Besides momentous architecture, there is something much more important. It is home to 1557* people. Living within the city, and listening to its pulse, can be challenging at a time, but everyone will agree that it is also the most unique experience in the entire world. It is their life.
The Old City has traditionally been seen as the centre of the social movement. Because of its ambiance, exceptional aesthetic, and uniqueness, it forms the identity of the whole city. In line with the greatest of Dubrovnik’s attractions, the finest restaurants, cafés, and shops contour the Stradun and surrounding side streets. Beneath the glorious history and the sights that capture your attention at first, as in any city in the world, its identity is intertwined with the people who live in it and embed the beauty and charm of the City. They treasure hidden oases and keep them for themselves.
Long winters and energetic summers. View of the whole town, red roofs, ancient churches, open sea, city walls, Lokrum, and Lovrjenac from your window. The place of childhood memories, first kisses, and life-lasting friendships. Home. It is indescribable how much beauty and recollections are embedded in that stone. One of the few places that haven't changed its essence over the years. Every street and house in the Old City contributes to it. Just imagine! Their balconies and the sight of clothes drying are one of the most photographed balconies in the world. The place where they meet, and casually watch the passers go by, is one of the most beautiful streets in the world.
The medieval city quarters are Kaštio, Sveti Petar, Karmen, Pustijerna, Peline, Sveta Marija, Sveti Vlaho, and Sveti Nikola or Prijeko. Even though a lot of residents decided to go live in some other part of Dubrovnik and rent their apartment in the city, every true resident of the Old City is extremely proud to stay and live here. Children who grew up in the Old City have respect for history and culture. Not to mention that many of the notable and respectable residents trough history origin from the Old City. The city they grew up in teaches them what the magnificence and harmony of architecture mean.
One of the most interesting of these quarters for sure is Karmen. They even have their flag and anthem which is indubitable evidence of the importance of belonging to this part of the city. And with Porporela and Buža on their doorstep, Karmen truly is a special place to live in.
Despite having significantly fewer residents now, all of them will tell you that even with the challenges of the modern era, Old City Dubrovnik is still a good place to live in. A sense of togetherness, rich heritage and family atmosphere like nowhere else in the world makes this part their little heaven even when the tourists are gone, and the summer is over. They are always there, keeping the Old City alive. And that’s what makes it special so much more than just the sea, sun, and old walls. Check it for yourself. Come and visit Dubrovnik!
*Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (2017.)