Welcome to the Game of Thrones
09/10/2019 - 09/10/2019
After breakfast, we took a 25 minute boat ride to the famous city of Dubrovnik. Perched atop limestone cliffs that overlook the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik’s walled Old Town is often referred to as Croatia's "cultural heart and soul." (Game of Thrones fans will recognize it as King’s Landing.) We were so pleased to have the opportunity to revisit this amazing city!
Some history: Between 1991-1992, Dubrovnik suffered tremendous damage during Yugoslavia's Civil War. It is estimated that 68% of the buildings in the Old Town (Stari Grad) suffered shell damage. Nine historic palaces were completely destroyed by fire, two-thirds of the city's tiled roofs were damaged, the walls took 111 direct hits, and the squares endured 314 direct hits. As the city had no military value, some viewed the shelling as an attempt to break the morale of the Croatians. After the war, laborers worked tirelessly to restore the city to its grandeur, and as the photos will show, succeeded in their endeavor.
Our approach took us past the "Dubrovnik Riviera" where we saw lovely private homes and hotels. You can see that every cove becomes a popular beach.
The approach by sea was spectacular, especially as Mario took the boat around the city walls. In Game of Thrones, the fort served as the Red Keep.
We entered the city through this gate.
Having a guided tour of the Old City was a great experience. When we were here in 2014, we wandered the city on our own, and having a guide provided us with lots of context.
The Sponza Palace was built in the 16th century, and is now home to the State Archives and the Memorial Room of the Defenders of Dubrovnik, dedicated to those who died in the Croatian War of Independence (1991-1995). It is one of the few buildings that suffered no damage during the war.
The patron saint of the city, St. Blaise, blesses the city. He seems to be everywhere that you look.
Here is the prototype for Onofrio's Fountain, which served as Dubrovnik’s main source of water from the Middle Ages through the end of the 19th century, when the city installed a modern water supply that serviced homes directly. The fountain is on the Stradun just inside the Old Town’s Pile Gate. The prototype will have to do, because every time we passed the main fountain, it was covered with tourists.
The Stradun is the main artery in Dubrovnik. At one end is this beautiful clock tower, which is 600 years old this year.
At the opposite end is the other city gate, and here is the entrance to the city by land.
Here is the main Cathedral of Dubrovnik, dedicated to St. Blaise.
These stations of the cross are stunning in their contrast to this ancient church.
Game of Thrones aficionados may recognize these stairs as the Queen's Walk of Shame. They would remind one of the Spanish steps in Rome.
Here is a photo of the interior of the Jesuit Church that is located at the top of the stairs.
Dubrovnik has many narrow alleyways that house restaurants and apartments....
...as well as squares.
This message is touted as the world's oldest graffiti. It was carved by a priest who is reminding the boys who keep him awake with their street games that they will eventually die and have to atone for their sins .
After hours of walking in the heat, it was time for a drink at the Buza Bar. The views are without parallel.
Photos are tagged Croatia and Dubrovnik