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The extraordinary beauty of Dubrovnik, "the city made of stone and light," has inspired countless such poetic exclamations. Part of its mystery is that it lies hidden between the Adriatic and Dinaric Alps. It has been fortunate to have recovered from many of the wounds from the Bosnian War and Serbian gunfire in 1991 and 1992. Dubrovnik, located on the shores of the Adriatic, found relative peace even when there was chaos going on all around it. The waters show off perfect shades of blue and the sunsets are wild from atop the 14th century city walls. Dubrovnik truly draws you into a dream that you simply never want to wake from.
 
Looking for the right mix of culture, history and a bit of the commercial to keep you grounded? The walled Stari Grad is the answer. The main street is referred to as both the Placa and the Stradun, running from the Pile Gate, which is the official entrance of the Stari Grad, to the Old Port at the tip of the peninsula. Dubrovnik wants you to enjoy its home and offers many accommodations to make sure your needs are met.
 
There are also places near Dubrovnik that will make for quality side trips during your visit. Lopud is a gorgeous island off the Elafiti Archipelago. It is a quaint little village made up of white buildings, chapels and parks all across the waterline. It's only a fifty-minute trip by ferry to be transported to this paradise. Here you will find a great museum to stroll through, as well as a most enchanting park. While you are here, you may want to adventure to another nearby island, Lokrum. After a little fun in the sun, cool off in the botanical gardens and refresh your senses.
 
Dubrovnik is full of resources for nonstop action and fun. Whether you are looking for the lively atmosphere or the cool and fashionable, Dubrovnik will create your perfect vacation. Soak in the warmth of its people as well as the sun, and visit this divine land. Memories will be the true gift you'll take home with you from Dubrovnik.
 
Docking & Local Transportation
The cruise ship docks at the Port of Dubrovnik, located at Gruska Obala 1, and it is quite simple to access the rest of the town from this port. A taxi is recommended, but there are other modes of transportation available as well, listed below
 
There are several buses that are constantly running in Dubrovnik. They go to practically every destination you desire. The #7 bus, however, does not go to the Stari Grad's gate, so you may want to avoid that one. The best way to see the city is by taxi. Taxis can be found in front of the bus station, ferry terminal, and the Pile Gate.
 
Attractions
Dubrovnik was formerly a naval city-state, which accounts for the great city halls and other amazing sights. The Pile Gate dates back to the 14th century. Most of its impressive 25-meter height, however, was constructed in the 1600s. Right next to the city gate is an astonishing Renaissance Franciscan Monastery (Franjevackog Samostana, 20/426-345). Do not forget to bring your camera because it is just beautiful! Also inside of these gates is a Pharmaceutical Museum, which is also the oldest working pharmacy in Croatia.
 
Just a short trip out of Dubrovnik is one of the most beautiful parks in Croatia. Dordic Mayneri (Lopud) is on the waterfront and is known for having a precious view. There is a gazebo here where many couples go to enjoy this luscious view of the contrasting white cliffs and dark blue sea. The main attraction is the beach, known as Plaza Sunj (Lopud). It is thought to be the best beach in all of Croatia because it has the best sand, great waves and a quiet cove that is perfect for a picnic.
 
The summer is truly a beautiful time to visit Dubrovnik. In fact, during July and August you can partake in the Dubrovnik Summer Festival (20/326-100). Culture is celebrated with the finest artists in theatre, ballet, opera, classical music, and jazz coming to perform. The best part is the Productions of Shakespeare (Lovrjenac Fortress) that are acted outdoors. Definitely take advantage of this wonderful spectacle if you are there during these summer months!
 
Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Treasury 
Standing on the site of a 12th century cathedral, the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a beautiful Baroque building. Designed by Andrea Buffalini of Rome, it has three aisles, three apses, and is splendidly decorated inside. Paintings by Italian and Dalmation artists from the 16-18th Centuries along with the tondo Virgin of the Chair rumored to be by Raphael give the Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary a holy splendor.
The Cathedral Treasury holds several important relics of Christianity. The most famous is a small portion of the cross that Jesus is thought to have been crucified upon. Other famous relics of note are the head, leg and arm of St Blaise dating from the 13th Century.
The Treasury also has a splendid display of 138 gold and silver reliquaries from around the world that will bedazzle visitors.
Address: Kneza Damjana Jude 1, Croatia

