Outside of the Old Town, a picturesque fortification attracts not only tourists, but also the theater and cinema industries. It is also used for rock diving. On it, the official motto of the former republic, ‘freedom can’t be sold for the whole gold in the world’, is inscribed. The republic’s nobility (men only) elected their representatives to the parliament, but rich traders were excluded from political representation and increasingly frustrated. The republic was abolished with the French conquest in 1808. The upper fort in the city was built to control the fort in the sea. During theater performances, Hamlet’s father’s ghost appears in the fortress. Our guide said that during her childhood residents could enjoy a lot of street theater, but nowadays theater happens in more closed spaces. Continue reading →
Visiting Dubrovnik for the first time got me asking why I never thought about going there before. I am not surprised why it attracts so many people – there is everything for every taste… except, perhaps, budget travel. The popular Croatian city rests on the remainders of the once-prominent Republic of Ragusa, which was known for its vibrant economic and cultural life, as well as diplomacy and tolerance, in the 15th and 16th centuries. Walking in the city feels as if everything is perfectly preserved since then – but in fact its protection by UNESCO since 1979 did not prevent it from being severely bombed in 1991. Scarce remaining residents of the ancient walled city had to look for ways in which to restore their property, with strict UNESCO requirements for specific tiles and colors. Maps detailing the damage of the bombing hang next to regular tourist maps in the main sightseeing spots.