Fun things to do in Dubrovnik

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Most Viewed Things to Do in Dubrovnik

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    Fortress BOKAR

    by ruki Written Jan 22, 2006

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    Located at the southwest part of the City Walls and served as the protector of Pile Gate, City Bridge and moat at Pile. This round tower was built after famous Renaissance architect Michellozzi's plan (1461 - 1570). It is said to be the oldest casemented fortress in Europe and contains a small lapidary collection and numerous cannons.

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    Cruising by night

    by Gligoroff Written Oct 19, 2005

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    A short sailing along the city walls and the coast illuminated by thousands of lights various colors will show you another face of Dubrovnik, completely different from the busy and hurried daily one. The Mediterranean way of living in the open air, with music, fun and drinks shows all its particularity at night. And the sailing-ship drive will complete perfectly this fun-filled evening.

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    Stradun

    by Gligoroff Written Oct 19, 2005

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    Stroll along the Stradun to Orlando’s column, where the Libertas flag proudly fillies. Here you will find yourself surrounded by the Sponza Palace, the Church of St. Blaise, the small fountain of Onofrio de la Cava, the city hall, and the nearby Rector’s Palace and Dubrovnik Cathedral. Atop the town clock tower, the iron figures of Maro and Baro strike the hours from a height of 31 meters.

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    Strolling the streets

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Aug 27, 2006

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    Dubrovnik is made for walkers. Opening out from the main gates is the wide main thoroughfare known as Stradun (or Placa) that runs all the way from the Pile Gate to the Ploce Gate effectively dividing the city into two halves. Once the division was even more apparent - it marks the line of a sea passage that passed betwen the mainland and a small island just offshore. The channel was filled in in mediaeval times and the wide street paved with white limestone. The stones we walk on today were laid in 1468 - no wonder they are worn so smooth. The rich and powerful made the seaward side of the city their own and today this is is where you will find the city's grandest buildings such as the the Rector's Palace and the cathedral. The steep streets and stairways of northern side of Stradun were where the ordinary citizens lived.

    Don't restrict your exploration of Dubrovnik to just Stradun and the main tourist sights. Take some time to wander in the shade of the side streets, to climb some of the steep stairs and to explore the quiet alleys. As well as lots of small restaurants and everyday shops you'll find a city going about its daily life - children playing, neighbors talking, washing drying overhead. The further away from the tourist-filled Stradun you take yourself, the more you will see of this side of Dubrovnik.

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    St. SPAS CHURCH

    by ruki Written Jan 24, 2006

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    St. Spas Church is located left to Pile Gate, the first church at the main street Stradun. The Andrijiæi brothers build the church between 1520 and 1528 by the Dubrovnik Senat's gratitude. The church has typically Dalmatian Renaissance wheel-window front and Gothic interiors. Inside the church there is a magnificent painting of the Ascension by Pietro Antonio da Urbino (1528).

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    Guarded by a saint

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Aug 17, 2006

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    Nowadays two gates allow entrance through Dubrovnik's massive walls - the Pile Gate and the Ploce Gate. Once there were four but the others, the Peskarija and the Ponta Gates have long-sice been filled in.

    Most visitors enter through the Pile Gate, on the city's western approach. A stone bridge crosses the now-waterless moat (there's gardens here now). A wooden drawbridge comes next before you actually walk through the huge gate. Even then there is a double gate - the outer one built in the mid-16th C and, finally, the inner gate which was built in 1460.
    Across the city, the eastern gate, the Ploce Gate, also has two two separate gates - the inner one just 2 metres wide, and a wide, outer gate that leads onto a stone bridge. Niches over both bridges hold statues of the city's patron saint - Sveti Vlaho. St Blaise.

    St Blaise - Sveti Vlaho in Croatian - was an early Christian bishop who was martyred in 316AD. He became the patron saint of Dubrovnik in 972 following his appearing in a vision to warn the Rector (the city's elected governor) of an attack the Venetians were planning on the city. The warning gave the city time to prepare and to repel the attack. Following this St Blaise was adopted as the city's patron saint and you will find images of him, usually holding a model of the city in his hand everywhere, most importantly, in his own church, right on the Placa, the city's main square.

    The statue over the Ploce Gate is the oldest representation of the saint in Dubrovnik.

