Dubrovnik after Dark

It was already dark when we walked down the street of cobble stones, with tall stone walls like canyon on both sides. We wandered alone down deserted streets and alleys of the Dubrovnik old town.

We discovered the best time for a stroll through Dubrovnik’s Old Town is after dark. We passed by deserted shop windows which looked very different at day time.

The Dubrovnik old town at night is as beautiful as it is during the day.

We glided down Dubrovnik’s main street, the Stradun and  strolled past churches and shops closed up tight for the night. The shop windows were very appealing.

As we reached the end of the Stradun, we  turned to the square on our right and discovered this elegant Rector’s Palace which was  the seat of power in the old city-state of Dubrovnik.

This beautiful building is a harmonious mixture of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements. The original palace was modeled after the Roman imperial palace, with some influences from Venetian palaces. There were two gun powder explosions in the 15th century and an earthquake in the 17th century which destroyed part of the palace. The existing building was rebuilt at the end of the 17th century.

The central portico features beautiful archways and a second story mezzanine. The most beautiful part is the portico with the open ceiling and archways.

Further stroll brought us to the nearby beautiful Luza square where we  found the Church of St. Blaise, who is  Dubrovnik’s patron saint. St. Blaise was also the protector of the Independent Republic of Ragusa. The church is easily recognizable by the statue of the city’s patron, St. Blaise on its top! This 18th century Baroque church is one of the most recognizable Dubrovnik attractions.

Our empty stomachs reminded that we still did not have our dinner yet and we should be looking for a suitable restaurant.

This restaurant by the side of the alley looked inviting but at this time of the night, it was all full.

This restaurant really looked nice and it was blissful just to sit here and have alfresco dinning while gazing at the beautiful buildings nearby with the nights on.

After dinner, we walked our way back  to the hotel along the hilly driveway with roadside lights guiding our way.  .

When we reached our hotel. it was already late and we collapsed onto the comfortable seats by the pool while others opted for an evening swim.

We were happy that we were given another fine and blissful day and an enjoyable evening!

Dubrovnik – The Charming Old Harbor

Dubrovnik is one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO. Supported by maritime  trade, since the middle ages, it has been the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice.  With no high vantage point nearby, it is quite difficult to have a close up  overview of the complete old port which is surrounded by forts and buildings on all three sides and an island breakwater, the Kase, on the seaward side. As on any other day, when we were there, there was a constant flow of sightseers disembarking from Mediterranean cruise ships and public ferries leaving from the short journey across to the picturesque island of Lokrum.

The old port, steeped in history, was where a lot of commercial  and maritime activity were carried out until the 1500s.  It was constructed in the 14th century with the tall St John fort defending the port entrance. To protect the  city there has been a lot of modifications to the port over the centuries.

There are two breakwaters protecting the harbor from waves. An outer one known as Porporela and inner one across the entrance known as Kase ( both on the far left). Two finger piers protruding from the town area (far right); one directly in the alignment of the Placa Stradun. The old port encloses the body of water between the  fort of St John, the Kase, the Revelin and the fort of St Luke. It   was filled with small fishing vessels and yachts bobbing in the calm waters. Both the day view and night view are equally enchanting.

The fort of St John, constructed in the 14th century, has high walls which are several stories tall guarding the entrance to the harbor.  Its steep limestone walls contrast sharply with the azure Adriatic Sea. At the time of Venetian expansion, St. John’s fortress was linked to the old Revelin Fortress by a chain which could be raised to prevent vessel entry in case of a threat. The fort is now home to an impressive Maritime Museum, the city aquarium and an open air theatre.

Revelin Fortress is shown in mid picture (above) jutting out like the prow of a battleship.  It was built in the 16th century as the danger of attacks from the Ottoman Turk grew.

The view of the port on the town side near to the root of the piers is also breathtaking; again photos were taken during the day time and night for interest of comparison.

From the far end, we can see the promontory which used to serve as a breakwater, as well as the imposing structure of the town’s fortifications.

We took a stroll along its picturesque promontory as the sun set and finished the stroll on one of the benches by the Red Feral ( warning navigation light).

The Porporela breakwater is known as a favourite meeting place of young people who want to hide from the inquisitive eyes . The view was just romantic and reminded us of the popular local song: I’ll wait for you at the breakwater little darling, at the breakwater by the Red Feral…………..

Dubrovnik – From a Distance

I have always like the Dobrovnik fortress as it appears classically on post cards and travel books. This impression is reinforced by what George Bernard Shaw once  said about the place,” If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik,  because the beauty there will leave anyone breathless!”

From our hotel, we have a breathtaking view of the classical Dubrovnik fortress, jutting peacefully  into the blue Adriatic sea.

We walked down towards the Dubrovnik beach which at this time of the year was not yet cramped with bathers. As expected, there were many ships visiting Dubrovnik bringing in loads of tourists.

The biggest attraction of this town is its architecture, that is, the walls and towers. Many of the articles about Dubrovnik only talk about the castles and the towers. In fact, no illustration of Dubrovnik will be complete without giving an idea of its environs, viewing it from a distance (horizontally and vertically) before zeroing it onto the walls and castles.

The Srdj hill behind the castle rises steeply from the sea. Instead of taking the cable car, we drove uphill and stopped on the way to have a good look on the seaside which was breathtaking.

The sun was setting, it illuminated parts of Dubrovnik which is just outside the fortress.

Reaching  the top of the hill, we have a fantastic view of the town and the Lokrum island. In contrast to the foreshore town of orange tile roofs, further offshore is  the green wooded Lokrum island. In 1192 King Richard the Lionheart, on his return from the third Crusade,  visited the place and took shelter on the Lokrum island. Out of gratitude to Dubrovnik, King Richard erected the new romanesque cathedral on the island.

Looking further landward was a line of mountains with a beautiful backdrop of the sky.

When evening came, we decided to have dinner up on the hill. We were interested in seeing how the roasted lamb or Brega was being prepared.

It was a delightful dinner with Dalamatian singers playing and singing the local songs.

Going back to the hotel after the dinner, we were so anxious to walk the Dubrovnik fortress and the walls the next day. . . . . . . . .