DUBROVNIK DIGEST >> OLD TOWN
OLD TOWN >> Minčeta
Minčeta is the most northerly fortress on Dubrovnik's city wall and the most important defence for the city from the land. From Minčeta, as the tallest point in the Old Town, you can enjoy beautiful views out to sea, as well as inland.
The fortress got its name from a Dubrovnik family, Menčetić, which gifted the land on which the fortress was built. The first building was rectangular in shape, until the mid-16th century when it gained its present distinctive, round appearance.
Minčeta's walls are six metres thick and nine guns dominate atop of the fortress, above the battlements (which had a primarily aesthetic function). One gun stood out in particular for its size, strength and beauty, Napoleon's soldiers called it the "beautiful woman". Cast in bronze, it weighed more than seven tonnes. Made by Ivan Rabljanin and during their occupation, the Austrians took it to Vienna where they melted it down. There are records that the gun fired at the Russians on Srđ at the beginning of the 19th Century and that with only three shots, destroyed two Russian cannons and killed 30 soldiers.
During its construction, there was a short supply of stones so the city's leaders ordered that every person that came to the city must bring a stone in proportion with their bodily contsruction to contribute to the build.
Minčeta has remained a symbol of Dubrovnik's invincibility which the Turkish travel writer Evliya Çelebi, compared with the biblical Tower of Babel.
In 1936, the fortress was the site of a plane crash. The military biplane crashed into Minčeta, killing the pilot and navigator and is one of the most extraordinary accidents in aviation history. The accident occurred because the pilot was in love with a young woman from Dubrovnik and wanted to show how brave he was by performing stunts and flying low. When the crash happened, it sparked a fire in the Old Town.