Dubrovnik, one of the greatest places in the world, is annually visited by over one million tourists. Zadar, sometimes called “small Croatian Rome”, is the second largest city of Dalmatia. Let’s set off on a journey to experience the charm of both of these cities.
The main promenade of the city – Stradun (officially Placa) – is an ideal place to enjoy the beauty of Dubrovnik. The avenue stretches between two city gates, Pile and Peskarija, and the Roman grid plan guarantees that sooner or later every walker will come here. Those who prefer seeing the city panorama can go for a walk on Dubrovnik’s defensive walls (an admission ticket is required). The walls are almost two kilometres long and up twenty five meters high as well as allow you to look at Dubrovnik from a completely different perspective: cats lounging on centuries-old roofs, laundry drying here and there, and below, inhabitants strolling along shiny pavements of the old city that have been polished by thousands of feet.
ON THE MOVIE SET
Lokrum is a small island located south-east from the walls of Dubrovnik that is also one of the favourite places for rest of locals and tourists. In order to get there, you need to go on a 15-minute ferry cruise starting from the old harbour located in the vicinity of Dubrovnik’s old market. The island, which has been a nature reserve since 1963, includes a botanical garden, Fort Royal fortress, beautiful beaches and a salt lake called the Dead Sea (Mrtvo more). Fans of the HBO series “Game of Thrones” come here attracted by the fact that Lokrum was used as a stand-in for the city of Qarth.
PARADISE FOR A MUSIC LOVER
Fans of classical music are in for a real treat – namely the Dubrovnik Summer Festival (Dubrovačke ljetne igre). This oldest and most-valued Croatian festival celebrates its 70th anniversary this year! As every year, between 10 July and 25 August, you will be able to admire the world’s greatest composers, soloists and orchestra right here in Dubrovnik. Many concerts take place in the open air in historical locations, such as the atrium of the Rector’s Palace, the square in front of the Church of St. Blaise or on the terraces of the Revelin and Lovrijenac fortresses. The motto of this year’s edition is City Myths. The first day of the festival is traditionally crowned with fireworks, which are best observed from Stradun, port or Srđ Hill. DUBROWNIK #PROSTOzKRAKOWA
”KALELARGA, MY JOY!”
In the 80s, Tomislav Ivčić (together with the entire Croatia) sang “Kalelarga, my joy / Here I spent the best days”. Street Široka, called by the local “Kalelarga” (from the Old Italian Calle Larga, i.e. a wide street), is the historic street of Zadar. For over two thousand years, this centre of public life has been leading to many famous monuments of the city: the Roman Forum, the Church of St. Donatus that is characteristic for its unusual shape, or the National Square (Narodni Trg).
THE SEA ORGAN AND GREETING TO THE SUN
In the evening, tourists and citizens walk towards the seaside promenade. It is not only an ideal place to observe the sunset, but first and foremost a spot where every day where you can hear a unique concert, whose main performer is… sea waves. Built in 2005 as part of a project to rebuild the new coastline, the Sea Organ (Morske orgulje) quickly gained international fame and for many became the main attraction of the city. This experimental instrument consists of numerous marble steps, in which special openings are drilled and sets of pipe-tubes are placed. In that way a network of resonant chambers, which under the influence of waves and wind make harmonious sounds, was created. The designer of the device, architect Nikola Bašić, is also the author of the second installation at the promenade – the Greeting to the Sun (Pozdrav Suncu). The construction of 300 glass plates imitating the solar system collects solar energy during the day to present an unusual multi-coloured show of lights after dark. ZADAR#PROSTOzKRAKOWA
THE FLAVOUR OF DALMATIA
A visit to Zadar is a great opportunity to try Maraschino. This sweet liqueur containing 33-40% of alcohol is distilled from fermented marasca cherry juice (a bitter variety of wild cherry growing only in Dalmatia) with the addition of aromas of wild rose petals and orange flowers. The original recipe was developed at the beginning of the 16th century in the Dominican monastery in Zadar. At the end of the 18th century, Maraschino became popular throughout Europe, especially in England (Queen Victoria imported this liquor for the needs of the British court by military ships). It was drunk by such figures as Napoleon Bonaparte, Giacomo Casanova, Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles and Charlie Chaplin.