Dubrovnik arose in a very significant place. Close to the shore and right in front of the city in the island of Lokrum, the last in the series of many islands of the east Adriatic. To the south-east spreads the wide open sea, leading on the Strait of Otranto and the vast area of the Mediterranean from protected channels, suitable for navigation of ships. In immediate vicinity of Dubrovnik, the Dinaric range becomes lowe, allowing mountain passes over wich caravan towards the interior could be organized. A city in such a position had to be predestined for navigation and sea trade, and natural barrers separated and protected if from the neighbouring geographic and geopolitical units. The varied geomorphology of the region – steep rocky coast, deep coves, sandy beaches, small fields, high mountains which in places come right to the sea, numerous islands and rocks, together with the rich vegetation an exceptionally clear sea – all this makes the region very attractive. Man and nature have worked together, combining natural beauty, architecture and horticulture. The result of this happy connection is one of the most beautiful and impressive regions, not only on the Croatian coast and the whole of he Adriatic area but also one of the best cultivated oases of the Mediterranean.
The City Walls
The most recognizable feature which defines the physiognomy of the historic city of Dubrovnik and gives it its characteristic appearance, famous all over the world, are its intact city walls, which run uninterrupted for 1940 metres encircling the city. This complex structure, one of the most beautiful and strongest for system in the Mediterranean, consist of a series of forts, bastions, casemates, towers and detached forts. The walls were built systematically in the difficult times of permanent danger to the City and the Republic, and they have been preserved to the present day and are still functional, not only because of the proficiency of their skillful builders, diligence and care of the citizens of Dubrovnik who maintained them and added to them as necessary, but also because of the splendid ability of the famous diplomats who knew how to obviate and avert dthe dangerous intents of the enemies and rivals of the Republic. The city of Dubrovnik is completely surrounded with walls and forts, including the Old Port.