The sad part about visiting Dubrovnik is that the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ is no more the best-kept secret of the Mediterranean region. Attracting millions of tourists from all over the world, this Croatian city has become one of the very popular tourist hotspots in Europe. The city has been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1979. It mesmerizes visitors with its picturesque red-roofed medieval houses, white stone city wall, myriad Gothic Renaissance palaces and of course, the crystal clear turquoise sea. Here is our pick of 10 attractions that should not be missed when visiting Dubrovnik.
- Franciscan Monastery
This present monastery was built in the 14th century after the previous one was demolished in the 13th century. The Franciscan Monastery was built in Romanesque style and has frescoes and delicate pillars surrounding a garden of orange trees. The existing medieval cloister that dominates the complex is one of the most valuable on the shores of the Adriatic. The Franciscan Monastery complex houses the oldest working pharmacy in Europe – the Friars Minor Pharmacy. It also houses a museum and a library.
- Banje Beach
Located just 100 meters from the western gate (Ploce) of the Old Town is the most popular beach of Dubrovnik city – Banje. The beautiful pebbly and sandy beach is very well organized and is suitable for the whole family. Beach chairs, umbrellas, showers, restaurants, beach bars, and facilities for a host of water activities make the beach very popular with the locals and visitors alike. A major part of the beach is owned by East West Night Club, one of the most happening clubs in the city. Banje Beach is the perfect setting to enjoy a romantic sunset or party till the early hours of the morning.
- Rector’s Palace
The Rector’s Palace is located near the Town Hall and the Dubrovnik Cathedral. It was built in the 13th century but was referred to as a palace only after mid-14th century. Built primarily in the Gothic style with traces of Baroque and Renaissance elements, the Palace served as the seat to the Rector of Ragusa for nearly 400 years. The Palace was damaged extensively a number of times but was rebuilt and can now be seen preserved in excellent condition. Presently, the Palace is the home to the History Department of the Museum of Dubrovnik.
- Big Onofrio’s Fountain
The mid-15th century Big Onofrio’s Fountain is a popular meeting place for the locals and pigeons alike! It is located to the right after entering through the famous Pile Gate. It is named after the builder of the Dubrovnik water supply – Onofrio della Cava of Naples. For 500 years, this polygonal fountain supplied fresh water to the town from the Ombla River 12 km away. The richly decorated fountain was damaged in the 1667 earthquake after the top collapsed. It was later replaced with the present cupola.
- Lovrijenac Fort
Located close to the Pile Gate near the western end of the Old Town is Lovrijenac Fort. It has gained immense popularity as a shooting location of the TV series Game of Thrones. This limestone fort is a place of pride for Dubrovnik as it was built in only 3 months. The purpose was to prevent the other mighty maritime force – the Venetians – from building a fort at that same place. The Lovrijenac Fort helped the city keep the Venetians away and thus Dubrovnik did not come under their rule. It was built at a height of 37 meters above sea-level on a protruding peninsula. The Lovrijenac Fort is often referred to as the Gibraltar of Dubrovnik. The fort has been preserved in very good condition. Presently, it is used as a theater to stage plays.
- Dubrovnik Cathedral
Dubrovnik Cathedral is located close to the southwestern city walls beside the Rector’s Palace. This 18th century Roman-Baroque style Cathedral was built after the original 12th century Cathedral was destroyed in the earthquake of 1667. The former Cathedral had so rich a treasury that it was secured with 3 keys. These were kept separately by the Rector, Bishop, and the Republic Secretary and had to be used simultaneously to open the treasury. Although the treasury was badly damaged in the earthquake, some of the items that were saved. These are on display and continue to amaze visitors even to this day.
- Lokrum Island
Lokrum Island is located close to the Old Town. It is about a 10-minute ride in a water-taxi. There are hourly taxis from the old port during the spring and summer months. The island is a natural resource that is protected by the Croatian Academy of Art and Science. Lokrum – literally meaning bitter fruit – still has many orange and lemon trees. One of the wonders in the island is the Mrtvo More or Dead Sea which is the perfect place to bathe for children and non-swimmers. The island also has a number of naturist beaches.
The Stradun or Placa is the main street of the Old Town. The 300-meter long street runs right through the city. It is lined with many buildings and monuments from the medieval period. Although the street was used from the 13th century, it got its present form after an earthquake in 1667 when a major part of the city was destroyed. A law passed during the restoration directed every building along the Stradun to have the same pattern – a shop at the ground level with a street entrance with the door and window under a semi-circular arch. The street is the lifeline of the Old Town and is dotted with vendors. It is also the venue of many major events in the Old Town.
- Mount Srd
Located northward, just behind the city of Dubrovnik, is the 412 m high Srd Mountain. The crowning top of the mountain is the 19th century Fort Imperial, built during the Napoleonic wars. The mountain stands today peacefully looking over the city and the bay. A view from the top of the Srd Mountain is a must for those visiting the city of Dubrovnik for its incredibly stunning panoramic views. The Imperial Fort was built strategically because of the views from the mountain, that helped keep a watch on the movements of the Arab pirates. Presently, the Fort houses a museum. The mountain top can be reached by a 90-minute hike or by taking the refurbished cable car – both offering great views of the Old Town.
- City Walls with Forts
One of the major attractions and defining identity of the city of Dubrovnik is the city walls with forts and gates. Regarded as one of the best preserved fortifications in Europe, the city walls are a series of defensive stone walls with 3 gates, 5 forts, and sixteen towers and bastions. The walls are considered among the greatest fortifications of the medieval period as they were never breached by any hostile army since they were first erected around the 7th century. The bulk of the 1.94 km long city walls that are seen today were built during the 14th and 15th centuries, with some major extensions and restorations till the 17th century.
Originally posted 2017-05-19 07:38:32.