THE SOKOL TOWER
The Sokol tower stands high on inaccessible rocks above the village of Dunava in Konavle, near Dubrovnik, where its imposing form has dominated the Konavle valley since Illyrian times. Its shape matches the natural stone on which it rests, and its grey colour blends with the natural surroundings.
The earliest records of this fascinating structure can be found in documents in the Dubrovnik archives from the year 1391. The location of the tower suggests that a fortress existed on this spot since the time of the Illyrians, Greeks and Romans, and ceramic fragments and Roman bricks discovered in the walls of the tower also date from those times.
The Sokol Tower gained its current appearance during the age of the Dubrovnik Republic, which purchased the eastern part of Konavle in 1419. In addition to its use for defensive purposes, the tower also served as a weapons arsenal, and emergency supplies of grain and wine were also stored here in case of conflict. Sokol Tower included two water cisterns, a munitions building, wine cellar, grain storage facility, and living quarters for the commander of this strategically important tower, who was known as the Kastelan. There were also barracks for the guards, and quarters for women and children from the surrounding villages who could seek refuge here in case of danger. This amazing tower survived the great earthquake of 1667, but was abandoned at the beginning of the 18th century, after which it was damaged on several occasions.
Since 1965, the Sokol Tower has been owned by the Association of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities, which has worked for the past five years to restore this valuable medieval fortification. In the spring of 2013, the Sokol Tower once again opened its doors after 350 years. Today, visitors can discover its impressive archaeological collection, displayed in the restored living quarters of the Kastelan. Valuable archaeological findings, found underneath the fortress, confirm the continuity of life on this spot, and the existence of this fortress from as far back as the copper age, about 2300 years before Christ, until the fortress was abandoned in the early 18th century.
Sokol Tower, the most impressive medieval remains in the Dubrovnik area, offers an impressive view of the magnificent landscapes of Konavle in their full beauty.