Dubrovnik

Most beautiful town i ever seen!

Dubrovnik is a city with a unique political and cultural history (Dubrovnik Republic, Dubrovnik Statute from 1272), and world famous monumental heritage and beauty (inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List).

Dubrovnik is one of the most attractive and most popular cities on the Mediterranean. Dubrovnik is a city with an exceptionally broad tourist supply.

It is attractive any time of the year, for it is a city of hotels, beautiful landscapes, and an enviable ecological standard – geared to tourism.
It is a medieval city on the Croatian side of the Adriatic coastline and a treasure – trove of cultural – historical monuments that were created throughout its thousand-year existence.

In the past, it was a City-Republic, and alongside Venice one of the most famous cultural-economic centers on the Mediterranean. In more recent times, it has become the center of modern cultural and tourist events: a city of summer festivals – an international parade of top musical and theatrical achievements, a city of museums and galleries. These values have turned Dubrovnik into a place that offers a rich selection of various experiences and excitement, but also a complete holiday in a quiet and calming, mild Mediterranean ambience and wonderful seaside landscapes.
WELCOME to Dubrovnik – a city with a thousand year old tradition that offers something for everyone.


PAST HISTORY OF DUBROVNIK

The words «Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro» – «Freedom is not to be sold, not for all the gold of the world» were inscribed long ago during the times of the Dubrovnik Republic …

above the gates on Fort Lawrence, an impenetrable fortress. Throughout its turbulent history, many sovereign and maritime powers came into conflict in this region: Byzantine, Saracen, Croat, Norman, Venetian, small principalities and kingdoms, even the Hungarian-Croat state, followed by the Roman-German empire, and the Ottoman, Habsburg and Napoleon empires.

On such a boundary line, the small city of Dubrovnik succeeded in achieving a completely independent form of self-government based on political ingenuity, so that the Dubrovnik Republic remained a neutral, independent state for centuries.
The successful development of Dubrovnik in the past was conditioned primarily by its favorable geographical position, and by an economy based on maritime and merchant activities.

When entering the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is the first island-protected port on the maritime route going from east to west, with quick access to the hinterland by way of the Neretva Valley. Latest archaeological research has shown that a settlement dating to the 6th century or probably even earlier existed under today’s city. It expanded with the arrival of the Croats in the 7th century, following the abandonment of ancient Epidaurus (today’s Cavtat).

The intensification of traffic between the East and West both during and after the Crusades resulted in the development of maritime and mercantile centers throughout the Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea in the 12th and 13th centuries. Dubrovnik was one of them. The Zadar Treaty in 1358 liberated Dubrovnik from Venetian rule, and it was crucial to the successful furthering of its development. The remaining Dalmatian towns failed to achieve this, so that they definitely fell under Venetian rule in the year 1420. Already during the 14th and 15th centuries, Dubrovnik was the most significant maritime and mercantile center of the Adriatic, alongside Venice and Ancona. Dubrovnik expanded its territory by using contracts and by purchasing land from Klek in the north to Sutorina at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor, including the islands of Mljet, Lastovo, Elaphite and Lokrum.

The legal status of the Dubrovnik Republic was completely achieved by the 15th century. This meant the independent election of a rector and councilors, the minting of currency, a state flag with an image of St. Blaise, independent legislature, and the right to establish consulates abroad. According to the aristocratic constitution, the state authority was based on the Great Council, which was made up of Dubrovnik aristocratic families. They, in turn, appointed the members of the Senate and the Small Council, which was the executive body of the Great Council. The Rector was appointed on a monthly basis as a nominal symbol of authority.

Already in the 15th century, Dubrovnik had a well-organized transit trade route with the Balkan hinterland. In 1525, due to the stronger Turkish expansionist policies in the Balkans, the Dubrovnik Republic decided to accept Turkish tutelage and the payment of tribute. However, in return, they obtained the right to free trade throughout the Turkish Empire, with a custom’s duty of only 2%. This small state, which had no army of its own, brought its defensive mechanism to perfection using skilful diplomacy and broad consular activities. It managed to preserve its independency by maintaining neutrality in international conflicts, and by using the tutelage of powerful countries, especially that of Spain and the Vatican. The Venetian Republic was its only permanent rival and enemy.

