Woolly says – another day and another bus, as I shovelled the mammoth backpacks into the hold I was looking forward to entering my fourth country. If only he would carry mine! Woolly says - as the lovely landscapes rolled past the window I attempted to keep the girls awake with a bit of history. In 390 BC the Greeks settled in colonies along the coast of Croatia, by 12 AD the Romans ruled dividing the country into provinces. The coast became the province of Dalmatia, part of Croatia became the province of Noricum (which included part of Austria) while the rest of Croatia became the province of Pannonia (which included part of Hungary). By the 7th century a group of Slavic people called the Croats migrated to the area where two separate states emerged. Venice took over in 1202 but by 1358 the Hungarian Croatian king defeated the Venetians and took back the Croatian territory in Dalmatia, until Dubrovnik bought it’s own independence in 1382. Like many of the countries we have been to recently the Turks arrived and until the were defeated in 1716
they took control. In 1929 King Alexander suspended parliament and introduced a royal dictatorship and Croatia formed part of Yugoslavia. During the 1960s nationalism emerged in Croatia, in May 1990 elections were held. The Croatians sought to leave Yugoslavia but there was a substantial minority of Serbs living in Croatia by this point and in May 1991 the Croatians voted for independence, however on the pretext of protecting Serbs living within Croatian borders the Yugoslav army invaded and a long war began. The EU nations recognized Croatian independence on 15 January 1992 and the war finally ended in 1995. Luckily we appeared to have arrived before he could get his second breath! Woolly says – I’m just not appreciated! A short taxi ride to book into our hostel and I set off to the Old City of Dubrovnik, apparently the women didn’t want anymore history so having sulked....and been ignored... I led them down the hill and through the Pile Gate. Oh wow were there a lot of people and double wow the place is amazing. Sauntering down the main street I could hear Jo snapping away at the delights that
were there to enthral us, a snack seemed like a good idea so we could come up with a plan...we do like a plan! Having paid what seemed an extortionate amount for a sandwich, some fries and a couple of drinks to share we decided to split the city in half...so to speak. Woolly says – Heading to our furthest point and then working our way backwards seemed sensible so avoiding the thronging masses and trying not to get crushed underfoot I set off to the Museum of the Rebels, laid out in the most impressive of buildings it was not huge by any means but meaningful non the less. Many, many pictures of the men who had fought and lost their lives for independence covered the walls and as Jo held me up for a better view I was upset to realise that most of them, had they lived would have been her age now! Taking our leave found my tour group feeling rather sombre so with a quick look at the harbour where I tried to tell them about the 7th century when Dubrovnik was a refuge for coastal residents
fleeing the advancing barbarians which was met with a cool stare from them both, unperturbed I headed us in the direction of Dominican Monastery, the Dominicans established their monastery in Dubrovnik as early as 1225, however the building of the current church was only completed in the 14th century. Inside was a lovely cloister area and within two separate rooms we were greeted with huge paintings as well as silver and gold chalices and manuscripts. The church appeared newer in appearance with many modern fittings of a sound system and disco lights, maybe they like a boogie after the Sunday service! Coming back out into the sunlight we were grateful for the shading that the millions of venetian buildings provided as we set off to find the ‘Singapore Museum’, feeling bemused as to why there might be such a museum and why it had immediately gone onto the top of our places to see on studying the map. Woolly says – I trotted up steps and through tiny streets, most of which appeared to have no name before giving up and telling Jo to ask someone, I would have asked but
it seemed like a good moment to have a quick snack to keep my strength up! The lady pointed us in the direction of the next flight of steps and with the furry fiend following behind whilst attempting to eat his crisps I couldn’t but help burst into laugher as we arrived at ‘The Old Synagogue’, the tourist maps obviously need a bit of work! Being the oldest Sefardic synagogue still in use today in the world and the second oldest synagogue in Europe, it was established in 1352, but didn’t gain legal status in the cityuntil 1408. Woolly says – like so many places on our travels the camera was denied access from the beautiful Torah’s, Torah stands and covers and wonderful documentation that the small museum contained. Upstairs lay the plain but wonderful interior of the main place of prayer, with hundreds of candle fittings it must look incredible when everything is lit. As we climbed into the ladies area I noticed Jo looking round and having seen no signs advising against photography she had the camera out faster than I can eat a pistachio. By now the long day was catching up with us so having agreed to look at the Convent of St Clare for our last viewing of the day we followed behind the mammoth. Woolly says – It’s now the ‘Former’ Covent of St Clare although I’m not sure what she would have made of the Chewbacca t shirts that were being sold in her vestibule or the souvenir shops that had taken over the cloisters. As we left the area I spied something that might be of interest, the museum of Old Pharmacy...well it would make a change from churches and monasteries! As I padded up the steps I had to eat my words! The Franciscan Monastery was the same place, undeterred I led the way in. Built in 1317 it was the rule of the Franciscan order to take care of the sick brethren. However this particular pharmacy was designed and founded as the public pharmacy, as well as for the needs of the monks. The pharmacy part was small with no huge needles or pretty coloured pills on show, only lots of jars with Latin names on them, surrounding them
were religious paintings and wonderful silver chalices and communion cups, perhaps the most interesting thing however was the hole in the wall! You have to hand it to him a hole in a wall as an attraction! But as I got closer I understood his fascination as the hole marked the flight of a missile that had hit the building in 1991, with the opposite side of the room showing where it had landed leaving a trail of destruction in it’s path, no photo’s allowed but it reminded us once more that it hasn’t been that long since this beautiful place was in conflict and damaged in so many areas. With weary legs and paws we sat waiting for a bus and started on the plan for tomorrow!
Tot: 0.069s; Tpl: 0.019s; cc: 11; qc: 22; dbt: 0.0084s; 1; m:saturn w:www (188.8.131.52); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.3mb