Dubrovnik's rich history is as impressive as the mighty walls of the Old Town, and although it was referred to as Dubrovnik in the Charter of Ban Kulin in 1189, its current name was only officially adopted in 1918. Historically, the Latin and Dalmatian name is Ragusa, and Raugia in Greek.
The origins of the city are contested. Traditional thinking was the that it was founded on a rocky island named Laus in the 7th century, providing shelter for refugees from Epidarum, but recent findings of Greek artefacts suring excavations of the Port of Dubrovnik hint at an older heritage. A leading Croatian historian claims that Dubrovnik was founded by Greeks sailors, a perfect stopping point between the Greek settlements of Budva and Korcula.
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Things to do
There is plenty to see and do in Dubrovnik, quite apart from just breathing in the atmosphere and architecture of one of the world's most beautiful cities. Here are five things not to miss
- Walk the Walls of the Old Town
An obvious one, perhaps, but also unmissable. From whichever angle you look at Dubrovnik, its mighty walls are hugely impressive, but to get the full impression, a walk around the walls is a must. Add to that the stunning views of the Adriatic and little insigths into life in the town below, and it is not hard to see why this is one of the most popular attractions in Croatia.
- Discover the Old Harbour
As one would expect for a city with such a strong maritime tradition, Dubrovnik's old harbour is an impressive first introduction to those arriving by boat. The 15th century harbour has seen more than its fair share of unfriendly vessels over the centuries, and it is steeped in tradition and heritage. The majestic fort of St John is a must visit, but so too is the chance to take in modern life at the harbour which is more centred on local fishermen.
- Take the Cable Car to Mt. Srdj
For the very best views of the Old Town, there can be few better options that beat the fabulous cable car experience to Mt. Srdj. On a good day, one can see for some 60km, and there is also a restaurant at the top if you want to dine with one of the best vistas on the Adriatic.
- Visit Lokrum
Looking to escape the bustle of the city? Locals and tourists alike head to the small island of Lokrum, a short boat ride away from the old town. Lose yourself in the pine trees, beaches and wonderful nature, or visit the fascinating Royal Fortress and botanical gardens on the island.
- Walk along Stradun
Is there a more impressive street in all Dalmatia? Also known as Placa, Stradun is the widest street in the old town, dividing its northern and southern parts. Some 300 metres in length, enjoy not only the street's stunning architecture, but surely one of the country's leading fashion parades as well!