Open Letter: Life On Ploce Behind City Has Become Impossible

Lauren Simmonds

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An open (and very frustrated) letter from a Dubrovnik resident appears on the DubrovnikNet portal.

An open letter from a resident of Dubrovnik, more specifically of the Ploce area of town which lies on the eastern side of the Old Town appeared on the 2nd of May 2017 on DubrovnikNet. The letter has resonated with many fellow residents of the Croatian Tourist Mecca and highlights the hell it is to have to deal with being seen as a second class citizen, forced to play along with crowds of tourists, made to put up with often senseless decisions of the authorities and have your entire life, from parking your car to going to the shop to even being able to sleep properly at night – completely disrupted without a second thought for months on end.


To share part of it with you…

 Up until 6 or 7 years ago, the Ploce area – in the direct contact zone of the town – was a wonderful place to live!

There were children (playing freely) on the street Put od Bosanke, there was life and there was (the notion of) a neighborhood! Then, our quality of life began being disrupted by the decisions of the city authorities!

First, they opened Culture Club Revelin. Let them! Let it be that young people finally have a place to go out, for concerts and similar events – Dubrovnik needed such a place. However, there is no measure of the greater gravity of people at night, car accidents etc. This is all happening in the late hours of the night, and there are no officials to be seen, well, we got used to it, at least we could still live peacefully during the daytime.

Briefly! Then Ploce became a loading and unloading (transhipment) area for the City with a rapidly growing number of workers just using the space there as their own, where it’s unpleasant for you to go even when you’re just throwing your rubbish away! Then, buses have gradually started to drop tourists off on Ploce, little by little, mini-vans, various agencies etc, which has resulted in a general daily chaos. Of course, the heavier concentration of people has sparked the interest of many, so people have been opening (new) restaurants for three to four years! There are now four restaurants (on Ploce), and the fifth is coming along any day now.

These restaurants got their terraces! And we’ve come to the point where the few of us who remain living on the street Put od Bosanke and on the crossing with the first part of Hvarska Ul. have just had enough! We understand that people have to work and we are delighted that they do, but why must everything be at the expense of the people who live there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year?

Can it be possible that we, as tenants of the aforementioned street; have no rights? Is the message from the city authorities to us just ”MOVE OUT!” (if you don’t like it). The whole street has become an estate of (rental) apartments and restaurants! And let it be that way! Let people work and earn their money, but let residents also live and raise their kids there!

There are around 10 families left in the street, the rest just left and sold their apartments. Is this what we’re all supposed to do? The restaurant at the beginning of the street has since set up its third terrace! The third!? Can we even cross the street anymore!? Last year when the same restaurant got its second terrace, we lost four parking places. Four! Then, because of the problems with crowding and cars, the city authorities decided to close the street with street poles/pillars. But not because of us tenants! Because of the restaurants! So that they can work unhindered, and so that the tourists can eat unhindered! Because the idea to close the street came from the restaurants. Now, wait for this! The keys (to collapse the street/poles) were not given to tenants, because the tenants are not entitled to their own street. Not even those who have their own private parking place in the street! The keys for the street poles/pillars were given to the owners of the restaurants for deliveries and the owners of some apartments because… well, let them find out.

Why is our quality of life systematically failing just because of other individuals? Is it really all about numbers and money? Can I rent a couple of these tables to replace an occupant’s constant state of torment with a parking space? The restaurant terraces are not open and the restaurants are not working for almost six months per year and they achieve their earnings and fulfill their potential in just three or four months! We’re all here for 12 months a year! 24 hours per day! Not just during working hours!

We are not inside the wall, so we know why we can’t park in front of our houses! Why is it permissible to allow everything and everything to others, and we as residents just have to shut up and suffer? You have to wait for a parking space for over an hour as it is! Explain to the kids why they can not play around here anymore because people are eating, how owners of establishments and restaurants and some apartments can neatly and easily park their cars when and where they want and behave like the street belongs to them… Because somebody allowed them to do so!

Let people work/do their jobs! But give us back our parking area, the restaurant will work perfectly well with just two terraces, set up an area so that the kids can play in the park without having to look at drunkards, seeing as they can no longer play in the street! Whoever can bring our day to day lives in this street some normality has our vote! (in the upcoming local elections). Do something for people who live here.


Life is not easy in Dubrovnik, and for many it is becoming more and more difficult. The area of Pile is a disaster waiting to happen, with two taxi ranks (one on Ul. Iza Grada), a bus park, a car park, restaurants and the Western entrance to the historical centre (Pile gate) all so close together, it is surprising that there haven’t been many more very serious accidents – sooner or later there will be. The Ploce area on the eastern entrance used to be fairly quiet, now there are several resraurants within literal feet of each other, all with packed terraces which are the stuff of nightmares for claustrophobic people, and an absolute impossibility when it comes to trying to park even a Smartcar or a bike. As the author of this letter quite rightly insinuates between his/her lines: it is becoming another Pile.


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