10 Things to See and Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

10 Things to See and Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

The seafaring history, incredible scenery, and the people of Dubrovnik create one of the most engaging Eastern European capitals—a place where old collides with new at almost every turn. Situated in Croatia’s southernmost region between the towering Dinaric Alps and the Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik is as picturesque as it is historically gripping. Following a destructive siege in 1991 through 1992, the city has returned to a lively, flourishing, and exciting destination. From sea kayaking to monument hopping, here are the 10 best things to see and do in Dubrovnik.

10. Cathedral of the Assumption

Constructed over top dual historic churches is Dubrovnik Cathedral of the Virgin Mary, a rich centerpiece in the city’s past. The very first church here was in Byzantine design circa the 6th century. The second, rumored to have been funded by Richard the Lionheart, was a Romanesque church which fell in the 1667 earthquake. As they say, the third time’s a charm; in its place, in 1713, a Baroque designed cathedral was created by Roman architects, who reclaimed the space and jump started some interesting, intertwined history. Take a look inside and spy remnants of the two preceding cathedrals, an incredible Titian polyptych painting rising high above the altar, and plum-colored marble columns along with beautiful gold work, carvings, and the main highlight, The Treasury. Lit by lofty windows, the interior isn’t as gloomy as other churches might be, offering a nice perspective on a centuries-old building.

Cathedral of the Assumption, Croatia

9. Sponza Palace

If Gothic Renaissance style thrills you in the slightest, don’t miss a visit to Dubrovnik’s 16th century Sponza Palace. The stone building is almost entirely rectangular with an interior courtyard built in a blend of Renaissance and Gothic styles. Constructed by local Croatian builder Paskoje Miličević, the palace’s original purpose was as a center where worldwide merchants brought goods to be assessed and settle a type of customs fee. Some of the best attractions inside are the sculptures and loggia (an exterior, covered gallery) crafted by a variety of legendary stonecutters. The loggia is supported by a series of arches, creating a sublime courtyard open to the elements. The open air atrium is a breathtaking sight that has played host to myriad weddings and special events. In its time, Sponza Palace has been a treasury, a mint, an armory, a bank, and even the location of a school.

Sponza Palace, Croatia

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