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.

TravelCurious Tip

Orlando is easy to miss in the hustle and bustle of Stradun – be sure to have a look!

At the eastern end of the magnificent Stradun, the main thoroughfare of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, stands a dramatic statue of a knight carved in deep relief from a solid stone block. Proudly poised on his pedestal, the fresh-faced Orlando holds a sword aloft in his right hand with a lowered shield in his left, and stares impassively towards the city’s belltower.

The Stone Saviour

According to legend, Orlando saved Dubrovnik in its hour of greatest need. After 15 months under siege by a Saracen army in the 9th century, the city was low on supplies and morale, and facing capture for the first time in its history. When all seemed lost, Orlando and his army suddenly arrived and were able to drive back the invaders, saving the city, after which the statue was erected in gratitude. The reality is rather less dramatic. Dubrovnik was part of the Hanseatic League, a confederation of trading city-states under the protection of the Hungarian-Croatian king. As a symbol of unity and a reminder of allegiance, the king erected a statue of Orlando, or Roland as he was more commonly known, in the city centre of every league member.

The Long Arm of the Law

After it was erected in 1418, the statue became a focal point in the Old Town. Public punishments were often held here, as were important announcements and declarations. Orlando’s forearm was even used as the official standard for the Ragusan cubit, the basic unit of measurement used in the city. The statue is still an important point of civic pride today, and Orlando forms the centrepiece of the opening and closing ceremonies of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Cathedral
This Baroque Roman Catholic cathedral was rebuilt after the 1667 earthquake on a site of worship that dates back to the 7th century.
Walls of Dubrovnik
The imposing defensive walls of Dubrovnik guarded the freedom of a sophisticated republic for five centuries.
Rector's Palace
This secular palace is a harmonious combination of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture.
Dubrovnik Cruise Port
A port renowned for its fascinating history, crystal clear water and astounding superyachts.
The Synagogue and Jewish Museum
The world's oldest operating Sephardic Synagogue, with a museum telling the story of the Jews of Dubrovnik.
City Bell Tower
A beautiful landmark of the Old Town, with a bell struck by two bronze men.

Related Tours

The Best Of Dubrovnik's Cityscapes
  • Dubrovnik is a brand that is recognized worldwide, thanks to its unique beauty and rich cultural heritage. This city protected by UNESCO delights millions of visitors a year, so let it do the same with you.

Before exploring the beauty of the town, you will drive up to Srdj Mountain (quite a low mountain - so don't worry if you're scared of heights!), which is just behind Dubrovnik. You will enjoy a variety of landscapes and spectacular views of Dubrovnik and its surroundings. Glistening turquoise seas and cobbled streets are two characteristics that fit the view of this stunning picturesque town. 

The top of the mountain sees the Fort Imperijal - built from 1806 to 1816 during the Napoleonic Wars. From this very spot, you can see all of the old town, Lokrum Island, the Adriatic sea and much more. The most idyllic place for relaxing, taking some time for yourself and loved ones and capturing some of the most amazing moments.

Arriving at the top, you will have the opportunity to see the city from a bird’s eye perspective. After a short tour, we will return to the old city centre where the guide will take you through the rich history that the city guards within its impressive walls. Stone cobbled streets, numerous churches, museums, and monuments wait to be discovered.

Take a peek into the rich history of the city, which today is used as a living backdrop for world-famous films and series such as Star Wars, Game of Thrones, The Borgias, etc.

Dive into the rich historic presence of the town known as Dubrovnik. There are secrets hidden being every city wall - preserved from hundreds of years ago and when you finish this city of scenes tour you will leave full of knowledge and appreciation of the city's culture.  

George Bernard Shaw summed it all up in one sentence: ˝If you want to see paradise on earth, come to Dubrovnik.˝


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