Dubrovnik is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea, in the region of Dalmatia. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Its total population is 42,615 In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The prosperity of the city was historically based on maritime trade; as the capital of the maritime Republic of Ragusa, it achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, as it became notable for its wealth and skilled diplomacy.
In 1991, after the break-up of Yugoslavia, Dubrovnik was besieged by the Serb and Montenegrin soldiers gathered in the Yugoslav People’s Army (JNA) for seven months and suffered significant damage from shelling.
Dubrovnik re-emerged as one of the top tourist destinations in the Mediterranean.
The historical name Ragusa is recorded in the Greek form Ῥαούσιν in the 10th century. It was recorded in various forms in the medieval period, Rausia, Lavusa, Labusa, Raugia, Rachusa. Various attempts have been made to etymologize the name. Suggestions include derivation from Greek”narrow passage”; Greek; from the name of the Epirote tribe of the Rhogoi, from an unidentified “Illyrian” substrate. A connection to the name of Sicilian Ragusa has also been proposed. Putanec (1993) gives a review of etymological suggestion, and favours an explanation of the name as pre-Greek.
The classical explanation of the name is due to Constantine Porphyrogenitus’s De Administrando Imperio (10th century). According to this account, Ragusa (Ῥαούσιν) is the foundation of the refugees from Epidaurum (Ragusa Vecchia), a Greek city situated some 15 km (9 mi) to the south of Ragusa, when that city was destroyed in the Slavic incursions of the 7th century. The name is explained as a corruption of Lausa, the name of the rocky island on which the city was built (connected by Constantine to Greek λᾶας “roc
The bishop of Dubrovnik was a Cardinal protector in 1571. At that time there were only 16 other countries which had Cardinal protectors; those being France, Spain, Austria, Portugal, Poland, England, Scotland, Ireland, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, Savoy, Lucca, Greece, Illyria, Armenia and Lebanon.
Territory of the Republic before 1808
The Republic gradually declined due to a combination of a Mediterranean shipping crisis and the catastrophic earthquake of 1667 which killed over 5,000 citizens and levelled most of the public buildings, and consequently negatively impacted the whole well-being of the Republic. In 1699, the Republic was forced to sell two mainland patches of its territory to the Ottomans in order to avoid being caught in the clash with advancing Venetian forces. Today this strip of land belongs to Bosnia and Herzegovina and is that country’s only direct access to the Adriatic. A highlight of Dubrovnik’s diplomacy was the involvement in the American Revolution.
In 1806, the city surrendered to the Napoleonic army,[as that was the only way to end a month-long siege by the Russian-Montenegrin fleets (during which 3,000 cannonballs fell on the city). At first, Napoleon demanded only free passage for his troops, promising not to occupy the territory and stressing that the French were friends of Dubrovnik. Later, however, French forces blockaded the harbours, forcing the government to give in and let French troops enter the city. On this day, all flags and coats of arms above the city walls were painted black as a sign of mourning. In 1808, Marshal Augusta de Marmot abolished the republic and integrated its territory first into Napoleon’s Kingdom of Italy and later into the Illyrian provinces under French rule. This was to last until 28 January 1814 when the city surrendered to Captain Sir William Hosted leading a body of British and Austrian troops who were besieging the fortress.
What’s more, Dubrovnik’s Old Town has been a popular filming location in recent years. The Game of Thrones television series and the Star Wars: Episode VIII film were both shot here, while the Robin Hood: Origins film has also been in the making here this year.
The downside of this is that the majority of locals have sold up their properties for use in tourism and moved to the modern suburb of Lapped, so that the old town is little more than an empty museum in winter. The number of people permanently residing in the historic centre has dropped from 5,000 (in 1991) to 500 (2014), while the number of visitors has increased exponentially – there’s even talk of limiting the number of people that can enter the Old Town at any one time by issuing tickets for entry during peak season. And prices for virtually everything are almost double what they would be anywhere else in Croatia. But that doesn’t seem to be deterring the ever increasing number of holidaymakers.
What’s more, Dubrovnik’s Old Town has been a popular filming location in recent years. The Game of Thrones television series and the Star Wars: Episode VIII film were both shot here, while the Robin Hood: Origins film has also been in there this year.