Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Dubrovnik – The Pearl Of The Adriatic

Dubrovnik is an ancient city on the Croatian coast, steeped in history and mystery. Experts are divided over the city's origins. The most common theory is that it was established by refugees fleeing Roman persecution in the 7th century. However more recent archaeological evidence suggests the city is much older. It's now believed that Dubrovnik was a port used by ancient Greek mariners as a rest stop. Regardless of the debate over it's exact origins - it's a place with a rich historical tapestry. In the 13th century the city reached the height of its development as a port city only to be ravaged by an earthquake in 1667. Despite this, much of the city's Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture remains preserved to this day.

In the 1990's armed conflict caused further damage to the city. It has since been named as a UNESCO world heritage site - which prompted a major restoration project, restoring the Old Town to its former glory. Today Dubrovnik has become a top tourist destination, affectionately known as “The Pearl Of The Adriatic”.

A Place Of History And Culture

The Old Town area is a major tourist attraction, with over a million visitors every year. The ancient walled city is a pedestrian zone and is geared toward tourists. Placa Stradun is the focal point of the Old Town - a wide plaza with small alleys leading off it. The city is famous for its ancient architecture and visitors spend days wandering the small streets observing the multitude of historical buildings. The Old Town is dedicated almost completely to the tourist trade and offers visitors a range of top restaurants and amenities.

Of the many historical landmarks, there are several that come highly recommended. Orlano's column is a stone flag staff honoring the legendary knight. Sponza Palace is a renaissance palace that survived the 1667 earthquake unharmed. The bell tower is much loved and announces every hour with its tolling bells. Pile gate at the western end of Placa Stradun offers a grand entrance to the Old Town. A visit to Dubrovnik would not be complete without seeing Fortres Lovrijenac - a majestic monument rising from a 37 m high rock.

Aside from its historical and architectural attractions, in the past few years Dubrovnik has reached new form of recognition. This can be addressed to being one of the main filming locations for popular TV show “Game Of Thrones”. If you pay attention you might recognize many objects and locations from the show, as Dubrovnik is portraying capital city of “King's Landing”. It's more than a fitting choice.

Natural Beauties Of Dubrovnik

Outside the walls of the Old Town the white beaches are lined with world class hotels overlooking the azure blue sea. Visitors to the area are attracted as much by serenity and beauty of the natural surroundings as to the historical elegance of the ancient city. Tourists can also walk along the city walls - a vantage point to take in the magnificent views in every direction. The city walls are open to the public from 08:00-17:30, subject to an entrance fee.

The small but lush island of Lokrum is situated a mere 600 m from Dubrovnik and is accessible by local rent a boat services and water taxi. The island is renowned for its unspoiled fauna and flora - most famous of these are the Peacocks that were introduced to the island 150 years ago from the Canary Islands. A main cultural attraction on the island is the 13th century Benedictine monastery. There's also a popular beach for those who prefer to get some tan and take a swim or two.

As you can see, Dubrovnik is an alluring city, saturated with historical sites and natural beauties. Weather you are here to spend time on beaches and enjoy azure Adriatic Sea or maybe seeking cultural knowledge of old Europe, Dubrovnik most definitely a place to be.

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