Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Dubrovnik

On our first full day in Croatia, we took to the water and caught the taxi-boat to the old walled city of Dubrovnik. The day was warm and sunny and the sea was calm as we set off. Passing the cliffs and secluded beaches between Plat and the city, we soon got our first views of the city walls.
From the sea, several buildings of the old town, dominated the skyline. The first to feature was the church of St. Ignatius, complete with large cross atop the gable end.
As we approached the old port, the imposing edifice of St. John's Fort loomed above us, its curved walls as intimidating now as they would have been when first built in the 14th century. The fort we see today is a development of the original fortress and was started in the year 1500.
Soon we had docked and disembarked and as we headed through the outer walls, we were greeted by the frontage of the church of St. Blaise (or Blasius), the patron saint of Dubrovnik. The statue embedded in the walls of St. John's fort (above) is one of many throughout the city, of St. Blaise.
The church was built in 1715 on the site of a previous church of 1368 which was damaged in an earthquake in 1667 before being completely destroyed by fire in 1706.
As we stood looking at the church, behind us was a very grand bell tower...
And beside that, the beautiful Gothic-Renaissance front of the Sponza Palace. Dating from 1516, it is an indication of what many more of the buildings would originally have looked like in the city, before the devastating earthquake of 1667.
The palace has housed the town's mint, treasury, city bank and armoury in its time as well as being a bonded warehouse and customs office. Here too, we find another statue of St. Blaise.
Much more to come tomorrow....
Post a Comment