Good day to you all!
In this post we will continue our list (as promised) of local travel tips we suggest to know before getting to Dubrovnik. We will talk about historical monuments and why Dubrovnik is called the ''Pearl of Adriatic'', why is this part of Croatia so interesting, etc.. Not to worry, like any of our blogs, this will not be boring and dull but we will revile something you might did not know. Let's get started again from the bottom to the top, because.. well.. why do we need to be normal and 'in order' right?
Great number 5. Prevlaka peninsula – We are going back to Dubrovnik Republic, to June 24th 1419 to be exact.
On this date smart mercantilist of Dubrovnik purchased eastern part of Konavle, which included Prevlaka peninsula. This was and still is a strategic point due to its location, shape and fishing grounds that surround it. After the great fortress was built on the suggestion of an officer in the Austrian Army, Lazar Mamul it got even bigger meaning. Years has passed and Yugoslav Army were this peninsula next keepers. They have built a military base (the whole complex still stands), and underground passages all over peninsula that has been hidden from the public eye for over 50 years. Its next inhabitants were United Nations Observer Movement for several years, up until 2002 – not that long ago right? From that point on Prevlaka became a park for everyone to visit. The original idea of Prevlaka becoming a tourist park did not live up, however now we have the whole complex and park of peninsula with the fortress that overlooks Montenegro to explore! The only inhabitants now are travellers who are keen to discover secrets this place holds!
Number 4. Lazareti quarantine – Dubrovnik Old Town has two main entrances; Ploče gate and Pile gate, there is a third one at Buža and the only one left is from the sea to the Old Harbour. No, this is not a history class nor a questioner, just a little introduction so you get a real feel of the location. Once you are at the east point of the Old Town you are at Ploče area, the centre of commercial caravans and travellers from Ottoman Empire! Dubrovnik republic as a state who traded goods with countries all over the Asia, Europe and Mediterranean Sea found itself in unenviable situation between 14 and 18 century. All different kinds of epidemics were bursting almost everywhere, so people who lived in Dubrovnik (very smart again), decided to preserve themselves by making a quarantine. Lazareti were the perfect spot, just at the entrance to the Old Town by land and just by sea. This nautical monument has become a place where mercantilist and their goods were first checked for any diseases, and in a way that for 14 days people with their manufactured goods were in one of the ‘’houses’’. After the tests, their good would either be burned (if infected) or allowed to pass. Lazareti holds up to this day so many untold stories and are a true monument to Dubrovnik.
Moving on to number 3. Korčula Island – This is a must if you are in Dubrovnik area! A definite must to visit, and we are taking you there – discover Korcula. Now, we will not get that much into history as Korčula island's history goes back to 3RD-2ND MILLENIUM B.C. YES – B.C. ! Little piece of ''newer'' history goes from island origin of the name, which was Korkyra named by the founders of the main settlement on it – Dorani, from the Greek town. Adjective 'melain' which means black was added to the name to distinguee the island from the homonymous island of Corfu in Greece. The location of the town of Korčula gives its owners control over the narrower part of the channel that is an important maritime road. Hop with us many years up front to the August 15th 1571, when the great battle for Korčula was held. This is the date Korčulans are very proud of, as big Turkish naval squadron were up to attack and conquer Korcula and Venetian duke with his mercenary military crew (who lived and ruled over the island) fled back home. Leaving people from Korčula to defend their legacy, who were ready for victory by the priest who made them prepare. Oh, yes, you are probably thinking – what about Marco Polo? The history of the whole island is so much more, however if you decide on taking this day trip, you will hear about his enormous ransom that got him free from the prison Venetians put him in.
Number 2.. we are getting closer – Island Lokrum – yet another island on our list and we did not even mention all the others that surround Dubrovnik area. Don't get sad, we will.. eventually, but you need to keep reading to stay up to date! It was proclaimed a Special Forest Vegetation Reserve under protection of UNESCO. History of the island is a bit scary and unclear. For this one we will not tell you much as we do want to get you to go to this cursed island and get a chill from your local guide while listening to every piece of secrets held. Benedictine monastery and priests who lived there were the original owners of the island, they did so much for the island and the greenery, pathways you see today. After their centennial stay the island was sold for the first time to rich people from Dubrovnik Republic. Legend says no other owner of the island after the Benedictine priests.. will not end up good. We told you we will not tell you any details, you need to experience this trust us. After them lots of different owners of the island built gardens, fortresses, pathways, reserves, residences, towers, churches and so on.. Some of them (and each of them has a legend connected to the island) are ; Maximilian of Habsburg and Richard the Lion Heart.
Number 1 is here!! And of course our Old Town holds that place! Let’s start with the massive city walls that surround the old town. The walls do not have the same width, length, nor thickness at any part. And are a strategic point of keeping the inhabitants safe! We stroll on to Stradun – Main Street, the connection between two ancient settlements that now make our Dubrovnik. On each end of this street you will see fountains and bell towers, and it is a connection to both entrances to the Old Town itself. Moving on to St. Blaise church which was dedicated to Dubrovnik’s protector, who’s by the way carved monument you are able to see everywhere around the town. There is also a cathedral, different small churches, aquarium, Jewish street and part of town where they used to live, all the small squared and narrow streets, Rector’s palace, and… oh yes! Get the tour and find out! :)