DUBROVNIK DIGEST >> OLD TOWN
OLD TOWN >> Orthodox Church
Dubrovnik citizens didn't allow Orthodox people (or Muslims) to spend the night in the city
The Dubrovnik Republic was an especially Catholic state primarily for political reasons, not intolerance, which is best evidenced by the building of a Jewish synagogue within the city walls which is one of the oldest in Europe.
However, the Republic didn't act in such a friendly way towards those of other faiths, out of fear. According to legend, during his stay in Dubrvonik in the 13th Century, Francis of Assisi said that the Republic would have independence so long as it distanced itself from other faiths, especially Orthodoxy. Whether that is true is less important, but the fact is that the old Dubrovnik citizens didn't allow Orthodox people (or Muslims) to spend the night in the city, let alone to build their church in Dubrovnik.
The situation changed with the fall of teh Republic at te start of teh 19th Century when Dubrovnik received its first Orthodox priest. Napoleon made all faiths equal and later the Austro-Hungarians did too.
The Dubrovnik Orthodox were backed by Russia (it is said that the Peter the Great personally pushed for the construction of the church opposite its Consul) and other Orthodox countries who tried in every way to build an Orthodox church in Dubrovnik, despite the opposition of the local population. Finally, it was built in 1837, at the side of the Orthodox cemetery at Boninovo. But, they wanted a church inside the city walls so in 1877 with a license from the Austro-Hungarian occupation, they set about building the Church of the Annunciation on Ulica od Puca. The church was built where an old dilapidated palace belonging to aristocratic familes had been, the most famous one being the Gundulić family .
The church, although built relatively recently fits in well in the Old Town of Dubrovnik and is a favourite destination of tourists. Within the Orthodox Church there is a museum with a collection of valuable icons and masterpieces of the famous Dubrovnik painter Bukovac (opening hours of the museum is 9am to 1pm every day).