There are seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia: Plitvice lakes National Park, Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian, Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in the Historic Centre of Poreč, Historic city of Trogir, Cathedral of Saint James, Stari Grad Plain, Stećci Medieval Tombstones Graveyards and Old City of Dubrovnik.
Dubrovnik Old City managed to preserve stunning Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains despite a disastrous earthquake, known as “Velika trešnja”, in 1667. Devastating earthquake left the entire city destroyed and almost 5000 people killed, among them the city’s rector Simone Ghetaldi and half of the members of the Great Council. Revelin fortress, Sponza palace, and Lazareti were few buildings that remained intact. The city consequently suffered from a series of smaller earthquakes, a tidal wave caused by the first strong earthquake, fire that ravaged the city, and the robbery and anarchy that took place along with these disastrous events. Republic of Dubrovnik was eventually saved by its diplomacy and great skills of their ambassadors who managed to convince Turkish and Venetian predators that the city can survive this calamity and they do not need help. Despite their efforts, historians agree that earthquake marked the beginning of the end of the Republic that was abolished in 1808 with the arrival of Napoleon forces in the city.
The city was damaged again in 1990s during a siege of Dubrovnik executed by the Yugoslav People’s Army during the Croatian War of Independence that provoked strong international condemnation. After the armed conflict, city of Dubrovnik has been the focus of a major restoration programme co-ordinated by UNESCO that recognized its remarkably well-preserved cultural heritage and added it to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Series in 1979.
A long list of the most popular cultural monuments includes the main street Stradun (Placa), City Walls, Dubrovnik Cathedral, St. Blaise Church, Rector’s Palace, Sponza Palace, Lovrijenac fort, Orlando Column, Dominican Monastery, Franciscan Monastery, synagogue and many others.