The night before, just after our arrival in Dubrovnik, we had seen the city not just beautifully lit, but also flooded by tourists, so we decided to wake up very early and hit the town before the crowds did. We first went to a spot slightly up the hill behind Dubrovnik for the view of the first sunlight falling over the red roofs of the town. We then did not waste time going into the city, walked through one of the gates in the enormous city walls, and started exploring Dubrovnik. The narrow streets were still empty, the doors closed, pigeons were flying freely through the air and we could hear the beating of their wings. When we reached the small port, well protected against the Adriatic, some boatsmen were preparing their boats for the day.
We ventured to the other side of town, crossing the Stradun, the main street running right through the heart of the old town, and arrived at the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin, where saleswomen were busy setting up a street market. We walked along the inside of the city wall, and discovered an exit somewhere, a low tunnel through the wall, which led us to an unexpected area to relax, to dive into the sea right on the other side of the city wall of Dubrovnik that looked particularly massive here. The sight of the sea and the sun were very tempting, but we managed to resist, and returned to the old town, and went to the entrance of the city wall. Once up on the wall, our view of angle of Dubrovnik changed. The wall running around the old town is around two km long, and can be walked all the way. It is probably the prime attraction of the city and the absolute must-do. We climbed the bastions on the way, enjoyed the views over the sea on the southern side, the red-tiled roofs of this stunning town, the Onofrio fountain from above, and came down again after completing the entire walk. We had seen the number of people increase on the walls, and Dubrovnik had changed a lot in the meanwhile. The streets were full of people, and after having an ice cream, we decided it was time for a break, also to escape the summer heat.
The views of the harbour, of the streets below where Dubrovnik was coming alive, but also the red-tiled roofs, and the clock towers of the churches sticking out, made our walk very enjoyable. After a pleasant stay at the seaside place we had discovered that morning, we felt refreshed and went to the famous Sponza Palace, probably the most beautiful 16th century building of Dubrovnik, and a sign of the riches of this town that was the only town on the Adriatic coast to rival Venice in its heyday. Not only does the history of the city include importance as a trading city, but also a centre of literary, linguistic, and academic activity. Obviously, such treasures attracted foreign powers, and Dubrovnik has been under attack of many enemies. The last, brutal siege of the city of course occurred not too long ago, in 1991, when the Serbs and Montenegrins deliberately attacked the city, bombed it - the siege would last for seven months and heavily destroy the pearl of the Adriatic. Fortunately, the population was determined to get Dubrovnik back in its original state. Inside the Sponza Palace, a permanent exhibition tells the story, as well as the signs at the entrance gates, of the destruction of the city. While you can hear the noise of tourists outside, the images of this beautiful city under attack, the pictures of the fallen soldiers, will silence anyone.
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Dubrovnik (Croatia). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Dubrovnik.
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