Dubrovnik, the walled city known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic”, is situated on the southern-most tip of the Croatian coast. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik was long based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Buoyed by great wealth and the unsurpassed skill of its diplomats, the city achieved an extraordinary level of development during the 15th and 16th centuries.
Just off the coast of Dubrovnik is the forested island of Lokrum. The small island boasts a castle, a thousand year-old Benedictine monastery, and a botanical garden initially started by Archduke Maximilian in the 19th century. Peacocks and peahens still roam the isle, descended from the original peafowl brought over by Maximilian.
Dubrovnik is ranked among the ten best medieval walled cities in the world. Although de-militarized in the 1970s to protect it from war, in 1991, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was besieged by Serb-Montenegrin forces for seven months and received significant shelling damage. Today, having been completely restored to its original state of beauty, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Adriatic.