Sponza Palace, Dubrovnik

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  • Courtyard of Sponza Palace
    Courtyard of Sponza Palace
    by Airpunk
  • The wooden door
    The wooden door
    by Airpunk
  • Sponza Palace at night
    Sponza Palace at night
    by Airpunk
  • solopes's Profile Photo

    Sponzo Palace

    by solopes Updated Jan 1, 2014

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Dubrovnik - Croatia
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    This palace from the 16th century passes discreetly to most visitors, due to the strong impact of the memorial for the victims of the war in its interior, but, as you wander around, you will end looking more carefully at it, and appreciating it in more detail.

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  • Airpunk's Profile Photo

    Sponza Palaca

    by Airpunk Written Aug 11, 2013
    Sponza Palace at night
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    Beautiful Sponza palace was once home to several local authorities, including mint, treasury and customs. Today, this 16th century palace is home to the historic archive which keeps all important documents from the Republic of Ragusa. The palace was built from 1516 on and is one of the few buildings which survived the 1667 earthquake. The mix of Gothic Do not forget to pay some attention to the old wooden door at the main entrance. BTW, the name Sponza comes from "Spongia" (sponge) which was the nickname for a cistern which once stood on this spot.

    For a small entry fee (15 kuna, 2013), you can admire the architecture of the palace from the inner court. There is a small exhibition with important documents from Dubrovnik's history, though that one is not easy to appreciate as the historical context of those documents is not presented.

    The Palace also includes the Memorial Room of the Defenders of Dubrovnik which can be visited for free. See separate tip for that.

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  • Balam's Profile Photo

    Sponza Palace

    by Balam Updated Sep 18, 2012

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    The Sponza Palace was built in the 16th century and grew rapidly as did Dubrovnik's wealth.
    It has elaborately carved arches and venetion Gothic windows. It currently houses the state archives.
    A room is dedicated to those who lost their lives in the 1991 war.

    We did not go in as we were heading for the city walls!

    08.00-22.00 Monday to Saturday, 10.00-2200 Sundays (summer)
    10.00-1500 Daily (winter)

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Sponza Palace

    by croisbeauty Updated Aug 5, 2011

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    Palaca Sponza
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    The Sponza Palace is monumental Gothic-Renaissance building, one of the most beautiful in the city and has preserved its original form. It is situate close to Luza and right next to the Cathedral. Its name is derivated from the local word for the spot where rainwater was collected (Spongia = aluvium). This palace housed the custom office and it was often referred to as Divona (from "dogana", which is Italian name for the custom). It also housed the bank, the treasury and the armoury. The palace itself was a seat of a number of state offices, important in the life of the Republic.
    The palace is large retangular building with an inner courtyard. It wasn't damaged at the earthquake of 1667 and that fact probably saved the excistance of the Republic. Nowadays it is home of the city archive. The archive contain 7000 volumes of manuscripts and about 100.000 of individual manuscripts.

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  • Gili_S's Profile Photo

    The Sponza Palace

    by Gili_S Written Mar 6, 2011

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    A 16th century construction of the Sponza Palace is stand up by the end of the Stradum, the main street of the old city. It was originally made as a custom house but came up later to ne used as cultural centre as well.

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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Sponza Palace - Dignity and Style

    by BruceDunning Written May 24, 2010

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    Frontal view of the palace
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    This was the palace for the use of the Dogana to handle financial affairs, coordinate and mint money, act as a bank and treasury, and customs fee collection and processing activity to manage the town trade goods.
    It used to be called Luza Palace and Sponza means water/rain runoff collection. It was constructed in 1516-22 and the earthquake of 1667 did not materially effect the structure. The building was used mostly for political and local administrative purposes and holds archives of documents today. It is a melded combination of Gothic style, especially the windows, and Renaissance. The interior has a courtyard with offshoot rooms form it. There is a small room inside to commemorate the loss of resident lives during the Bosnia/Serb strife that took place. It is interesting to read of the fighters defending this town and seeing their profiles. Fee to enter is 15 kuna-$3, and takes about 20-30 minutes to see what is inside.

