The region fortified with defensive walls, forts and towers in the early medieval period and Saracen threat, later attacks by the Serbs and Venetians and Turkish danger in the Early Modern period were reasons for further reinforcements. Although the city walls were built during the period of hostilities for strictly military purposes, today they are – O tempora, o mores! – one of Dubrovnik’s prime tourist attractions. Impressive walls embrace Dubrovnik, Korčula and Ston while forts and towers are great gazebos or locations for stage productions or concerts.


The magnificent city walls of Dubrovnik were built in waves. First constructed in the 13th century and further reinforcements were mostly added in the 15th and a16th century. The walls thick up to 6m and 25m high stretch for almost 2km/1.25 miles. They are one of the strongest and most beautiful fortifications in Europe and some people still officially reside there.


The walls have fortresses and towers on strategic locations. City’s harbour was protected by St John’s Fort, eastern entrances to the city were covered by the Revelin Fort, northwest by the Minčeta Tower, and southwestern by the Bokar Bastion. Although outside the Old Town, the Lovrijenac Fort was crucial for defending the west entrance to the city. There are 16 more towers, 6 bastions and two corner fortifications along the walls.


Soon after purchasing Ston and its surroundings in 1333 the Republic of Ragusa started constructing the longest walls in Europe. The walls stretching for more than 5km/3.1 miles guarded Ston, Mali Ston, Pelješac peninsula and Dubrovnik’s saltworks; salt was a highly valued trade item and strategically important almost as oil today. Several fortresses are part of these walls, Veliki Kaštio and Stoviš in the town of Ston, Koruna in Mali Ston and Podzvizd on the highest hilltop between the towns.


Korčula’s centre which is located on a peninsula that stretches into Pelješac Channel has been protected since the early Middle Ages with forts and towers. They have been widened and reconstructed many times and the most important parts are preserved. We will single out the monumental Large Revelin tower with a staircase that leads the way to the southern part of town.


In Konavle, deep in the hinterland on the way to Bosnia and Herzegovina, there is a fascinating castle named Sokol Grad. Sanković brothers who ruled the area ceded the castle to the Republic of Ragusa in 1391 which gained the full control of it in 1423. The Ragusans invested in this important defensive line; the castle had a water pump, storage rooms for ammo, wine and food, barracks and buildings for housing the women  and children if there were some hostilities in the vicinity.



Text is taken from Dubrovnik – The Riviera and islands by J. Žilić, D. Pek and F.Kozina