DUBROVNIK

It is a medieval city on the Croatian side of the Adriatic coastline and a treasure of cultural and historical monuments that were created throughout its thousand year existence. In the past, it was a City-Republic, and alongside Venice one of the most famous cultural and economic centers on the Mediterranean. In more recent times, it has become the center of modern cultural and tourist events, a city of summer festivals, an international parade of top musical and theatrical achievements, a city of museums and galleries. These values have turned Dubrovnik into a place that offers a rich selection of various experiences and excitement, but also a complete holiday in a quiet and calming, mild Mediterranean ambience and wonderful seaside landscapes.

The words «Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro» – «Freedom is not to be sold, not for all the gold of the world» were inscribed long ago during the times of the Dubrovnik Republic… above the gates on Fort Lawrence, an impenetrable fortress. Throughout its turbulent history, many sovereign and maritime powers came into conflict in this region: Byzantine, Saracen, Croat, Norman, Venetian, small principalities and kingdoms, even the Hungarian-Croat state, followed by the Roman-German empire, and the Ottoman, Habsburg and Napoleon empires.

On such a boundary line, the small city of Dubrovnik succeeded in achieving a completely independent form of self-government based on political ingenuity, so that the Dubrovnik Republic remained a neutral, independent state for centuries.

MITHS AND LEGENDS

The legend of St Blasius, the Patron saint of Dubrovnik

St Blasius was bishop of Sebasta in Armenia, he was tortured under emperor Diocletian, and became patron saint of Dubrovnik in the 10 th century. It seems that he appeared in a dream, to rector of the cathedral, called Stojko and warned him that the Venetians, anchored near the island of Lokrum, whih intentions to attack the city that night. After the Senat had checked Stojko’s report, St. Blasius became the patron saint of the city of Dubrovnik. His statue was carved on all fortresses of the city and above all city gates. St. Blasius also adorns the flag of the Republic and all official seals and coins minted in Dubrovnik.

The feast of St.Blasius is celebrated every year on February 3rd, and it is true feast of the whole city. This feast is known for the participation of people from villages in their national costumes, for the majestic procession in which the relics of the Saint are carried and for various cultural and fun events.

The legend of the Cathedral

The cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin was built in the 18 th century after almost complete destruction in the earthquake of 1667 of the former Romanesque cathedral. According to historical sources, the former cathedral was a magnificent basilica with a cupola, richly decorated with sculpture. According to tradition, part of money to build the church was contributed as a votive gift by King Richard the Lion Heart, having survived shipwreck near the island of Lokrum in 1192 on his return from the Third Crusade. During the restoration work in 1981, foundations of an earlier cathedral were discovered. This suggest that the cathedral was built in the 7 th century. This discovery gives a new dimension to the history of Dubrovnik, proving that Dubrovnik was an organized urban whole as early as the 7 th century.

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