Don’t miss the Orlando Column, located just beneath the tower in Luza Square, which has an intriguing story of its own.
Standing 31 metres tall above Luza Square, the city bell tower is one of the most important landmarks on Dubrovnik’s famous Stradun thoroughfare. Its gleaming white stone and neat, precise design fit perfectly with the prevailing architectural style of the Old Town, and it effortlessly commands the attention of all visitors to Stradun’s eastern end.
The Little Green Men
The tower was designed and built by master architects Grubačević, Utišenović and Radončić in 1444. Provided with ample funds to work with by the authorities of the rich city-state, the architects included an unusual feature in the design. Instead of the traditional clapper hanging inside the bell, two wooden statues of men bearing hammers were made and placed on either side of the bell. At the appointed time, every hour and half-hour, the men would strike the bell with their hammers and allow the peal to ring out across the city. The years took their toll on the original two, and a pair of more permanent bronze replacements were fashioned and named “Maro” and “Baro”. Over time they became green with the tinge of corrosion, and have been nicknamed the “zelenci”, or “green men”, ever since.
The Leaning Tower of Luza
After the large earthquake of 1667, which destroyed most of the city, the tower began to lean noticeably. However, it was not until more than 250 years later that it was deemed structurally unsound, and in 1929 much of the tower was taken down and replaced to exactly the same specifications.
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