The Pearl of the Adriatic
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On the southern coast of Croatia sits a small city of Dubrovnik. Often referred to as "The Pearl of the Adriatic", Dubrovnik's maritime history goes back to pre-historic times, being the third largest Navy in the Mediterranean. It also holds strong Roman and Greek influences due to it's vast history.
Dubrovnik became part of Croatia after the first World War, and then part of Yugolosvia after WWII, finally becoming part of the Republic of Croatia in 1991.
Much of the city we see today was completed in the 13th century. Therefore, Limestone is the main material used for the columns, walls, churches and other buildings that make up most of Old City.
Many Game of Throne fans visit this gem due to the series being filmed in and around this area.
Dubrovnik is definitely worth a lengthy stay. After almost a week in paradise, I would enjoying visiting again to enjoy all it has to offer.
1 I City Walls - Dubrovnik's existing Ancient City Walls date back to the 13th century and span close to 2000 meters around Old City. We spent a good four hours walking the walls, taking in the 360 degree panorama of the city, islands and Adriatic Sea. There are several intact Fortresses built into the walls that provide some of the best views of the area. The climb up the steep steps is well worth the desktop background worthy scenery.
The city walls are now part of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.
2 I Banje Beach - Just steps from Old City, Banje Beach takes you from day to night with a luxe beachfront, lounge and bar. Swim in the blue hues of the Adriatic durning the day and party the night away with DJ's and delicious cocktails.
We spent a lot of time at Banje, as it was close to the home we were renting. You can access the beach from boat or by foot down several pathways from Old City. The beach is beautiful and clean, with small pebbles and sand mixed together (Croatia beaches are rocky). Banje Beach is a must see, if not an everyday hang out!
3 I Buza Bar - Buza Cafe-bar Aka "hole-in-the-wall" is a bar built into the side of a cliff above the Adriatic Sea. It is by far my fave spot in Dubrovnik, which luckily not many seem to know about. There were just enough people to create a buzzing night life feel, without being over crowded, as it is not a very large spot. We stumbled upon the bar while on an adventure to check out the local abodes. Along the City Walls, there is literally a hole in the wall, with a 19th century gate to walk down to the bar. Once you enter, great music and laughter from cliff jumpers echoes through the bar. During the day, you can catch sight of boaters as well as the Island of Lokrum.
As the sun sets on the horizon, the views turn to stunning sunsets followed by mysterious darkness with cruise ship lights sparkling on the water.
4 I Old City - The pedestrian only Old City is romantic and atmospheric. Surrounding Old City are the ancient stone walls with fortresses creating elaborate entrances from all sides. The North entrance is the Tower Minceta, a gothic style fortbuilt in the early 1300's. The symbol of Dubrovnik stands above the rest of the city, representing strength and liberty. From the top, you look upon the many steep side streets and can spot all of the sights you would like to visit (it's great for mapping out the city.) The Church of Saint Blaise has an interesting facade both during the day and lit in the evening. There are often music or theatre performances out front. The Onophrian Fountain is below the tower (unfortunately, it is currently closed for restoration). Recor's Palace is a beautiful mix of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance style architecture (also currently under restoration on the interior).
Brsalje Street is buzzing day to night. The steep steps of St. Saviour Church can also be viewed from the tower above. The steps are built up to a beautiful entry which may look familiar, as several scenes from Game of Thrones have been filmed there.
5 I Side Streets - Narrow streets just wide enough for two people to walk side by side, create a maze from the centre of Old City. The sound of chatter echoes up the steep, uneven steps leading to the smell of fresh Mediterranean food cooking in the centre square. Wandering the residential areas to the west of Old City, I discovered beautiful gardens filled with tropical plants and of course little Croatian grannies with a cigarette in hand.