Dominican Monastery
The Dominican Monastery has an interesting story concerning its construction. When the construction started in 1315, and the building and complex started to take form, the sheer size of the complex necessitated the movement outwards of the Dubrovnik city walls. Heavily damaged in the 1667 earthquake, the Dominican Monastery was rebuilt to its former glory through the hard work of the brothers and the city dwellers.
The architectural highlight of the Dominican Monastery is a late Gothic cloister. Michelozzo di Bartolomeo of Florence designed the cloister in the 15th Century. Fragrant orange trees make the cloister a pleasant place to linger. In the east wing of the Dominican Monastery is a museum. Exhibits include many 15th and 16th Century religious paintings in the style of the Dubrovnik (also known as the Venetian) School. Paintings of note are named: St Blaise, St Mary Magdalene, the Angel Tobias, and the Purchaser. Also on display are interesting items of gold and silver, as well as other relics. Address: Sv Dominika 4, Croatia
Onofrio de la Cava designed the Rector's Palace in 1435 but it is unlikely the building standing today is quite what the architect had in mind. The architecture of the Rector's Palace is a mix of late Gothic and early Renaissance styles and this is due to an unfortunate series of events. The Rector's Palace was built in the 15th Century but was heavily damaged the first time by a gunpowder explosion, then by a fire and in 1667 the earthquake that leveled most of Dubrovnik heavily damaged the structure.
In the summer the pleasant central courtyard hosts classical music performances. Also found in the Rector's Palace is the bust of Miho Pracat, a former rich merchant from the island of Lopud. The upstairs portion of the Rector's Palace holds the city museum that has many interesting exhibits of life during the time of the Republic of Ragusa. Also of note in the city museum's collection of 15,000 pieces are paintings by Veneitan and Dalmation artists. Address: Pred dvorom 1, Croatia
 
Fort of St John
Located on the eastern edge of the old town is the Fort of St John. Once a defensive structure for Dubrovnik, the imposing structure of Fort of St John now houses several modern attractions to keep visitors entertained. The upper area of the Fort of St John holds the Maritime Museum of Dubrovnik featuring displays of Dubrovnik's maritime past illustrated through model boats and naval artifacts.
The lower area of Fort St John contains the Aquarium of Dubrovnik. Many interesting displays of local and exotic fish provide hours of enjoyment. The Aquarium of Dubrovnik is particularly noted for its collection of sea horses. The local name for Fort St John is Fort of St Ivan and visitors may have to refer to it when speaking to locals. Located at the very top of Fort St John is the Bokar Fort. Designed and built by Michelozzo Michelozzi, the Bokar Fort is circular and is a great spot to glean views out over the city.

Dubrovnik Franciscan Monastery
Not to be confused with the Dominican Monastery, the Franciscan Monastery contains one of the most valuable libraries in Croatia. Also of interest at the Franciscan Monastery is the Pharmacy. Here visitors will get a glimpse into the past by seeing decorated jars with mysterious contents, various measurement devices, along with alembics and mortars. The pharmacy has been in use since the Franciscan Monastery was built in 1317.
There is also a museum on the site of the Monastery that contains items of historical interest along with a fine art collection. The Franciscan Monastery took a century to build and was almost completely destroyed in the tragic earthquake of 1667 when most of Dubrovnikc was heavily damaged. The Monastery was rebuilt following the earthquake and appears much the same today as it did when it was originally built. Address: Placa 2, Croatia
The Square of the Loggia is the lifeblood of activity in Dubrovnik. A central gathering point for citizens and visitors alike it features some of Dubrovnik's most famous buildings and public monuments. The Square of the Loggia is located in the north east section of the old town center and features Orlando's column which was built and designed by sculptor Antonio Ragusino. It is easily located in the Square of the Loggia and makes a handy meeting spot.

Dating from 1480 is the Loggia of the Bells. These bells were used as an early warning system by the residents of Dubrovnik in times of unrest. Also located on the square is the Church of St Balise which is of interest to visitors for its Baroque façade and the collection of priceless works of art contained within. As well, a clock tower from the 15th Century, the main guard house, and the small fountain of Onofrio can be seen on the square.
Stradun of Dubrovnik
 
