OLD TOWN >> Dubrovnik City Walls

Dubrovnik City Walls

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Dubrovnik's city walls is one of the best maintained fortified constructions in the world. Construction began on the first fortifications very early back in the 8th Century, the majority being built in the 15th and 16th century when they took on the appearnce they bear today. The great earthquake of 1667 barely damaged them at all.


The walls are 1940 metres long, 25 metres high, 4 to 6 metres wide on the land facing side and 1.5 to 3 metres wide on the sea facing side. They are protected by towers on all four sides with Minceta dominating, whose construction began when the Turks occupied Carigrad. Due to the Turkish-Venetian wars, or rather the gear of a Turksih occupation the towers of St. John and Revelin were built. Revelin and Lovrijenac are towers built outside of the walls in order to further protect the city.


Beneath the walls stretched a large deep ditch, which is not visible today because of the road and carparks subsequently built, that further strengthened the city which was guarded by 120 cannons.


Throughout history locals feared the Ventians most of all and so at the end of the 14th Century it was decreed that all private buildings and churches should be knocked down in order to prevent them being occupied as strategic positions by enemy forces. It hd been noted that newcomers from Venice often milled around that area. As much as Dubrovnik is famous for its walls it remained small because of them.


It's interesting that despite the breathtaking beauty of the walls, the builders were not concerned with sthetics, only their efficacy in protecting the city. In the end, they fulfilled both criteria although some parts were constructed in haste in fear of the enemy's proximity.


When the walls were finished, visitors were unable to describe their feelings at seeing them. Konrad von Gruenenberg from Konstanz wrote at the end of the 15th Century that Dubrovnik was one of the most beautiful cities in the world and best protected by its walls: ''Dubrovnik is so fortified a city that there is no such anywhere in the world: its powerful fortresses, towers, two deep trenches between them and the outer sleeve with strong walls and their battlements and all were built of carved stone!"


There is a saying that he who was in Rome and didn't see the Pope shouldn't have bothered coming, the same goes for Dubrovnik's walls. He who comes to Dubrovnik and doesn't visit the walls has missed out on a lot. In 2013, TripAdvisor put the Dubrovnik city walls on its list of top 10 places to see before you die based on over 1 million comments on the site.


You can reach the city walls at three different spots. Straight to the left when you step foot on the Stradun from Pile Gate (see map), at the St.John fort and St.Luke fort at the eastern entrance to the city.



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