Dubrovnik, Croatia Excursion, July 18th 2018
After breakfast we will board a private bus that will take us across the border to visit one of the prettiest cities in the world. Dubrovnik!
Parents are Wellcome to join us on the bus, which will drop us off right in front of the old town. We engage in a guided tour of the city and will have lunch as a group, before we return back to our base for dinner.
Dubrovnik is a city in southern Croatia fronting the Adriatic Sea. It's known for its distinctive Old Town, encircled with massive stone walls completed in the 16th century. Its well-preserved buildings range from baroque St. Blaise Church to Renaissance Sponza Palace and Gothic Rector’s Palace, now a history museum. Paved with limestone, the pedestrianized Stradun (or Placa) is lined with shops and restaurants. The 'Pearl of the Adriatic', situated on the Dalmatian coast, became an important Mediterranean sea power from the 13th century onwards. Although severely damaged by an earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains.
The main history of Dubrovnik usually concentrates on a small settlement on the site of Dubrovnik in pre-historic times; this settlement, in fact, was on an island called Laus which was, at that time, separated from the mainland by a marsh. There was also a larger Greek settlement nearby in what was called Epidauros (present-day Cavtat). An invasion by Slavs in the 7th century destroyed Epidauros and other communities in the area, causing inhabitants to flee to Laus. Laus eventually changed to Raus which in turn became Ragusa – which is the historic name for Dubrovnik. Around this time, Dubrovnik itself was founded by Croats (the name stemming from dub which means oak and dubrava which means wood – unsurprisingly, the settlement was by an oak forest).Ragusa and Dubrovnik eventually merged when the marshland between them was filled in.
Dubrovnik expanded considerably from the 9th century onwards and as part of the Byzantine Empire, so by the 12th century it was even considered as somewhat of a threat to Venice and its Republic. It came under attack from Venice, and from 1205 to 1358 fell under its rule.The old town was completed in the 13th century and remains virtually unchanged to the present day. Tall ramparts surround it and there are only two entrances to the old town which lead to Stradun, the city’s promenade.In 1358 the Treaty of Zadar saw Dubrovnik cease being under Venice’s rule and instead become Croat-Hungarian, although it had a great deal of independence.From the 13th century onwards, Dubrovnik experienced a number of important developments which increased its prominence. The Statutes of 1272 laid the groundwork for political and legal life in the city. From the 14th century trade with the local region flourished and the city also prospered industrially and culturally. Dubrovnik had a number of advanced establishments for that time – a pharmacy was opened in 1317 and an orphanage in 1432.
The HBO series Game of Thrones used Dubrovnik as a filming location, representing the cities of King's Landing and Qarth. Locations used in filming include Arboretum Trsteno, St. Dominic Street, Lokrum Island, The Knežev dvor and Sponza palaces, Lovrijenac, the abandoned Hotel Belvedere, Fort Bokar, and the Minčeta tower. Parts of Star Wars: The Last Jedi were filmed in Dubrovnik in March 2016, in which the Dubrovnik was used as the setting for the casino city of Canto Bight. Dubrovnik was one of the European sites used in the Bollywood movie Fan(2016), starring Shah Rukh Khan. In early 2017, Robin Hood was filmed on locations in Dubrovnik. In Kander and Ebb's song "Ring Them Bells," the protagonist, Shirley Devore, goes to Dubrovnik to look for a husband and meets her neighbor from New York.