Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Had to wake up early. 7:30 a.m.! (Hard to remember a time when I regularly woke up at 5:00 a.m. for work.) I needed to be up early to meet the tour for “walking the walls” of the Old City. If there is any tour of the city to take, this is the one!

I generally would like to do the tour by myself, but knowing how much history there is, based upon these walls, I decided that it would be a more fulfilling experience to have a local guide.

We met up at 9:30 and were assigned our audio guides and off we went to make the first climb up the stairs to begin our tour.

Below: Setting off on our tour. There were 7 of us on this tour.

A very different perspective when you look out over the Old City and there is literally a “sea” of terracotta roofs to view once you climb up. Around every turn during our walk, the perspective changes. The wall around the city is far from being level. It seems to follow, for the most part, the elevation of the land. The tour involved going up and down stairs at regular intervals. Many, many steps.

The early city, Ragusa, was founded in around the 7th century. The city walls were built over the next several hundreds of years as the city grew. Because of the walls, the city was able to remain an independent republic for over 450 years. While essentially independent, it was a times under the protection of the Byzantine Empire, Venice, and to some extent, Rome. Dubrovnik originally was built in an oak forest so its name stemmed from “dub” which means oak and “dubrava” which means wood.

Part of the early settlement can be found in the NW corner of the city. (Below)

The main street through the city (below) connects all of the other side streets within the city. Recently, for the new movie “Robin Hood” this street was transformed into the town of Nottingham, England. There are several churches and schools within the city. I’ve heard that there are between 2,000 and 4,000 residents who live within the city walls.

Looking over the wall, you can see the main entrance (Pile) and Fort Lovrijenac (or St. Lawrence Fortress).

My favorite restaurant is pictured below.

In the early days, building outside the city walls was not encouraged since these buildings could be used by those wanting to launch attacks against the city. Also, the city couldn’t protect these buildings during an invasion.

On top of the walls, there are open areas that would be used to defend the city.

There are forts, with very thick walls, that anchor the walls and provide defense and space to house the militia.

The harbor was very busy during the middle ages and beyond. Dubrovnik was a major port in the early days. Took a picture of people on a kayak tour.

The church (St. Saviour Church) were I’ve attended several candlelight concerts is pictured below.

Was exhausted after this tour. So many steps! Headed home after the hike, showered, ate a little lunch then napped.

Later, I started getting ready for my trip to Dublin. Put clothes in the wash and set out everything that needed to be packed tomorrow.

Think I napped too much earlier. Didn’t get to bed until after midnight. Looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow!



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