July 9 - 15, 2017: Issue 320


View over houses towards the harbour.


By George Repin

Dubrovnik, a city fronting the Adriatic Sea on the Dalmatian Coast of southern Croatia, was included in 1979 on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. It is notable for its Old Town encircled by a massive stone wall, completed in the 16th Century, and for its well-preserved buildings.

City plan of Dubrovnik.

Despite its World Heritage listing, on the break-up of Yugoslavia Dubrovnik was attacked on October 1, 1991 and besieged by Serb and Montenegrin soldiers in the Yugoslav People’s Army for seven months. The city suffered considerable damage from 650 hits by artillery shells which left 56% of buildings damaged.  Over a hundred civilians were killed. The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia issued indictments for generals and officers involved in the shelling.  General Pavle Strugar, who coordinated the attack on the city, was sentenced to a seven-and-a-half-year prison term for his role.

After the war damage caused by the shelling was repaired between 1995 and 1999, adhering to UNESCO guidelines.  After the repair and restoration work Dubrovnik re-emerged as one of the top tourist destinations in the Mediterranean, popular with cruise ships in the Adriatic. It has been called The Pearl of the Adriatic. George Bernard Shaw wrote “Those who seek paradise on Earth must come to Dubrovnik.

The ancient city walls with their intricate and complex system of forts, bastions and towers are, for many, the main attraction of the Old Town of Dubrovnik. No other city has retained its medieval walls in such good condition as has Dubrovnik.

The city is completely surrounded by its defensive walls which run uninterrupted for 1940 metres (6365 feet). They constitute the second longest wall in Europe – only Hadrian’s Wall between England and Scotland is longer. The walls were built, added to and carefully maintained over the centuries. Even in the middle ages the city was fortified and was able to resist the Saracens for 15 months in the 9th Century. 

Starting the walk on the wall from the Old Port entrance.

Looking over the Old Port to a cruise ship in the harbour.

Fifteen square forts were added in the 14th Century. The main wall on the land side is 4 to 6 metres thick, but narrower on the side facing the sea (1.5 to 3 metres thick).  Its height reaches 25 metres (83 feet) in some places.

Additions were made to the walls in the 14th, 15th and 16th Centuries.


Walkers on the wall - the Old Port in the distance.

View over the city - with the dome of the cathedral.

The irregular parallelogram formed by the walls is protected at four prominent points by strong forts.  Additional protection is provided by two round towers, twelve quadrilateral forts, five bastions and two corner towers.  Access to the top of the walls from the Old Town is limited to four places, one point being near the port and another at the end of Stradum (Placa) Street. The walls have provided background in scenes of the TV series “Game of Thrones”.

Approaching a bastion.

View over houses to the wall beyond.

One of the towers.

A walk around the top of the wall provides views over the roof tops, out towards the harbour, down into the city streets and over areas outside the walls. 
Apart from its walls Dubrovnik has much to offer as a tourist destination – well-preserved buildings ranging from the baroque St Blaise Church, the Renaissance Sponza Palace, the Gothic Rector’s Palace, several monasteries to the favoured promenade and gathering place, Stradun (Placa) Street.

View over houses towards the harbour.

View down from the wall onto Placa (Stradun) - in direction of the harbour.

The water tower at the end of Placa - in front of St. Savior church. Note figures on top of the wall.

Stairs down from the wall beside St. Savier church.

Bokar fortress on the wall beside the cliff edge.

A cafe on the cliff top below the wall where there is access to a beach.

View back to the Old Port.

Photographs by George Repin in 2014.

