‘Dubrovnik Old Town, this tiny, late-medieval walled oasis set like a jewel on the Adriatic Sea on the Dalmatian Coast, was a centre of trade, arts and culture that once rivalled Venice. The walls encircle most of the city as it juts into the sea and meanders back toward the Pile Gate on terra firma like an irregularly shaped polygon. They stretch about 6,365 feet in length and reach about 80 feet high in some places. There are more than a dozen towers, several forts, six bastions or bulwarks and two corner forts. You’ll spot several turrets, multiple moats – even a couple drawbridges.’ wrote Examiner in it’s in abbreviated version of the long history of Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is as exquisite today as it was in the seventh century when the walls first began going up.
‘It is a living history museum whose paved streets duck and curve into a maze of narrow alleyways where visitors are as likely to happen upon a sweet little cafe as encounter a stone staircase leading up, up and up. Within the walls are monuments, museums, churches and convents, the architecture showing off medieval, Renaissance and Baroque design. You can stroll the city, dipping into historic structures including Dubrovnik Cathedral, rebuilt after an earthquake in 1667; the Cultural History Museum, housed in the Rector’s Palace and filled with period furniture and costumes plus a sophisticated gift shop; the Baroque-style St. Blaise Church (St. Blaise is the patron saint of Dubrovnik); the wonderfully ornate St. Ignatius Church; the Bell Tower; and the Customs Palace.’ They wrote about gastronomy as well; about famous and less famous Dubrovnik’s restaurants, but they also wrote about people and charming atmosphere in the Pearl of the Adriatic.
‘The best plan-of-action is to simply follow your nose from cafe to bistro to pub to sushi bar, perusing the posted menus and keeping an eye peeled for an empty table. Dubrovnik Old Town is a place where flowers and greenery lend colour and a sense of wildness to the symmetry of this stone fortress; where clothing is strung outside windows and across balconies to dry in the breeze blowing in from the sea; where a terracotta roof-scape colours the skyline; and where the barring of autos keeps the 21st century noise of honking horns, skidding wheels and slamming doors, thankfully, outside the walls of Dubrovnik Old Town.’