Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik, Croatia Tours

The Fort of St. Lawrence

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Fort Lovrijenac, or the Fort of St. Lawrence, is located at the western side of Old Town in Dubrovnik, Croatia. It is outside the city walls on a 37-meter (121 feet) high cliff. This fort is one of the many attractions you can see on a tour of the Game of Thrones or if you are a history buff and want to know where to go when visiting Dubrovnik.

Also known as “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar,” the Fort of St. Lawrence has a triangular shape with three levels and was defended with ten large cannons, the largest and most famous is called “Lizard.” The walls facing the sea are up to 12 meters (40 feet) thick but on the eastern side of the fortress facing Dubrovnik, the walls are only 60 centimeters (2 feet) thick. Such construction was done purposely, in case the Fort was taken by an enemy it could easily be destroyed directly from the city walls and Fort Bokar.

In history, the fort is famous for its importance in resisting the Venetian rule. It overshadows the two entrances to the city, from the sea, and by land. Early in the 11th century, the Venetians attempted to build a fort on the same spot where Fort Lovrijenac currently stands. If they had succeeded they would have kept Dubrovnik under their power but the people of the city beat them to it. The fort was built within just three months and from then on was constantly reconstructed. When the Venetian ships arrived, full of materials for the construction of their fort, they were told to return to Venice.

Throughout time, the fort was adapted many times and following the fall of the Republic, it served a different purpose: it was a military base during the Austrian occupation, then it was converted into a hospitality facility. In 1933, the Fort of St. Lawrence was the venue for several sessions of the PEN club (meeting of the most eminent writers of the world). The significance of the PEN club was that it brought awareness to Dubrovnik as a tourist attraction. For centuries the fort was the greatest defender of the city’s freedom and engraved above its gates is a message for the world that is translated to say “freedom cannot be sold for all the treasures of the world.”

Today, in this free city and free country, the fort shines again with its former greatness.   It is used as the setting for the Red Keep Castle in the Game of Thrones television show. It is often used in real life as a wedding venue but was featured in the show that hosted several weddings that weren’t joyous occasions such as the Red Wedding and Purple Wedding. On the contrary to the show, the Fort is usually a great location for weddings and parties because of the views and general feel of it.

Most tours of the Game of Thrones include a visit to the Fort of St. Lawrence because it is so breathtaking to see and its history is very significant to Dubrovnik and Croatian history. We invite you to tour the Game of Thrones and learn not only the Fort of St. Lawrence’s significance on the show but also in history.

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Highlight of our Croatia trip

Three of us did the full day tour with Tom and Neno, and it was the highlight of our entire Croatia trip. Both tour guides are incredibly knowledgeable about Game of Thrones and the history of the various locations, so you really get a feel for Dubrovnik. Tom made sure we got great photos - he knows which locations and angles will make for the best ones, and he's very patient and willing to take a few! We particularly loved driving out to the gardens to see the locations there - the views and flowers were beautiful, and it's off the beaten path so it was nice to escape the crowds in the city. In addition to being incredibly interesting, Tom and Neno were both thoughtful and really made us feel taken care of. They made sure we got coffee at a great (and affordable) location in the city, worked around our schedule for a lunch break, and even made an extra stop at the bus station so we could buy our tickets to Split on the way back from the gardens, saving us a lot of time and stress! They're just incredibly lovely people, and you won't regret a minute or a dollar spent on this tour
Aubrey Eyer,
US

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