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Published: March 3rd 2021
2nd March - Dubrovnik Old Town Wall Walk
Despite more than its fair share of attacks over the years, the walls protected Dubrovnik for centuries without ever being breached, but one thing that has left its mark on them is a more recent conflict – the Balkan Wars. The city was subject to major bombing during the 1990s, though it’s hard to spot it now.
The walls are the main reason why Dubrovnik is well known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. The whole of the old city is encircled by 1.2 miles of thick stone,25 metres high and six metres wide in places and has been protecting the city for centuries – whether that’s from invaders or earthquakes.
The first city walls were built in the 11th century but the shape today dates back to the 14th century when Dubrovnik gained independence from Venice. The definitive shape was fixed in time between the fall of Constantinople in 1453. and the earthquake in 1667.
As well as the walls there are four gates to let people in and out – two by land and two by sea – and four fortresses to protect
the most vulnerable points.
Our tour started overlooking the harbour & the beautiful turquoise sea contrasted with the colourful terracotta roofs.
The city and its rooftops were damaged again in the 1990s during a siege of Dubrovnik during the Croatian War of Independence.
It is said that more than 70% of terra cotta roof tiles were destroyed during this war and during the restoration process finding a similar color of the famed red rooftops was a difficult task.
However, there is a place in the world where the similar ones are being made – Toulouse, France. The reconstruction process backed by UNESCO started in 1993.
It was impossible for one factory to produce this amount of tiles so the companies in Toulouse joined their forces to provide the rooftop tiles, a project that has cost more than $ 9 million. The reconstruction program to restore the famous Pearl of Adriatic took several years where more than 200,000 tiles were made and shipped from Toulouse to Dubrovnik.
As we walked with Nikola, he would often show photographs taken during film making and other guests were commenting about GOT.
I did wonder what this strange named film was about then realised they were all talking about Game of Thrones! Yes you’ve guessed I have never watched it.
I have visited Dubrovnik several times but have not walked the wall, either too hot, too wet or insufficient time so it was nice to finally take the walk even if virtually, at least it was without hoards of other walkers.
Look forward to joining Nikola on the second part of the wall walk.
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