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Only one day in Dubrovnik? You could check out Dubrovnik beaches but don't miss these sights:
One of the best ways to get a feeling for Dubrovnik is to take a 2km walk around the city walls. This magnificent curtain of stone is what makes Dubrovnik the "pearl of the Adriatic". Gaze south and the Adriatic sea, strewn with islands, shimmers before you. Gaze north and jagged mountains form Croatia's border. East is Cavtat and Montenegro; west are the Elaphiti islands. Gaze down and Dubrovnik's rust-coloured roofs catch the sun. The experience is unforgettable.
Begin your walk at Pile Gate. You'll quickly appreciate rich Ragusa's security concerns when you cross over a drawbridge that was raised every night. There are two massive doors through the walls, an exterior door in a Renaissance style and a Gothic interior door topped by the statue of St Blaise, Dubrovnik's patron saint.
Next to the Clock Tower is the Little Onofrio fountain, a Renaissance gem that was badly damaged in the war but has been beautifully restored.
Along this wide gleaming street lined with shops and cafes, all Dubrovnik's processions take place. It's curious to note that Stradun was actually a part of the sea until the 11th century when it was finally paved over.
Right in front of the Pile Gate entrance is the circular Onofrio Fountain (named after its Neapolitan builder) built in the 15th century and sporting 16 carved masks. Unlike the rest of Dalmatia, Dubrovnik citizens were not relegated to capturing rainwater; the fountain was connected by aqueduct with a spring 12km from town.
Opposite is the Franciscan Monastery with the restored sculpture of the Pieta over the entrance door.
Inside is the Pharmacy dating from the 14th century and a gorgeous cloister also from the 14th century. Next to the monastery is the 16th-century St Saviour Church, one of the few Renaissance structures to survive the earthquake of 1667.There are often concerts and exhibitions here.
Nearby is the ornate St Blaise's church, at the end of Stradun, dedicated to Dubrovnik's patron saint. Inside the lavish 18th-century church is a charming 15th-century statue of St Blaise who holds a scale model of Dubrovnik in his hand.
Notice the Orlando Column across from the church. It was carved in 1417 and has been a popular meeting place for almost six centuries!
Another Renaissance highlight is the Rector's Palace. It was built in the late 15th century for Dubrovnik's ruler, the elected Rector, who held office for one month on a revolving basis and was not allowed to leave during his term.The interior has been turned into a fascinating museum with renovated rooms, furnishings and art from Dubrovnik's glorious past.
Across the square is Dubrovnik's baroque Cathedral. Built in the 18th century after an earthquake destroyed the original, the cathedral is still being explored after excavations revealed traces dating back to the 7th century. Don't miss the Treasury with its relics from St Blaise and a Madonna attributed to Raphael.
Between the Rector's Palace and the Cathedral is Gundulic square, scene of a morning market and the deluxe Pucic Palace hotel, the only luxury hotel in the Old Town. In the centre of town is a statue of Dubrovnik's renowned poet Ivan Gundulic.
Before leaving town by the Ploce Gate; you'll come to the Dominican Monastery with a sober exterior that blends into Dubrovnik's walls. The art collection here centers on Dubrovnik's finest painters, mostly from the 15th and 16th centuries. There's also a lovely cloister dedicated to St Sebastian.
Before heading to the streets of Dubrovnik see the cruise ship schedules so you don't get caught in the throngs.
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