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  • Bathed by the reflections of the shimmering Adriatic,

  • and with an old town surrounded by walls that have withstood centuries of turmoil,

  • the Croatian city of Dubrovnik remains one of Europe’s most enduring treasures.

  • Just as an oyster shell protects life within,

  • Dubrovnik’s walls nurtured a flourishing maritime republic that once rivaled Venice.

  • For centuries this city of stone and light has dazzled visitors,

  • none more so than the romantic poet Lord Byron,

  • who named the city, The Pearl of The Adriatic.

  • Cross the medieval bridge and enter the city through the grandest of its entrances,

  • Pile Gate.

  • Once inside, climb the ramparts for a history lesson like no other.

  • Dubrovnik’s walls first rose in the 7th century,

  • but most of what stands today was built in the 14th and 15th centuries

  • to repel Ottoman attack.

  • These are walls, which have been shaken by armies and earthquakes.

  • These are walls whose every stone tells the story of resilience and liberty.

  • It takes an hour or two to walk the Old City’s ramparts,

  • depending on how often you are stopped in your tracks by the views.

  • Dubrovnik’s citizens have always valued harmony,

  • and that sense of order and unity continues today

  • as visitors circle the Old Town in an anti-clockwise direction.

  • Stop for a while at Fort Bokar,

  • and take in the views to Fort Lawrence.

  • In the 11th century,

  • locals heard whispers of a cunning Venetian plan to build a base on these rocks

  • from which to attack the city.

  • Dubrovnik’s citizens mobilized and within months

  • the first walls of Fort Lawrence were in place.

  • When the Venetian warships finally arrived laden with men and materials,

  • they were forced to simply turn around and sail for home.

  • Follow the sea wall to St John’s Fort,

  • which protected the City Harbor from enemy ships and pirates.

  • Once home to a glorious fleet of over 200 trading vessels,

  • for centuries Dubrovnik was one of the world’s great seafaring cities.

  • Come down from the walls for a while, and wander past the shipyard arches,

  • where the republic’s legendary galleys could be built away from the eyes of foreign spies.

  • Climb the ramparts once again,

  • and continue on to Fort Revelin, which offers even more commanding views of the harbor.

  • In 1667, a great earthquake devastated most of the city.

  • Such is the strength of Revelin, that when the quake’s dust finally settled,

  • the fortress emerged unscathed.

  • From Revelin, follow the northern wall to the highest point in the city’s defenses,

  • Fort Minceta.

  • During the fort’s construction, rock was in such short supply

  • that every visitor to the city was required to bring a stone.

  • This toll created one of the city’s most enduring symbols.

  • From the fort’s tower, the entire city stretches away like a vision.

  • Once youve arrived back at Pile Gate,

  • it’s time to descend into the streets of the Old Town.

  • The town is divided in two by the Stradun,

  • a street paved with limestone and polished by centuries of footsteps.

  • Linking two of the city’s gateways,

  • the Stradun is marked at each end by a bell tower and a fountain.

  • Refresh yourself at Onofrio’s Fountain,

  • and enjoy spring water as pure as when it was first piped here by aqueduct 500 years ago.

  • Facing the fountain is St. Saviour Church,

  • one of the few Renaissance era buildings to survive the earthquake of 1667.

  • Next door, step into the cool confines of the Franciscan Monastery.

  • Explore the historical exhibits,

  • and order an elixir from one of the world’s oldest functioning pharmacies.

  • Not just a spiritual sanctuary,

  • the monastery was built next to Pile Gate

  • so that the resident monks could rush to its defense in times of attack.

  • At the Stradun’s eastern end,

  • the city’s clock tower looks over the old market place,

  • Luza Square.

  • Here youll find some of Dubrovnik’s finest architectural treasures

  • such Sponza Palace,

  • and Saint Blaise Church,

  • which honors the city’s patron saint and protector.

  • After refilling your water bottle under the clock tower,

  • head northwards to explore even more of the city’s sacred places.

  • Behind the imposing walls of the Dominican Monastery,

  • relax in the quiet interiors of the chapel and admire the religious artworks.

  • Breathe in the lemon-scented air of the cloisters,

  • whose medieval well supplied the besieged town as Yugoslavian shells

  • rained down during the 1990s Croatian War of Independence.

  • Just to the south of Luza Square,

  • rise the massive Corinthian columns and Baroque dome of Dubrovnik Cathedral.

  • While returning from the 3rd Crusade, the English King,

  • Richard the Lionheart,

  • was shipwrecked on the nearby island of Lorkum.

  • After being cared for by the people of Dubrovnik,

  • the grateful king gifted the city 100,000 ducats to build a church,

  • and the greatest cathedral in the Adriatic was born.

  • When youre finished exploring the Old City’s architectural highlights,

  • youll discover endless moments of bliss down the cities alleyways and laneways too.

  • But the city of Dubrovnik isn’t just contained to its Old Town,

  • there’s plenty to explore just beyond its walls.

  • Give your feet a break from the cobblestones,

  • and sink your toes into the pebbles and sand of Banje Beach.

  • Cool off in the crystal clear waters

  • or just enjoy the sound of lapping waves as they kiss the sundrenched Dalmatian coast.

  • To the west of the Old Town, follow the promenade past more beautiful beaches,

  • peaceful bays,…and old summer homes,

  • all the way around to Dubrovnik’s modern port in Gruz harbor.

  • While the gigantic cruise ships have replaced the little trading vessels of old,

  • many of the things which make Dubrovnik so special haven’t changed at all.

  • The spirit of independence,…the sparkling waters,

  • and of course those walls,

  • all these things exist in a state of perfect timelessness.

  • Throughout the ever-swirling,

  • ever-shifting tides of time,

  • The Pearl of The Adriatic has continued to shine.

  • Today’s Dubrovnik welcomes and enchants all those lucky enough to pass through itsgates,

  • just as it has for centuries.

Bathed by the reflections of the shimmering Adriatic,

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Dubrovnik Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

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    郭懿華 posted on 2017/11/01
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