If you’re feeling peckish, there is a reasonably-priced restaurant at the back of the monastery.
Religious buildings are often found in the most unlikely places. The tiny wooded island of Lokrum, located 600m offshore from the port of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, is a prime example. At just a mile long, you wouldn’t expect there to be very much of anything at all here, but in fact the very first written mention of the island concerns the foundation of the Benedictine Monastery in 1023.
A Thousand Years of History
The monks abandoned the monastery in 1798, but the centuries-old ruins still carry a strong sense of history, evident in the differing architectural styles which were incorporated as the years went by. Oldest is the 12th-13th century Romanesque-Gothic basilica, while the cloisters of the 15th-century Gothic-Renaissance monastery are in considerably better condition. Keep your eyes peeled for the inquisitive peacocks which roam the island with their brood and will often take a stroll around the monastery themselves – they were brought over from the Canary Islands in the late 19th century.
Dragons at the Door
Keen-eyed fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones may be struck by a sense of familiarity as they wander these old stone walls. The monastery, along with the island’s botanical gardens, was used as the setting of the fictional city of Qarth in the series’ second season. Sadly the actual monastery has rather fewer wizards and dragons than the TV show, but the island does host an enthusiastically-staffed Game of Thrones exhibition which will explain all you need to know about the dramatisation.
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