I have a good look at the Dubrovnik old city using Google Earth. It gives a bird’s eye view of the city and I can zoom onto any part of it, demanding a street view or some detail information about the places of interest. I happily re-lived my journey using this wonderful tool.
While I am happy with what I find; I also notice that there are not much of vegetation or large open spaces within the old town. Even from a mile up above the city, the whole city seems to be orange color- from the orange colored roofs jam packed together. My trip up the hill Srjd behind the city also confirmed this (see my previous post of Dubrovnik – From a Distance). I guess that in the past many people wanted protection within the four sided castle walls and fortifications of Dubrovnik. Most open spaces are ultimately utilized for housing people within the confines of the wall. The city finally could not longer grow organically within the confines of the walls ; the city was left with that compressed feel as common for other former capitals such as Toledo, Spain.
The place is built up and gives one the impression of being “hard”. As Jan Morris in her “The Venetian Empire” describes it as . . . . “A hard city it remains too, to my mind, when you cross the bay and land upon its quay, beneath its high fortifications. It is very beautiful but hard. It lacks the yield or leniency of Venice. Built of a glittering and impermeable marble, enclosed within superb city walls, tilted slightly with the lie of the land and corrugated everywhere with battlements – tightly packed there within itself it has acquired non of the give-and-take of great age, but seems in a way a perfectly modern place, dogmatically planned and didactically displayed to visitors, like a model town in a trade fair.” Indeed, it is a city in which residents have to live under the eyes of tourists all year round.