Croatia’s Crown Jewel on the Dalmatian Coast: Dubrovnik

in Eastern Europe

We sailed from Hvar to Dubrovnik on catamaran Ferry, the fastest and the most comfortable way to get to Dubrovnik.  We met our guide at Place Gates for our walking tour, then we learned some of the history and culture by visiting some important city sites: Old Town, Stradun, Orlando’s Column, St. Blaise Church, the 12th century Cathedral (funded by Richard the Lionhearted when he was shipwrecked here after the 3rd Crusade), Rector’s Palace, Sponza Palace, and the Franciscan Monastery. The main promenade in Dubrovnik’s Old Town is the Stradun, with its gleaming white buildings and paving stones (which get treacherous when wet!).  With shops, cafes, restaurants along this wide pedestrian mall and along narrow side streets, it is the place to see and be seen.

Though many other Croatian cities are mostly limestone, Dubrovnik literally gleams white in the sunlight. The many influences of its history, going back to its founding as Ragusa in 7th century, are typical of Croatia and surrounding countries: Roman, Venetian, Ottoman, and Austral-Hungarian as well as the Catholic, Orthodox and Muslim religions. All of these themes are visible while

walking through Old Town of this absolutely beautiful city.

On a different note, when viewing the city above the rooftops, it’s easy to note some of the roofs have bright red tiles and some are brownish-goldish-red. The bright red generally indicates that this new roof replaced one that was bombed during the 1990s war…

We also climbed the winding steps and trail to the top of Mt. Srd to visit the old fortress, which had a wonderful photo exhibit about Dubrovnik during the “Homeland Wars” in the 1990s.  And the views were fabulous of the city, port, and beautifully blue Adriatic Sea. And of course, our Dubrovnik visit would not have been complete without walking (up & down, up & down) the famed wall surrounding most of the city. We could see St. Lawrence’s Fort at one end of Old Town Dubrovnik where some scenes of Kings Landing in Games of Thrones’ were filmed. The Fort of St. John is at one end of the port.

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