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    Visit Land of contrasts - Montenegro

    by Gligoroff Written Oct 19, 2005

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    Hardly one hour from Dubrovnik, the Montenegro Littoral provides incomparable natural beauties and an abundance of historical sites. Drive will take you up to the mouth of the Bay of Kotor and along the curving roadway through the towns of Risan and Perast to Kotor. There you must stop for sightseeing of Kotor, a town well known for its nautical tradition and the famous merchant navy of Boka Kotorska. Then you will continue your ride on a curvy road with a beautiful view of Boka Kotorska up to Cetinje. Once the seat of Montenegrin rules, today a city-museum, Cetinje is famous for its monuments. You must visit the most important one: the King Nicholas’ Museum. After sightseeing in Cetinje you can return to the coast and stay in Sveti Stefan.

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    Fresh water

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Aug 27, 2006

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    One of the first things you'll see as you enter the old city of Dubrovnik through the Pile Gate is a monumental domed fountain. This is the Velika Onofrio Fontana (Onofrio's Large Fountain. Like the Sveti Spas church opposite, the fountain is a survivor of the earthquake in 1667 which destroyed so much of the city. Named for its Italian designer, Onofrio de Cava, the fountain was built in 1444 as part of the city's water supply. Back then there would have been a constant parade of people coming to collect their daily water supply from one of the fountain's 16 mask-decorated spouts. These days, its role is more as a tourist photo opportunity and meeting place than essential city service but the water is still cool, fresh and safe to drink - if you can get near it.

    Down at the other end of the Stradun, near the bell tower, you'll find the fountain's litle sister - known as Onofrio's Small Fountain. Far more delicate, this fountain is the work of a sculptor, Pietro di Martino, working to a design by Onofrio de Cava. It dates from 1442, two years earlier than its larger counterpart up the road.

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    Stradun sights

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Aug 31, 2006

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    Dubrovnik's main thoroughfare, Placa (more usually known as Stradun) runs right through the old city - and it is thronged with people, day and night. It's wide, white limestone paving is worn smooth with all the footsteps that have passed this way over the more than 500 years since it was first laid down. The street is lined with cafes and shops - magnets for the tourists that crowd the city every day. The charming shop fronts are a traditional design - a wide arch with a narrow door and window in a single frame that allows the door to be closed whilst the window remains open to the street. It's known as na koljeno ("like a knee") and is to be seen all over Croatia. As you would expect, most of the shops along here cater for tourists with a variety of souvenirs, jewellery, boutiques and the like.

    The lovely carved stone portal that opens in the long south wall of the the church of the Franciscan monastery flanking the street next to Sv Spasa Church just inside the Pile Gate, dates from 1498 and is the sole feature of the church to have survived the great earthquake of 1667. Take a few minutes to look in on its cool grey and white interior before you continue down the street.

    At its end, Stradun opens out into the main square, Luza, which is dominated by the city's Bell Tower. If I were you at this point, I'd take a seat at one of the numerous cafes in the square - the perfect spot for some serious people-watching and a cool refreshing drink - sightseeing and shopping is thirsty work.

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    Market square

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Sep 2, 2006

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    After all the cool creams and golds of the buildings and pavements of Dubrovnik, it's quite a surprise to come upon the explosion of colour that the little market on Gunduliceva Poljana injects into the city scene.
    Monday to Saturday, stalls are set up where local people sell fresh produce - fruit, vegetables and flowers - the apricots and cherries were so good whilst we were there; honey, and homemade goods. This isn't the city's main market - you'll find that down in Gruz, near the ferry port - but it certainly adds a bright splash to the Stari Grad - and who can resist a market?

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    Down by the harbour

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Sep 7, 2006

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    Pleasure boats both small and large are about the only shipping Dubrovnik's old port sees these days but the solid fortifications around the harbour and the arches of the Arsenal tell of a very different past. The walls may only be half as thick here at the seaward side of the city as the threat to the Republic was always considered to come from the eastern landward side, but Dubrovnik was a sea-faring state whose wealth depended on her fleet of merchant ships and they had to be kept safe. The city had two harbours - a small one in the cove near the Pile Gate, long-gone now, and the main port by the Ploce Gate. There were also ship-building yards at Gruz, where the city's main port is situated today. Today the only boats that sail from here are water taxis, ferries, tour operators' craft and local fishing boats.