Formerly a swamp, the Stradun of Dubrovnik, is now a place for locals and visitors to gather throughout the day and into the evening. The Stradun of Dubrovnik , with its many cafés and restaurants is a fine spot to rest weary feet after a day of touring the various sites of Dubrovnik. The Stradun of Dubrovnik is 300m / 1984ft long and the white pave stones are limestone, dating back to 1468. The houses that line either side of this street date from after the devastating earthquake of 1667 when most of Dubrovnik was heavily damaged. The homes are of a design that allows for residential living upstairs and business activities on the main level. One particular feature is that the main level door and window are located under the same arch. The Croatian term for this is na koljeno.
City Walls
The city walls of Dubrovnik are one of the city's best known features. Built in the 10th century and modified in the 13th to 14th centuries the walls, some up to 6m / 19ft thick, provided a solid defense against invaders. The total length of Dubrovnik's city walls is 1949m / 6390ft and they make a great spot for a casual stroll. Tremendous views can be had from Dubrovnik's city walls out over the Adriatic and inwards over the old town center.

As part of the city walls of Dubrovnik there are two towers, the Minceta Tower and the Bokar Tower and two forts, the Lovrjenac Fort and the Revelin Fort. The main entrance to the walls is located just to the left of the Pile Gate and an admission is charged.
Big Fountain of Onofrio
 
The Big Fountain of Onofrio was built in 1438-1444 by the Neapolitan architect Onofrio de la Cava. Of all Dubrovnik's many monuments, this is the most well known. Visitors strolling through and past the Pile gate will find the square which contains the Big Fountain of Onofrio.
Originally designed by Onofrio de la Cava with two stories, the Big Fountain of Onofrio lost its second story in the earthquake of 1667 when most of Dubrovnik was heavily damaged. The Big Fountain of Onofrio was part of the city's original water supply system also designed by Onofrio de la Cava to move water from the Dubrovacka river.

Pile Gate
The Dubrovnik Pile Gate is the main entrance to which most visitors will enter the Lapad area of Dubrovnik. Formerly surrounded by a moat complete with a drawbridge that was built in 1537, the Dubrovnik Pile Gate is one of two entrances to the Lapad area. The former drawbridge is now a pedestrian walkway and the moat is a pleasant garden.
In a niche in the arch of The Dubrovnik Pile Gate stands a statue of St Blaise, carved by the famous Croatian artist Ivan Mestrovic. Located within the ramparts is a door dating back to 1460.

Ploce Gate
Just behind the Asimov Tower is the Dubrovnik Ploce Gate. Designed in what historians call a double defense system, the Dubrovnik Ploce Gate was quite effective in times of trouble. Located on the northeast corner of the old town center and near a small port area, the Gate dates from the early 14th Century. There is a small port area located nearby and the Dominican Monastery is just around to the left as you enter. Another imposing building located just across the moat from the Dubrovnik Ploce Gate is the Revelin Fort, designed by Tvrdava Revelin in 1580.
All the main sites lie in Stari Grad (Old Town) within the city walls, an area that is compact and car-free.
 
Akvarij (Aquarium). This dark, cavernous space houses several small pools and 27 well-lit tanks containing a variety of fish from rays to small sharks, as well as other underwater denizens such as sponges and sea urchins. Children will find the octopus in his glass tank either very amusing or horribly scary. Damjana Jude 2, Stari Grad. Admission charged.
 
Crkva Svetog Vlaha (Church of St. Blaise). This 18th-century baroque church replaced an earlier one destroyed by fire. Of particular note is the silver statue on the high altar of St. Blaise holding a model of Dubrovnik, which is paraded around town each year on February 3, the Day of St. Blaise. Luža, Stari Grad.
 
Dominikanski samostan (Dominican monastery). With a splendid, late-15th-century floral Gothic cloister as its centerpiece, the monastery is best known for its museum, which houses a rich collection of religious paintings by the so-called Dubrovnik School from the 15th and 16th centuries. Look out for works by Božidarevic, Hamzic, and Dobricevic, as well as gold and silver ecclesiastical artifacts crafted by local goldsmiths. Sv Domina 4, Stari Grad. Admission charged.
 
Franjevacka samostan (Franciscan monastery). The monastery's chief claim to fame is its pharmacy, which was founded in 1318 and is still in existence today; it's said to be the oldest in Europe. There's also a delightful cloistered garden, framed by Romanesque arcades supported by double columns, each crowned with a set of grotesque figures. In the Treasury a painting shows what Dubrovnik looked like before the disastrous earthquake of 1667. Placa 2, Stari Grad. Admission charged.
 
Gradske Zidine (city walls). Most of the original construction took place during the 13th century, though the walls were further reinforced with towers and bastions over the following 400 years. On average they are 80 feet high and up to 10 feet thick on the seaward side, 20 feet thick on the inland side. Placa, Stari Grad. Admission charged.
 
