Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dubrovnik, Croatia (June 26-27, 2008)

Dubrovnik, called the "Pearl of the Adriatic," is a beautiful walled city on the sunny southern Croatia coast. Archaelogical finds date settlement in the area to as far back as the 1st century BC, and 5th-6th century Byzantine artifacts have also been unearthed.

By the 7th century, Dubrovnik was already a regional center of political and economic prominence, and by the 10th century it had become an important trading center in the eastern Adriatic. Dubrovnik achieved political autonomy in the 14th century and subsequently flourished as a maritime center during the 15th and 16th centuries, when it served as an important trading link between East and West.

Since the early 20th century, tourism has become one of the city's main industries, and it's easy to see why: impressive architecture, rich history and a stunning coastline dotted with islands. Dubrovnik was bombed by Yugoslav forces in the early 1990s, but the city has been meticulously restored and is a UNESCO protected World Heritage Site.
Looking down on Dubrovnik's walled Old Town, the lush countryside and the gorgeous Adriatic Sea
Another view of the walled city, this time from the water
Pile Gate leads to the Placa (also known as Stradun), Old Dubrovnik's main street running through the center of town
Great Onofrio's fountain (the large domed structure) was built in 1438 to provide the city with fresh drinking water
The staircase leading to the Church of St. Ignatius was modeled on the Spanish Steps in Rome
An old woman and her cat sit on a quiet sidestreet in the Old City, hoping to sell some handicrafts

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