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Stradun: The Soulful Artery of Dubrovnik’s Historic Beauty

Stradun, the enchanting main street of Dubrovnik, a place where past and present intertwine in a symphony of sights, sounds, and sensations. As you set foot on this timeless thoroughfare, you’ll embark on a journey through the annals of history, tracing the footsteps of emperors, merchants, and poets who have all been captivated by its charm.

Stradun 1 Source Ana Moslavac
Stradun
Source: Ana Moslavac

From its origins as a bustling trade route to its current status as the living pulse of Dubrovnik’s cultural heritage, Stradun stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of a city that has weathered storms and stood tall through the ages. Join us as we wander through the captivating history of Stradun, a street that has witnessed the rise and fall of civilizations, and discover why it continues to weave its spell on modern-day wanderers, drawing them into its embrace with an irresistible allure.

Step into a realm where time-worn cobblestones whisper tales of centuries gone by, where the sun’s embrace paints ancient facades in a golden glow, and where the heart of a city beats to the rhythm of history!

5 must-see places on Stradun

Onofrio’s Fountain

 

This large circular fountain is an architectural masterpiece and an iconic landmark at the western end of Stradun. Built in the 15th century, it’s a great starting point for your Stradun exploration. Nestled at the threshold of Pila, the gateway to Dubrovnik’s venerable old town, stands the splendid Onofrio’s Fountain. Crafted by the Neapolitan artisan Onofrio della Cava, this fountain serves as a poignant symbol, commemorating the triumphant culmination of Dubrovnik’s ambitious water supply system. 

Onofrios Fountin Source Ana Moslavac
Onofrio's Fountain

This intricate network ingeniously drew pristine spring water from the distant Rijeka, spanning a remarkable 12 kilometers—a feat of engineering that endures even in today’s modern water infrastructure. Adorned with a collection of 16 meticulously carved masquerones, this exquisite fountain has evolved into a favored rendezvous for both youthful denizens of Dubrovnik and wanderlust-laden visitors. The siren call of its refreshing waters offers solace during the sweltering embrace of summer, an oasis amid the sun’s fervent dance.

Sponza Palace

 

As you stroll along Stradun, you’ll come across the Sponza Palace, an exquisite Gothic-Renaissance building that now houses the State Archives. Its intricate architecture and historical significance make it a worthwhile stop. Originally, the palace adjacent to the fountain played sentinel to incoming trade treasures that traversed the globe. Its courtyard bore witness to the convergence of merchants and visionaries from the Republic of Dubrovnik, a bustling hub of commerce and discourse.

Stradun Sponza Source Ana Moslavac
Sponza

Within one wing of the palace lay the sovereign mint, where coins of the realm were minted to finance the city’s ambitions. This very edifice emerged as the cultural nucleus of Dubrovnik, wherein the erudite elite congregated to muse upon art, literature, and the scientific triumphs of their era. Within these hallowed halls, the city’s inaugural school found its abode, carving the path for generations to come. Today, the Sponza Palace cradles an archive imbued with the tapestry of Dubrovnik’s history. Its courtyard, once a hub of scholarly exchange, now unfurls the grandeur of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival—a ceremony where modern-day actors, donned in regal regalia, spirit onlookers to a bygone epoch.

Orlando’s Column

 

Standing proudly in the middle of Stradun is Orlando’s Column, a stone pillar with a statue of the medieval knight Orlando. It’s a symbol of the city’s freedom and strength. A sentinel standing between the Sponza Palace and the venerable Church of St. Vlaha, Orlando’s Column reigns as a testament to freedom and sovereignty. Unfurling its medieval aura, this stone sentinel depicts an armored knight clutching his shield and sword. Legend intertwines with reality as the valorous Orlando, a legendary defender, is believed to have shielded Dubrovnik from adversaries near the island of Lokrum. In gratitude, the citizenry erected this hallowed monument. To this day, Orlando’s Column orchestrates the commencement of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, bearing the emblem “Libertas,” emblematic of the city’s enduring spirit.

Luža Bell Tower

 

As Stradun gracefully culminates in its passage to the Ploče Gate, it unveils the Luža bell tower and the neighboring town clock tower. Rising to a height of 31 meters, the town clock was christened in 1444, bedecked with iconic “greenhouses,” twin bronze guardians that herald the passage of each hour. Echoes of antiquity resound as these verdant sentinels recount the ebb and flow of time, a tale marred by the 1667 earthquake that led to their meticulous reconstruction. The originals, now lovingly preserved within the Pronza Palace, narrate the enduring tale of Dubrovnik’s resilience.

Luža Bell Tower Source Ana Moslavac
Luža Bell Tower
Source: Ana Moslavac

Duke’s Palace

 

At the eastern end of Stradun, the Rector’s Palace showcases stunning Venetian-Gothic architecture. It’s now a museum that offers a glimpse into Dubrovnik’s historical and cultural legacy. The Duke’s Palace, a historical repository ensconced within the Dubrovnik Museums, stands as a tribute to bygone epochs. Its chambers are adorned with regal furnishings from the waning years of the Republic of Dubrovnik, sourced from venerable palaces, summer retreats, and stately residences of yore.

Stradun Dukes Palace Source Ana Moslavac
Dukes Palace
Source: Ana Moslavac

The regal tapestry extends to an exhibition hall, where canvases painted by old masters between the 15th and 19th centuries unfold a mesmerizing panorama. This very facade graced the rear of the 50 kuna banknote before Croatia embraced the Euro. The atrium of the Duke’s Court resonates with the strains of classical music during the Dubrovnik Summer Games and the Julian Rachlin and Friends festival. Throughout the year, the Dubrovnik Symphony Orchestra ushers in harmonious nights within this same hallowed space—a harmonious ode to the city’s enduring melody.

Step into the Enchantment: Embrace the Timeless Splendor of Old Town Dubrovnik on Stradun!

In the heart of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, Stradun beckons like a time-traveler’s passage, adorned with stories etched into its stones and facades. Each step along this illustrious street is a step through time, where the whispers of centuries past echo in the breeze, and the charm of medieval splendor harmonizes with the vitality of modern-day vibrance.

As the sun bathes the cobblestones in a warm embrace, and the cool waters of Onofrio’s Fountain offer respite, you’ll feel the spirit of Dubrovnik come alive around you. From the grandeur of Sponza Palace to the proud sentinel Orlando’s Column, every corner is a canvas painted with history and wonder. So, come, wander through the layers of time, relishing the rich tapestry of culture, resilience, and beauty that Dubrovnik unveils at every turn. 

Your adventure awaits, and the inviting allure of Stradun is ready to embrace you. Book your stay now and step into the enchantment of Old Town Dubrovnik. 

Your CTC Team

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