The Pearl of Adriatic Sea – Dubrovnik, Croatia

I just couldn’t resist not to write my story about Dubrovnik, Croatia after I have read some articles like 12 of the Best Free European Attractions by Cristina Dima and Walled Cities Around the World by Julie Blakley. I don’t blame them because they perhaps didn’t have occasion to visit it.

Even great George Bernard Shaw was enchanted by this beautiful city, about which he said “those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and see Dubrovnik.”

The Old Town’s main street is called Stradun or Placa. It is a, approximately 300 meter long, pedestrian zone and it runs from the Pile to Ploce gates, following the line of the channel that once divided the town into two parts. The street came into life in the 12th century, was paved in 1468 and reconstructed after the earthquake of 1667.

There’s no better way to appreciate Dubrovnik’s history and architecture than by traversing the beautiful walls that surround the Old Town. They are one of the main tourist attractions. There are multiple entrances, but the best (and most popular) is on the left side of Stradun, just after you enter the city from the Pile Gate.

It’s a good idea to bring something to drink as the two-kilometer circuit contains many steps and can get quite tiring, particularly in hot weather.

The walls offer outstanding views into the Old Town and its red-tiled roofs, the Old Port (and the nearby island of Lokrum), and out to sea, but are also quite a sight unto themselves. For all their present harmony, they were actually constructed and expanded over the course of four centuries (from the 1200s to the 1600s) and their sixteen towers reflect a variety of architectural styles. Many individual fortifications, such as the Pile Gate (which is mentioned in sources as early as 972 but which was reinforced in 1461) are even older.

The City Walls are usually the first thing on a tourist’s list to do upon arriving to Dubrovnik-and with good reason. They’re stunning. They are one of the main tourist attractions. The walls have protected the freedom of the Dubrovnik Republic for centuries.

They surround the entire Old City with their 1940 meters of length and up to 25 meters of height. The whole City Wall complex was built from the 8th until the 16th century, consisting of an inner and outer section. There are five bastions, 3 circular and 12 square and rectangular towers, two corner towers, and one huge fortress. The outer section of City Walls consists of a lower wall, having 10 semicircular bastions built by the famous Italian architect Michelozzo.

The town is defended by two more separate fortresses, at Revelin on the eastern side and Lovrijenac on the southwest side. The moat ran around the outside section of the City Walls. I’ve done the walls twice now, and they really are amazing.

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Dubrovnik is the top Croatia’s destination and the “must” see attraction.

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Older comments on The Pearl of Adriatic Sea – Dubrovnik, Croatia

Cristina Dima-772
25 June 2009

Dubrovnik is beautiful but it can hardly be compared to the cities mentioned in the above articles.
When I worked as a travel writer (6 yrs ago) Dubrovnik compeated with the Greek islands. It’s still a cheap destination but probably not a highly popular one.