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about Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik (Latin Ragusa), population 43,770 in 2001, 49,728 in 1991 is a port and one of the most prominent tourist resorts on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Croatia, and the center of the Dubrovnik-Neretva county, positioned at 42:39N Latitude and 18:04E Longitude.

Dubrovnik was founded by joining two small towns: Laus (name comes from the Latin word for rock) which was on a small island off the southern Dalmatian coast, providing shelter for the Italic refugees from the nearby city of Epidaurum; and Dubrava (named after the Slavic word dub for oak), a settlement of the Slavic immigrants at the foothill of the forested Srđ hill. The strip of wetland was later reclaimed as a landfill, unifying the city around the newly made plaza (today Placa or Stradun).

The city was fortified and two harbors were built on each side of the isthmus. Its maritime trade grew as it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state that rivalled Venice in the Middle Ages. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the Latin/Slavic Ragusa/Dubrovnik achieved a remarkable level of development during the 15th and 16th century.

Dubrovnik was one of the centers of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home of numerous poets and playwrights such as Ivan Gundulić and Marin Držić. Notable were also the painters Lovro and Vicko Dobričević, not to mention scientists such as Ruđer Josip Bošković and Marin Getaldić.

Inhabitants of Dubrovnik often proudly quote the Irish playwright and man of letters, George Bernard Shaw, who visited the city in 1929: "If you want to

The city was ruled by aristocracy, and marriage between members of three different social classes was strictly forbidden. The nominal head of state was the Duke, (Knez) or during Venetian suzerainty the Rector. Real power, however, was in the hands of two Councils (Vijeće) that were held by the nobility.

The government of Dubrovnik was liberal in some other ways. It abolished the slave trade in 1418 and became the first state to recognize the independence of the newly formed United States of America. The city's old flag has the word Libertas (freedom) on it, and the entrance to the Lovrijenac fortress just outside the city walls bears the inscription Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro, meaning "Liberty is not sold for any kind of gold".

The patron saint of the city is Sveti Vlaho, whose statues are to Venice. The old city is a World Heritage Site.

Dubrovnik history

From its establishment in the 7th century AD, the town was under the protection of the Byzantine Empire. After the Crusades, Ragusa/Dubrovnik came under the sovereignty of Venice (1205–1358), and by the Peace Treaty of Zadar in 1358 it became part of the Hungarian-Croatian Kingdom.

Having been granted complete self-government, bound only to pay a tribute to the king and provide assistance with its fleet, Dubrovnik started its life as a free state. The Ragusan Republic reached its peak in the 15th and 16th centuries, when the Dubrovnik thalassocracy rivalled Venice and other Italian maritime republics. After 1492, the city received a group of Sephardim expelled from Spain and Portugal. They used their contacts with other Sephardim in the Turkish Empire and Europe for commercial benefit.

In 1526 Dubrovnik acknowledged the supremacy of the Turkish Sultan (annual tribute was paid to the Sultan). A crisis of Mediterranean shipping and especially a catastrophic earthquake on the April 6, 1667 that killed over 5,000 citizens, including the Rector, and leveled most of the public buildings, ruined the well-being of the Republic. With great effort the Republic recovered a bit, but still remained a shadow of the former Republic.

With the January 26, 1699 peace agreement, the Dubrovnik Republic sold/gave two patches of its coast to the Ottoman Empire so that the Venetians wouldn't be able to attack them from land, only from the sea. The northeastern land border, the small town of Neum, is still the only outlet of today's Bosnia and Herzegovina to the Adriatic sea. The southeastern border village of Sutorina later became part of Montenegro which has coastline to the south.

In 1806 Dubrovnik surrendered to French forces, as that was the only way to cut a month's long siege by the Russian-Montenegrin fleets (during which 3,000 cannon balls fell on the city). The French lifted the siege and saved Dubrovnik for the time being. The French army, led by Napoleon, entered Dubrovnik in 1806. In 1808 Marshal Marmont abolished the Dubrovnik Republic (est. 15th century) and amalgamated its territory into Illyrian provinces.

In 1815, by the resolution of Congress of Vienna, Dubrovnik was annexed to Austria (later Austria-Hungary), and remained annexed until 1918, when it became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Yugoslavia from 1929). At the very beginning of the World War II, Dubrovnik was first part of the Independent State of Croatia. From April 1941 until September 1943 Dubrovnik was occupied by the Italian army and after that by the Germans. In October 1944 Partisans liberated Dubrovnik from the Germans and it became part of the second Yugoslavia in 1945.

Despite the 1970s demilitarization of the old town by the Yugoslav People's Army in an attempt to prevent it from becoming a casualty of war, following Croatia's independence in 1991, the same army bombarded the old city on December 6, 1991, causing some damage. The rest of the city was less fortunate in the siege that lasted from October 1991 until May 1992. Casualty estimates in the conflict on this area vary. Some Serbian sources put it at 88 on both sides, while the Croatian Red Cross counted 114 killed civilians.

As of 2003, most damaged buildings in the city have been repaired.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Dubrovnik".

This city is also known as: Dubrovnik.

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