Croatia Self-Isolating Since 1377: Dubrovnik, the Birthplace of Quarantine

Total Croatia News

March 14, 2020 – As the buzzwords of quarantine and self-isolation take hold, where did the concept of quarantine come from? Like many progressive things in life, from the very home of Kings Landing – Dubrovnik. 

Croatia really is the most amazing country to live in.

One of the things I love most about it is the constant discovery, and there is perhaps no other country in the world which has contributed inventions and discoveries per capita as Croatia has done. 

The contributions of Nikola Tesla (an ethnic Serb born in Smiljan in modern-day Croatia), as well as inventions such as the pen, the cravat and the parachute are well-known, but I was also surprised to find in my research last year that Croats were also responsible for things as varied as laminate flooring, SMS parking payments, the electric speedometer, and diazepam and other tranquillisers (boy, could I use some now). 

And quarantine. 

Quarantine was first introduced in 1377 in Dubrovnik on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, and the first permanent plague hospital (lazaretto) was opened by the Republic of Venice in 1423 on the small island of Santa Maria di Nazareth. You can read more in the academic study – Lessons from the History of Quarantine: from Plague to Influenza A.

The Dubrovnik Republic was a great trading power and very progressive, abolishing slavery more than 600 years ago, for example. 

Croatia is also home to another European first, as the birthplace of organised tourism in Europe on the island of Hvar in 1868, when the legendary climate of Croatia’s premier island proved a popular destination for the convalescing aristocrats of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and health tourism on the island which came to be known as the Austrian Madeira became extremely popular. 

Here’s hoping that the period of quarantine and self-isolation is short, and we can all soon resume those holiday plans for the glistening waters of the Adriatic. 

For the latest on the coronavirus situation in Croatia, check out the dedicated TCN section, or learn more about Croatia’s famous inventions and discoveries


Subscribe to our newsletter

the fields marked with * are required
Email: *
First name:
Last name:
Gender: Male Female
Please don't insert text in the box below!

Leave a Comment