Fortresses of Dubrovnik: Lovrijenac, Croatia

Of all the fortifications of Dubrovnik (possibly the most fortified town on the planet!), Lovrijenac is the one which stands as a fortification in it's own right. Whilst all the other fortresses are part of the City Wall system, Lovrijenac stands high on it's own rock, completely disconnected from the rest.

There has supposedly been a fortress on this 40 metre high rock since 1018, although there is no historical evidence until the 14th Century. When the fortifications of Dubrovnik were upgraded in the 1570s Lovrijenac was also upgraded, and again after the earthquake of 1667.

The Republic of Dubrovnik was always somewhat paranoid, and the garrisons (including the commanding officer) of Lovrijenac were changed every month regardless of the circumstances, such was the importance placed upon it.

In the Second World War when Dubrovnik was occupied by the Italians Lovrijenac was a prison for patriots and partisans. Today, during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, Shakespeare's Hamlet is regularly performed on the ramparts.

Above the doorway is the inscription "non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro" which translates as "all the gold in the world cannot buy freedom".

The best reason today to visit Lovrijenac is the view back across the small bay which separates it from town of the City within the walls, with a particularly fine view of the Bokar Fortress.

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