Katedrala Velika Gospa (Cathedral of Our Lady). The present structure was built in baroque style after the original was destroyed in the 1667 earthquake. The interior contains a number of notable paintings, including a large polyptych above the main altar depicting the Assumption of Our Lady, attributed to Titian. The Treasury displays 138 gold and silver reliquaries, including the skull of St. Blaise in the form of a bejeweled Byzantine crown and also an arm and a leg of the saint, likewise encased in decorated gold plating. Držiceva Poljana, Stari Grad. Admission charged.
 
Knežev Dvor (Bishop's Palace). Originally created in the 15th century but reconstructed several times through the following years, this exquisite building with an arcaded loggia and an internal courtyard shows a combination of late-Gothic and early Renaissance styles. On the ground floor there are large rooms where, in the days of the republic, the Great Council and Senate held their meetings. Over the entrance to the meeting halls a plaque reads: obliti privatorum publica curate ("Forget private affairs, and get on with public matters"). Upstairs, the rector's living quarters now accommodate the Gradski Muzej (City Museum), containing exhibits that give a picture of life in Dubrovnik from early days until the fall of the republic. Pred Dvorom 3, Stari Grad. Admission charged.
 
Muzej Pravoslavne Crkve (Orthodox Church Museum). Next door to the Orthodox church, this small museum displays religious icons from the Balkan region and Russia, as well as several portraits of eminent early-20th-century Dubrovnik personalities by local artist Vlaho Bukovac. Od Puca 8, Stari Grad. Admission charged.
 
Placa (Stradun). This was once the shallow sea channel separating the island of Laus from the mainland. Although it was filled in during the 12th century, it continued to divide the city socially for several centuries, the nobility living in the area south of Placa and the commoners living on the hillside to the north. Today it forms the venue for the korzo, an evening promenade where locals meet to chat, maybe have a drink at one of the numerous open-air cafés, and generally size one another up. Stari Grad.
 
Pomorski Muzej (Maritime Museum). Above the aquarium, on the first floor of St. John's Fortress, this museum's exhibits illustrate how rich and powerful Dubrovnik became one of the world's most important seafaring nations. On display are intricately detailed models of ships as well as engine-room equipment, sailors' uniforms, paintings, and maps. Damjana Jude 2, Stari Grad. Admission charged.
 
Sinagoga (Synagogue). This tiny 15th-century synagogue, the second-oldest in Europe (after Prague's) bears testament to Dubrovnik's once thriving Jewish community, made up largely of Jews who were expelled from Spain and Italy during the medieval period. Žudioska 5, Stari Grad. Admission charged.
 
Vrata od Pila (Pile Gate). Built in 1537 and combining a Renaissance arch with a wooden drawbridge on chains, this has always been the main entrance to the city walls. A niche above the portal contains a statue of Sveti Vlah (St. Blaise), the city's patron saint, holding a replica of Dubrovnik in his left hand. From May to October, guards in deep-red period-costume uniforms stand vigilant by the gate through daylight hours, just as they would have done when the city was a republic. Pile, Stari Grad.
 
Vrata od Ploca (Ploce Gate). One of two gates in the town walls, Ploce comprises a stone bridge and wooden drawbridge plus a 15th-century stone arch bearing a statue of Sveti Vlah (St. Blaise). As at Pile Gate, guards in period costume stand vigilant here through the summer season. Ploce, Stari Grad.
 
War Photo Limited. Shocking but impressive, this modern gallery devotes two entire floors to war photojournalism. Past exhibitions include images from conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, the former Yugoslavia, Israel, Palestine, and Lebanon. Refreshingly impartial by Croatian standards, the message-that war is physically and emotionally destructive whichever side you are on-comes through loudly and clearly. You'll find it in a narrow side street running between Placa and Prijeko. Antuninska 6, Stari Grad. Admission charged.
 
Cavtat
Founded by the ancient Greeks, then taken by the Romans, the original settlement on the site of Cavtat, which is 17 km (10½ miles) southeast of Dubrovnik, was subsequently destroyed by tribes of Avars and Slavs in the early 7th century. Today's town, which developed during the 15th century under the Republic of Dubrovnik, is an easygoing fishing town and small-scale seaside resort. The medieval stone buildings of the Old Town occupy a small peninsula with a natural bay to each side. A palm-lined seaside promenade with open-air cafés and restaurants curves around the main bay. Cavtat can be visited easily as a half-day trip from Dubrovnik. If you're going on your own, the easiest way to get there is by bus or taxi-boat ride; the trip takes about an hour.
 
