OLD TOWN >> Dubrovnik City Gates

Dubrovnik City Gates

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The Dubrovnik Republic had only two entrances to the city - the Ploce Gate, and Pile Gate. It was not until the fall of the Republic  that Austria built on the north side of walls a third entry known as Buza.


Pile Gate (pile is a word of Greek origin and means door) is an entrance into the city from the west side of the walls of Dubrovnik and for many visitors is their first encounter with the old town. The exterior doors were built in 1573, dominated by a statue of St. Blaise from above. However, more intriguing are the stone heads that are under his statue and above the door. Two beautiful sisters are carved in the stone with a bearded man between them.


The legend that is still in effect says that the heads were carved as a warning to priests and nuns of an immoral life. The legend is substantiated by charges against the Dubrovnik Republic friar Jeronimo Jeđupak who allegedly came under the cover of night to the monastery of St. Klarisa to have intercourse with nuns. Some authors believe that the charges were false and that the government wanted to get rid of Jeronimo because of his conspiring.


Regardless, the unfortunate priest was executed  but that is why the legend of the sexual activities of the Franciscans and nuns of St. Klarisa came about. It's hard to believe that the Republic would order the carving of stone heads over the issue, with a virtually untenable thesis that beneath the statue of the city's patron saint, a symbol of that meaning could be set. It remains unknown to this day what these heads mean, who it is and why they were carved.


The gate was connected to the mainland by a wooden and stone bridge that spans a deep trench, much deeper than it is today. The stone bridge was built by Paskoje Milicevic witha  wooden drawbridge which was raised each night for safety.


Ploce Gate is located on the east side of the walls and built ​​in the same way as the Pile Gate. It too consists of a stone and wooden drawbridge that is raised every night.



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