The most recognisable feature which defines Dubrovnik and gives it its characteristic appearance are its intact city walls which run uninterrupted for 1940 metres encircling the old city. This complex structure, one of the most beautiful and strongest fort systems in the Mediterranean, consists of a series of bastions, forts, towers and walls. The walls were built to protect the city and the republic against invaders. The fortifications go back to the early Middle Ages.
Maybe the No1 activity on a visit to Dubrovnik. The views over the city are splendid and well worth the effort of the walk around. It can be done in sometime over an hour, my advice is go early in the summer to avoid the heat, the worst of the crowds, and take your time, stop in at least one of the cafes on the way around. There is a substantial amount of climbing, mostly easy steps but some people may struggle.
All in all a good experience, enjoyed.
This is a must do item on the agenda because it provides you all the views of the inside walls sites and gives you a 2 kilometer (1.2 miles) walk around the perimeter. There is an outer and inner wall as well as a moat surrounded the land side in the old times. Walls are 18 feet thick in certain strategic points, and the towers and defenses were continually added form the first building in 8th century through 16th century. The Minceta Tower is the highest point of the wall at about 80 feet, and it has a large terrace with great views. There are 5 bastions and 15 towers with their own separate arms defenses.
The cost is a rather steep 70 kuna-$14, and we spent about 2+ hours taking the stroll. It comes full circle back to where you start, and entry is at Pile Gate, or by Dominican Monestary site. There are some steps to maneuver, and in a heat day, no doubt you will get fatigued, and it could be worse if a lot of tourists are doing the same trek.
This activity was pleasant enough though we were not warned by our guide that we needed to pay for the chance to scale the walls! It was a bit annoying as it took a while to find the ticket office which was not at the entrance! It was a strange arrangement! Many of our bus tour mates had the same sentiment! We paid a lot of money for the tour which we mostly did ourselves anyway! We though we should have done the tour ourselves as we hardly hear the guide due to the chaos around the walled city!
As Dubrovnik has a colourful past as many people know, it is interesting to note that the restoration efforts done by its government paid off in the end. Judging from the growing number of tourists that visit the place and the soaring tourist prices for everything- a 500 ml bottle of water was around 3.50 to 4 Euros,unbelievable! A fridge magnet, costing only a Euro in Greece costs 4 times more here so we only bought one!
The views from the walls- which cover aroudn two kilometres surrounding the city are just spectacular! You have to be there to experience what many travel writers and tourists who've been to Dubrovnik have been raving about! You will feel the enormity of the job that the Croatian people have done to preserve their important and now world renowned heritage!
It is a tribute to these people who weathered conquests and many wars, having had destructions and rebuilding over and over and over and they triumphed in the end!An awesome architectural feat!
Dubrovnik still has one of the most complete circuits of medieval walls in Europe. They enabled it to withstand a protracted siege by the Saracens in the 9th century. Most of them date from the city's golden age, lasting from the fall of Constantinople in 1453 to the terrible earthquake of 1667. They suffered considerable damage (now repaired) in the war of independence in the 1990's.
The highest point on the walls is the Minceta Tower, which stands over the city. The views from here are magnificent. Another point of interest is the forts guarding the old port and the sea approaches to the city. Also, be sure to visit the city's gates.
The walk along the city walls is a little expensive (50 kuna) for seemingly nothing. However, this was the smartest thing I had done during my trip. The city walls are above the entire city and give you great panorama's for the city and the surrounding areas, as well an in depth look of how the city was defended during the Ragusa Republic days.
The first sight of the tower Bokar, Zvjezdan, is before the west entrance at Pile Gate. The beauty of the stones and the arched sea entry give way to the realization that this is a fortress tower built to defend entry to the old city via the Pile Gate. Built by Michelozzo of Florence between 1461-1463, it has stood it's ground in defending the city.
I enjoyed sitting across the water, near the Pile Gate entrance, and just admiring the beauty of the architecture built upon the enormous boulders by the sea and watching the water swirl around the lower water entry.
When in Dubrovnik, you have to take time out and walk along the city walls. It ia about 2km walk, but as it is worm, sunhat, suncream, bottled watter and good walking shoes.
Worth your time and effort.
