Dubrovnik Breakwater ‘Kaše’ To Be Studied Ahead Of Renewal

Total Croatia News

November 30, 2018 — To most tourists and passersby in Dubrovnik, it’s just a strip of rocks jutting out of the middle of the old town’s port. Or the remnants of an old jetty. But archaeologists think there may be more to the medieval Dubrovnik breakwater – “Kaše.”

A project started by the Development Agency of the City of Dubrovnik will research the historical and geo-archeological significance of “Kaše”, located squarely in the middle of Dubrovnik’s iconic harbor, according to Morski.hr.

The agency contends it’s an interesting cultural-historical asset that requires reconstruction, but first needs to be thoroughly researched.

A broad look at the underwater area has already reaped rewards, revealing an older, unknown structure.

The 6 million kuna Dubrovnik breakwater project will fall under the auspices of “APPRODI — From Ancient Maritime Routes To Eco-Touristic Destination”, and funded by INTERREG V-B of the Adriatic-Ionian Transnational Cooperation Program. It will be carried out by the Institute of Maritime Heritage ARS NAUTICA, in cooperation with the University of Zadar, the Croatian Geological Institute, GeoMar d.o.o. and FOKA d.o.o.

Dr. Irena Radić Rossi will lead the research.

It will be the first time underwater archeological research will be carried out on the easily-ignored-yet-historic Dubrovnik breakwater. Even paper-based research into Kaše hasn’t taken a holistic look at all available documents.

Modern geological and geophysical techniques will allow researchers to study the entire old city harbor in greater detail, and to create a historic timeline of its development without endangering the site itself.

APPRODI aims to preserve natural and cultural goods as the foundation for any future development of the Adriatic-Ionian area.

The breakwater Kaše was built during the Renaissance in 1486, according to plans drawn up by the great engineer of his time, Paskoje Miličević Mihov.

The exact techniques used to build the breakwater aren’t known. Based upon its name (a bastardization of “kašeta” or “crate”) it’s believed wooden chests were stacked and filled with building materials.

Historical sources also indicated the breakwater was rejuvenated in the middle of the 16th century, except two wooden boats were sunk in the place of crates.

Today, the breakwater is in a dilapidated condition and in desperate need of repair after an earthquake badly damaged the structure in 1979, according to the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik’s Antiquities. Promises to renew the structure passed by like the waves it’s meant to stop. None came to fruition.

Kaše is just the first part of a multi-phase plan. The breakwater will be followed by a detailed geo-archaeological map of Dubrovnik’s port, as well as a cartographical study showing other interesting ports and islands not just on Dubrovnik’s coast, but all along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

To learn more about the Pearl of the Adriatic, check out Total Dubrovnik.


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