Galerija Vlaho Bukovac (Vlaho Bukovac Gallery). The former home of local artist Vlaho Bukovac (1855-1922) has been renovated to become Galerija Vlaho Bukovac, which provides a space for contemporary art exhibitions on the ground floor. Upstairs, around 30 of Bukovac's oil paintings, tracing the periods he spent in Paris, Prague, and Cavtat, are on display in his former studio, along with pieces of period furniture. Bukovceva 5. Admission charged.
 
Cablecar
Opened for the summer of 2010, this popular attraction whisks passengers up in a bright orange box high over the Old Town up to the top of Mount Srd. It’s a quick but thrilling journey, and well worth the steep fee. The cablecar offers the opportunity to see the Old Town nearly vanish as a panorama of Adriatic blue dominates the horizon. In the space of five minutes, with a slight bump (there’ll be shrieks!) halfway along, immediately below you is the reason so many thousands come every year, and so many lives were lost in 1991-92. Expensive it might be, the cablecar is simply a must for a complete visit to Croatia’s most beautiful city.
 
Beaches
The more upmarket hotels, such as the Excelsior and Villa Dubrovnik, have their own beaches that are exclusively for the use of hotel guests. The most natural and peaceful beaches lie on the tiny island of Lokrum, a short distance south of the Old Town. Through high season, boats leave from the Old Harbor, ferrying visitors back and forth from morning to early evening (9 am to 8 pm, every 30 minutes). Return tickets cost 40 Kn.
 
Eastwest Beach. Eastwest Beach Club is on Banje beach, just a short distance from Ploce Gate, with views across the sea to the tiny island of Lokrum. It's a fashionable spot, with a curving stretch of golden sand, complete with chaise longues and parasols for rent, and a chic bar-restaurant. Amenities: food and drink; showers; toilets. Best for: partiers; swimming. Frana Supila, Banje Beach.
 
Outdoor Activities
The Dubrovnik Riviera is in the heart of Europe. With all of its beauty and splendor, one would obviously want to spend as much time as possible outside. There are plenty of places to go for diving and fishing because of their popularity. The best place to go, however, is the Nimar Diving Center (Lazarina 3). You may be inclined to take a kayak tour in the sparkling Adriatic. If so, contact Adriatic Kayak Tours (Frankopanska 6, 20/312-770).
 
Dining
You will never go hungry in Dubrovnik. Restaurants will pile the food on your plate with dishes that include mainly fish, risotto and pasta. One restaurant that cooks its food perfectly is Pergola (Kralja Tomislava 1, 20/436-848). It is often hard to find gnocchi that is prepared just right, but you will not be disappointed if you order it here. It is often difficult for vegetarians to find restaurants that accommodate them, but one that has quite a large selection for those plant eaters is Chinese Restaurant Shanghai (Ante Starcevica 25, 20/425-754). Sometimes a big meal does not fit into the time schedule, so a good place to get a quick sandwich that is just scrumptious is at Buffet Skola (Antuninska 1).
 
Nightlife in Durbovnik really starts to heat up once the sun sets. Many of the locals go in droves to the cafés on Buniceva Poljana. The second most lively center for nightlife lies just outside of the city walls on B. Josipa Jelacica. Be sure to visit the Treubadur (Gunduliceva Poljana, 20/412-154). This is a very Americanized bar that has live jazz on Fridays and will not close until you want to leave. Latino Club Fuego (Dubrovackih Branitelja 2) is the most happening place of them all. It is loud and lively, so be prepared to lose your voice in conversation. It is a fun hangout and it is open late for all of those energetic young partygoers.
 
Shopping
Despite its role as an important tourist destination, Dubrovnik offers little in the way of shopping or souvenir hunting. If you're in search of gifts, your best bet is a bottle of good Dalmatian wine or rakija (a fruit brandy popular throughout much of eastern Europe).
Croata. This small boutique close to the Rector's Palace in the Old Town specializes in "original Croatian ties" in presentation boxes. Pred dvorom 2, Stari Grad.
Dubrovacka Kuca. Tastefully decorated, the wineshop stocks a fine selection of regional Croatian wines, rakija, olive oil, and truffle products, plus works of art by contemporary local artists on the upper two levels; it's close to Ploce Gate. Svetog Dominika bb, Stari Grad.


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