The Dubrovnik Republic entered its golden age in the 16th century, at a time when the power and glory of the Venetian Empire was on the wane. Its prosperity was based on maritime trade. In the 16th century, the Dubrovnik merchant navy matched world levels with its quality fleet of 180 to 200 ships. Increasingly larger types of ships were being built, such as galleys, coasters and navas. These ships were taking on increasingly longer and more dangerous journeys throughout the Mediterranean and Black Sea, as well as ocean journeys to northern ports in England and Germany, even as far as India and the Americas. Dubrovnik became world-renowned and sought after for the transport of cargo, which included very diverse maritime and trade affairs.

Material prosperity, and the feeling of security and freedom, helped shape a humanist culture that further inspired ardent creativity. Dubrovnik reached magnificent levels of achievement in its urban and architectural development that has been maintained to the present day, in its literature and poetry (Marin Držić, Ivan Gundulić), sciences (Ruđer Bošković), and in many other fields of art and culture.

In the 17th century, the general crisis in Mediterranean maritime affairs also affected Dubrovnik maritime trade. The catastrophic earthquake of 1667 brought the Dubrovnik Republic into a critical period, where it fought for its survival and political independence. The 18th century gave Dubrovnik an opportunity for the economic revival of maritime trade under a neutral flag. This was the state of affairs when Napoleon dissolved the Dubrovnik Republic in 1808.

At the Vienna Congress in 1815, the Dubrovnik region was joined to the other parts of Dalmatia and Croatia. Since then, they have shared a common political fate.

Following the Republic of Croatia’s declaration of independence and subsequent Serbian aggression on Croatian territory, Dubrovnik was attacked in October of 1991. The Serbians and the Montenegrins aimed to conquer and destroy the region, attacking with a destructive force that had never been seen so far. The Dubrovnik region was occupied and significantly devastated. In the 8-month siege, the city itself was repeatedly bombarded. The most brutal destruction occurred on December 06th, 1991.

Today, the war-devastated cultural heritage of Dubrovnik has been repaired for the most part. The renovated hotels, the important assets of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, as well as other cultural events are crucial prerequisites for the development of modern tourism.

10 GOOD REASONS WHY TO VISIT DUBROVNIK

By Luko Paljetak

1. because you have never been there.

You hate this „never“ thing. It does not make up part of your attitude, of your vocabulary, and it is not a part of the glossary that makes Dubrovnik, either. Dubrovnik is totally based upon for-ever and all the derivatives thereof. This is what the two of you have in common, you and the city are going to visit because you will not, and you can not, afford to never to do it. The world you know will be enriched for a part that will make it for-ever complete, perfectly wholesome – it will contain Dubrovnik.

2. because you have been here already.

You love to revisit the places where you felt OK. Come on, be frank, in Dubrovnik you felt more than OK! That’s why you try to come back as often as you can, to re-experience the feeling of pleasure that enwraps you while here. Who does not want to feel the enchanting touch of a kiss on the lips, the taste of a your favourite dish and wine on the palate, the most favourite scent in the nostrils? Dubrovnik combine all these together – the kiss, the food, the drink, the scent of a fresh stone rose with the thousand petals of its golden red roofs.

3. because you love to travel.

That’s the way you are and the way you want to be forever: travel, travel, travel! Indeed, not all the journeys are equally pleasant, not all roads equally comfortable.
Well, here you are taken by quite a different kind of road – by your curiosity, rapture and sensations because of an inexhaustible possibility of new scenes, unthought of and surprising, the scenes totally out of the supplies you have in your bag of experience. Dubrovnik is exactly such a scene, such a phenomenon whichever way you take it – it will build itself in front of you as a pure surprise, as a scene without parallel, as a reason that will best justify the your journey to it.
To travel to Dubrovnik is not just to travel anywhere. It is… well, you will see when you arrive. Make sure it happens at the soonest!

4. because you hate to travel.

That’s the way you are and you don’t want to change. You prefer the concrete world you know well, your people and objects, world reliable and verified. You hesitate to leave your home. You want to be the total master of your own universe. And you’re right: the world comes to you inasmuch as you need it for a dialogue with it and its issues. That’s exactly the reason why you must go to Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik is made for you – encased in its walls, familiar like your own place, intimate like your own drawing room. In Dubrovnik you will find the world you love, concrete and familiar, full of precious things that change very slowly, reliable and verified. You will feel as if you have always lived there.

