Top Landmarks
in Dubrovnik (Croatia) Cruise Port

Photo of Baroque Stairs in Dubrovnik Cruise Port
Photo of Baroque Stairs in Dubrovnik Cruise Port
Photo of Baroque Stairs in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Most Interesting Landmarks
in Dubrovnik for Cruise Travelers
- reviews of Placa, Stradum, Sponza Palace, Big Onofrio's Fountain, Luža Square, Gundulić Square, Baroque Stairs, Pile and Ploče Gates.

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Dubrovnik has a number of landmarks that are a delight to enjoy while meandering the Old Town. In fact, squares, streets and all buildings create an wonderful ambiance from the moment the cruise traveler arrives at Brsalje Square, the closest that buses (shuttle, tours and public) and taxis can get close to Pile Gate - the entrance to the Walled City.

Photo of Fountain in Brsalje Square in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Fountain in Brsalje Square - Dubrovnik

Photo © IQCruising.com

The main street of the Old Town - Placa aka Stradum - with its polished pavement is a spectacular walk not to be missed, as are quaint spots like the Luža and Gundulić Squares.

Photo of Placa Stradum in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Placa Stradum

Photo © IQCruising.com

The Baroque Stairs, where a famous scene of the last episode of Game of Thrones was filmed, is one of those landmarks that must be visited. The two Onofrio's Fountains - the big and the smaller at each end of the Placa are also main landmarks of the Old Town.

Photo of Stairs in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Game of Thrones' Famous Stairs

Photo © IQCruising.com

Finally, the cruise ship traveler shouldn't miss contemplating the Forts and Gates that encircle the Old Town or just explore the picturesque side streets and stairs of the medieval city.

 

Placa or Stradum
(Main Street)

If docked at the Port of Gruž (the most probable) the cruise traveler will arrive at the old city from the east and upon entering the Pile gate will be at the Placa or Stradun. This is the main street, promenade and meeting place of Dubrovnik, dividing the north (uphill) and south (flat) areas of the city - once upon a time the two regions where different settlements were established.

Photo of Placa aka Stradum in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Placa Stradum

Photo © IQCruising.com

The shallow channel that divided the two areas was filled in the 11th century when Dubrovnik become one state-city encircled with a defensive wall. Along the 300 meters (1,000 feet) of this wide avenue, paved with limestone in 1468, the visitor will find cafes, restaurants and shops on the ground floor of two rows of limestone houses all of the same height and similar facade. Centuries of wandering and trading, festivals, and processions polished the surface with a unique shine - undoubtedly one of the most charming streets in the World.

NOTES: Placa is derived from 'Platea' (street in Greek); Stradun is a Venetian colloquialism for 'Big street'.

Sponza Palace
(Town Hall)

Built in the 16th Century (1516-1522), the Sponza Palace has worn many hats over time. It started as a customs house, then a minting house, the state treasury, the armory and then a bank. The structure was designed by the architect Paskoje Miličevićitself, blending Gothic with early Renaissance sculptural ornaments on the outside (by the stone-cutters brothers Andrijić from Korčula). The palace survived the earthquake of 1667 and continued to serve the Dubrovnik Republic with a number official offices until the end of the 19th Century.

Photo of Sponza Palace in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Sponza Palace

Photo © IQCruising.com

It now houses on the first floor the State Archives with rare collections of manuscripts that date back thousands of years. On the ground floor, the cruise ship traveler may find art exhibitions and the 'Memorial Room of Dubrovnik Defenders' - a display of all citizens who perished in the Croatian War of Independence (Free Admission).

NOTES: The Palace got its name from its location - Sponza is derived from Spongia (Sponge) - as this was a spot where rainwater was collected.

Big Onofrio's Fountain
(Public Water)

When the cruise traveler first enters the Old Town via the Pile Gate, you will not miss a large circular stone structure - the Big Onofrio's Fountain.

Photo of Onofrio's Fountain in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Onofrio's Fountain

Photo © IQCruising.com

What appears to be a place to gather water was actually designed as the ending of an aqueduct system started in 1436 and designed by the engineer Onofrio Della Cava, which still to this day brings water from a spring in Šumet - over 11 kilometers (7 miles) away. The fountain is a sixteen-sided container with different stone-carved faces (maskerons) that have been badly damaged although still pouring water. Originally, it had a cupola with a dragon that was broken during the 1667 earthquake.

