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The Magic of Dubrovnik’s Old World Charm

If you like the old world, then Croatia’s little gem Dubrovnik is your answer.

A big personality with a southern shine, the city has seen earthquakes, sieges, and even modern-time conflict. Through it all, Dubrovnic has maintained its way of weaving magic for any visitor seeking authentic and picturesque charm.


The best time to visit Dubrovnik will depend completely on your client’s desire for crowds and festivals or a bit of solitude with a nip in the air. The hottest month is July, usually rising to 80F. The coldest month is January where you might experience temperatures around 45F, and the wettest month is November.


Dubrovnik is in the south of Croatia in Dalmatia, located in the country’s southern tip and surrounded in part by the Adriatic Sea. Think old world meets maritime. And, while Dubrovnik is best known as one of Europe’s most interesting fortified cities from the medieval times, even boasting cobbled streets, visitors can also sneak off for a day of water sports or just taking in the beauty of this port city’s coastlines.


Old Town
The Old Town is an energy that permeates the air in Dubrovnik. It is a true testament to the city’s long history and, in fact, a nod to the still impressive fortifications built back in the 1400s. There are many churches to explore in Dubrovnik, museums, and buildings styled from the Baroque fashion. Turn around in the other direction and the Adriatic will have you yearning for a visit to one of the islands, or just a beach day scanning the coastline. The energy is strong and while it was the 1400s when the most recent renovations were built, there is a history dating back to the 9th century when the first set of walls to enclose the city were constructed.


Take a walk around the medieval wall above the city, which is a little over a mile long. The walk, starting at Ploce Gate, will stop first at St. Luke’s Tower from 1467 and you can see the Old Harbour from this vantage point. The highest point of the city wall is in the city’s northwest corner. The wall was built in 1464 and designed by Juraj Dalmatinac who is mostly famous for his cathedrals.


A first trip to Dubrovnik will definitely mean a walk around the battlements of Dubrovnik’s city walls. Take in the typical terracotta rooftops and the many church steeples as well as a breathtaking look out to sea, which gives the city its special appeal.


Visit Pile Gate, which was built in 1537 and is the main entrance to the city. The gate is in the west of the city. Back in the day this gate and the Ploce Gate to the east of the city were very busy. The gates were locked every night, and the wooden drawbridge was brought up to keep the enemy out. A third gate was added to the flavor of the city in 1907 called the Buza Gate, located on the northern wall.


There are five forts of interest in Dubrovnik. Fort Minceta, which protected the city’s land edge is a good place to begin. Fort Bokar is a tower in the west and was the key lookout to protect the city’s Pile Gate. Fort Lawrence was built to defend the city from the west and some of its walls are 39-feet thick for ultimate protection. The largest of the old-town forts in Dubrovnik is Fort Revelin, overlooking the city to the east. Finally, Fort St John is a standalone battlement from the 16th century.


Rector’s Palace, built in the 15th century, is in the style of Gothic-Renaissance. It houses the rector’s office and private chambers, public halls, administrative offices, and you will even find a dungeon. Historically, when the rector was doing his one-month, he was not able to leave the premises without permission. When you visit now, it is Dubrovnik’s Cultural History Museum where items are on display. In the atrium don’t miss the statue of Miho Prasat who died in 1638 and was given a statue without being royalty. This was unheard of, but he obviously left the republic a large sum of money in return.


Don’t miss visiting Srd Mountain. From the top you can take in scenic Dubrovnik from a distance, appearing to come straight out of a fairytale. In addition to Dubrovnik, you can also see Lokrum and even the Elafiti islands in the distance. Reach the top of the mountain via a cable car or drive and spend a moment at the large white stone cross at the top, and Fort Imperial, built by the French in 1810 during the Napoleonic Wars.


A final recommendation is a visit to Grad Market. The stalls in the open-air market open at 7 a.m and offer a variety of produce, arts, and crafts, but also an opportunity to talk with the locals and learn their stories, while taking in the magnitude of all this city had to accomplish through history and still have so much charm so many years later.
For more information visit the Croatia National Tourist Board at www.croatia.hr/en-gb or Visit Dubrovnik at www.visitdubrovnik.hr

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