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  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    Sponza Palace

    by Tom_Fields Written Feb 11, 2010

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    The Sponza Palace

    Paskoje Milièeviæ designed this palace, which was built in the early 16th century, as a Customs House. So it was also called the Divona, from the word "dogana", meaning Customs. It became a center of international commerce and political meetings. The name "Sponza" is derived from the word "spongia", a place where rainwater collects. It became a meeting place for the city's political, artistic, and scientific leaders, including the Academia dei Concordi. This was Dubrovnik's literary society for many years. It escaped major damage in the 1667 earthquake.

    Today, the Sponza Palace houses the city's archives (formerly kept in the Rector's Palace nearby). It contains hundreds of thousands of historical manuscripts.

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  • pure1942's Profile Photo

    Sponza Palace

    by pure1942 Written May 21, 2009

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    The Sponza Palace, located directly opposite the Church of St. Blaise, is one of Dubrovnik’s most beautiful and memorable buildings. At first glance, the building hasdefinite Renaissance styling with beautiful round-arched arcades on the ground floor, but further investigation reveals a real mongrel of styles between the obvious Renaissance and Gothic flavours. Looking up to the first floor you can see the tell-tale pointed arches and tracery of the upstairs windows, which show of the Gothic side of the beautiful building. This mixed styling was a deliberate design by the architect Paskoje Milicevic, who was also responsible for Pile Gate and parts of the Dominican Monastery.
    The building was built in 1516, with the original purpose of controlling and collecting customs taxes on materials and goods entering through Dubrovnik’s busy merchant harbour. One section of the building also housed the Ragusan Republic’s mint. Later the building was used by an important academic group of locals known as ‘The Academy of the Learned’ who would meet here to discuss art, literature, politics and science. Today the Sponza Palace houses an art gallery and museum.

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  • tpk2's Profile Photo

    Sponza Palace

    by tpk2 Written May 31, 2007
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    Sponza Palace is located on the north side of Luza square, opposite to Church of St. Blaise. This Gothic-Renaissance house finished in 1521 used to serve as the customs house.

    The building now houses the state archives, a memorial for the defenders of Dubrovnik during the 1990’s war for independence and a souvenir shop.

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  • nsbm's Profile Photo

    Sponza Palace @LUZA

    by nsbm Written Nov 12, 2006

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    gothic-Renaissance combo @SPONZA
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    The Sponza Palace has one of the oldest and most voluminous archives in the WORLD! It is said to hold 7000 volumes and over100 000 indivivual manuscripts from the Republic including records of voygers, commerce, protocols of the Councils and all nature of historical' political, economic and diplomatic data. The oldest Archive dates to 1072!
    Againn this is a Gothic-Renaissance combo like other of Dubros facades. It was known for most of its life as 'the Customs house' for obvious reasons. Fittingly the name Sponza derives from the word for sponge-as it was here the the water was collected from the alluvial deposits!

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  • mikelisaanna's Profile Photo

    The Sponza Palace

    by mikelisaanna Written Dec 24, 2005

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    The courtyard of the Sponza Palace in Dubrovnik

    The Sponza Palace formerly served as the mint and the customs house of the Ragusa city/state. It is built around a central courtyard and now houses the city's archives as well as a small, but moving, memorial to the soldiers and civilians who died while defending Dubrovnik during the recent Balkan wars.

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  • acemj's Profile Photo

    The Sponza Palace

    by acemj Updated Apr 10, 2004

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    The Renaissance palace in Luza Square was started in the early 16th century by Paskoje Milicevic, who was the chief architect of the Republic. The most striking characteristic is the facade accented by its Gothic Venetian windows.

    The palace originally acted as a custom house where goods from all over the world were brought by tradesmen and custom duties were collected. Another wing of the house was for the city mint. Today it houses the city archive and can be visited during the morning and evening hours.

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  • call_me_rhia's Profile Photo

    the sponza palace

    by call_me_rhia Written Dec 15, 2002

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    the sponza palace

    The Sponza palace is a 16th century building that, at that time, used to be the place of entry - and of exit - of all the trading routes directed to Dubrovnik - in fact it began its existence as a custom-hall, only to become, later, the seat of "The Academy of the Learned".
    If you look closely at the Sponza Palace, it's the fine details that you'll find most captivating: the entire façade is richly ornated, and in a way that it'll make you think you're looking at some traditional lace-work rather than a piece of architecture. Today, as a sidenote, it's the home of the Dubrovnik Archive

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