The old town of Dubrovnik is completely surrounded by intact fortified walls, even including the Old City Harbor. The walls run for 1940 meters encircling the city and are considered amongst the greatest of fortification systems during the Middle Ages because they were never breached during that time period. The walls were so strongly constructed, they even withstood any damage from the earthquake of 1667.
We walked all 1940 meters of the walls surrounding the city. Nearly 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) doesn’t sound like a lot but take into consideration that we’re having one of the hottest summers in nearly 50 years and that a lot of stairs are involved as the walls vary in height towering above the city at 25 meters high at some points. There are three entrances to the walls and we started our walk on them at the Gate of Ploče. Once we reached the top of the steep staircase leading us to the top of the walls, we were immediately rewarded with stunning views of Fort Lovrijenac rising on a gorge 37 meters high. This fort defended Dubrovnik from attacks from both the land and the sea. It certainly earned the message carved into its doors: “Non bene pro toto libertas venditur Auro.” (“Freedom can not be sold for all the treasures of the world”).
As we made our way along the walls toward the Old City Harbor, we got a taste for local life in Dubrovnik. Shuttered windows gave way to the sounds of locals having lunch and laundry blew in the breeze. I wondered what the locals thought of tourists traipsing by day after day; of having to keep their shutters closed for a bit of privacy.
From the sea side, we had amazing views out to Lokrum island and of the harbor. There is also a little cafe here with a few tables with a “window” view. The cafe serves ice cream and fresh fruit smoothies. A waiter was kind enough to offer Emma a drink of water.
From the vantage point high above the city, it’s easy to spot the details like the two bronze men who move to strike the bell on the hour on the city’s Clock Tower.
Continuing on, we eventually came to Minčeta Tower and the steep climb up to the walls’ highest point was certainly worth a little bit of huffing and puffing for the bird’s eye view we got over Dubrovnik. Here the walls are 6 meters (20 feet) thick as this fort served as the most prominent defense toward the land.
Know Before You Go
There are only three entrances to the city walls and once you’re up on them, traffic is one way. You’ll walk more than 1/2 way around before you come to the first exit. So bring water! There is also minimal shade, so if visiting in the summer, wear sunscreen.
Tickets are 70 kuna for adults and 30 kuna for children under 18. Dogs are free. Visiting times are from 8:30am – 6:30pm.