Dubrovnik, the southernmost town in Croatia, is probably more popular than Croatia itself. It is one of the world’s most stunning destinations, both in terms of its cultural heritage and as a holiday destination. The city has often been referred to as the "Pearl of the Adriatic" and was inducted into the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979 as a city of rich culture and history. The Old Town of Dubrovnik is surrounded by 1,970 meters of city walls—over the centuries they served to protect the city from various threats and today are the city's greatest attraction. The Pile Gate and the Ploce Gate are connected by the main street, Stradun, and form the entry and exit points to the city walls and the old city itself as well as its museums and theatre scene. Besides its wealth and diversity of history and heritage, Dubrovnik is also a city of top culinary delights, stunning natural surroundings and cordial inhabitants, so set some time aside, explore the possibilities the city has to offer and feel the spirit of this ancient city.
Dubrovnik's Stone Walls
The city’s most famous feature is its imposing stone boundary. The walls seen today were constructed between the 12th and 17th centuries and encircling the old city. They are in places up to six meters thick and have never been breached by a hostile army. A trip to Dubrovnik is not complete without a stroll around the wall.
Dubrovnik is cut off from the rest of Croatia
Just north of Dubrovnik there is a 12-mile wide strip of Bosnia and Herzegovina that cuts Croatia in two. This corridor of land provides sea access to Croatia’s otherwise-landlocked neighbor and is a product of a slump in the finances of the Republic of Dubrovnik in the 17th century. It was forced it to sell two patches of land to the Ottomans – the Bosnian corridor being one of them – in order to raise a bit of cash and halt the Venetian forces advancing from the north. Today, anyone driving to the city from the north must negotiate border control on either side of the territory, passing the seaside town of Neum, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s only port.
Dubrovnik is a celebrity magnet
Dubrovnik has been a magnet for celebrities over the centuries. Kings and queens, Hollywood A-listers, world leaders, sports heroes and top of the chart singers have all graced the Stradun. And although it recent years the numbers of stars that have visited Dubrovnik has blossomed the city has a long history of celebrity guests. Elisabeth Taylor and Richard Burton spent a romantic stay in the city in the 60’s, Sophie Lauren dropped by and many Kings and Queens have enjoyed the crystal clear Adriatic Sea. More recently Michael Douglas, Catharine Zeta Jones, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Richard Gere, Nick Nolte, Tom Cruise, Sir Roger Moore, Tina Turner...the list goes on and on.
One of the biggest names in recent years was Beyonce who drifted into town. She sailed into town on Eric Clapton’s yacht with her boyfriend Jayz and they spent the afternoon having fun on jet skis. And the diva Gloria Gaynor spent a "working" holiday in the city and performed to a packed audience.
Michael Fassbender spent a few days sailing around the Adriatic Sea, Francis Ford Coppola was in town, born again star Mickey Rourke met the masses and Richard Gere admired the architecture and Ashley Judd even filmed a new series in the streets. FC Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer enjoyed the views from the cable car and Jon Bon Jovi spent a family holiday in Cavtat. We have already seen Roman Abramovich, Bernie Eccelstone (again), the famous designer Valentino, Sarah Ferguson and the world cup winning footballer Bastian Schweinsteiger.
Keep your eyes open...you never know who you will bump into in Dubrovnik.
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