Small Onofrio's Fountain
(Public Water)

Photo of Onofrio's Fountain in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Onofrio's Fountain

Photo © IQCruising.com

At the opposite end of the city, under the Belfry on Luža Square, there is another end of the aqueduct - the Small Onofrio's Fountain. This was built to supply the fresh market on the square. A third fountain - known as the Jewish fountain used to exist close to the area where the Synagogue stands - it was moved to its current location on Brsalje Square, the western square before entering the walls.

Luža Square and Clock Tower
(Main Square)

Photo of Clock Tower in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Clock Tower

Photo © IQCruising.com

The Clock Tower in Luža Square is Dubrovnik’s rendition of Times Square, N.Y., an elegant bell tower that contains an enormous bell inside. If you examine the tower carefully, the cruise ship traveler can see two men, one on each side with hammers ready to strike the bell. The clock tower itself was built in 1444 and has been rebuilt over time.

Gundulić Square
(Poet Square)

Photo of Gundulić Square in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Gundulić Square

Photo © IQCruising.com

This very active square is named after Ivan Gundulić, a poet and statesman, with the statue erected in 1893. Ivan was the author of many poems and hymns about the spiritual transitoriness of life - Tears of the Prodigal Son, Dubravka and Osman are his best-known works. Every morning you will find a farmers market here, offering an array of fruit, vegetables, bottles water, homemade wines, and cheeses. Surrounded by restaurants, the cruise ship traveler will find on the southern side the magnificent Baroque stairs that lead to the Bošković Square where the Church of St Ignatius and the Collegium Ragusinum stand.

Baroque Stairs
(Game of Thrones revisited)

Photo of Stairs in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Stairs

Photo © IQCruising.com

Just off the Gundulić Square, the cruise traveler will find the magnificent Baroque stairs that are featured on the Game of Thrones series. The stairs will take the cruise ship traveler to the Bošković Square where the Church of St Ignatius and the Collegium Ragusinum stand.

Orlando's Column
(Ragusan Memory)

Photo of Orlando Column in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Orlando Column in Dubrovnik

Photo by Joanbanjo CC by-SA/p>

Orlando’s Column is a statue with a legend and folklore history, involving Orlando, who was supposed to have defended the city in the 9th Century. More importantly, the statue forearm shows the measure of the Ragusan, the official measure of the Republic. This also was the location of the city forum.

Fort Lovrijenac or St. Lawrence Fort
(East Defense)

Photo of Fort Lovrijenac in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Fort Lovrijenac

Photo © IQCruising.com

The Dubrovnik people built this fort for protection against the Venetian fleet in the 16th century. It was the main fortification to defend the city both from land and sea. Note the inscription on the wall, “Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro” which means, “Freedom is not sold for all the gold in the world”. It is hard to believe when looking at this fort that it was built in only three months.

Fort Revelin
(Sea Defense)

Photo of Old Port in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Fort Revelin

Photo © IQCruising.com

The Revelin Fortress, a landmark in Dubrovnik, was built in 1462 and additional remodeling done in the mid-1500’s to give protection to the Cities Harbor, City Bridge and Ploče Gate. Today Fort Revelin houses on its ground floors, archaeological exhibits, and a virtual museum. Also of interest are the Sculptures made of stone from the middle ages, where stone was not only incorporated in walls and walkways, but also furniture.

Pile Gate
(West Entrance)

Photo of Pile Gate in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Pile Gate

Photo © IQCruising.com

Most probably, the cruise traveler will arrive at the Old City coming from the Lapad area where the Port of Gruž is located, and will enter the walls through the Pile Gate.

Photo of Pile Gate in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Pile Gate

Photo © IQCruising.com

During the Renaissance, the Pile Gate had a drawbridge over a moat. The drawbridge was installed in 1537 for entry into one of the two entrances to Dubrovnik. When the drawbridge was in operation, it was raised each evening, the door locked, and the key presented to the prince. Now, the drawbridge is just ornamental and visitors enter the walled city walking down a ramp and a few steps.

Ploče Gate
(East Entrance)

Photo of Ploce Gate in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Ploče Gate

Photo © IQCruising.com

This is the other entrance gate to Dubrovnik and is located in an area of the most expensive restaurants and hotels. Here the cruise ship traveler will find the Revelin Fortress which was built to protect the eastern side of the city. Note the stone statue above the gate of St. Blaise, the cities patron saint.

Minčeta Tower
(North Defense)

Photo of Minčeta Tower in Dubrovnik Cruise Port

Minčeta Tower

Photo © IQCruising.com

The Minčeta Tower is the largest of the forts in the Old Town and is located on the north side of the great wall. From this tower, the cruise ship traveler is rewarded with some of the finest views of the city. The terraces of the tower are alive with summertime performances here.

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