The best part about travel is that every new place that you go to has it’s very own uniqueness and charm. While Zagreb was calm and quiet and the perfect destination for a cool relaxed holiday, Dubrovnik is where the action is. And so is the crowd with the arrival of cruise ships everyday. Come let’s explore more of this magical city and what better place to head to today than Old Town.
Sometimes the journey itself is the destination and so did we feel as we took a leisurely walk from our guest house passing these magical sights. Dubrovnik is awesomely beautiful.
And before we realized, we had walked for almost fifteen minutes and reached the towering walled entrance to the Old Town.
The Big Onofrio’s Fountain is located right at the entrance. Dubrovnik in the old days had big problems with water because the summers were long and dry. First they had boats that supplied the city with water because the wells were insufficient and then at the beginning of the 15th Century the Senate decided to bring water into the city from Ombla river nearly 12 kilometers away from the city walls. The project was entrusted to the renowned Italian architect “Onofrio della Cava” from Naples in 1438. When Onofrio brought water to Dubrovnik, he built two fountains – one large and one small. Locals used Onofrio’s fountains as a main source of water all the way up to the end of the 19th Century when a modern water supply was installed that supplied homes directly. However the water in the fountains still remains drinkable today and you can feel free to have a drink when wandering around Old Town.
The Big Onofrio’s Fountain is a sixteen-sided container with a cupola, and was one of the ending points of the aqueduct system. Each of the sixteen sides has a unique “maskeron” design (stone-carved masked face) with the faucet projecting out of the mouth of each design. However the fountain was partly damaged by the earthquake in 1667 and hence the current look is missing a dragon statue that had once been on top of the cupola. The Little Onofrio’s Fountain is located on the opposite side of the main street known as Stradun near the Bell Tower. In the Middle Ages it had a religious significance too. It was used only by Christians, while close by was a Jewish fountain which was used by Dubrovnik Jews but which does not exist today. Come let’s explore.
Penned as ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’ by Lord Byron, the majestic and stunning city of Dubrovnik Old Town is the best preserved walled city in the Mediterranean and the only preserved medieval European walled city. The city is the epitome of beauty with 1940 meters of uninterrupted white stone walls and a beautiful mountainous backdrop. The walls were constructed between the 14th and 15th centuries.
The Old Town Walls are probably one of the most prominent features of Dubrovnik. The walls surround the city and fortress that make up the modern Old Town. The Walls provide one of the best views of Old Town and entrances to walk around the walls are available near the two main gates, Ploce and Pile. The entire walk on the walls is around two kilometers with close to thousand steps that one needs to climb, but is a must do while you are in Old Town for the views it offers.
Before the 13th century the entirety of Old Town was divided into two settlements by a sea channel. And the two settlements coexisted and traded until they were one. Stradun began as a bridge then became the main street. It is lined with cafes, stores and gift shops. It also connects the two main gates. The least talked about feature of Dubrovnik’s Old Town are the narrow avenues and lanes that weave their way through the old city and the lovely steep stairs all around. Let’s venture down these side streets to experience.
Shops selling local goods such as artisan cheese, oils, sweets coexist with fashion jewelry outlets, designer garments stores, memento and art galleries. Fast food shops and restaurants offering your favorite cuisine dot the Old Town but some of them can only be discovered if you take the time to enjoy the romantic charm of the narrow pathways and steep stairs.
It was past lunchtime and we were feeling really hungry now. We asked around a bit and found this one and only Indian restaurant in Dubrovnik, very close to the lane we were in.
The restaurant is packed most of the times and hence you might have to wait a little as we had to, but not for long. The options were many but we settled for some Chicken Butter Masala and Aloo Parathas ( Indian whole wheat dough stuffed with potatoes and shallow fried). The food was very tasty, the service good and we very happy getting our hands on some Indian food after a long time. It was time to move. And continue our journey.
The Franciscan monastery and bell tower sit on the western end of Stradun making it easy to find, with a magnificent Gothic cloister built in the 15th-century and which also houses an impressive medley of Renaissance paintings. Europe’s oldest pharmacy dating back to 1318 is found in the Monastery and is to this day still in existence.
St. Blasius (Blaise) Church is dedicated to the protector of Dubrovnik, St. Blaise. In 971, Venetian ships sat outside of Dubrovnik with the plan of scouting out its defenses for an imminent attack. A man named Stojko went into a church to find an old man and heavenly forces surrounding him. The old man warned Stojko of the Venetian plan which ultimately saved the city. It is said that St. Blaise has inspired more artists in Dubrovnik than anything else. This church was built in the 17th century in a Baroque manner and so beautiful and adorned that it is a sought after location for weddings.
The Assumption Cathedral is a Roman Catholic cathedral and the seat of the Diocese of Dubrovnik. The cathedral was built on the site of several former cathedrals including 7th, 10th and 11th century buildings and their 12th century successor in the Romanesque style. This building was largely destroyed in the earthquake of 1667. A large number of Italian architects all working with local and imported stonemasons completed the Cathedral over the next three decades. The construction began in 1673 and the building was completed in 1713 by the Dubrovnik architect Ilija Katicic.
It’s time now for some ice cream and then for soaking in the beautiful architecture of buildings, the mountains, the old city beach and the blue all around. Blue boats, blue sky and the water of Adriatic Sea, in different shades of blue. Come let’s get going.
💙 Dubrovnik. It’s blue as well. 🏃🏃 As we discover even more of this awe inspiring Croatian city, keep walking with us for some more fun coming your way soon.
And then come over to Dubrovnik for a holiday. Celebrate happiness in this happening city 💃🕺