Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik Croatia Game of Thrones

Croatian history to help you understand the city of Dubrovnik a little bit better


Dubrovnik’s history can be traced back to antiquity and to a small settlement on a rocky islet called Laus, separated from the mainland by a sea strait. Developed most probably from a Roman military outpost, it proclaimed itself an independent commune in the 10th century AD and soon became a respectable port mediating trade between the Adriatic Sea and the mainland. It’s trading links even stretched as far away as India, Africa, and Northern Europe.

Dubrovnik also enjoyed diplomatic relations with England; a letter of merit from Queen Elizabeth I is on display in the city museum. It was an extremely prosperous little city-republic for some eight hundred years, which mainly came down to the fact that it knew how to apply wisdom and diplomacy to solve each problem that came its way in the often restless Mediterranean.

At one point, Dubrovnik was home to the largest merchant fleet in Europe, and it had more than 50 consulates in the most relevant harbors and merchant cities around Europe and the Middle East. This progress was severely hampered by an immensely destructive earthquake in April 1667 that destroyed almost two-thirds of the city and killed some 4,000 people. However, it re-emerged from the ashes and prospered again until in 1806 Napoleon’s Army entered the city and his imposed administration dissolved the independent Republic of Ragusa (the former name for Dubrovnik) in 1808.

After Napoleon’s downfall in 1815, Dubrovnik became part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Then, after World War I ended, Dubrovnik was integrated into the new and purely politically formed (Kingdom of) Yugoslavia. The end of World War II ushered in the era of communist Yugoslavia until its breakup in a Belgrade-imposed war in the early 1990s. So it was then that Dubrovnik finally rejoined its motherland Croatia after several centuries of territorial separation.

While the 1667 earthquake damaged much of the city, many of the beautiful Gothic and Baroque churches and other public and private buildings of beauty in the Old Town were spared, reconstructed or replaced with new constructions in the popular idiom of the time. However, many of these unique architectural gems suffered severe damage in the conflict of the early 1990s, but thankfully they have been restored to their former glory thanks to a restoration program coordinated by UNESCO.

Of course, this is just a brief history of Dubrovnik and it only highlights some of the events that have shaped the “Pearl of the Adriatic” (as Dubrovnik is known). From its humble beginnings as a settlement on a rocky islet, it has survived invasions, a major earthquake, and many wars, and yet has still emerged as a major attraction for people from all over the world seeking all kinds of leisure pursuits. And Dubrovnik has these pursuits in abundance.

Knowing the history of a place you are visiting makes it much more fascinating when you are there. At Tour the Game of Thrones, we want to show you how wonderful and interesting Dubrovnik is.

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How do you provide a tour for 3 adults, 1 teen, 2 children, 2 in their 70's, and 1 GOT fan? I don't know how but Tom did and kept everyone happy. From the tour through town, to walking the walls, to video clips of GOT he kept everyone engaged for over 3 hours. He even arranged lunch at a wonderful local ethnic restaurant by the Spanish steps. Dubrovnik sells itself but Tom made this port the unanimous favorite of the cruise. This was my first time working with this website and I highly recommend it.
Matthew Z,

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