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10 Facts about Dubrovnik you may not know

Lord Byron described Dubrovnik as the "jewel of the Adriatic," while George Bernard Shaw spoke about its exquisite setting as a "heaven on earth."

Dubrovnik's architecture has always been admired with awe, not least by those who are inspired by the rich history it portrays. Invaders, travellers, emperors, and writers have written lyrically over the beauty of this marbled city, hidden behind medieval stone walls whose warmth in the sun belies the power they provide to all who dwell inside them. 

You may wander along the broad marble streets, explore Baroque architecture, relive a past influenced by Roman, Byzantium, and Venetian cultures, retrace Napoleon's steps while admiring the city's splendour, and experience Dubrovnik's fashionable European culture.

Wind your way through the cobblestoned side streets or walk along the main street, the Stradun, and your journey will eventually bring you to one of the Old City's many squares. A typical medieval city with large open spaces, needed for public and private business, the Old City is living proof of harmonious urban planning. 

And, even if you believe you've heard everything there is to know about Dubrovnik, here are some historical facts we're sure you didn't know:

1. Ragusa was the official name of Dubrovnik until 1808

2. The Republic of Dubrovnik was the world's first state to recognize the United States of America (in 1776)

3. The city walls of Dubrovnik have never been breached 

4. Dubrovnik is home to the world's third oldest pharmacy that is still in operation

5. The Republic of Dubrovnik formally abolished slavery 600 years ago

6. Dubrovnik has the world's first orphanage

7. Dubrovnik features a medieval sewage system that dates back to 1296 and is still in operation today

8. The Insurance Law of Dubrovnik is the oldest in Europe (validated in 1395)

9. Dubrovnik had various colonies, one of which was at a town named Gandaulim in Old Goa, India, where the Church of St. Blaise remains today

10. During the Dubrovnik Republic, when the wind jugo blew, no major political decisions could be taken

 So don't miss out on experiencing the unique atmosphere that exists behind the thick city walls of Dubrovnik Old Town. Sit for a bit, take in the scenery, buy a memento... and become immersed in the city's centuries-old history.

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