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The Pearl of the Adriatic Dubrovnik

The Pearl of the Adriatic Dubrovnik

24/05/2013

The Pearl of the Adriatic Dubrovnik

With its rock-ribbed coasts, shimmering stone streets and vivid waters, there is something mysterious and exotic about Dubrovnik. You truly feel as though you have stumbled back in time with the ancient stone town and Renaissance palaces. If you are a romantic strolling through the town at night, you feel as though you have fallen inside a Van Gogh painting. The stone-paved streets are surrounded with cafés, featuring white tents in front and lit up by warm yellow light at night. A couple of chairs and tables are thrown under the starry dark blue sky… it is as if you have been transported to the famous café terrace found in Van Gogh’s painting.

Dubrovnik, once a powerful city in the southern Adriatic, is now named as a world heritage site for its beauty and culture. The landscape is covered with historical red roofs. Beyond these sustained old roofs that have overcome a difficult history is the vast blue Adriatic. In the Middle Ages, known as the Republic of Ragusa by the Venetians, Dubrovnik became the only Adriatic city to rival Venice. Particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries, the city achieved a high level of development. Because of its strategic location on the trade route, Dubrovnik was everyone’s object of desire. Instead of being under the Venetians’ rule, Dubrovnik chose to pay taxes to the Ottoman Empire and became a major trading point between the Ottoman Empire and Europe. Being enemies with the Venetians at that time, the Ottomans called Dubrovnik “Dobrovenedik,” which means “Good Venice.” Even now, it is impossible to hide its wealth from the olden days, with its skilled architectural beauty apparent throughout the Old Town. The Old Town is a remarkably well-preserved example of a late-medieval walled city. It protected its residents against the attacks of pirates and cannon balls in the past and warplanes in the more recent past—the Walls of Dubrovnik are extremely cherished by its residents. They know that the history will continue to protect them, regardless of which century they are living in.

The city boasts of many old buildings in Renaissance, Gothic and Baroque styles dating back to the wealthy times resulting from the sea trade. The finest Renaissance highlight is the Sponza Palace, which dates back to the 16th century and is currently used to house the National Archives. The Rector's Palace is a Gothic-Renaissance structure that displays finely carved capitals and an ornate staircase and is now home to a museum. The Arboretum Trsteno, the oldest arboretum in the world, dates back to before 1492. In addition to all of these historic structures, the third oldest European pharmacy is located in the city, dating back to 1317. It is also the only open and working European pharmacy where you can still enter to buy creams and medicines made from original recipes of medieval days. The 17th century baroque palace situated in Od Sigurate Street 1, previously owned by the Kerša family, and the present day head office of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, was badly damaged in the shelling of 1991. It was renovated in the classicist style in the late 18th century and its interiors are adorned byoutstanding frescos and plastering.

When you are wandering through Dubrovnik’s old streets during Spring and Summer, it is very unlikely that you wouldn’t see a cultural event. Beginning the Easter festival in Spring, the famous Dubrovnik Summer Festival lasts almost two months. The prehistory of the Festival is not as easy to reach. It seems that its rudiments trace back as early as the rudiments of the Town itself, as if they both grew out of the medieval urban matrix. They put forth leaves within humanist horizons, blooming during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The Summer Festival presents a rich program of classical music, theatre, opera and dance on more than seventy open air venues through forty-seven days in summer each year. Domestic and foreign; famous ones and those who came to fame under the Dubrovnik sky, many artists danced at this magical antique festival.

After you have enjoyed to your hearts content the city’s every corner, its history and art, and if you seek a new adventure, I have to say that the rocky island sitting across the shore and looking like a complete wilderness is the perfect place for a tête-à-tête picnic. If you were wondering the destination of the water taxis you had noticed since setting foot in the city, look no further—they will deliver you to the island in just ten minutes. The rocky shores needn’t fear you; ladders are placed for this purpose. Also, on this water taxi ride, you will have the chance to see Dubrovnik’s impenetrable ancient walls and its stunning view from a new perspective. Only then will you probably be able to sympathize with the pirates of ancient times. At this point in the journey, all boat owners will sigh, “I wish I came here with my boat.” Luckily, you can rent a sail boat or a yacht and discover the unspoiled beauties of the Dalmatian shores for yourself. History, culture, art, sea, great landscapes— Dubrovnik has it all.

But what about the food you ask? One thing is certain, in Dubrovnik, great food and warm, welcoming people are always awaiting you. All the restaurants have great views and are mostly situated right near the sea, either under the walls or on top of the walls. You will eat the freshest and tastiest Adriatic seafood to your heart’s content here. If you are bored with the sea food, there are also restaurants offering a great menu featuring delicious Eastern European cuisine.

Be it for a romantic holiday, honeymoon or just exploration… Rixos Libertas Dubrovnik is the most beautiful place to accommodate. It is only fifteen minutes away from the city center. After all the walking and exploring in the city -it is not allowed to enter the downtown with caryou will need a luxurious oasis for resting and building up energy for the next day’s adventure. The Spa and Wellness Center offers a wide range of relaxation alternatives such as yoga, Turkish Bath, massage, sauna, aromabath and many more. The hotel’s concierge will be at your service, whether you desire to rent a boat or go to a picnic.

Dubrovnik captivates you with its translucent waters, secluded islands, and beautiful structures. No wonder people have battled over this cute town for centuries. Countless travelers who come here for a just a quick stop find themselves abandoning plans in order to stay longer in this enchanted land. With this note in mind, prepare your luggage for a very long holiday you won’t forget!

Article: İrem KÜPELİ

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