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The Walls of Dubrovnik (Ragusa): the most beautiful fortifications in Europe

This article is also available in: Italian

Ragusa / Dubrovnik is famous for its beautiful walls that completely surround it for a length of 1940 meters. The walls of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) represent one of the most beautiful and best preserved defensive systems in the entire Mediterranean. The defensive system of the city is full of fortifications, bastions, towers and independent fortresses. Built between the tenth and seventeenth centuries, architects such as the Florentine Michelozzo Michelozzi, the Bergamo native Antonio Ferramolino, and the Zaratine Giorgio Orsini participated in their construction.

The entire perimeter of the walls of Dubrovnik can be covered on foot and a walk along the walls allows you to have a complete and evocative picture of the architectural beauties of the city. The side of the walls of Dubrovnik facing the land has a thickness ranging from 4 to 6 meters and is protected by a double wall up to 25 meters high. While on the side towards the sea, the walls have a thickness that varies between 1.5 and 3 meters. Two gates open along the walls: Pile Gate and Ploce Gate. This difference in size in the thickness of the walls gives an idea where the dangers for this Adriatic city-state came from.


Along the entire perimeter there are 15 defensive towers built in the 14th century (3 round towers, 12 square towers) and four main fortresses (Bokar Fort, St. John’s Fort, Lovrjenac Fortress and Revelin). Among the towers, the round tower of Minceta is the most impressive. This tower was built in the years 1461-1464 by Giorgio Orsini (Zara, 1400-1475), and was designed by the Florentine Michelozzo Michelozzi (Florence, 1396-1472). Fort Bokar, in the shape of a circular bastion incorporated into the walls, is located in the south-west part of the city walls, and was built between 1464 and 1470 by the Florentine Michelozzo Michelozzi.

A walk along the beautiful walls of Dubrovnik / Ragusa is one of the unforgettable things to do during a visit to the city. The views of the city and the sea during this walk are fantastic. The easiest access route to the walls is from the stairway at the beginning of the Placa, near the Pile Gate. If you are passionate about fortifications, a place not to be missed is the small village of Ston (Stagno). This village is located just north of Ragusa, here there are other spectacular walls.


This article is also available in: Italian

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