Snapshots of Europe: Dubrovnik, Croatia

The city of Dubrovnik on the Adriatic coast of Croatia shares much history from behind its mighty city walls and forts. The walls you see today date back to between the 12 and 17th centuries and the old city, including parts of the walls were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.

Walled City of Dubrovnik
The old city of Dubrovnik

The walls wind almost 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) around the city and are up to 4 to 6 metres (13 to 20 feet) thick on the landward side but much thinner on the seaward sections (greater chance of attack from the land side). The highest section of the wall is an impressive 25 metres (82 feet) tall!

city walls of Dubrovnik Croatia
Walk atop the mighty city walls of Dubrovnik
city walls of Dubrovnik Croatia
Enter the gate to the old town of Dubrovnik
city walls of Dubrovnik Croatia
You can walk around the entire old town atop the walls
city walls of Dubrovnik Croatia
Seaward defences
city walls of Dubrovnik Croatia
Impressive workmanship!
city walls of Dubrovnik Croatia
City walls were an essential defence against enemy land and sea attack
city walls of Dubrovnik Croatia
The landward defences were extremely strong
view looking across the rooftops of old town Dubrovnik!
What a view looking across the rooftops of old town Dubrovnik!
Old Town Dubrovnik Croatia
The old town below was well worth protecting
Old Town Dubrovnik Croatia
Beautiful old town Dubrovnik
Cats Dubrovnik
Cats abound!

The city walls have weathered and mostly withstood siege after siege throughout history. Conflict was no stranger to these walls. They have faced attacks from long-lost empires and kingdoms including the Saracens 866 to 867; the Venetians 948 and 1205 (during the latter they paid a tribute to avoid being sacked by the invading army); Serbian Grand Prince Nemanja in 1185, a Bosnian lord Stjepan Vukčić Kosača in 1451; the Russians in 1806 (the French stepped in to stop that one) and the British and Austrians in 1814 (the French were defending the city but eventually surrendered under heavy cannon fire from the high ground above on Srđ hill).

Srđ hill overlooks Dubrovnik
Srđ hill overlooks Dubrovnik

Even in the 1990’s during the Yugoslav Wars the walls were called on to protect the city once again, holding out against the Yugoslav Army siege from late 1991 to mid 1992 when the Croatian counter attack ended it. The old city and walls were heavily damaged with 68% of the buildings being hit by projectiles (by 1999 over $7M had been spent of restoring the city!). Yet only 9 historic buildings were destroyed. Even modern artillery and the disadvantage of being under Srđ hill could not crack the walls of Dubrovnik!

Fort Lovrijenac (the Red Keep to Game of Thrones fans) Dubrovnik Croatia
Fort Lovrijenac (the Red Keep to Game of Thrones fans)
Looking from the city walls towards Fort Lovrijenac Dubrovnik Croatia
Looking from the city walls towards Fort Lovrijenac

It’s a stunning looking place that’s for sure. Walk the famous walls and don’t miss this view from atop Fort Lovrijenac!

 

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