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Rozeta – a symbol of light, heritage and history

Visitors to Dubrovnik usually encounter the same first impressions. The wow factor of the first view of this majestic and historic city jutting out to the Adriatic. 

Then a walk along imperious Stradun, the most exclusive address in all Croatia. After that, many taking in those thick and fabulous walls which have protected the city over the centuries, and which are visited more than a million times each year – one of Croatia's top attractions.

After the initial impressions, one starts to notice the details. Arches, windows, statues. At every turn there is another architectural wonder, and seemingly every stone in the city has its own book of tales to tell. Look a little closer and you will see the fine attention to detail, and some of the symbols and motifs of the city. Motifs such as the 'rozeta' or rose window (borrowed from the Italian), a four-leaf clover-like shaped window carved out of stone. You can see them all over the city, one of its symbols of heritage and architectural beauty.

Rozetas are Romanesque in style and most often used as a decorative window in some of the city's most important buildings, such as churches, fortresses and palaces. Arguably the most impressive place to enjoy them is the Franciscan Monastery. Here, within the solid, historic stone walls and gorgeous 14th century cloisters one can enjoy some of Dubrovnik's most impressive stonework. The upper cloiser is Renaissance in style, with arches and semi-circular vaults, while the lower cloister is Romanesque-Gothic, comprising arches, rozetas, 120 columns and 12 massive pilasters and a promenade. For another delightful example of rozetas, head to the Sponza Palace and the Rector's Palace, where rozeta ornaments can be found, as well as in the stone carved details on the famous City Walls.

The rozeta is a symbol of light and dates back to the 11th century, when the rozeta motif spread through Turkey and all over the Mediterranean, as far away as Beirut. It also took up residence in Dubrovnik, where elegant rozeta carvings into stone produced stylish windows in and around the old town.

And in this Instagram age, the rozeta is even more in demand, but this time for a different purpose – photography. As thousands of social media addicts visit the city each day looking for that perfect selfie or unique shot, there has been a rise in the profile of the rozeta, which appears in many shots with a historic building through the window in the background.

And the rozeta has even become a souvenir, a portable memory of your visit to the Pearl of the Adriatic.  A new line of jewellery, featuring the rozeta motif was recently introduced by a local designer, creating a long-lasting memory of Dubrovnik and its beauty.

Guests at Sun Gardens Dubrovnik may recognise the rozeta motif from their stay and visits to our website. For the Dubrovnik rozeta is the symbol Sun Gardens Dubrovnik has chosen for its logo. An example of quintessential Dubrovnik, emanating heritage, quality and light – a little like the Sun Gardens Dubrovnik experience itself!

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