beat by the Croatians.
If Venetians managed to build their fort they would have taken Dubrovnik under their power. From its construction this forts has been constantly under reconstruction. This fort has triangular shape and has three terraces offering a view of the sea. From this fort the view is breathtaking; you look toward the city walls. A lot of scenes of Game of Thrones have been filmed here. It is worth to pay a visit but the only problem is there are a lot of stairs and to manage to get there you need to be fit and to have good knees. The best view is in the afternoon, beside the city walls it can also be seen some part of the old town and the island of Lokrum. In the past Lovrijenac had been defended with 10 enormous cannons, the largest being the Lizard. It was beautifully carved and decorated and from it, it was never fired a shot.
Nowadays the Lizard is lost under the sea below the fort. A safe mechanism was designed into this forest because it was dominant fortes whose capture could mean the capture of Dubrovnik and the inhabitants. The walls near the sea are 12 meters thick but those on the side of the city are not more than 60 centimeters. In a case of a trouble the wall on the side of the city could not hold against firepower. The Commander of the fortes had always been selected from the nobility every month. It is interesting to walk through the storage rooms and fantasize about what some rooms and structures had been used for. You can also go at the highest platform of the tower but you have to pay 30 kuna. When you go to visit the city walls make sure on the same day you visit this tower, because you will get a free entry. But if you buy fists the ticket for these fortes you will get a discount on the ticket for the city walls.
Dubrovnik Churches – Top Sights in Dubrovnik
If you visit Dubrovnik for a few days, you must attend one of the most beautiful ancient churches, where you will undoubtedly find the peace you were looking and enjoy in the beautiful smell of the flowers and frankincense. Although it is a long way to get here, when you finally arrive you will be enchanted with the interior of the church. You can go and light a candle made from yellow wax but it you are lucky enough you can enter the church when someone is playing on the church organ while the sun rays shine through the windows of the church and light the dark spaces.
This baroque church dedicated to the patron Saint Blaise had been constructed according to the design of a Venetian Marino Gropelli on the same place where the previous church was built in Romanesque style dedicated to this same saint. On the altar there is a valuable Gothic statue of 15th century, which was the work of the goldsmith’s school in Dubrovnik. Aside from the artistic value the statue has documentary value. The saint holds in his left hand the old city model, where can be seen the buildings that were once destroyed by the great earthquake. St Blaise Church is located in the old city centre. The small church of St Saviour is located at the beginning of the Stradun between the Franciscan Monastery and the Pile Gate. This church was built due to a decision made from the Dubrovnik senate to express a gratitude to the saviours, who have spared the city from destruction made from the great earthquake.
In this church is also a monumental tablet constructed by Petar Andrijic, which was as a reminder to the disastrous earthquake that happened in 1667. This church is a perfect example for Renaissance building, Nowadays the church is used for exhibitions and concerts. In the past, as a few documents tell this was a monastery for sick Franciscan friars, and later was used for humanitarian purposes and then became a pharmacy. Nowadays the pharmacy is still in function and it has products made according to old- age recipes. The church has a picturesque hall from with Renaissance style, library, music archives and silver and gold objects.
The Cathedral of the Assumption of Virgin Mary exists even today, which dated in the 18th century. The historic records tell us that the former cathedral had been a luxurious church with a cupola, decorated with statues. A legend says that it was build with the money that English king Richard-the Lionheart had donated because he survived a shipwreck near the island of Lokrum on his way home from the Crusade. In the time when the Cathedral was restored in 1981 a remains of another cathedral have been found. According to its architectural features determine its origins from the 6th century. This great discovery gave a new dimension to the history of the sites in Dubrovnik and in general of Dubrovnik because now it had evidence that the city has been developed urban community from the 7th century.
The Most Beautiful Dubrovnik Squares
Dubrovnik has numerous squares, just a walk on the city streets or Stradun will take you in some of this squares. In front of the Cathedral is located Martin Drzic square which leads to the city harbour, the Aquarium and the city district of Karmen. The inhabitants once called it “in front of Our Ladies Church”. This square was named after Martin Drzic-Vidra who was poet, play writer and church organist. He had studied in Italy and Dubrovnik and later it was appointed to be vice-chancellor of Sienna University. His works were about universal themes: love, youth, misery.
