=$on_this_page?> historical facts about Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik was founded in the first half of the 7th century by a group of refugees from Epidaurum (today's Cavtat). They established their settlement at the island and named it Laus. Opposite of that location, at the foot of Srđ Mountain, Slavs developed their own settlement under the name of Dubrovnik (named by "Dub" - type of wood). The settlements were separated by a channel which was filled in 12th century, present Placa or Stradun, and since than the two settlements have been united. At that time the city walls started to be built as a protection from different enemies ( Arabs, Venetian, Macedonians, Serbs, etc.), who wanted to conquer Dubrovnik.
The Government of Dubrovnik Republic
The Republican Constitution of Dubrovnik was strictly aristocratic. The population was divided into three classes: nobility, citizens, and artisans or plebeians. All effective power was concentrated in the hands of nobility. The citizens were permitted to hold only minor offices, while plebeians had no voice in government. Marriage between members of different classes of the society was forbidden. The administrative bodies were the Grand Council (supreme governing body) and the Small Council (executive power) (from 1238.) and the Senate (from 1253). The head of the state was the Duke, elected for a term of office for one month.
Grand Council (Veliko viječe) consisted
of exclusively members of the aristocracy; every noble took his seat
at the age of 18.
Republic was under the rule of Venice the Rector was Venetian, but
after 1358 the Rector was always a Ragusan.
The History of Dubrovnik from the End of Republic until today
In 1809 Dubrovnik become part of the Ilyrian Provinces. In 1815, by the resolution of Vienna Congress, Dubrovnik was annexed to Austria (later Austria-Hungary), and remained annexed until 1918 when it became part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes. In 1929 the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and was divided into 8 districts. Until 1939 Dubrovnik was part of Zetska district and then was included in Banovina of Croatia. At the very beginning of the World War II Dubrovnik was first part of the Independent State of Croatia. From April 1941 until September 1943 Dubrovnik was occupied by the Italian army and after that it was occupied by Germans.
In October 1944 Partisans liberated Dubrovnik from the Germans. In 1945 Dubrovnik became part of the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1963 the Federative People's Republic of Yugoslavia changed its name into Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and was consisting of 6 republics. Dubrovnik was part of the Socialistic Republic of Croatia. In 1990 the republics of the Socialistic Federal Republic of Yugoslavia reached their independence. The Socialistic Republic of Croatia was renamed into Republic of Croatia.
At October 1, 1991 Dubrovnik was brutally attacked by the Serbo-Montenegrin army. The Serbo-Montenegrin siege of Dubrovnik lasted for seven months, and in May 1992 the Croatian Army liberated Dubrovnik and its surroundings, but the danger of Serbo - Montenegrin sudden attacks lasted for another three years. Today, Dubrovnik is a free and safe town, worldly known, and the most popular tourist destination in Croatia.
The History of the Dubrovnik Republic
From its establishment the town was under the protection of the Byzantine Empire that helped Dubrovnik in the wars against Saracens (886- 887), Bulgaro-Macedonians (988), and Serbs (1184). After the Crusades Dubrovnik came under the sovereignty of Venice (1205-1358), and by the Peace Treaty of Zadar in 1358 it became part of the Hungarian-Croatian Kingdom. Having been granted the entire self-government, bound to pay only a tribute to the king and providing assistance with its fleet, Dubrovnik started its life as a free state that reached its peak in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1526 Dubrovnik acknowledged the supremacy of the Turkish Sultan (annual tribute was paid to the Sultan). A crisis of Mediterranean shipping and especially a catastrophic earthquake on the 6th of April 1667 that killed over 5000 citizens, including the Rector, leveling most of the public buildings, ruined the well-being of the Republic.
With great effort the Republic recovered a bit, but still remained a shadow of the former Republic. In 1806 Dubrovnik surrendered to French forces, as that was the only way to cut a month's long siege by the Russian-Montenegrin fleets (during which 3000 cannon balls fell on the city). The French lifted the Russian-Montenegrin fleets and saved Dubrovnik for the time being. The French army, led by Napoleon, entered Dubrovnik in 1806 In 1808 Marshal Marmot abolished the Dubrovnik Republic.
The Origin of the Name Dubrovnik
The today's name of Dubrovnik is derived from the Croatian word Dubrava, which means oak woods as, in the past, oak trees surrounded Dubrovnik. The Latin name Ragusa - Rausa, in use until the 15th century, originated from the rock (lat. Lausa - meaning rock) where the first settlement was established.
The Statute of the Republic of Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik got its own Statute as early as 1272 and ,
among others, codified Roman practice and local customs. The Statute included
the town planning and regulations of quarantine (hygienic reasons). The
Republic of Dubrovnik was very inventive regarding laws and institutions
that were developed very early:
The Territory of Dubrovnik Republic
As it had good relations with its neighbors, Dubrovnik
was allowed to trade, trading both in the Orient and the Mediterranean.
With numerous countries and towns it had special agreements and was not
paying taxes on goods sold or transported trough some country's. During
several centuries Dubrovnik grew into the most powerful economic center
in the south of the Adriatic and it developed a powerful fleet of merchant
and war ships. Dubrovnik had over 200 merchant ships called Argosy.