Dubrovnik is a go-to destination for culture vultures and sun seekers alike. A pretty little gem on the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik’s distinctive red rooftops and white washed buildings, gloriously golden beaches and bright blue waters all add to the Croatian city’s charms. But it’s the famous ancient walls that are an absolute must-see on a Dubrovnik city break. Let’s take a look at them in more detail.
A brief history
The Dubrovnik city walls date back to the 13th century and were built systematically to prevent foreign invasion from enemies like the Turks and Venetians. For added protection, 15 forts were built onto the walls in the 14th century, generally thought of as the Golden Age of Dubrovnik. On average the walls are 24 metres high and up to six metres thick – a pretty impressive defence system! Along the way the mammoth walls acquired two round towers,12 quadrilateral forts, five bastions and two corner towers.
Walk through time
Today the renowned walls have gained UNESCO World Heritage status! They are extremely well preserved and protected and are explored by thousands of visitors every year – it’s no wonder that a lot of the Game of Thrones series is filmed around here. You can walk happily along the 2 kilometre circuit, taking in the spectacular panoramic views of the sea and the city.
Stop off at the forts (like Fort Lawrence and Sokol Tower) for picture perfect opportunities, worthy of the small admission fee that you have to pay to walk the walls. Two of the walls’ arched great gateways lead into the quaint and bustling Old Town – Pile (to the west) and Ploče (to the east). Take a wander around these area to get an insight into local culture and cuisine. Stop off at other various points of the walls to get a wider experience of this amazing city.
Beyond the walls
Despite being Dubrovnik’s highlight, there is plenty more to see and do beyond the walls. Rector’s Palace and Cultural History Museum will give you an even better understanding of the city’s history, with Renaissance and Baroque architecture, furniture and paintings. The Maritime Museum also gives an insight into the merchant shipping history of the city. Another way to view the city is by taking one of the cable cars 405 metres up Mount Srdj, from a station just outside the Old Town. For something even more adventurous, kayaking groups go out to Lokrum, which takes you past a tour of the walls! This is a unique point to experience them from.
Within these fascinating city walls awaits a city that is crying out to be explored. Take a good pair of walking shoes, a fully charged camera and an appetite to learn all about this wonderful part of the world.