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Rector's Palace

This secular palace is a harmonious combination of Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance architecture.

TravelCurious Tip

Look out for the statue of Miho Pracat in the atrium, who bequeathed his wealth to the city in his will and subsequently became the only ordinary citizen to be honoured in this way.

Centrally located in Dubrovnik’s Old Town between the cathedral and the town hall, the Gothic-Rennaissance rector’s palace is a strikingly-fronted building which bears the weight of several centuries of history. This was where the rector, or governor of Dubrovnik, used to live and work in the days when the city was a republic known as Ragusa.


Rising from the Ashes

Until the 15th century, the building on this site was primarily used for defence, but in 1435 it was gutted by a large fire, and the authorities of the day decided that a grand new palace should be built on the ruins. As with several other important buildings in Dubrovnik, the job of designing and building the palace fell to an Italian. This time it was master architect Onofrio di Giordano della Cava, a Neapolitan who had already overseen the construction of the city’s water system, and for whom the large fountain at the western end of Stradun is named.


Showcasing the History of Architecture

Less than 30 years after it was completed, the palace was badly damaged by an explosion in the gunpowder store of the palace armoury. This resulted in many years of renovations, which altered and updated the original design as different architectural styles fell in and out of favour. It is for this reason that most of the sculptures in the mostly-gothic building are carved in the Renaissance style. Furthermore, after damages sustained during the great earthquake of 1667, the entire southern wing of the palace was rebuilt in the baroque style. The unusually extended period of time in which the palace was constructed makes for an intriguing lesson in how architecture changed over the centuries.


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.
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.
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.
City Bell Tower
A beautiful landmark of the Old Town, with a bell struck by two bronze men.

Related Tours

The Cultural Highlights of Dubrovnik
  • Your tour begins at Stradun, Dubrovnik's famous city square, hosting many rustic old buildings, including the Rector’s Palace - a 14th century Baroque masterpiece, serving not only as a residence but also as an armoury, powder magazine, watch house, and prison. 
  • Have the pleasure of visiting Onofrio's Fountain, where you will be able to admire the magnificent Sponza Palace.
  • You will move on to visit the stunning Old Synagogue of Dubrovnik, the oldest in the city, and astonishingly the second oldest in the world.
  • Enjoy a visit to the Jewish Museum, where you will learn more about the Jewish community and their contribution to the history and culture of the great city of Dubrovnik. 
  • You will then proceed on to the Baroque Cathedral of the Assumption, rebuilt in the 18th century following an earthquake, and now a popular venue for weddings and celebrations. 
  • See the stunning Cathedral of the Assumption, Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Church of St. Blaise. Here you will learn all about the fascinating legend of Richard the Lionheart who returning from the Crusades in 1192, was shipwrecked in a storm, and cast aground on Lokrum Island in front of Dubrovnik. 
  • You will also pay a visit to the Franciscan Monastery and Old Pharmacy- the third oldest in the world. After which you will proceed to traverse the beautiful City Walls, a 2 km stone wall that has protected the city for centuries. During your walk along the city walls you will be able to take in the panoramic views of the city below. 

Stradun is the main street in Dubrovnik Old Town. Stradun stretches the distance of Pile Gate to the Old Town’s port. The street has been completely pedestrianised for almost 50 years and acts as main local promenade, featuring a number of restaurants, cafes and shops. 

Onofrio's Fountain circulates through a huge central dome and 16 water taps that surround it. It was completed in 1438 and withstood some damage after an earthquake but was never been repaired! Spend some time sitting at the foot of the fountain planning the rest of your day or enjoying a light bite to eat. 

The Baroque Cathedral of the Assumption was largely destroyed in 1667 due to an earthquake strike. The senate of Dubrovnik at the time pledged for it to be remodelled, whereby multiple architects eventually made it happen;  Francesco Cortese, Paolo Andreotti of Genoa, Pier Antonio Bazzi of Genoa, and friar Tommaso Napoli of Palerm. The Cathedral was then completed over the next three decades. Unfortunately, further damage has been made over the years, but it has all been repaired. 

Perfect for those wanting a great Dubrovnik selfie!
Dubrovnik's Half-Day Highlights
Medieval Dubrovnik

Your tour begins at Stradun, Dubrovnik's famous city square, boasting many beautiful old buildings, including the Rector’s Palace, a 14th century Baroque masterpiece, serving not only as a residence but also as an armoury, powder magazine, watchhouse, and prison. You will also have the pleasure of visiting Onofrio's Fountain, where you will be able to admire the magnificent Sponza Palace. From here you will head onwards to the Franciscan Monastery and Old Pharmacy- the third oldest in the world!

Chequered History

After walking across the main square you will come across the Baroque Cathedral of the Assumption, rebuilt in the 18th century following an earthquake, and now a popular venue for weddings and celebrations. Other highlights, not to be missed, include Dubrovnik Cathedral and the Church of St. Blaise. Here you will learn all about the fascinating legend of Richard the Lionheart who, returning from the Crusades in 1192, was shipwrecked in a storm, and cast aground on Lokrum Island in front of Dubrovnik. When Richard tried to convince the leaders of Dubrovnik to build a church on the island, Richard was instead persuaded to build the cathedral in Dubrovnik proper. You will also hear about the infamous medieval orphanage, communal granaries, and chequered lives of the local aristocrats.

From here you will proceed to traverse the beautiful City Walls, a 2km stone wall that has protected the city for centuries. During your walk along the city walls you will be able to take in the panoramic views of the city below. Perfect for those wanting a great Dubrovnik selfie!
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