    The old port has been given over to relaxation - there's a cafe under the vaults of theArsenal where once the galleys that protected the city were docked, an aquarium and maritime museum are housed in the massive St John's Tower and bathers swim from the rocks at the base of St Luke's Fortress. Before a breakwater was built, a chain was hung at night between huge wooden beams extending from the two fortresses. The long, low building of the Lazareti (the old quarantine station where foreign sailors and travellers were held as a protection for the city from the plague) is now used for a variety of community- based arts and cultural projects - much to the chagrin of developers who see the building as a casino or a shopping complex.

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    Favourite saints

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Sep 1, 2006

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    As the city's patron saint, the church dedicated to St Blaise takes pride of place on the city's main square, facing the Sponza Palace. Restored in 1715 after a fire raged through the church, virtually destroying everything the church is noted for its stained glass windows (unusual here in Croatia) but more particularly for the saint's silver statue that shows him holding a model of the city. The statue is the miraculously sole surviving section of a much larger statue that depicted St Blaise and other saintly figures, is the church's most precious possession. St Blaise's Day is celebrated on February 2nd, and the following day all the city comes out in their best finery to observe the procession of the saint's reliquaries through his city.

    Dubrovnik is a city of churches however, you'll find them everywhere, dedicated to a positive canon of saints. Virtually all are Catholic, though you will find an Serbian Orthodox church on Old Puca - it seems to be open only for services, so you'll only have a few minutes before the service begins to have a quick look. The Icon Museum next door (upstairs, through an unobtrusive doorway, above a small gallery) has a fine collection of icons, mostly from the Kotor region of nearby Montenegro).

    Opposite the Orthodox church, you'll see the Church of St Josephwhich was built after the earthquake. The statue of St Joseph (holding his identifying lilies) over the portal is shaded by a tree that has taken root in the lintel.

    Several of the city's oldest churches are to be found in the area around the PLoce Gate - St Nicholas has some fine stone carving in a knot pattern found in early Croatian churches; St Sebastian - the city's protector from the Plague and St Luke - first mentioned in 1245. The city's synagogue - the oldest in south-eastern Europe is also in this quarter of the city.

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    To serve the city

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Jul 28, 2011

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    Tenancy of the Rector's Palace was both an honour and a duty for the nobility of independent Dubrovnik. They served the city in a monthly rotation, leaving wives and family at home elsewhere in the city for their time in office and were virtually confined to barracks - allowed only to leave the Palace on official city business . This custom lasted for hundreds of years, until 1806, when the republic fell to Napoleon's army. All the clocks in the palace have been stopped at 5.45pm ever since in remembrance.

    A palace has stood on this site since the 12th century, though the building we see today is a heavily restored medley of styles and periods, two huge powder explosions in the 15th century and and the earthquake in 1667 having wreaked considerable damage. Despite all that, it's a beautiful building with mellow stone vaulted arcades and a lovely inner courtyard. The courtyard is used for concerts during the summer months, and the museum includes the apartments of the Rector, the arsenal, courtroom and prison. The colonnaded front is particularly attractive, both for the decorative carvings on its pillars and for the shade it offers on a hot Dubrovnik day.

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    Church of St. Blasius

    by karenincalifornia Updated Jan 13, 2005

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    Dubrovnik is home to numerous ornate churches - mostly Catholic and one Serbian Orthodox cathedral.

    The magnificent structure in this picture is the Catholic Church of St. Blasius, named after the town patron saint. It took 150 years to build this Romanesque-Gothic church, which was completed in the late 1400’s.

    It was built during a time of prosperity for Dubrovnik. After Lucovik I, the King of Hungary and Croatia, liberated Dubrovnik from Venice, Dubrovnik became part of the Croato-Hungarian state. Freed from relative stagnation by Venice, the economy greatly improved.

    The Church of St. Blasius has been damaged and rebuilt several times. Some of Dubrovnik’s buildings were damaged in the recent war. When we were there the church was once again undergoing renovation.

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    Brsalje

    by Balam Written Sep 18, 2012

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    The Shuttle bus dropped us off at a small square surrounded by restaurants and shops just outside the city's Pile Gate or Pile Gates as there are more than one gate to walk through.
    We had a quick look round, checked out the restaurant prices and had a quick look around the shop and called in the Tourist Information. it was also our first real view (apart from through the windows of the shuttle bus) of the City walls and fortifications.

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