Your cart is empty

Shop

Quantity: 0

Total: 0,00

0

Ragusa (Croatia, 16th century)

Ragusa (Croatia, 16th century)

Today called Dubrovnik, this Croatian city is known for its spectacular architecture and beautiful location.

History

Keywords

Ragusa, Dubrovnik, Croatia, Adriatic Sea, BYZANTINE EMPIRE, Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, modern history, city, centre, city-state, Mediterranean Sea, port, fortification, fortress, palace, tower, statue, Renaissance, defensive wall, Gothicism, dwelling, bell tower, gate, history, merchant, trade, economy

Related items

Questions

  • In which present-day country is Dubrovnik located?
  • On the coast of which sea is Ragusa located?
  • What is the nickname of Dubrovnik?
  • Ragusa was the centre of which state?
  • What made the city of Ragusa rich?
  • Is it true that Ragusa was one of the largest cities in Europe in the 16th century?
  • What was Ragusa famous for in the 16th century?
  • Who is the patron saint of Dubrovnik?
  • How long is the city wall of Dubrovnik?
  • Which of the following was not part of Ragusa's defence system?
  • What is the name of the mountain that is located in Ragusa?
  • What does the Greek word from which the name Ragusa originates mean?
  • What does the Slavic word from which the name Dubrovnik originates mean?
  • What is the name of the main street of Dubrovnik?
  • Which of the following is a landmark of today's Dubrovnik?
  • Which of the following is not a landmark of Luza Square?
  • How many ships did the town of Ragusa have in the 16th century according to historical sources?
  • In what style was Sponza Palace built?
  • What was at the sight of Sponza Palace before it was built?
  • How many fortresses are found along the city wall?
  • Which is the northernmost military building of the city's fortification system?
  • The harbour is protected by which military building?
  • Which building stands in the western end of the Stradun?
  • Which of the following is the easternmost building of Ragusa?
  • Which of the following is the westernmost building of Ragusa?
  • The Adriatic Sea is the arm of which sea?
  • After whom was the Onofrio's Fountains named?
  • After whom was the column standing on Luza Square named?
  • Which is the highest number?

Scenes

Ragusa

  • Srđ mountain - The 412 m tall mountain next to the town of Dubrovnik was once covered with oak trees. This is probably the origin of the Slavic name of the town.
  • Ragusa - The medieval name probably originates from the Greek word 'lau' (steep, rock) or the Latin word 'laus' (precipice).
  • Adriatic Sea - The northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea that is located between the Italian Peninsula and the Balkan Peninsula. Dubrovnik is also called the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'.

According to historical sources, the city of Dubrovnik was established on the coast of the Adriatic Sea in the 7th century. Its historical name was Ragusa, the origins of which are uncertain; it may come from the Greek word 'lau' meaning rock or cliff. The name Dubrovnik, first mentioned in the 12th century, originates from the Slavic 'dubrova' meaning oak grove.

At the beginning, the city was controlled by the Byzantine Empire but after the crusaders captured Constantinople in 1204, Ragusa fell under the jurisdiction of Venice for 150 years. It was during this time that trade in the city boomed.

The Republic of Ragusa was established in 1358. It was placed under Hungarian suzerainty but could make its own decisions in certain matters.

In the 16th century Ragusa successfully defended its sovereignty against its rival Venice and the Ottoman Empire. In 1667 a massive earthquake hit the city. It was almost completely destroyed but it was soon rebuilt in spite of the devastation.
Ragusa ceased to function as a republic during the Napoleonic Wars. After the Congress of Vienna, the Habsburg Empire gained control over the city.

When the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed after World War I, the city became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (Kingdom of Yugoslavia after 1929). Today the city, which is often called the 'Pearl of the Adriatic', is part of Croatia that became independent in 1991.

City

  • Pile Gate - The western gate of the city. Essentially, it comprised two gates, a Gothic style inner gate and a Renaissance style outer gate.
  • Big Onofrio's Fountain - It is located at one end of the Stradun. It was built from 1438 until 1440 and named after its architect. The polygonal, sixteen-sided fountain has an open cupola on top. It was also one of the end points of the water-supply system that brought water from a nearby spring.
  • Ploče Gate - The southern gate of the city. It was built in the 15th century and named after a nearby Croatian city.
  • breakwater - It protected the city's busy port from waves coming from the open sea. The natural rock formation was fortified with an artificial building.
  • port - Ragusa's wealth can be attributed to its maritime trade. The city had 180 ships in its heyday.
  • Luza Square - The eastern end of the Stradun. One of the busiest part of the city that also functioned as a marketplace.
  • city wall - It was built during the 12th-17th centuries. It is 1,940 m long, 25 m tall, at the highest point, and 3 to 6 m thick. There are five fortresses along the city wall.

