- Croatia Sailing Destinations
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After his visit to Dubrovnik in 1929, George Bernard Shaw compared it to heaven on earth. Although this comparison seems excessive, Dubrovnik is more than capable to astonish its visitors with rarely seen uniqueness comprised of both natural and man-made wonders. Compressed between the mountains and the open sea, it has found a way over the centuries to leave an indelible mark in history of modern civilization.
Hence, Dubrovnik represents much more than just another highly desirable, world-famous holiday destination. It is located in the southernmost part of Croatia, in Dalmatian region, where alluring Mediterranean landscape has been enriched with impressive tangible and intangible heritage created by its inhabitants through an epoch of more than a thousand years. This is clearly evident in each part and every detail of the city and its surroundings which once formed quite small, but prosperous and respectable Republic of Ragusa. Yet they succeeded to keep their freedom and sovereignty for centuries, balancing between much powerful forces by virtue of their wisdom and help of skilled diplomacy. At the same time economic wealth was result of strong and widespread trade, especially seafaring, supported by huge merchant fleet, at one time among the largest in the world. Its ships sailed all around the globe under a prominent sign – Libertas, Latin word for freedom, which was a key to success.
The power and opulence of the former Republic, at its peak during 15th and 16th century, can particularly be noticed within the impressive Dubrovnik old town, completely built of stone and still incredibly well preserved, making the whole town a living museum under UNESCO protection. Curiosities include two kilometres of sturdy city walls together with several mighty fortresses, sumptuous palaces and numerous other public and religious buildings, as well as countless statues of city patron, Sveti Vlaho or Saint Blaise, which, at every turn, recalls the glorious past.
Visitors will also discover some amazing facts about the Republic which testify truly high level of progress and development for that time, adopting what is today considered as modern laws and institutions: it received its own Statute in 1272, in 1301 a medical service was introduced and soon followed by opening of the oldest European pharmacy still in operation, while the slave trading was abolished in 1418.
But exploration possibilities do not end with this interesting data, yet they extend to many attractive spots around the city and belonging delightful archipelago. The archipelago which provides perfect escape from modern civilization for sailors that above all appreciate freedom as well and are searching for magical beaches, secret bays or picturesque villages. Berthing possibilities in the city include moorings in Gruž harbour, beautiful ACI marina in nearby Komolac, at the end of deeply recessed fjord Rijeka Dubrovačka, or anchorage along with super yachts and stunning scenery of the old town port in the background.