Dubrovnik is a hidden city within stone walls, with an open heart that welcomes visitors from all over the world. The whole city is facing the sun and the sea, the sky is clear blue and the turquoise-green and dark blue color of the sea along the rocky shores and beaches look stunning. Thirty years ago, the city was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Its numerous churches, museums and fortresses enchant every visitor. Today, Dubrovnik is one of the world's tourism centers, where people from all over the world meet.
The City Walls of Dubrovnik once defended the city from attackers, but today it represents the most important landmark of Dubrovnik. The walls were constructed in the middle ages and they consist of the main city wall, three fortresses, six bastions, sixteen towers, and the two city drawbridges, Pila and Ploča, which would be raised during the night, thus sealing the city off. The walls have a total of five entrances: the doors of Ploča, Pila, Buža, Ponte, and Ribarnica. The medieval fortification is best explored by taking a walk along the two kilometers of path running along the walls and fortresses. The walls are 1940 meters long, and numerous notable builders took part in their construction, which all tells of the glory and wealth the Republic of Ragusa once boasted. The average thickness of the walls is between four and six meters. Some of the builders of the walls, unfortunately, remain unknown to us today.
Stradun – The famous Dubrovnik Stradun is the favorite walking place of the inhabitants of the city, but also of the city’s many visitors. The name Stradun was given to the street by the Venetians, and the archaic word translates as “big street“, which the people of Dubrovnik don’t look too fondly upon. The Stradun that we can see today was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1667 in a simple, stone style. Before the earthquake the city was adorned with many luxurious palaces. The architecture of the street after the earthquake changed drastically, as the builders not only had to think about the street’s beauty, but also of the city’s defence and the new, thick walls that would serve as defensive forts.
Knežev Dvor used to be the seat of the government, as well as of the Duke of the Repubic of Ragusa. Today, the palace was converted into a museum that displays the culture and history of the people of Dubrovnik. The Duke never left the palace during his reign, apart from when state obligations and protocols requested his presence. The draw bridges of Pile and Ploče would be lifted and locked each night, and the Duke used to have the keys during the night, which he would return when the morning came. Inside Knežev Dvor, there used to be large halls reserved for meetings of large and small comitees, a gun storage, a prison, as well as a court room.
The Large Onofrio’s Fountain is located just next to the bridge of Pila, in the very center of the city. The citizens of Dubrovnik used to have severe water shortages due to the long and dry summers that the region is characteristic of. They had to bring water in by ship, because wells were just not enough. The Senate decided to bring the water from the Šumet source to the city. The Šumet is located around 12 kilometers from the city, so this undertaking was assigned to famous Italian architect, Onofrio.
The Small Onorfio’s Fountain is located on the opposite side of the Stradun, inside the walls of the Main Guard building. Its gothic decorations were completed by Italian sculptor Pietro di Martino of Milan. The stone slabs in the middle of the octagonal fountain are decorated with reliefs of naked boys who carry different water-carrying vessels, and a pillar emerges from the spot decorated with a shell that squirts water. The top of the pillar is shaped as a pyramid, decorated with depictions of four dolphins and a flower at the very top.