Walls are built to protect treasures, and in Dubrovnik this is particularly accurate, with 1,940 metres of stone surrounding one of the world’s most beautiful cities.
“The Pearl of the Adriatic” has captivated and seduced kings and artists for centuries with its immaculate medieval architecture. How will it inspire you?
Once upon a time, Dubrovnik was one of the smallest but most important merchant states in the Mediterranean. It had consular offices in more than 80 cities. Its fleet of almost 700 merchant ships rivaled that of Venice. Under the heavenly patronage of St. Blasius and crowned by the famous Libertas banner flying from a high stone pillar guarded by its legendary knight Orlando, Dubrovnik is a city whose story is best told by the city itself. Walk along its main street, Stradun, whose stone pavement has been polished smooth by feet that have walked it for hundreds of years. The city’s glorious walls, fortresses and bastions offer a view of the magical Elaphite islands – Šipan, Lopud and Koločep, scattered like pearls in the azure of the sea. Named Elaphite islands after the Latin word Elaphos for deer, this archipelago, which used to be the habitat of this noble wild game, concentrates all the qualities of the untouched Mediterranean, featuring subtropical vegetation, expansive pine tree forests and olive groves, all surrounded by amazing sandy beaches.
From the Onofrio Fountain to the City bell tower, the filigree-like Gothic and Renaissance facades of the Sponza Palace and the Ducal Palace, the Baroque church of St. Blasius, the Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady, or St. Ignatius and the Jesuit College, every step in this town will be an experience par excellence.
Incidentally, should you happen to be here in summer, when Dubrovnik shines with a special glow and when the traditional Summer Festival turns the entire old town into an enchanting setting for this quite unique stage in the world, you will be able to listen to the immortal monologue of the unfortunate Danish prince ringing from the nearby Lovrijenac Fortress perched atop a 37 metre high cliff. Spoken from that venue, Hamlet’s immortal words ‘To be or not to be…’ ring particularly loud.