Dubrovnik: Resilient City of Stone

Our guide said there are 30 churches in the walled city, including the cathedral, as well as current or former monasteries and the Rector’s Palace. (I who cannot resist a bit of trivia will mention this comes to one church for every 67 Old Town residents.)

View of Dubrovnik’s Harbor.

View of Dubrovnik’s Harbor.

We did not even glimpse all the city’s notable features, but did the best we could. This included a stroll to the harbor where our guide pointed out the facility where, beginning in the 14th century, incoming tradesmen were held in quarantine at least 40 days.

Dubrovnik was an independent republic for about 450 years beginning in 1358. As a result, our guide said, locals speak a “strong” Croatian dialect that is related to Italian; she said it can be difficult to communicate with other Croatians.

With some free time but under rainy skies, I ducked

Interior of Dubrovnik’s Gradska Kavana — literally, Town Cafe).

Interior of Dubrovnik’s Gradska Kavana — literally, Town Cafe).

into the Gradska Kavana (literally, Town Cafe) and ordered hot chocolate.

The cafe is in the city hall building near St. Blaise Church. Its ceilings are double height, the windows big

with great views onto the Placa and the chocolate hot and thick. A nice place to be!

Our experiences of Dubrovnik’s social life were limited by the short visit (less than 24 hours — travel agents don’t linger during learning tours), but we had walked in the Old Town the night before the sightseeing.

We wound up that evening at the Gaffe Irish Pub, of all places! Sometimes you can forget precisely where you are.

This article and its photos are by Nadine Godwin, the author of Travia: The Ultimate Book of Travel Trivia, which was published by The Intrepid Traveler.


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