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Fort Imperial on Srđ
On the surrounding hills of the Republic of Dubrovnik and Srđ hill there were no defensive fortifications. Changing methods of warfare and the introduction of long-range guns, the French after having eliminated the Republic, decided to build a fortification on Srđ, Zarkovica, Bosanka and Strinčjera that would protect the city from the north.
As soon as the French troops enters the Republic in 1806 they began building Fort Imperial on the site of the old church of St . Srđ. The construction was led by French General Auguste Marmont.
Srđ at the time was the scene of fierce fighting between the French on one side and Russians and Montenegrins on the other. Dubrovnik sought to be neutral in order to save the Republic, but that did not happen.
After the fall of Napoleon, Dubrovnik belonged to the Austrians who continue to upgrade and strengthen the fortress and walls. To them, this fortress was very important due to the proximity of the Ottoman Empire. However, in 1882 the Austrians occupied Bosnia and Herzegovina and Dubrovnik caesed to be a border town and the fort lost its military function.
In 1991 it was very important for the defense of Dubrovnik, which was surrounded by Serbs and Montenegrins. Only the Imperial was in the hands of the Croatian Army and all the surrounding areas were occupied. The largest attack on the fortress and Dubrovnik by the Serbian- Montenegrin army was launched on December 6, 1991. The fighting around Imperial lasted all day and the few defenders there managed to withstand the attack. The fortress suffered extensive damage, but many of Dubrovnik's defenders then offered thanks to the French and Austrian engineers for the great building.
Today in the premises of the fort is a museum dedicated to the defense of Dubrovnik during the Homeland War.
Srd and the Imperial Fort are worth visiting. Even if you have no interest in war history, you will not remain indifferent to the spectacular panoramas of Dubrovnik. Srđ offers a view of one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world, so we recommend coming in the end of the day .
You can hike up the hill (on a goat path), reach it by car or cable car. For those looking for something a bit more fun on Srd then why not try a buggy safari?