There is no doubt that the best way to gain an overview of Dubrovnik is to walk it's one and one-quarter mile Medieval wall. Built between the 10th and 13th centuries, with major modifications added in the 16th century, the walls continue to be worked on, though most of the work involves restoration and maintenance. A more recent embellishment is the statue of the City's patron saint, St. Blaise, over the Pile Gate. This sculpture is by the 20th century sculptor and Croatian national treasure, Ivan Meštrović.
We noticed that during the day, often the hottest time of the day, the walls were crowded with slowly moving cruise and bus tour groups. We decided to wait until about 5:30 pm to avoid the rush, and were rewarded by not only a much more private and personal experience but also by the golden glow of the autumn sun setting over the Adriatic. The long shadows and soft light made for spectacular and dramatic views in every direction.
The only downside was that toward the end of our circuit (we started near the Pile Gate and walked counter-clockwise), as we neared closing time of 7 p.m., the security staff started shooing us along as they swept the wall for stragglers. They were friendly but determined. We would have loved to have viewed the city and harbor from the walls at night.
Intro Photo: With the Adriatic Sea aglow in the background, this is a view of the Sv. Stjepan Bastion with patron saint St. Blaise maintaining a constant vigil.
Photo 2: As we began our walk the shadows over the rooftops lengthened and the Stradun fell completely in shadow. Even in the late afternoon, the main street is still a busy place.
Photo 3: As the wall bends, following the course of the jagged coastline, you are rewarded by wonderful views of the exterior facade. This view is looking south from the Bokar XV Fortress.
Photo 4: This view is looking back toward the Bokar XV Fortress. This bay appeared to be a popular launching point for kayakers. Take note of the flat roofed portico at the center of the photo on the water's edge; this is the Orhan Restaurant just outside the walls...a real treat that should not be missed.
Photo 5: Here Carol, looking radiant, is standing on the wall just above the famous Buža 2 Cafe with a palm tree in full bloom on one side and Lokrum Island peaking out over her left shoulder...what a wonderful place!
The walls that surround the old town have a path on the where you can walk around the entire perimeter of the old town. I believe the cost was 10 Euros, which I thought was a bit much, but I enjoyed doing the walk. There are some of the best views of both the old town and the sea from up there. It takes about 1.5 hours to walk along the entire stretch of the wall. There are some towers which you get to walk through and some old cannons and artilery up there as well. You can climp the stairs up the the wall at a few places, most near the main entrances to the old town. If you have the time and money, I would recommend doing this activity.
As we have seen the price to visit the City Walls, 50 Kuna (Adult)/20 Kuna (Student), we were hesitating a bit. But hey, this is holiday, isn't it. So we pulled out the money and walked around on the city wall.
It was worth every penny. The view is great and it gives you a great idea about what is where in old town.
Don't miss it.
The better way to appreciate Dubrovnik’s history and architecture is traversing the beautiful walls that surround the Old Town. 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. The Entrance fee is 30Kn (students 20Kn, children 10Kn) and perhaps it’s a good idea to bring cold water or another thing to drink as the walls are very longer (more or less 2 km) and the circuit contains many steps and can get quite tiring, particularly in summer time. The walls offer outstanding views into the Old Town and its red-tiled roofs, the Old Port, and out to sea, but are also quite a sight unto them. 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.
Just beyond the Monastery is the Ploce Gate, further defended by the Revelin Fortress just outside the walls. Work on both commenced in 1449, although it took until 1539 for the Revelin to be completed. Together with St. John’s Fortress, at the southeast corner of the city, the Revelin defended the harbour. However they were of little use when the Serbian gunboats shelled the harbour in 1991, damage from which is still evident just inside the city’s eastern wall. The seaward southern wall is of more interest for the spectacular views (and photograph opportunities) it offers than its history, although the Michelozzi-designed Bokar Fortress at its western end is a very attractive example of a casemate fort.
The walls encircle the old town & are about 2 km long, reaching a height of 25 m in places. Access to the walls is behind Pile Gate, there is a charge. Walking the walls was one of my highlights as they give amazing views of Dubrovnik & along the coast.
A detail seen from the walls. When you walk around them you walk on the level with roofs or even above them. You can either peer down into the streets or look the other way onto the sea. Both ways the views are breathtaking.
One of the best ways to appreciate Dubrovnik and its integrity is to climb the city walls and go round admiring both what's inside and outside the walls. They are high enough to offer visitors splendid panoramic views of the whole city and the harbour stretching beyond. This idyllic picture is one of my favourites. I took it in the pre-digital age and it has lost a little in quality because of scanning, but still, I think it's not bad.