Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Great Walls of Dubrovnik

Most of the old Indian cities were built around fortifications like Agra, Gwalior, Old Delhi, to name just a few. The fortifications are always sights that fill us in awe. From childhood times these sights would bring endless joys. Just before the outbreak of Covid early this year, I was fortunate to visit Dubrovnik, the capital of Croatia. It was dusk and the sun was setting when we were headed in the direction of the city from the airport. It was an unforgettable moment to come racing down the hill for miles to vast panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and a cluster of shimmering lights atop the walls of a huge city. As we approached closer, the huge imposing walls looked even more majestic.

The intact city walls were constructed during 12-17 centuries mostly a double line. This timeless beauty is the price of Dubrovnik. The walls run for approximately length, almost uninterrupted. In 1979 this structure joined the coveted list of 'UNESCO World Heritage Sites'.

These walls have a very interesting history. The first limestone structures began in the Middle Ages around the 8th century. The strength of these walls went the test of time and the ravages of war starting from the 9th century when the city managed to survive a bitter war lasting 15 months. The city spread towards the uninhabited eastern part, near the St John's fortress, called Pustijerna. The Latin name 'Pustijerna' means'outside the town'. The whole city was entirely enclosed in the 13th century, except the Dominican monastery.

The city walls have been preserved by the skilled constructors who have maintained these walls befitting their glorious past. Starting from the earliest times these walls have seen invasions by Turks, Venetians and Ottoman Empire.

The parallelogram like structure of the walls has four strong fortresses. Towards the north is the circular Minceta Tower, and towards the east in the proximity of the port is the Revelin Fortress. The western city entrance is protected by Fort Bokar and the St Lawrence Fortress(also called the Lovrijenac). A large complex St John's fortress lies on the southeastern side. In most places, the walls are almost 20 feet thick and about 80 feet high.

The town has four city gates of which two lead to the harbour and the other two towards the mainland. The Pile Gates are towards the main entrance to the Old Town, The Gothic arches make this construction very appealing. Gate of Ploce on the eastern side is near the Revelin fortress, The Gate of Buza is on the northern side and is relatively new construction. The Sea Walls as the name suggests helped to defend the city from the sea attacks.

A visit to Dubrovnik is incomplete without a walk around the periphery of the wall. The walk takes almost two hours to go around and can get easily extended if one indulges in admiring the scenic beauty. The recent wars that have caused the destruction  of some of the structures can be seen as scars marring the beauty of the place. Without a doubt, Dubrovnik is a 'Pearl of the Adriatic'
PS: All pics are mine


  1. Amazing history and maintained very well. Lovely captures.

  2. Love to know new places... Thanks Rahul ji

  3. Dubrovnik is an impressive place, but too crowded when we were there. Nice shots.

  4. Luckily we managed this to be our last trip just before the Coronavirus hit. It's indeed a lovely place to visit and the view from those walls do steal the show :)

    1. I too had my last holiday at Dubrovnik/ Rotterdam. The place is beautiful