Dubrovnik is typically being described as a UNESCO heritage sensation, the magnificently walled town from the Renaissance period. However, there is more than meets the eye to this medieval gem at the most southern tip of Croatian coast.
Adriatic Partner brings you 10 fun facts about Dubrovnik that complement its reputation and explain how this town seduces with all that is natural, authentic and cultural.
Medieval Without a Facelift
- Outlived Earthquake – Primarily built to protect the town from the Ottoman, Venetian and other empires, the City Walls managed to withstand a major earthquake in 1667.
- Once an Independent Republic – Republic of Ragusa was the official name of an aristocratic maritime republic headed by the town of Dubrovnik and it existed from 1358 to 1808. The republic reached its historical peak in the 16th century, before being conquered by Napoleon’s French Empire in 1808.
- Karaka Ship – Karaka is a replica of 16th century merchant ship used during the Republic of Ragusa and nowadays is being utilized for special events, such as intimate weddings, corporate cruises and wine tastings, where it brings out the character of the swashbuckling buccaneer type of Renaissance extravaganza.
- King’s Landing in Game of Thrones – As one of the best-preserved medieval cities in the world, Dubrovnik depicted the famed King’s Landing in HBO’s filming series Game of Thrones. Many streets and corners within the town center tell stories of intrigue and treachery. St. Lawrence (Lovrijenac) Fortress is one of the most notable filming locations and is perfect for taking great panoramic shots.
Ahead of Time
- First Globally Known Quarantine – during the 17th century, Dubrovnik had put Lazareti, a long and narrow building complex of 10 parallel halls separated by five courtyards and surrounded by high walls, to use as an isolation hospital in response to an outbreak of the plague and cholera. It presented the first historically recorded form of a quarantine.
- Medieval Water Supply & Sewer Systems – Large Onofrio’s Fountain was designed in 1438 by the prominent Italian architect Onofrio di Giordano della Cava and it was a part of the impressive 12 km long water supply system that brought water from the Knežica spring, Šumet River in Rijeka Dubrovacka to the Old Town. Dubrovnik also had one of the oldest sewer systems, dating back to 1296.
- Abolition of Slavery in 1416 – Ragusa Republic formally abolished slavery, the transportation of slaves and the idea of one person being able to own another, and thus became one of the very first in Europe to do so after Venice in 960.
- First orphanage in the world opened its doors in Dubrovnik in 1432.
- Agent 007- James Bond – Dubrovnik had its own James Bond named Dušan Popov, a double agent under the code name “Tricycle” who served as part of the MI6 and Abwehr during World War II. He passed off disinformation to Germany as part of the Double-Cross System while working as an agent for the Yugoslav government-in-exile in London. It is said that many of the anecdotes from the James Bond film series resemble real missions performed by Popov while in service.
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