Called the 'Jewel of the Adriatic' by Lord Byron and classed a world heritage treasure by UNESCO, Dubrovnik is a place of ancient streets lined with stone palaces,Venetian-style buildings and majestic bell towers. One of the most popular cruise ports and resorts on the Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik's southerly position accounts for its agreeable climate and Mediterranean vegetation. The city is enclosed by ancient walls, and one of the highlights is a walk atop the walls to enjoy spectacular views of the city and the sea.
Founded 1,300 years ago by Greek refugees from Epidaurus, Dubrovnik became the most important city-state on the Adriatic after Venice during the Middle Ages. It counted a merchant fleet of some 200 ships. In 1880, the city acquired its first steamship. From that time on, steamers began replacing sailing ships and thus began a new era for Dubrovnik's maritime history.
Entering the walled city, the impressive Stradun pedestrian street stretches before you. It extends the length of town from Pile Gate to the clock tower at the opposite end.The tower marks a favorite meeting place for residents and visitors. Near Pile Gate is the Franciscan Monastery. It houses one of the three oldest pharmacies in Europe, in operation since the 14th century.The entire Old Town is unique for its marble-paved squares, cobbled streets, tall houses, churches, palaces, fountains and museums, all built from the same light-colored stone.