St. Lawrence Fortress Background Story

Tell me a story about who you are
and meet me in the stories that I live.

Incidentally, in a completely random place, in the basement of a building I saw a top inscription which make me feel good.

In the end, we are what we can share with others, stories we can narrate – so, look for a story, of a man, of a stone, sea, trees … In Dubrovnik you have them at every step, from every stone on which you lean and to which you wink.

One such story tells us about the St. Lawrence Fortress, the only one that was built outside the city walls by Dubrovnik Republic. And here’s that story which, according to a legend, is behind all that stone.

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The earthquake of 1667

The most tragic event in the history of Dubrovnik was the catastrophic earthquake that hit the town on April 6th 16    67 between 8 and 9 am. Dubrovnik vanished in ruins, and fire ravaged the town for as long as twenty days after the earthquake.

The fire was destroying the town and all the priceless centuries-old material and cultural treasures. Even sea retreated from the port several times and came back and pounded on the ships that happened to be in port. The whole historical centre with its beautiful Romanic Cathedral, representative Gothic and Renaissance palaces, churches and monasteries turned into a pile of ruins.

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As you set out for Ithaka
hope the voyage is a long one,
full of adventure, full of discovery.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
angry Poseidon—don’t be afraid of them:
you’ll never find things like that on your way
as long as you keep your thoughts raised high,
as long as a rare excitement
stirs your spirit and your body.
Laistrygonians and Cyclops,
wild Poseidon—you won’t encounter them
unless you bring them along inside your soul,
unless your soul sets them up in front of you.

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Saint Blaise

Today people of Dubrovnik celebrate the day of their patron saint – St. Blaise. The saint had a major role in the life of the city. All the ships of the Dubrovnik Republic carried a flag with the effigy of the patron saint. Even today there are eighteen statues of St. Blaise on the city wall. Only one dates from recent times that is, the one on the inner Gates of Pile, the work of the Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović.

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