The Pearl of the Adriatic: The Old City of Dubrovnik

Croatia’s southernmost city, Dubrovnik – with its red-roofed and white-walled houses – was hailed as The Pearl of Adriatic. In its heyday, it was a bustling, flourishing city protected by its mighty defensive walls. This unique medieval setting has been preserved and was inscribed on UNESCOs World Heritage List in 1979.

A war to fight for independence from Yugoslavia broke out in 1991 and many of the historical buildings were destroyed. Cultural Heritage properties were targeted and Dubrovnik was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage in Danger List. People began restoring their city as soon as peace returned, notably the Statue of St. Lawrence – the very symbol of the citys freedom and self-governance. Restoration work involved consulting ancient manuscripts; the same construction materials and original design were used. Local artisans began by making tools of the period.

The citizens of the city voluntarily took part in the reconstruction of Dubrovnik under the guidance of experts. They worked tirelessly to produce roof tiles of the same colour and shape as the original in their effort to be unsubscribed from the World Heritage in Danger List. As a result, the city, within the protective hands of Saint Blaise, regained its beauty. In 1998, 7 years after the war, the city of Dubrovnik was at last – taken off the World Heritage in Danger List.

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