Be sure to have a look at the enormous Onofrio’s Fountain at Stradun’s western end.
Stradun is undoubtedly one of the jewels in Dubrovnik’s crown. Also known as Placa, the beautiful limestone-paved thoroughfare is the widest and most important street in the Old Town, running three hundred metres between the Pile Gate to the west and the eastern Ploce Gate. It is the centre of all the city’s major feasts and processions, plays host to concerts and New Year’s Eve celebrations, and was even the venue of an exhibition tennis match in 2010 between John McEnroe and Goran Ivanesevic.
Bridging the Gap
Walking along Stradun today, it is hard to believe that this was once nothing more than a muddy natural channel separating a peninsula from the mainland. On the southern side stood a town populated by refugees from the Roman Empire, while the northern bank was occupied by a settlement of ethnic Croats. Initially, the two sides were deeply suspicious of one another, but the inevitable processes of exploration and trade gradually led to a thawing of relations, and in the 12th century the channel was filled in by mutual agreement, and the two settlements were merged.
Shaking Things Up
Although the famous limestone paving slabs were laid down in 1468, it was not until the late 17th century that Stradun acquired its current look. The earthquake of 1677 caused devastation in the city, destroying nearly every building and leaving over 5,000 dead. In the aftermath, a law was passed that required every building to be constructed to certain specifications, and it was this which gave Stradun its attractive trademark uniformity.
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