5. because you love to be in the company of someone you love.

You have chosen the right spot, in the fifth point of the world – the one where the heart is. If your love is strong, here it will grow even stronger. If your love is fading, God forbid, in Dubrovnik it will find new, refreshing energy. You will discover that under the mild ashes of love there is a boiling heart, not a boiling potato. All one needs is to put it ( the heart!) on the hand and take a stroll around Dubrovnik.
There are enough stars above Dubrovnik for each of your desires, enough moonlight for all your dreams. The most tender parts of your vocabulary will trigger off in Dubrovnik. You will realize how the tender whispers at Porporela sound altogether different than anywhere else in the world. On Lokrum, you will discover the beauty of naked flesh. You will learn what real passion is. Dubrovnik is the place of happy love. And you are the proof.

6. because you want to be alone.

Dubrovnik will readily join its own loneliness to yours. Just like you, Dubrovnik knows how to be alone. Like you, it makes the best company to itself, any time of day, any season of the year; in the summer, especially! The thickest crowd hides the greatest loneliness, it is easy to be all alone amidst the greatest swirl. Each of the streets of Dubrovnik offers a possibility for a totally new solitude, of an almost invisible yearning spottable only to you as an experienced connoisseur and tester of melancholy. You will love the proud isolation of St. Lawrence Fort, the grandiose solitude of the Minčeta Fort, the protective isolating robe of the Fort of St. John, the imposing attitude of the Revelin, the brilliant melodious emptiness of the Main Street after midnight.
The cultivated loneliness of Dubrovnik will cultivate yours in turn, till the moment you want to share it with someone truly worth being alone with.

7. because you were talked in to it.

They did well, didn’t they? Well, of course, you never allow yourself to be talked into things, determined to make your decisions alone. Yet your friends told you so much about their visit to Dubrovnik that you found their stories exaggerated. And felt an urge to check it out for yourself. Not without a shade of envy.
So you immediately contacted your travel agent, got information on everything, in detail. That’s the way you do it. Then you left for Dubrovnik without any notice. Everybody thought you went to see your mother-in-law, as you do every year, but you landed in Dubrovnik instead. Perfect decision. Back home you have to tell your friends: Yes, you were right! I am glad you told me to go!
You open a bottle of Dingač, share it with your friends while showing them the photographs of you with Dubrovnik in the background.

8. because you love Shakespeare.

Since your early days. You have read all he wrote, and all anyone ever wrote about him. Your favourite, naturally, is Hamlet. The Danish Prince has made you travel to every place he would meet the Ghost. Now you are in Dubrovnik. You are watching the Fort of St. Lawrence – Hamlet’s Elsinore. You are in the excited crowd climbing the steep staircase. You enter the narrow door. Of course, you know all the soliloquies and dialogues by heart, so the language is not an issue. The summer night is warm, yet the guards on the bench feel cold. The Ghost shows up and it begins. A cannon shot marks the end. The four officers are carrying the body of the Prince to join the stars and the heavenly troops. Descending back to town. Can’t describe what you feel. Not necessary, anyway. You know, and that’s what matters, just as now you know that Hamlet is a good enough reason to come to Dubrovnik, even when it is not playing. All Hamlet’s roads lead to St. Lawrence.

9. because you love to have good time.

In that, you’re not alone. Who doesn’t? – Right time, right place! Go to Dubrovnik, the very place to have a good time in. At New Year’s Eve. The bronze soldiers will strike the time twice for you – the New Year will arrive twice, another time three minutes after the first time. Let your kiss last at least tat long!
Should you fail to be here then, come for the opening of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. What you live to see then is unforgettable. Every night has its power, yet the night of July 10 has a magic power indeed. God knows where we may meet, at which of the so many „in“places…

10. because you feel like it.

The way you always do. You are whimsy. And why not?…make life more interesting, more unpredictable. Have you played that game, similar to darts, just slightly different? Spread a map of the world on your door, close your eyes and strike on. And go to the place where the dart has landed.
If you have never played this game, it is time you started. Despite the incredible law of probability, I am sure the dart will land right on Dubrovnik. You will realize it is in Croatia, on the Adriatic Sea. The rest you will explore when you come over. Go for it! Take the dart, close your eye and aim. No matter where the dart lands, you will go to Dubrovnik. Why? Because you feel like it.

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