THE GOLDEN AGE OF DUBROVNIK -

PEARL OF THE MEDITERRANEAN CULTURE


Dubrovnik, the city - state, achieved during 15th and 16th centuries a remarkable level of development. The population was divided into rich nobility - patricians, commoners (merchants, captains and scribes) and serfs, peasants who worked the land and worked for the nobility. The nobility gathered in the Great Council (Parliament), elected by the City officialdom - the Senate (Senate) and the Small Council, had the authorities in the city - state. Dubrovnik Republic has flourished in the 16th century when it successfully established trade links with the Turks. The basis of Dubrovnik's economy was intermediary trade and maritime affairs, as well as crafts and revenues from trade and commerce. In the 16th century Dubrovnik had a very strong navy fleet (about 180 ships), third in the world by the strength and size. Freedom had the utmost value and respect in Dubrovnik, and it has successfully kept it for many years due to network of diplomatic and trade representatives in many European countries.

After a strong earthquake in 1667, changes in trade routes and the great fire, the power of this unique city - state is slowly starting to decline.

During this seven-day trip through history we will hear about the Golden Age of Dubrovnik, when it was at its best.

Each day will be dedicated to a particular topic from that period.

 

Day 1:
Arrival at Dubrovnik airport, hotel accommodation, overnight.

Day 2: HISTORICAL REVIEW OF ORIGIN AND DEVELOPMENT OF DUBROVNIK REPUBLIC
There are several theories on the origin of Dubrovnik. The generally accepted one is that the town was founded in the 7th century when the Latins from the city Epidaurum (today's Cavtat) fled before the invasion of Avars and Slavs in the rock Laus, a settlement which later merged with Dubrava. However, during the renovation of the city Cathedral, deep beneath the foundations of today's Cathedral remains of two former church were discovered, dating from the 5th century. Some other findings suggest a possible theory that the village dates back to the Greek era.

Therefore, on today's trip we will take you to Cavtat (former Epidaurus), about twenty kilometers away from Dubrovnik.

We will also visit the Cathedral, under whose foundations are the remains of two former churches which have shaken the theory of the origin of Dubrovnik. Rector's Palace as the center of power in this city - state, and Ethnographic Museum Rupe with granary are also a part of the today's tour.

Day 3: DUBROVNIK'S FORTIFICATION ARCHITECTURE
Tour of the city walls and fortifications still mesmerizes numerous visitors. Besides the walls, there are several towers: Minčeta, Bokar, St. John, Revelin and Lovrijenac fortress, the only fortress outside the city walls. Pile Gate and Ploče hate, entraces to the Old Town have a drawbridges which used to be closed every night.
We proceed our tour to visit Soko Tower in Konavle, a huge fortress on a cliff with a magnificent view of the Konavle. When the tower got into the hands of Dubrovnik people, it was repeatedly repaired and upgraded because of its strategic importance.

Day 4: DUBROVNIK'S MARITIME AND TRADE
On our way to peninsula of Pelješac and town Orebić, we stop in small town Ston famous for its saltworks with high quality and valued salt - a subject of trade. Orebić, as a part of Dubrovnik Republic, used to be Rector's residence and an important maritime center. Pelješac ships and sailing boats made an important part of Dubrovnik naval fleet. We cross the Pelješac channel on our way to Korčula, which was under the rule of the Dubrovnik Republic in the 14th century. It is believed Marco Polo was born in Korčula in 1254.

There are evidences that Dubrovnik's argosy reached the shores of North America. Naval fleet of the Dubrovnik Republic in the 16th century had about 40,000 sailors and more than 180 large ships, and has been among the strongest in the Mediterranean.

Day 5: DUBROVNIK'S SACRAL BUILDINGS - MEETING OF ALL RELIGIONS
We will start the day with a visit to Maritime Museum, which presents the history of maritime in and around Dubrovnik.


The rest of the day is dedicated to Dubrovnik's religious buildings where every religion has its representative:
- Dubrovnik Cathedral
- Church of St. Blaise, Dubrovnik's patron saint
- Franciscan Monastery and church Mala Braća
- Dominican monastery and church of St. Dominic
- Jesuit Monastery and church of St. Ignatius
- Monastery of St. Clare
- Sephardic synagogue, one of the oldest in Europe,
- Orthodox Church
- Masjid, Islamic house of worship.

 
Day 6: FAMOUS MEN AND WOMEN FROM DUBROVNIK
Dubrovnik used to be one of the centers of development of literature, science, art, and a home to many notable Croatian poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists and other scholars.

These are just a few famous men and women from Dubrovnik:
- Ruđer Bošković, scientist (a square in Paris located in the 11th district was named after him),
- Nikola Božidarević, painter,
- Vlaho Bukovac, painter,
- Džore Držić, poet,
- Marin Držić, writer,
- Marin Getaldić, scientist,
- Nikola Vitov Gučetić, nobleman, philosopher, politician and historian,
- Ivan Gundulić, poet,
- Benedikt Kotruljević, merchant, economist, diplomat and humanist,
- Junije Palmotić, poet and playwrighter,
- Luka Sorkočević, composer,
- Mavro Vetranić, writer,
- Ivo Vojnovic, writer,
- Cvijeta Zuzorić, poet

We will also visit the museum House of Marin Držić, Modern Art Gallery and museum of Dominican monastery.

Day 7: DUBROVNIK'S POLITICS, DIPLOMACY, ECONOMICS AND BANKING
Introduction to wise and extremely methodical guidance and management of the City. Visit to Lazareti (quarantine) and palace Sponza, one of the most representative buildings of public importance within the Old Town. It had various functions: customs office, bank, mint, school and treasury.
After that we visit the island of Lokrum, where you can see the Lazareti complex, originally designed as a quarantine.

Day 8:
Departure

INTERESTING FACTS:
- Dubrovnik Republic has made 1296 one of the first medieval sewer drainage system, and it is still in use today
- The first quarantine in the world was created in Dubrovnik in 1377 (people arriving from places with infective diseases were to stay there until proven they are not contagious)
- The orphanage founded in the monastery of St. Clare in 1432 was one of the first institutions of that kind in the world
- Dubrovnik Republic was the first country in the world to recognize the United States, it was 1783.


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