Dubrovnik; Recent history
Dubrovnik’s city walls whisper of a long and checkered history, encompassing every event from evasion to invasion, occupation and the rich influence of the Romans, The Byzantium Empire and the Venetians, each taking advantage of the city’s port (a vital gateway to the Near East) and an economy based on maritime and merchant activities. St Blaise (patron Saint of Dubrovnik) is said to have averted an invasion by the Venetians in 971AD and the people of this city are known for their proud defense of its sturdy medieval walls, once marched upon by Napoleon himself in 1806.
So it is fitting that on the North flank of these iconic city walls there hangs a map, plotting the exact points where each one of the 2,000 shells fell during the bombardment of the city during 1991-1992 at the beginning of The Balkan War. Dubrovnik has undergone a huge and brave regeneration since those dark days and so have the city’s historic buildings, repaired and perhaps shinier than before with careful restoration, see the article, ‘Restoration of a City’ for further information.
The remarkable recovery of the people of Dubrovnik and Croatia, from The Balkan War, is a testament to the pride that remained during the hardest times, during and after the conflict. From this pride, hope sprung in time and the new Republic of Croatia has flourished in the past decade; the country is buoyant and tourism is booming, attracting a stream of international visitors and plaudits as Croatia is lauded as Europe’s best kept secret. Indeed, Croatia was named in the ‘Top 5 Honeymoon Destinations’ worldwide by The Huffington Post. "Croatia has it all - beautiful beaches, unique culture and magical national parks with waterfalls which couples must visit. If I had to pick one city, then that would be the beautiful medieval walled city on the coast called Dubrovnik," wrote the Huffington Post. The entry of Croatia into the EU in July 2013, promises further integration into European politics and takes the country into a new era of stable independence and peace.