Dubrovnik is an old city on the Adriatic Sea coast, widely known as “Pearl of the Adriatic”. It is one of the most prominent tourist resorts of the Mediterranean, a seaport and the center of the Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its population was about 47,000 in 2009. Dubrovnik is listed on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites since 1979.
The city of Dubrovnik (Latin: Ragusa) was built on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, it became the only city-state in the Adriatic to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development during the 15th and 16th centuries. Furthermore, Dubrovnik was one of the centers of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists, and other scholars.
Today Dubrovnik is the proudest feather in Croatia’s tourist cap, an elite destination and one of the most beautiful towns in the Mediterranean. Dubrovnik used to be an independent republic, surviving mostly on trade. It managed to survive many centuries, with constant threats to its territory, particularly from the mighty Ottoman Empire and Venice. As early in the 19th century, it was discovered by celebrities as a place to be seen. George Bernard Shaw once said that “those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik and find it”. Royalty, presidents, and diplomats have all favored the city. Pope John Paul II was a fan of Dubrovnik and was even made an honorary citizen. Out of the 23 top luxury hotels in Croatia in 2010, 13 were located in Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik is steeped in stunning architecture and sculptural details and boasts spectacular churches, monasteries, museums, and fountains. A multitude of typical towns and excursions include The Elaphiti Islands, the attractive town of Cavtat, Konavle valley, Mljet Island, Korcula Island, Ston, and Peljesac Peninsula. The neighboring towns of Kotor and Perast in Montenegro or Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina are also intriguing day trips.