The early bird catches the worm, or so they say. So we make sure we are one of the first on this day to climb the famous Dubrovnik City Walls. It’s a wise decision as the walls are popular, and we are avoiding the larger crowds that will appear later in the day.
The walls are a remarkable feat of medieval engineering and testament to the power and wealth of one of the most progressive Mediterranean cities in its time, dating back to the 14th century. Impressive this structure is indeed. Up to 6m thick and up to 25m tall, almost 2km in length, uninterrupted, and fortified by a number of towers, forts and gates. Built to protect the citizens of Dubrovnik from any attack by land or sea.
A Dubrovnik must-do experience
Walking the full length of the city walls is a must-do for any visitor to Dubrovnik, the best way to take in spectacular views across the roof tops and out at sea. The photos I am sharing below will take you on the tour starting from the Pile Gate (the main entrance to the old town) in a counter-clockwise fashion around the city.
Highlights include the unusual perspective on the Large Onofrio’s Fountain and the main street Placa from above, a close encounter with the casemate Bokar which is featured in the popular TV show Game of Thrones, the massive drop along the cliffside of the city where you will also find the famous Cafe Buza, the views of the old port with the St. John Fortress, and the curiously shaped round Minčeta Tower which is also starring in Game of Thrones as House of the Undying.
New and intimate views of the city
But there is more to it than just a list of attractions that you could also see from other angles, not necessarily from the top of the City Walls. There is this intimate peek into the lives of the Dubrovnik citizens. The cats on the rooftops, the closed shutters, the weedy backyards, the washing outside the windows.
There’s the peacefulness of looking out at sea with the waves hitting the rocks below in a never-ending game on replay. There’s the tactile sensation of old weathered stone that has found its destiny centuries ago and has played a role of defence ever since.
The city of Dubrovnik, opened up in front of us like an oyster shell. A maze of houses and narrow lanes, stairs, terracotta roofs.
People gardening among the ruins of derelict houses that are usually not visible to the public eye. A sea of red roofs, warming up in the hot summer sun, with pointy church towers breaking up the up-and-down waves of rather humble residential houses.
An accidental lapidarium behind a church building, maybe stored here for planned restoration, the view blocked off on the street level, but reliefs and masonry works clearly visible from your secret vantage point.
New perspectives, an exclusive invitation to discover the charming city of Dubrovnik in a whole new way.