Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik (Ragusa) is an old city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Croatia, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist resorts, a seaport and the center of the Dubrovnik–Neretva county Dubrovnik is nicknamed "Pearl of the Adriatic".


The city of Dubrovnik was based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development during the 15 th and 16 th centuries. Dubrovnik was one of the centers of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists and other scholars. The patron saint of the city is Sveti Vlaho (Saint Blaise), whose statues are seen around the city. Dubrovnik's most beloved church is St Blaise's church, built in the 18th century in honor of Dubrovnik's patron saint. Dubrovnik's baroque Cathedral was built in the 18 th century and houses an impressive Treasury with relics of Saint Blaise. The city boasts of many old buildings, such as the Arboretum Trsteno, the oldest arboretum in the world, dating back to before 1492. Also, the third oldest European pharmacy is located in the city, which dates back to 1317 (and is the only one still in operation today). It is located at Little Brothers monastery in Dubrovnik. The Rectors Palace is a Gothic-Renaissance structure that displays finely-carved capitals and an ornate staircase. The St. Saviour Church is another remnant of the Renaissance period, next to the much-visited Franciscan Monastery. The Franciscan monastery's library possesses 30,000 volumes, 22 incunabula, 1,500 valuable handwritten documents. Exhibits include a 15th century silver-gilt cross and silver thurible, an 18th century crucifix from Jerusalem, a martyrology (1541) by Bemardin Gucetic and illuminated Psalters. A feature of Dubrovnik is its walls that run more than 3 km around the city. The walls run from four to six metres thick on the landward side but are much thinner on the seaward side. The system of turrets and towers were intended to protect the vulnerable city. Dubrovnik has a number of churches, monasteries and hotels scattered all over the town. Its coastal belt is adorned with several marinas, piers and promenades. Because of a magnificent view on the mediaeval Dubrovnik, a walk along the town ramparts is a must for each visitor.

George Bernard Shaw, visited the city in 1929 and said: "If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik."

In the bay of Dubrovnik is the 72-hectare wooded island of Lokrum, where according to legend, Richard the Lionheart was cast ashore after being shipwrecked in 1192. The island includes a fortress, botanical garden, monastery and naturist beach.