Day 1 in Dubrovnik
Explore the limestone-paved pedestrian street of Stradun
Start your Croatian trip by entering the city, which jumped from destruction to prosperity in just two decades, through the Pile Gate. Namely this is the gate which leads to the Old Town of Dubrovnik, situated in its western part. While making head through the gate, you can feel how you slowly dive into the city’s history. Like in medieval times, you will have to traverse a stone bridge, an old ditch, but also you will have to pass under the gaze of the statues of the saint patron of Dubrovnik – Saint Blaise. In order not to create to you the impression of something somber, we mention that you will see here and there gardens with colorful flowers as well.
Once you entered the Old Town, continue your way along the main street of the city – Stradun. The marble boulevard, which seems to be polished by the feet of the thousands of tourists, unites the Pile Gate and the Ploce Gate, the two main gates of the city, in a straight line. While looking around, you will find yourself in an atmosphere dominated by straight lines and symmetrically placed elements: the buildings of various colors have the same height, the windows have the same dimension, the walls are built of the same gray bricks. While wandering the street, you can admire the numerous tourist attractions full of architectural details that contribute to the preservation of the boulevard’s charm.
Stop to appease at one of Dubrovnik’s most famous landmarks – the Onofrio Fountain. This large fountain was constructed in 1438 as a part of a water-supply system that was bringing water from a well 12 km away. The circular fountain in the form of a dome, with those 16 stone heads from whose mouths water is pouring, is named in the honor of its creator, Onofrio della Cave.
Opposite to the fountain, the St. Savior Church is. Its impressive facade, built in Renaissance style, is dominating the Stradun, so it is impossible not to observe it. The church is dedicated to Jesus Christ, as a sign of gratitude for sparing the city from a bigger destruction during the earthquake from May, 17, 1520. Since its raising, the church withstood all the disasters, so it can be seen today in its original form, as a fine example of the town’s Renaissance architecture.
One of the most important attractions from Dubrovnik is situated near the St. Savior Church – the Franciscan Monastery. Although the place is named “monastery”, it comprises more than just a monastery. It includes also a church, a museum, a pharmacy, a gallery, and a garden. The pharmacy is the oldest pharmacy in Europe, and the most interesting part is that it still functions! The pharmacy will attract the attention of women particularly, as from here they can buy creams and infusions made of rose or lavender, basing on original recipes that date back from 1317.
The last point of the first day of your 3-day trip in Dubrovnik is the Sponza Palace, located in the Luza square. The palace is especially magnificent at dusk, so don’t worry if you reached to explore it at this time of the day. The palace is also known for maintaining its original structure, serving over time as bank, “customs office”, and treasury. Nowadays, it hosts the state archives.