Bird’s Eye Views & Sapphire Blues: Walking the Walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

Dubrovnik, Croatia’s gem on the glimmering Adriatic, is undeniably touristic. However, it is also indisputably alluring. Thanks to its rich history, immaculately-groomed limestone buildings, commanding seaside position, and formidable, 7th-century fortifications, the city attracts tourists from around the world.

Having discovered the rewards of off-season travel, Shawn and I visited the so-called ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ one April, thrilled to discover that while Dubrovnik’s streets were still teeming with cruise ship passengers by day, we largely had the polished limestone lanes to ourselves by night. Walking by the illuminated Rector’s Palace after darkness had fallen over Dubrovnik, we sifted through details from the city’s past, most notably that it was once the Republic of Ragusa, which existed for nearly five centuries.

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The Fountains of Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

With stunning seaside views and streets overflowing with visitors, it might be easy to overlook Dubrovnik’s impressive Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. Yet Dubrovnik’s quirky maskerons and fanciful flourishes adorning palaces and cathedrals, are the city’s defining elements, and they are details in which to delight.

When it was a powerful city-state that rivaled the Republic of Venice, Dubrovnik was called Ragusa. Thanks to the maritime trade that thrived in Ragusa for nearly 500 years, the city grew into a formidable power. Studded with ornate cathedrals and palaces, as well as intricately-carved fountains, the city was protected by imposing walls that still wrap around it for roughly 2 kilometers (about 1.2 miles).

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Gluten-Free Goodness in Dubrovnik (& Two Must-Try Recipes)

Life has a funny way of shaking things up and throwing in surprises that often lead to unexpectedly-delightful outcomes.

Let me introduce you to Dubrovnik restaurateurs Gildas and Ružica, who epitomize this idea. This couple visited Dubrovnik several years ago, intending to visit for a single day, however, upon arrival, they decided that the tourist mecca of Croatia would be a “great place to live and work.” Shortly afterwards, they made Dubrovnik their home.

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Riding the Dubrovnik Cable Car: Breathtaking Views and Pensive Moments

 

“You haven’t seen a tree until you’ve seen its shadow from the sky.” – Amelia Earhart

Our first two days in Dubrovnik, the sun hid among a thick cloak of clouds. Dodging a deluge of raindrops that is unusual for the city, we longed for the vibrant ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ of postcards – those sapphire-blue skies meeting a sea dressed in the same hue, ripe-orange rooftops, and verdant palm and pine trees dotting the craggy landscape.

Diligently watching the weather reports, we made strategic plans for when to ride the city’s cable car up to Mount Srdj, 405 meters above sea level. As we walked to the cable car station, things started looking up as Dubrovnik gracefully began her transition from greyscale tones to Technicolor.

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Scenes from Dubrovnik, Croatia

 

“If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik.” – George Bernard Shaw

Dubrovnik. The Croatian city’s name conjures images of forbidding city walls, fire red rooftops, buildings crafted out of white stone, and a graceful city perched above the vast Adriatic.

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The Details of Dubrovnik – Meet the Maskerons

 

“The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life.” – William Morris

By day, it could be easy to get overwhelmed in Dubrovnik, given its countless ornate buildings and the enormous sea of tourists streaming down the main street, the Stradun. But it’s important to not miss the details, especially the maskeron or gargoyle-like faces that emerge from fountains and walls, adding a delightful quirkiness to the architecture.

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Photo du Jour: The Rector’s Palace by Night – Dubrovnik

 

To celebrate our arrival in Dubrovnik earlier this week, we strolled along its glimmering stone streets by night. Many of the city’s visitors had taken to the cruise ships, and we had the city’s streets much to ourselves (well, certainly much more so than on a bustling summer evening).

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Photo du Jour: Peep Hole Overlooking Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik Peep Hole

Dubrovnik, Croatia is seen through an ancient wall’s peep hole. The walled city is often referred to as ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic’, and it’s no wonder why, given the city’s commanding views and strategic location. The city’s economy was once based on maritime trade.

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