City walls

The wall surrounding Ragusa made the city one of the most heavily fortified places in Medieval Europe. It also helped the city defend its sovereignty against its rivals (e.g. Venice) and the Ottoman Empire for centuries.

The wall is 1,940 m long and 3 to 6 m thick. Most of this fortification was built during the 14th and 15th centuries. There are five fortresses and numerous towers and bastions along the wall.

The wall on the landside stretches from Bokar Fortress to Revelin Fortress. The highest point of this section of the wall is 25 m.

Fortifications

  • Minčeta Tower - It is located in the northernmost point of the city wall. It was finished in the second half of the 15th century. The circular fortress with a Gothic crown on top is the highest point of the city's defence system.
  • Revelin Fortress - It is located at the eastern end of the city wall. Construction of the city's strongest fortress was finished in 1549. It protected Ploce Gate and the eastern part of the city.
  • St John Fortress - One of the most important parts of the fortification system of Ragusa. It was finished in 1557. This monumental fort protected the entrance of the busy port.
  • Bokar Fortress - It is located at the southwestern part of the city wall. Its construction started in 1461 and the fort reached its final form in 1570. It protected Pile Gate and the western part of the city.
  • St Lawrence Fortress - This separate fort was supposedly built in the 11th century on a 37 m tall cliff. It protected the western part of the city from attacks from the sea and the mainland.

St John Fortress (or Mulo Tower) was one on the most important fortifications of the city’s defence system. The monumental building complex gained its final shape in the middle of the 16th century. It was built with the merger of previous fortifications and the addition of new ones in 1557. Its main function was protecting the port and supervising marine traffic.

Revelin Fortress is located in the eastern part of the city. It was built outside Ploce Gate to protect the eastern entrance. It was finished in 1549. Its name probably derives from the word 'rivelino' (ravelin) which is used in military architecture to refer to a fortification opposite the most vulnerable part of the city wall.

Minceta Tower is located in the northernmost part of the city wall. The large, circular defensive structure has a characteristic Gothic crown. It was renovated and reinforced in the 15th century. The tower had a key role in protecting the city from attacks from the mainland. There were nine cannons in the tower, the largest one being a bronze cannon made by Ivan Rabljanin who also made the bell of the city clock tower.

Bokar Fortress was built to protect the western entrance of the city, Pile Gate. The two-storey fortress received its final shape in the second half of the 16th century. Together with Minceta Tower, it played a key role in repelling attacks from the west.

St Lawrence Fortress was built on a 37 m tall cliff. It played an important role in protecting the western part of the city from attacks from the sea and the mainland. It was probably built in the 11th century but was extensively renovated in the 15th and 16th centuries. Its triangular floor plan follows the contour of the cliff. It’s three terraces were armed with ten cannons, the largest one being the 'Guster' (the lizard).

Luza Square

  • Sponza Palace - It was built in the Gothic and Renaissance style from 1516 until 1522. It was named after a spot where rainwater was collected ('spongia').
  • Stradun - The city's main street, also known as Placa, was about 300 m long. It was the only wide street in the medieval city. It was paved with limestone in 1468.
  • bell tower - It stood on Luza Square at the eastern end of the Stradun. It was built in 1444 by local architects. Its bell is used since 1509.
  • Small Onofrio's Fountain - It is located at the foot of the bell tower on Luza Square. It was built from 1440 until 1442 and named after its architect. It supplied the market on the square with water.
  • Orlando's Column - It is found in the centre of Luza Square at the eastern end of the Stradun. It was named after the knight whose sculpture is featured on it.

Sponza Palace is located on the north side of Luza Square at one end of the Stradun. It is standing on the site of an old cistern ('spongia'), hence the name.

It was built in the Gothic and Renaissance style between 1516 and 1522. It housed several offices, a bank, a bonded warehouse, a treasury and an armoury. An atrium was also built inside the large rectangular building. Luckily, the palace was not damaged during the earthquake of 1667.

The main street of Ragusa is the Stradun or Placa. It is about 300 m long and stretches from Pile Gate to Luza Square. A fountain made by Onofrio della Cava is found at both its western and eastern ends. The Stradun became the most important street of the city in the 13th century since it connected the eastern and the western gate. It was paved with limestone in 1468.

