Walking the City Walls of Dubrovnik

Walls of Dubrovnik, Dubrovačke gradske zidine, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The city of Dubrovnik is very special – and one of the things that makes it so is the fact that it’s a cute little toy town, cuddled by defensive walls.  The effect is very picturesque when viewed from a distance, but it’s really amazing to be able to walk along the walls and get to peek into the lives of those who live along the route.

Since the 14th century the city has been enclosed by fortified walls, although different parts were built at different times.  The thickness of the walls varies along the route, with the side facing the sea being narrower (5-10 feet) than on the land side (13-20 feet).

We started our walk at the Pile Gate entrance and went anti-clockwise around the walls.  There’s not much to say about the journey, but I hope the pictures give a sense of what it was like.

The entrance to the City Walls between the Pile Gate and the Holy Saviour Church, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The entrance to the City Walls between the Pile Gate and the Holy Saviour Church, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the Onofrio Fountain from the steps going up to the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the Onofrio Fountain from the steps going up to the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Detail along the top of the Holy Saviour Church as you go up the steps to get the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Detail along the top of the Holy Saviour Church as you go up the steps to get the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View over the Holy Saviour church and other rooftops from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View over the Holy Saviour church and other rooftops from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View along the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View along the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the roofs and the tower of the Franciscan Monastery from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the roofs and the tower of the Franciscan Monastery from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The roofs and greenery as seen seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The roofs and greenery as seen seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Bell-towers seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Bell-towers seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View over the Holy Saviour Church from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View over the Holy Saviour Church from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Looking down on the Onofrio Fountain from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Looking down on the Onofrio Fountain from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The old and the new, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The old and the new, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View down the Stradun from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View down the Stradun from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Someone lives on the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Someone lives on the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Seeing the city through a window in the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Seeing the city through a window in the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View down Od Puča, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View down Od Puča, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of ruined buildings up by the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of ruined buildings up by the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Lovrijenac Fortress as seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Lovrijenac Fortress as seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Scary view from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Scary view from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The supportive rock beneath the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The supportive rock beneath the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Destroyed building by the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Destroyed building by the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Lovrijenac Fortress and some of the new town of Dubrovnik, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The Lovrijenac Fortress and some of the new town of Dubrovnik, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

A private well up by the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

A private well up by the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The narrow path along the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The narrow path along the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Safe walkway seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Safe walkway seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the coast, with Lokrum to the right, as seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the coast, with Lokrum to the right, as seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Winding City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Winding City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of a cafe on the rocks from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of a cafe on the rocks from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Glimpse of the St Ignatius Church from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Glimpse of the St Ignatius Church from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The dome of the Cathedral with a rickety ladder, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The dome of the Cathedral with a rickety ladder, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Looking out over the sea from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Looking out over the sea from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of St Blaise on the St John Fortress, on the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of St Blaise on the St John Fortress, on the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

A bell on the Church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia.  The bell has a figure of the Crucifixion on it.

A bell on the Church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia.  The bell has a figure of the Crucifixion on it.

Church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of Banje Beach and hotels seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of Banje Beach and hotels seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel to the left seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel to the left seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The coat of arms and inscription on the Church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The coat of arms and inscription on the Church of Our Lady of Mt Carmel, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Looking over the harbour from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Looking over the harbour from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Going past houses on the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Going past houses on the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Glimpse of the Cathedral from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Glimpse of the Cathedral from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the harbour and the St John's Fortress, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the harbour and the St John’s Fortress, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Walking towards the bell-tower, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Walking towards the bell-tower, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

St Blaise from the St Blaise Church, walking across the roofs, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

St Blaise from the St Blaise Church, walking across the roofs, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The bell-tower, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The bell-tower, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The back of the Zelenci (the Greens), Maro and Baro, who strike the bell of the tower, seen from the  City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The back of the Zelenci (the Greens), Maro and Baro, who strike the bell of the tower, seen from the  City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Going past the Dominican Monastery and Church, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Going past the Dominican Monastery and Church, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The bell-tower of the Dominican Monastery, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The bell-tower of the Dominican Monastery, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View down to the harbour from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View down to the harbour from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the Dominican Monastery from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of the Dominican Monastery from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The different levels of building seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

The different levels of building seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of people walking the patch of wall by the sea, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of people walking the patch of wall by the sea, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Amazing views from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Amazing views from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Narrow roads and bright tiles seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Narrow roads and bright tiles seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Fort Minčeta, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Fort Minčeta, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Fort Minčeta, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Fort Minčeta, City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Toy town, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Toy town, seen from the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Finishing the loop of the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

Finishing the loop of the City Walls, Dubrovnik, Croatia

So In Summary

For me, walking the walls was a real highlight of my trip to Dubrovnik.  It’s a good way to get to know the city’s main buildings, but it’s also fascinating to get glimpses into the lives of people who live by the walls – to see the way they’ve arranged gardens, window boxes or how they ingeniously contrive to hang their washing.

But also – Dubrovnik is beautiful.  From every angle.  Walking the walls makes you appreciate how perfect the city is and how lucky its residents are to be living there.

Further Information

Not only do the walls have their own website, in English, but it’s also rather informative.  If you want information about the fortresses, check them out: www.wallsofdubrovnik.com

The walls are apparently 1,940 metres long and can be walked, according to their own website, in about 2 hours.  However, there are 3 entry/exit point around the walls, so if you find that you don’t like the walk, or only want to do a particular route, it’s pretty straightforward to escape.

I should also point out a few things that people should consider: the walls are not a consistent height all the way round and they are sometimes really quite low.  The route is also very up and downy and sometimes you do get pretty high above the surrounding buildings, which started to get a bit dizzying for me.

I really don’t recommend this walk for anyone who isn’t steady on their feet.

Also, the sea-side of the walls have numerous bars, shops, and some toilets – whereas the rest of the loop doesn’t.  So if you feel you need to sit and have a drink, consider doing so before you get to the St John’s Fortress.

How To Get There

This map shows, through the use of orange arrows, the entrance points of the walls: www.godubrovnik.com

The main entrance to the walls is between Pile Gate and the Holy Saviour Church: between no. 3 and 4.  The second is near the Ploce Gate, next to no. 9 on the map.  The third is at the back of the St John’s Fortress, by no. 29 on the map.

 

 

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