One of the most surprising stops for ships on Mediterranean cruises is Dubrovnik, on the coast of Croatia. It is filled with tourists and is an interesting, delightful place.
The religion is 80% Catholic, and that makes the number of churches not surprising. The Old Town is surrounded by high walls of stone. It has suffered from such things as a major earthquake and fire in 1667, an earthquake in 1979, and the siege of Serbs in 1991-92. It has been restored, however, and invites tourists to dine and shop along the Placa, a pedestrian promenade of shops and cafes.
Just inside the walls of the city is the Major Onofrio Fountain where travelers can rinse their hands in the flowing water. Just across from the fountain is the Franciscan Monastery, dating from the 14th century. It includes the third oldest functioning pharmacy in the world and a vast library of books and manuscripts, choral books, and Croatian music.
Where the Placa comes to an end at Pred Dvorom, St. Blaise’s Church is situated. It was constructed in the early 1700’s and its dome is currently being reconstructed. At the altar is a statue of St. Vlaho (St. Blaise), holding a model of the city. Outside of the church is the Minor Onofrio Fountain.
On a bluff just outside the city walls is the Lovrijenac Fortress. Inscribed there is a Latin phrase which translates to “Freedom cannot be sold for gold.” The beauty of this structure, the city of Dubrovnik, and the incredibly clear blue waters of the Adriatic surrounding it may be considered Croatia’s “gold.”