Dubrovnik’s main thoroughfare, officially Placa, is more than a street. The look was modified after the earthquake of 1667 with Baroque buildings housing stores on the ground floor with characteristic entrances, a local version of dutch doors. The street is packed with numerous landmarks; Sponza Palace, Large and Small Onofrio Fountain, Franciscan monastery, St Blaise’s church and Orlando’s Column. Stradun has always been a nice promenade, meeting place and venue for important events – St Blaise’s Fiesta, opening ceremony of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, carnival procession, New Year parties etc.
LARGE ONOFRIO FOUNTAIN
When you enter the Stradun from the west side named after Paskoje Miličević, the first thing you will see is the Large Onofrio Fountain; designed in 1438 by Onofrio della Cava from Naples. The fountain with a dome delivers cold water from 16 carved stone heads that ring the structure’s lower third, the only original ornaments after the 1667 quake. Look up and you will see a stone drain, the end of waterworks. The water was delivered from a source located 11.7 km outside the city falling along the sloped water supply system.
SMALL ONOFRIO FOUNTAIN
Located on the east side of Stradun, in a recess on the wall of City Guard. The octagonal fountain was the main water source for the former market which was in its vicinity. It is adorned with reliefs depicting naked boys while the upper part is ornamented with stone dolphins and oysters. Pietro di Martino, a sculptor from Milan, worked on this ornaments in the 15th c.
The original bell tower built in 1444 and 31m high was demolished and rebuilt in 1929 in order to prevent its collapse. The bell was cast in 1506 and two famous figures that strike the hour are named Maro and Baro. Original statues dating from 1478 are displayed in the Sponza Palace together with the original clockwork. If you have trouble to read what is the time from the old clock, there is a „digital clock“ below it. The sphere displays moon phases, and date on the plaque placed on the bottom reveals the date of papal visit to Dubrovnik (July 6, 2003.). The City Guard built in the 15th c. Stands next to the bellower, the cinema entrance is accessed through its Baroque façade.
The column stands in Luža Square on the east side of Stradun. This gothic column with the statue of medieval knight Orlando designed by sculptor Bonino from Milan was erected in 1418 on the site of a shame pole as the symbol of independence and loyalty to king Sigismund of Luxembourg. A legend has it that Orlando saved the city from the Saracens and another interesting thing is the Ragusan ell, official measure unit. Carved on the pedestal. The white Ragusan flag with the image of St Blaise was standing on the column until the abolition of the city-state in 1808. The Libertas flag is raised on the top of the column during the opening ceremony of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.
Text is taken from Dubrovnik – The Riviera and islands by J. Žilić, D. Pek and F.Kozina