Dubrovnik Republic

Dubrovnik once was the capital city of the Republic of Dubrovnik.

People often mistake Dubrovnik for being the capital city of Croatia. This is not a surprise since Dubrovnik is far more popular than the actual capital of Zagreb.

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To explain how the city-state was formed, we must answer the million dollar question – where and when was Dubrovnik founded?

Today’s historians and archeologist have many theories regarding when people first came here and on what location. Some say it happened on southern side of city walls, some say it was in bay of Pile, others it was in today’s Old Port.

The dual theory

Most probable one is dual theory about Romans and Slavic tribe that explains both Latin and Croatian name. Location of the Roman settlement was southern side of city walls and on the opposite side, near mt. Srđ, was Slavic settlement. People of those settlements decided to unite after years of cohabitation. Romans called their settlement Ragusa (meaning the cliff/rock) and Slavs called it Dubrovnik (dub means oak, dubrava means forest and that’s how we got Dubrovnik). All of this happened during 4th to 5th century.

The birth of Republic

Dubrovnik was part of Eastern Roman Empire. Importance of its position and location of the port were noted by the emperor Constantine VII. in his De administrando imperio (“On the Governance of the Empire”).  When Roman Empire was abolished Dubrovnik had various masters, most important ones were the Venetians. However, after century of foreign rule people got the opportunity to gain back their freedom. And that’s how The Republic of Dubrovnik was born. It existed from 14th until 19th century.

Small in size, but big in say

Maybe Dubrovnik was among the smallest European countrys (today’s Dubrovnik Neretva county is larger!), but it was among the most important ones. Vast trade network, great number of ships, salt pools in Ston, diplomacy and protection of mighty Ottoman empire were reasons of its succes.

The Golden Age

15th and 16th century were golden age of the Republic. Despite being surrounded by city walls Dubrovnik was open to the world – artists, poets, writers, painters, actors, politicians from all over the world were welcomed in proud Republic. At the same time Dubrovnik had locals who belonged to all of the beforementioned categories and they left enormous impact on history of Croatia.

The end of Republic

Golden age was brutally interrupted on April 6 1667 when Dubrovnik was hit by the strongest earthquake in history. Experts today agree it was around 7 degrees on Richter’s scale. Even in catastrophic situation order was restored and Dubrovnik didn’t lose its beloved freedom.

The end of Republic was on January 31 1808 when Napoleon’s general, after year and half of occupation, marched into Rector’s palace and read proclamation which abolished aristocratic Republic of Dubrovnik. It might had changed the political system, but the city is still there and its history is still alive.

Want to find out more? Have a walk with me on my very special Old Town Tour.

The Dubrovnik Republic

People often mistake Dubrovnik for being the capital city of Croatia. There is nothing to be surprised for. It is far more popular than actual capital Zagreb.

To explain how city-state was formed, we must answer a million dollar question – where and when Dubrovnik was founded? Today’s historians and archeologist have many theories regarding when people first came here and on what location. Some say it happened on southern side of city walls, some say it was in bay of Pile, others it was in today’s Old Port.

The dual theory

Most probable one is dual theory about Romans and Slavic tribe that explains both Latin and Croatian name. Location of the Roman settlement was southern side of city walls and on the opposite side, near mt. Srđ, was Slavic settlement. People of those settlements decided to unite after years of cohabitation. Romans called their settlement Ragusa (meaning the cliff/rock) and Slavs called it Dubrovnik (dub means oak, dubrava means forest and that’s how we got Dubrovnik). All of this happened during 4th to 5th century.

The birth of Republic

Dubrovnik was part of Eastern Roman Empire. Importance of its position and location of the port were noted by the emperor Constantine VII. in his De administrando imperio (“On the Governance of the Empire”).  When Roman Empire was abolished Dubrovnik had various masters, most important ones were the Venetians. However, after century of foreign rule people got opportunity to gain back their freedom. And that’s how The Republic of Dubrovnik was born. It existed from 14th until 19th century.

Small in size, but big in say

Maybe Dubrovnik was among the smallest European countrys (today’s Dubrovnik Neretva county is larger!), but it was among the most important ones. Vast trade network, great number of ships, salt pools in Ston, diplomacy and protection of mighty Ottoman empire were reasons of its succes.

The Golden Age

15th and 16th century were golden age of the Republic. Despite being surrounded by city walls Dubrovnik was open to the world – artists, poets, writers, painters, actors, politicians from all over the world were welcomed in proud Republic. At the same time Dubrovnik had locals who belonged to all of the beforementioned categories and they left an enormous impact on history of Croatia.

The end of Republic

Golden age was brutally interrupted on April 6 1667 when Dubrovnik was hit by the strongest earthquake in history. Experts today agree it was around 7 degrees on Richter’s scale. Even in catastrophic situation order was restored and Dubrovnik didn’t lose its beloved freedom.

The end of Republic was on January 31 1808 when Napoleon’s general, after year and half of occupation, marched into Rector’s palace and read proclamation which abolished aristocratic Republic of Dubrovnik. It might had changed the political system, but the city is still there and its history is still alive.

Want to find out more? Have a walk with me on my very special Old Town Tour.

MORE STORIES & TIPS

Winter has come

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When visiting a foreign country, it’s normal to learn few words in the local language – how to say hello, thank you or ask for directions. In Dubrovnik you’ll need some completely different words and they are: coffee, sunglasses, don’t rush. Or in Croatian: kava, cvike, pomalo. Let me explain why you’ll need those.

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Regifting

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If you ask Google to find „you know you're Croatian when...“ lists online you'll definitely find the art of re-gifting.   I know it’s not just Croatian thing but there are some important improvements that we have made. First, it’s considered very rude to visit...

Winter has come

Winter has come

WInter has come and hopefully it won't stay too long! While we walk through crowded streets of Dubrovnik in summer and complain about heat my guests and I often have this conversation: -So how does Dubrovnik look during winter, does it snow? -Oh no, we just have mild...

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