Lovrijenac Fort

Known as 'Dubrovnik's Gibraltar,' this stunning fort is also used as a theatre.

TravelCurious Tip

With its three-terraced layout, Lovrijenac is a natural theatre, and plays are regularly produced here during the summer.

Lovrijenac Fort, otherwise known as the St. Lawrence Fortress, is Dubrovnik’s most physically impressive defensive bastion. Standing proud atop a 37m-high cliff and surrounded by water on three sides, it is little wonder that the fortress was never captured by a hostile army in all of the city’s long medieval history.

The Menace from Venice

Historians believe the fort to be nearly a thousand years old, having been completed some time in the first half of the 11th century. Supposedly the rulers of the powerful city-state of Venice had already identified this rock as a perfect location to build a fortress from which they could exert power and influence over the people of Dubrovnik. The Croats learned of their scheme, however, and immediately set about building a fortress of their own. When a small Venetian fleet arrived with soldiers and building supplies to commence the work, they saw to their surprise and dismay that they had been beaten to it.

The Green Lizard

In its heyday, Lovrijenac was one of the most fearsome harbour forts in Europe. Featuring colossal 12m-thick walls on the seaward side and armed with ten of Dubrovnik’s largest cannons, it quickly gained a reputation among would-be pirates and invaders. In fact, it was so successful in dissuading attackers that its largest, most intricate and most famous cannon, the Lizard, was never even fired. Unfortunately, the Lizard was dropped into the sea by the Austrian army in the 19th century as they tried to hoist it to a different location, and remains unrecovered at the bottom of the ocean. Still, you may not be able to see Lovrijenac’s famous cannon, but the views over the city from its battlements are simply spectacular.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Dubrovnik
Pile Gate
The grand entrance to Dubrovnik's old town, complete with drawbridge and Renaissance arch.
Iconic limestone-paved Stradun is the main thoroughfare through Dubrovnik's old town.
St Saviour Church
A plain but fascinating church, one of the few Renaissance survivors of the terrible 1667 earthquake.
Onofrio's Fountains
These lovely 15th century fountains were once vital water sources for the townspeople.
The Synagogue and Jewish Museum
The world's oldest operating Sephardic Synagogue, with a museum telling the story of the Jews of Dubrovnik.
Orlando Column
A 600-year-old column carved in honour of the legendary knight Orlando, who saved Dubrovnik from a siege by Arab pirates in the 8th century.

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