The 31-m-tall bell tower (or clock tower) standing on Luza Square, at the eastern end of the Stradun was built in 1444. Its bronze bell, weighing more than two tonnes, was added in 1506 (or 1509). It was made by Ivan Rabljanin, who also made the cannons of the city. The wooden figures of the bell tower were also replaced that year with bronze figures. The 191-cm-tall statues portray Roman soldiers. They are called Maro and Baro, or 'Zelenci' (green men) by the locals because of the characteristic colour of patina that formed on the surface of the bronze.

Ensuring water supply to cities was of the utmost importance in the Middle Ages. First, cisterns were used to provide water for the city of Ragusa. When affected by drought, trading vessels carried drinking water to the city. In 1436 the city council ordered the building of an aqueduct to supply the city with water from a nearby spring. Once completed, Italian architect and sculptor Onofrio della Cava also designed two fountains. The Small Onofrio’s Fountain, located on Luza Square at the foot of the bell tower, was built between 1440 until 1442.

A special stone column, Orlando’s Column, is located on Luza Square. Legend has it that the figure carved into the column features a medieval knight, Orlando, who liberated the city from the sieges of the Arabs in the 8th century. The column was made in 1418 by two sculptors named Antun Dubrovčanin and Bonino di Milano.

It probably served different functions. Speeches could be held to the public from the top of the column. The opening on the top could be used to hold a flagpole. Public punishments were probably also carried out near the column.

Walk

Animation

  • Srđ mountain - The 412 m tall mountain next to the town of Dubrovnik was once covered with oak trees. This is probably the origin of the Slavic name of the town.
  • Ragusa - The medieval name probably originates from the Greek word 'lau' (steep, rock) or the Latin word 'laus' (precipice).
  • Adriatic Sea - The northernmost arm of the Mediterranean Sea that is located between the Italian Peninsula and the Balkan Peninsula. Dubrovnik is also called the 'Pearl of the Adriatic'.
  • Minčeta Tower - It is located in the northernmost point of the city wall. It was finished in the second half of the 15th century. The circular fortress with a Gothic crown on top is the highest point of the city's defence system.
  • Revelin Fortress - It is located at the eastern end of the city wall. Construction of the city's strongest fortress was finished in 1549. It protected Ploce Gate and the eastern part of the city.
  • St John Fortress - One of the most important parts of the fortification system of Ragusa. It was finished in 1557. This monumental fort protected the entrance of the busy port.
  • Bokar Fortress - It is located at the southwestern part of the city wall. Its construction started in 1461 and the fort reached its final form in 1570. It protected Pile Gate and the western part of the city.
  • St Lawrence Fortress - This separate fort was supposedly built in the 11th century on a 37 m tall cliff. It protected the western part of the city from attacks from the sea and the mainland.

Narration

The medieval city of Ragusa, known today as Dubrovnik, was established on the coast of the Adriatic Sea in the 7th century. Thanks to its location, it was able to engage in the profitable maritime trade to which its wealth is also attributed. Being a prosperous city, however, is what made Ragusa a target for other nations to conquer.

The inhabitants of Ragusa built a heavily fortified city over the centuries and extended its power to the surrounding areas as well. The Republic of Ragusa experienced its golden age in the 16th century.

Ragusa was protected by fortifications consisting of the city wall and fortresses. Mansions, churches, public squares and the port all demonstrated the greatness of this flourishing Renaissance city.

One of Croatia's treasures, the Old City of Dubrovnik, became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.

Related items

Venice in the Middle Ages

Medieval Venice owed its wealth to its flourishing maritime trade.

Battle of Lepanto (1571)

The Ottoman fleet suffered a catastrophic defeat by the fleet of the Holy League.

Diocletian's Palace (Split, Croatia)

The fortress-like palace was built by Roman Emperor Diocletian on the coast near his home town.

Medieval towers and bastions

The structure of fortresses developed together with military technology.

Medieval town

Medieval townhouses were built from stone or brick and were several storeys high.

Port

Ports must provide necessary infrastructure and services for industry and marine transport.

The Alhambra in the 16th century (Spain)

The name of this magnificent palace complex originates in Arabic and means 'the red one'.

The Varaždin Castle (16th century)

This stunning castle is situated in northern Croatia.

Apoxyomenos

The characteristic ancient Greek statue was found on the bottom of the Adriatic Sea.

Ivan Meštrović: History of the Croats

One of the Croatian sculptor's most famous works depicts a woman wearing a traditional costume.

Pula Arena (Pula, 1st century)

The Pula Arena, located in present-day Croatia, was one of the largest Roman amphitheatres in the Antiquity.

Clothing (Western Europe, 16th century)

Clothing reflects the lifestyle and culture of the region's inhabitants.

Santa Maria (15th century)

Christopher Columbus' three-masted carrack, the Santa Maria was the flagship of his first, landmark voyage.

Added to your cart.