Our small-ship Aegean Odyssey takes our guests to some of the most historical and beautiful places in the world in true style and ultimate comfort, and two of the regions that we sail – the Adriatic and the Aegean – are always firm favourites. To celebrate this fascinating area of our world, we wanted to highlight some of the wonderful things you can see and do with us on voyages to the region and today, we’re looking at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik Old Town, an incredible destination that features on many of our 2018 sailings.
Penned “the Pearl of the Adriatic” by Lord Byron himself, the majestic and stunning city of Dubrovnik Old Town is the best-preserved walled city in the Mediterranean and the only preserved medieval European walled city. The city is the epitome of beauty with 1940 metres of uninterrupted white stone walls and a beautiful mountainous backdrop.
Accompanying the iconic white walls, seafront setting and striking mountain scenery is an assortment of bell towers such as the Tower Minčeta, prominent fortresses (such as the Fortress of St John) that once defended the city, bastions and copper domes. Once inside, the walls reveal the Stradun or Placa, the main street that was, during the town’s history, a sea channel which connected two ancient settlements. The city also boasts the Dominican Monastery with a magnificent Gothic cloister built in the 15th-century and also an impressive medley of Renaissance paintings. Europe’s oldest pharmacy dating back to 1318 is found in the Franciscan Monastery and is to this day still in existence. There are many other religious landmarks in the town such as the Baroque Church of St Blaise, Onofrio’s Fountains, Sponza Palace and the Cathedral of Our Lady (built in the 12th Century and then rebuilt in the 17th Century after being destroyed in the 1667 earthquake) which contains one of the most exquisite collections of silver and gold in Europe including the bejewelled skull of St Blaise. Sponza palace is argued to be the most picturesque palace in the City, and has preserved its original form against the test of time. It was the seat of many state offices such as the treasury.
The walls were constructed over time with such skill, and built upon when necessary, that they are both preserved and still functional today. The design of the city walls comes from the 14th century, but the definitive shape was derived and solidified in the era of Dubrovnik’s history which is, for good reason, commonly known as the Golden Age of Dubrovnik, occurring from the collapse of Constantinople in 1453 until the destructive earthquake of 1667.
Today, Dubrovnik is visited by thousands of tourists every year and it still holds on to its old age charm. Our included half-day walking tour here offers the city’s main street, Dominican Monastery, Franciscan Monastery, Sponza Palace and the Baroque Church of St Blaise.