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Published: March 21st 2021
Dubrovnik walk along the Wall Southside
Dubrovnik's walls measure 2km around but the thickness varies according to where the builders perceived threats. On the landward side, the walls are four to six metres thick but on the seaward side only 1 1/2 to three metres. The height also varies according to the configuration of the terrain; in some places it reaches 25m
This was the second part of the walk that I had taken virtually a couple of weeks back.
The first 300 metres protect the seaward side, a slight rise takes you to the highest point of the south walls where the very oldest settlement once was and we saw the highest house of the town where an elderly couple still live.
Then the walk descends to Fort Bokar which was begun in the 15th century and completed 100 years later. Under Austrian rule in the 19th century, it was used as a prison. It's one of the oldest buildings of its kind in Europe.
Looking out from the South side of the Dubrovnik walls gives you an unobstructed view of the Adriatic Sea as well as one
of the best views of Lokrum Island.
The island is covered in lush vegetation with a number of interesting plant species located here, including those specially imported (e.g. tropical varieties). Lokrum is entirely uninhabited, although it was bought by Austrian archduke Maxilimilan I in 1858, and much of the botanical plant life is owed to his grand gardens created during his ownership.
The other island we saw Daksa has no links to the mainland. In fact, it’s actually avoided by locals. Legends and suspicions have surrounded this beautiful island of palm trees and pines since its long-term residents were removed in 1798. Settled on Lokrum since the early 11th century, the community of Benedictine monks were evicted by Napoleon’s troops. The night before their expulsion, the Benedictines placed a curse on those who usurped their sacred ground.
In the Middle Ages, Asia and Europe were devastated by outbreaks of incurable diseases from plague to malaria. Due to the maritime trade, Dubrovnik was not spared from these epidemics. In 1527, the plague in one fell swoop swallowed as many as 20 thousand lives. In 1377, Dubrovnik issued a decree according anyone who lived abroad
to spend 40 days at one of the nearby islands before entering the city. It was the first such decision in the world and is now considered the quarantine was originally a Dubrovnik invention.
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