Dubrovnik region

Dubrovnik region

Things to do - general

The Dubrovnik-Neretva County is the southernmost county in the Republic of Croatia. Territorially, it is organized into 22 local self-administration units, divided into 5 cities (Dubrovnik, Korčula, Ploče, Metković and Opuzen) and 17 municipalities (Blato, Dubrovnik coastal region, Janjina, Konavle, Kula Norinska, Lastovo, Lumbarda, Mljet, Orebić, Pojezerje, Slivno, Smokvica, Ston, Trpanj, Vela Luka, Zažablje and Župa Dubrovnik).

The centre of the county is the city of Dubrovnik. During its tumultuous history, many nations and maritime forces met and battled in this areas: the Byzantines, Saracens, Croats, Normans, Venetians, small princedoms and kingdoms and the Austro-Hungarian state, as well as the Roman-Germanic Empire, Osman, Hapsburg and Napoleonic empires. In the midst of these dividing lines, a small city such as Dubrovnik succeeded in using political skill to win a complete form of self-administration, such that it acted as an independent state, the Dubrovnik Republic, for centuries.

The specificity of the Dubrovnik-Neretva County is in its narrow and heterogeneous coastline, separated from the interior by a mountain range, and divided at Neum by the state border with Bosnia Herzegovina, while it has a natural connection to the interior and the northern Pannonic part of Croatia in the area of the Lower Neretva Valley. Thus, the territory of the county is comprised of two basic entities: the relatively narrow coastal area with its series of islands near the mainland and in the open sea (the most significant of which are the islands of Korčula, Mljet, Lastovo and those in the Elaphite archipelago), and the Lower Neretva Valley with its coastline.

Country Dubrovnik
Location

Region in the southernmost part of Croatia

Population122.568 (2011.)
Area (km2)1.781

Culture and History

The City of Dubrovnik is under UNESCO protection. According to records, the area around Dubrovnik was first inhabited somewhere between 6000 and 2000 BC. The existence of the city was lost in the cloudy course of history, with legend and historical facts being meshed together. The lack of any preserved documents makes the whole pinpointing process harder, and the few historians that are researching this topic are left with the task to distinguish fact from fiction.

What is certain is that Dubrovnik is an old city, persevering on its stony cliffs for at least 14 centuries. An even older city, Epidaurum, predates Dubrovnik, being located where the city of Cavtat now lies, about 18 kilometres southeast of Dubrovnik. At the time of its destruction it had endured for at least 10 to 12 centuries. Again, historians cannot be sure. Some believe that the Greeks founded the colony around 600BC. With the city destroyed, a number of its inhabitants fled to neighbouring regions (today's Župa Dubrovačka), where the fortified cities of Spilan and Gradac (Burnum) were inhabited, as well as the rocky islet of Laus, which became the first city core of old Dubrovnik.

The rapid settlement of Laus resulted in the development of a new city, today's Dubrovnik (in the 7th century) which would, on that small rocky area, grow deep roots and build a glorious and heroic history in the stormy centuries to follow. During the 7th century, the Slavic tribes, with Croats being one of the superior ones, had already set up permanent residences along the majority of the eastern Adriatic coast, with the exception of a few fortified Roman cities, which were becoming cut off from the rest of the empire in the wake of this rapid Slavic population. In comparison to the development of cities with a Roman population, a settlement was developing near Ragusium, at the foothills of Mount Srđ, which received the Croatian name Dubrovnik. The name came from the oak forests which even today are called "dubrave" today. During the 10th and 11th century, the sea strait between the two settlements became shallower due to alleviation, drying up completely at the end. When the two settlements, already joined together, were fortified and strengthened within the same city walls at the end of 12th century, the result was the Old Town of Dubrovnik, an urban centre preserved to the present day.

 

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