In his comedy Uncle Maroje Drzic he conjured up a vision of equality with no difference between the poor and rich, good and bad. Another square is the Grundulic square where also his statue is located. He was a poet, educated in his native city. He was appointed to be Rector of Konavle for two times. He was also a senator, member of the minor Council and envoy to a Bosnian pasha. Grundulic is the major Baroque representative in Dubrovnik. He wrote works about the spirit of the Catholic reformation. His main themes were realizations about the transition of the human life. When he died, he was buried in the Franciscan Church and one of his oldest copies from Osman, which was printed in Dubrovnik, is kept in the library of the Franciscan Church.
Apart from the square and the statue of Gundulic here is also a small Amerling Fountain that stands in the middle of the square and which was damaged during the aggression but then it was reconstructed after the big earthquake. This square is venue of green marked, where the nearby villagers sell their products. The Baroque stairs located in the southern part of the Grundilic square lead to the next square called Ruder Boakovic Square. On the square are situated a few buildings like the Jesuit Church of St Ignatius, Dubrovnik Jesuit School and the Collegium Ragusinum. Many people consider this square to be the finest, most beautiful baroque complex in all Dalmatia. St Ignatius Church was completely built in 1725 according to the design of the famous Jesuit architect I. Pozzo.
In the church are magnificent baroque frescos painted by the famous painter Gaetano Garcia in which are portrayed scenes from the everyday life of St Ignatius, who was the founder of the Jesuit order. Here is also located the building of Jesuit Collegium, whose hard and neutral lines give special design to the baroque façade of the church and also the baroque steps that go into the city. The designer of the beautiful baroque steps is Roman architect Pietro Passalacqua. He designed it in 1738 and these magnificent steps are reminiscent of the famous steps that led to Trinit dei Monti Crurch in Rome the Piazza di Spagna.
Island of Lokrum – Amazing Sights in Dubrovnik
Lokrum is an island located in the Adriatic Sea on 600 meters. It is stretched from the northwest to the southeast and it receives regular ferry service, from Dubrovnik. The first records about this island date from the 1023 and say that it was a venue of the foundation of Benedictine Abbey and that it was also a monastery. There is one legend that says Richard the Lionheart after a shipwreck on his way home from the Crusade in Palestine he found a shelter on these islands, and that’s how he survived the shipwreck. As a sign of gratitude he made a vow to build a church on the first earth place that he will step. He had built his summer residents on the ruins of the monastery.
Near this residence there was a beautiful garden, promenades and wonderful walking paths. The tradition of cultivating exotic plants from this time till today is perceived. The majority of plants were brought from South America and Australia and there was a collection of cactuses, succulent plants as a special attraction. The island of Lokrum in 1964 was declared as a Natural Reserve and then in 1973 was declared to be a Special Forestry Reserve. On this island is also a small lake called Dead Sea, which is connected to the open sea and it is suitable for children and for people who don’t know to swim.
The star-shaped Fort Royal, located on the elevation offers a magnificent view over Dubrovnik, the islands and Cavatat. If you want to go on the island of Lokrum you need to go to the Old City Harbour and a boat will take you first to the exclusive place called the Island of Love. Below the monastery there is a large meadow with olive groves. Here you can see a volleyball and football fields. Here are also areas for small children to play games while the trees make shadows to protect them exposure on sun. One interesting thing on this island is that here are peacocks brought from the Canary Islands. For the last 150 years they have adjusted to this place and decorate it with exotic colours walking freely around the island.
They also jump on people, so if you come here do not be surprised or scared. The main attraction of this island is the Purple Cave, which is named after the purple flowers that cover the rocks. This Cave is hidden far away in the end of the island and it can only be reached by boat or by the path through the forest where there is also nudist beach. Local people sometimes want to scare tourists and tell them the curse of the Lokrum islands which is that people who go on this island at night are never seen again. A lot of fishermen boats have been swallowed by the sea near this island. So be careful, don’t go alone at night on this island or better do not go at all. If you want to be friend with the locals ask them about this curse and discover more about it. Most of them love retelling this curse and make from it a scaring horror story.