Previous Reflections by George Repin 

The Nineteen Thirties  Remembering Rowe Street  The Sydney Push  Saturday Night at the Movies  Shooting Through Like A Bondi Tram  A Stop On The Road To Canberra  City Department Stores - Gone and Mostly Forgotten  An Australian Icon - thanks to Billy Hughes  Crossing The Pacific in the 1930s  Hill End  The Paragon at Katoomba  Seafood In Sydney  How Far From Sydney?  Cockatoo Island Over The Years  The Seagull at the Melbourne Festival in 1991  Busby's Bore  The Trocadero In Sydney  Cahill's restaurants Medical Pioneers in Australian Wine Making  Pedal Power and the Royal Flying Doctor Service  Pambula and the Charles Darwin Connection  Gloucester and the Barrington Tops  A Millenium Apart  Have You Stopped to Look?  Gulgong  Il Porcellino  Olympia  Durham Hall  Sargent's Tea Rooms Pie Shops and Street Photographers The Ballet Russes and Their Friends in Australia  Hotels at Bondi  Alma Ata Conference - 1978 Keukenhof - 1954 The Lands Department Building and Yellowblock Sandstone  The Goroka Show - 1958  A Gem On The Quay  Staffa  The Matson Line and Keepsake Menus Kokeshi Dolls  The Coal Mine At Balmain  The Hyde Park Barracks  The Changing Faces Of Sydney From Pounds and Pence to Dollars and Cents Nell Tritton and Alexander Kerensky  Making A Difference In Ethiopia William Balmain  J C Bendrodt and Princes Restaurant Azzalin Orlando Romano and Romano's Restaurant  Waldheim  Alcohol in Restaurants Before 1955  King Island Kelp  The Mercury Theatre   Around Angkor - 1963   Angkor Wat 1963  Costumes From the Ballets Russe Clifton at Kirribilli  Chairman Mao's Personal Physician  The Toby Tavern The MoKa at Kings Cross  The Oceaographic  Museum  in Monaco  The Island of Elba  Russian Fairy Tale Plates  Meteora  Souda Bay War Cemetery Barrow, Alaska  Cloisonné  Tripitaka Koreana Minshuku The Third Man Photographs and Memories  Not A Chagall!  Did You Listen? Did You Ask?  Napier (Ahuriri, Maori) New Zealand  Borobudur  Ggantija Temples Plumes and Pearlshells  Murano  University of Padua  Ancient Puebloe Peoples - The Anasazi   Pula  The Gondolas of Venice Cinque Terre  Visiting the Iban David The Living Desert Bryce Canyon National Park   Aphrodisias   The Divine Comedy Caodaism  Sapa and local Hill People  A Few Children  Cappadocia  Symi Jean-Marie Tjibaou Cultural Centre   Aboriginal Rock Art on Bigge Island    ANZAC Cove (Ari Burnu) 25 April, 1997  Hotere Garden Oputae  Children of the Trobriand Islands  Page Park Market - Rabaul  Rabual   Kotor, Montenegro   Galleries of Photographs I   Lascaux  Galleries of Photographs II   The Cathedral of St. James – Šibenik, Croatia  Ivan Meštrović  - Sculptor   Delphi   Gallery of Photographs III  The Handicrafts of Chiang Mai Raft Point  San Simeon - "Hearst Castle"  Floriade - The Netherlands - 1982  Russian New Year  Mycenae  "Flightseeing" Out Of Anchorage Alaska  The White Pass and Yukon Route  Totem Poles  Tivkin Cemetery  Krka National Park - Croatia   Tavistock Square and the BMA  Orthodox Easter  Wieliczka Salt Mine  A Walk on Santorini  Indonesian Snapshots Ephesus - The Library of Celsus  Ephesus - Some Places Of Interest  Waimea Canyon and the Kalalau Valley United Nations Headquarters 1958  A Miscellany of Flower Images Gardens Bath St. David's In Wales   Zion National Park Nicholas Himona - Artist  Kraków  Lilianfels  Collonges-La-Rouge  Gingerbread Houses   Cape Sounion   Delos  Wroclaw  Colonial Williamsburg  Gruyères   Strasbourg  Coventry Cathedral  The Roman Theatre at Aspendos  Turkish Carpets The Duomo of Orvieto  Rovinj  

Copyright George Repin 2017. All Rights Reserved.