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The Old City of Dubrovnik

The city of Dubrovnik is situated on the Croatian Dalmatian Coast and is fondly referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’.

The city of Dubrovnik is situated on the Croatian Dalmatian Coast and is fondly referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’. It rose to fame as an important Mediterranean Sea power in the 13th century and although it was severely destroyed by an earthquake in 1667, the city was able to preserve its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque palaces, churches, fountains. Unfortunately, the city was damaged again in 1990 by armed conflict. Today, it is in the process of major restoration that is being spearheaded by the UNESCO.

Check out the list below for a brief history of the city of Dubrovnik:


  • 7th Century – A group of refugees from Epidaurum established a settlement at the island and christened it Laus. It originated from the Latin name for the rock ‘Lausa’. On the opposite side of this settlement the Slavs developed their own settlement which they christened Dubrovnik, a name derived from the Croatian word Dubrava which is used in reference to the oak woods.
  • 12th century – The Channel that separated the two settlements was filled and thus they were merged into one settlement.
  • 1205 to 1358 – From the time this town was established, it was a Byzantine Empire protectorate. However, after the Fourth Crusades city became a sovereignty of Venice Kingdom.
  • 1358 – The Treaty of Zadar was signed and the town became part of the Hungarian-Croatian Kingdom.
  • 15th to 16th Century – The city was a free republican state.
  • 1667 – There was a crisis in the Mediterranean Shipping that was precipitated by an earthquake which destroyed most of its building. This was a turning point for the republic
Attraction in the City


  • Town Hall (now the Rector's Palace) this dates back from the 11th century
  • The Franciscan Monastery - completed in the 14th century
  • Dominican Monastery
  • The cathedral (rebuilt after the 1667 earthquake)
  • The customs house (Sponza)
  • The eclectic appearance of which reveals the fact that it is the work of several hands over many years
  • A number of other Baroque churches, such as that of St Blaise, the patron saint of the city
  • This is a place you would want to visit with your family. It is the kind of place that makes you want to live in Eastern Europe because of its rich history. Apparently, most of Eastern Europe was not affected by the WWII and hence the largely intact heritage.


Written by The Travel Valet

By Judy Karwacki, MA, MBA about Dubrovnik

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