Upon passing through the city gates, one travels back into the past – a mythical world of grandiose palaces, magnificent forts that have withstood the test of time and proud people who cherished liberty as the highest ideal. As soon as you approach the Old Town Wall you will be amazed by the Pile Gate and the stone bridge that leads you inside this spectacular city, considered by many to be the crown jewel of Croatia’s many wonderful coastal towns. Just like any medieval fortress, the Pile Gate had a wooden bridge that could be pulled up and cover the gate overnight to protect the town from any unwanted visitors.
Imagine entering an impressive ancient gate, welcomed by orange trees, flowers and stone mansions built in the glorious times of the Republic… That’s our town and we love every old stone in it! Oh yes, and “Game of Thrones” was filmed here!
Once you step inside the town, your Dubrovnik adventure begins… Narrow stone streets, numerous flights of stairs, quaint little shops and… tourists! A walk along the beautiful main street, called Stradun by the locals, can be a special experience. This street used to be a channel between two parts of the town, but is now a well-known promenade with luxurious cafes and restaurants.
Don’t be surprised if you notice local people always looking their best – it’s important to leave a good impression when you represent a world-famous place!
Owing to its relatively remote position when compared to other Eurpean capitals, Dubrovnik managed to resist occupation for much of its history and endured as an independent fortified town. Along with the surrounding region it was called the Republic of Ragusa. According to legend, when Saracen pirates attacked the fort, a knight named Orlando saved Dubrovnik in a battle near the island of Lokrum. This particular legend can be found in the illustrious medieval epic poem “Song of Roland”, but has since become a tale of great value to the city and its people.
In one of the central squares there is a decorated column with a knight carved in, called Orlando’s Column, which is a symbol of independence and freedom.
A powerful Republic needed a strong leadership. The monumental Rector’s Palace is not only a beautiful combination of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, but also a significant symbol of Dubrovnik’s intelligent and skillful government, which served the Republic well through the centuries.
Above the entrance is a Latin inscription “OBLITI PRIVATORUM PUBLICA CURATE” (“Forget private affairs, take care of public ones”), which emphasizes that the common good is more important than private matters. Today, the exhibition halls in the Palace display historical and cultural heritage as part of the Dubrovnik Museum.
Astonishing sights and views from the Old Town walls and fortresses seem to show a scene right out of a movie. Actually, it just might be a movie scene you’ve seen before because the “Game of Thrones” series was filmed here, along with “Star Wars”, “Robin Hood” and many more.
High-quality entertainment awaits you in Dubrovnik. You can experience an internationally renowned performance of “Hamlet” in the unique medieval setting of the 11th-century Lovrijenac fort. What used to be a well-organized edifice to protect the western side of the city both from land and sea is now a perfect stage for captivating theatrical shows. Visit the Dubrovnik Summer Festival for this magical experience.
If you’d rather explore the nightlife, Dubrovnik’s got you covered. To have a wild party night – get inside the Revelin fort, another part of a large defense construction from the 15th century. Sounds good?
It is impossible to reveal all the secrets of Dubrovnik just through the stories! Plan your visit here!
Sign up for the tour and meet your guide in front of Orlando's Column, at Luza Square, for a 1.5-hour special introduction to the city of Dubrovnik. Never becoming "yet-another-boring-tour", it focuses both on history and culture as well as the modern everyday life of Dubrovnik.
The tour covers all the Old Town main sights including St. Blaise Church, Stradun (main street), Large Onofrio's fountain, Ivan Gundulić Square, Jesuit monastery stairs, Dubrovnik Cathedral, Rector's Palace, Sponza Palace, Revelin Fortress and many more.
On the contrary, the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was bombed and sieged for the first time in its centuries-long history. Relive those difficult times in the very streets where it happened with the help of photographs. These were taken by brave people who risked and even lost their lives to raising awareness of the terror that shook Dubrovnik in the 1990s.
- 21.35 km²
- 45,697 (2015)
- Famous citizen:
- Mario Hezonja (basketball player)
- City Walls
Stradun, main street
Onofrio’s Great Fountain
- Maritime Museum
Homeland War Museum