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.
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