Old Port, Dubrovnik
I have never enough of Dubrovnik old harbor ! It is a jewel of architecture and a perfectly protected mooring. It is protected by Saint John fortress which was built in the 14th century. The very interesting Maritime museum has now been installed in Saint John fortress.
You can't help spending a lot of time in Dubrovnik's Old Harbor. Incredibly picturesque, much of the City's history is tied to the port. Despite the fact that Dubrovnik has been conquered many times over the centuries, trade has always guaranteed its survival.
Now that the behemoth cruise ships and commercial vessels have relocated to the Port of Gruž, the Old Harbor is much more peaceful, albeit still active. Smaller cruise ships anchor out in the bay and ferry the passengers in while water taxis and ferry boats shuttle back and forth to Lokrum and the other nearby islands.The real joy is just hanging out and watching the people and the boats blending seamlessly into this beautiful backdrop.
Intro Photo: I was determined to get this picture postcard photo of Dubrovnik. The shot was taken from the E65 highway above Polče. Everything seemed to cooperate this day. The sky was clear, the water of the Adriatic was an incredible blue, and the Windjammer cruise ship appeared right on que.
Photo 2: This photo was taken from the Porporela, a stone jetty extending beyond the Fort of St John. It was late in the afternoon and the long shadows made the view even more dramatic.
Photo 3: One of my favorite things is watching someone truly comfortable in their trade. This water taxi driver was driving backwards at a pretty good clip, weaving through several other boats, raising a decent wake, and was not the least bit unsure of his skill.
Photo 4: The bales of goods destined for distant shores, piled high on the stone walkways and docks have been replaced with cafe umbrellas and hungry tourist...neither of which diminish the port's lure.
Photo 5: This photo was taken from the city wall at a point near the Fort of St. John.
At the end of the tour on the city walls, we come back to the most magnificent place in Dubrovnik, the old port (Stara luka). With a little imagination, you might nearly feel you see ancient boats anchored here, just as they were four centuries ago !
The Arsenal was established very early, possibly in the 8th century and has undergone serveral rebuilds. Today it uis used for coffee houses and bars - making it a pleasant place to sit in Dubrovnik. It consisted of four parts, vaulted to give shelter to the four galleys that guarded the city. This is where the state-owned galleys were built, kept and repaired, with the aim of defending the city.
The opposite side of the Old City Port was protected by the Fortress of Sveti Luka (St. Luke), built in the 14th century by the city engineer Paskoje Milicevic who added a round bastion to it. Prior to the building of the breakwater, the old port was closed at night by a chain and wooden beams which were streched between the Forts of St. John and St Luke.
Construction of Kaša, the breakwater, started in 1484 under the design of P. Milicevic in order to protect the port from southerly winds.
Called Gradska Luka, this is the place to get your tour boats to other islands around Dubrovnik(even though the prices seemed rather high), and well as the cruise ships dock the passengers here from their shuttle tender lorries. The quaint and secure harbor still shows what it could have looked like in past centuries when this was a hub for the trade and distribution of goods on/off ships. There are a number of small boats, and in the morning some locals still go out into the bay to fish.
The port is through the old Arsenal area and behind the Stradun and the bell tower and town hall can be the benchmarks. Toward the end of the harbor is the ethnograph and aquarium and maritime museums that are along the outside wall toward the water end of the harbor.
My favourite place in Dubrovnik was the old harbour. Little fishing boats and sightseeing cruises as well as the flocks of tourists make this place am interesting place for a break. People watching is perfect here and so are the views.
We sat in an outdoor restaurant here every evening because I couldn't get enough of the atmosphere. There was a piano player playing tunes like "O sole mio" or "New York New York" and all the tourists were singing along. You should have heard the Italians ;) I felt like being on a cruise ship at times, especially when we handed in our request that he might play something local -- and he refused to do it :)
Directions: Walk through the gate at the end of Stradun and you're there
Completing the walk of the east wall we got to this point of our city walls journey and got a full view of the Old Port and St. John's Fort (which houses the Maritime Museum). If you want to visit the nearby islands you can catch a boat down there.
After walking round the walls we came down at the Dominican Monastery were we had got on. We had a look around the Old Port which is a lovely Medieval Port, In Medieval times the port was closed at night by a chain and wooden beams which were streched between the Forts of St. John and St Luke. closing the port off from any ships.
Charming Dubrovnik is a delight- both the old and modern parts!
Dubrovnik,a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Dalmatia, is positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik.
It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the center of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its population was 43,770 in 2001 down from 49,728 in 1991. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. (source- WIKIPEDIA)
We took a walking and bus tour of both areas and were mesmerised! The natural beauty we saw was inspiring. Plenty of greeneries, the mountains, lakes and ocean are not too far from each other so you get the best of both worlds!
The only downside I can see is that it is getting to be too touristy- prices are getting dearer than Greece even!
Just outside Dubrovnik, to the southeast on the way to Montenegro, is a lookout that presents a fantastic photo opportunity. My kids dutifully posed for a couple of photos with this beautiful medieval city and the old harbor in the background.
Built from the 14th to the 16th century, this fortress that protects the port's entrance hosts today the Aquarium, the Ethnographic and the Maritime Museums.
We had no time to visit them, which means that... we must return to Dubrovnik!
After walking in the heat all day a short boat tour around the area is a good idea.
You get nice views and a different perspective of the walled city from the sea.
You pass some busy rocky swimming/ sunbathing areas with ladders going
from rocks to the sea as well as some lovely hotels with beach front to make note of
for a return visit.
Address: The old Port
Today most visitors will arrive in the new port of Durbovnik a few kilometers outside the city. In ancient times when Dubrovnik was an important and independant trading port this little harbour was the hub of all activities. Today a few fishing vessels and a number of private boats can be found here. A nice place to relax along the side of the port, or also a starting point for a short cruise into the sea around Dubrovnik. If you arrive by larger cruise ship and the ship is on anchorage off Dubrovnik you will arrive here by tender boat.
When you come to the end of the Stradun (entry point pile gate) you can pass through one of two passages under the city walls, and you will find yourself in the old port.
Here you will find some very cosy seafood restaurants (although crowded in the evenings), and you will have a grand view over the mountains south of Dubrovnik and the island Lokrum.
There are many stands offering boattrips to the nearby islands (Elafiti islands), however these boattrips are more expensive than boattrips arranged from outside the old city.
Address: The old city
Directions: Follow the Stradun to the end and pass under the walls