With a good forecast for Friday we decided to leave the boat anchored in Cavtat and head to Dubrovnik. The forecasts for the weekend were changing by the hour almost, but seemed to agree we’d expect more rain than not.
Dubrovnik is about 40 minutes away by bus or boat and at 200kn return the boat is twice the bus price, but it drops you off in the old harbour rather than the bus station.
Although Dubrovnik has been inhabited since antiquity and had a sheltered port, until the 7th Century Cavtat then known as Epiaurum, was the dominant town. When it was destroyed by the Slavs and Avars the occupants fled to Dubrovnik and from there Dubrovnik rose to be one of the most important trade and political centres in the Adriatic. Although always well fortified the current urban layout and fully enclosing city wall dates from the end of the 13th century.
Apparently by 1500 the per capita GDP of the Republic of Ragusa, of which Dubrovnik was the capital, exceeded that of almost every other European country, except Venice and it became the major trading link between the Christian west and Ottoman east.
It suffered it’s share of disastrous fires and a devastating earthquake in 1667 but despite these continued to rise in power until, in fear of a Russian invasion, the city surrendered to Napoleon in 1806. However; in true Napoleonic form, by 1808 the city’s Senate was abolished and Dubrovnik’s independence was finally lost.
More recently in 1991 Dubrovnik was besieged for 7 months and subjected to heavy shelling. A massive restoration was undertaken under the auspices of UNESCO and now there is little obvious signs of the war damage other than the numerous new roofs.
And then there is Game of Thrones and Cerci’s Walk of Shame. We went to the location which was awash with tourists and almost unrecognisable. In the GoT scene the only part of the steps visible was the stone balustrade behind Cerci’s head. They used other locations within the city because the scenery and architecture is so grandiose and impressive!
The big box to tick in Dubrovnik is a walk on the walls. The tickets are 200 kuna each, which is steep but they are valid for 72 hours. Apparently a Day Pass is available which works out even less expensive and gives access to lots more than the walls!
Unfortunately it was very, very busy with tourists when we visited on Friday. Apparently the best day to visit is a Sunday when ‘only‘ 2 cruise ships are allowed in the port!! Despite that it was worth the visit. Dubrovnik is a really impressive place and it is likely we’ll go back when Mauro and Alex come to visit in a week or so.