One of the most-visited cities in the Adriatic, with monumental city-walls 1,940 meters long and 25 metres high, located at the foot of Srdj Mountain, Dubrovnik was inscribed on the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1979. George Bernard Shaw was enchanted by this beautiful city, about which he said “those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik”, as well as, famously, describing it as “the pearl of the Adriatic”.
Originally called Ragusa, the city was founded in the 7th century as a refuge for coastal residents fleeing the advancing barbarians. The city thrived through extensive trade with other maritime ports such as Genoa, Pisa and Venice. Its continental trade networks also extended its reach into the Balkans with the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of the 13th century, Dubrovnik fell under the control of the Venetian Republic.
From the 14th century trade with the local region flourished and the city also prospered industrially and culturally.
In 1667 Dubrovnik suffered a catastrophic earthquake which destroyed a large amount of Renaissance art and architecture in the city. The city was reconstructed in the baroque style that has survived intact until today. By the time Napoleon arrived in 1806, the city’s dominance as a Mediterranean hub trade faded. The Republic of Ragusa was officially dissolved in 1808. However, after Napoleon’s fall, Dubrovnik became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1815, where it would remain until 1918.
After World War I, Dubrovnik became part of Croatia which was part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenians. After World war II, this became Yugoslavia. During 1990s civil war in Yugoslavia, Dubrovnik suffered some damage but the city has now been restored to its former beauty.
With massive walls punctuated with turrets, towers and gates enclosing streets, churches and palaces packed with art treasures, you will never run out of things to see and do in Dubrovnik. Beyond the walls, a hilly, indented coast and clear waters make Dubrovnik a prime resort destination.