Dubrovnik Summer Villas with Renaissance Gardens

A compound of useful and leisure time

Villeggiatura (holiday life) was a phenomenon in the lifestyle of the Dubrovnik nobility and its richer citizens in the Renaissance period.

Noblemen were engaged in investments in maritime affairs, trade, banking or public services, but as landowners, they needed to be present on their estates during all major agricultural activities, to supervise them and to get a complete insight into the state of the harvest and bringing in of the crops.

In order to combine functional and leisure activities, to indulge in various pleasure during the summer and early autumn time, and at the same time to carry out necessary work, they built comfortable villas with landscaped gardens next to farmhouses on their country estates. In addition, these villas were used as family retreats in the event of outbreaks of dangerous epidemics (like the plague).

These complexes were never permanent residences and certainly did not provide accommodation for agricultural workers and gardeners, nor were intended for regular economic activities.

Unique architectural complexes on the Adriatic

It is estimated that between the 15th and the 18th centuries more than 200 villas with gardens, landscaped in a specific manner, were created in the Dubrovnik area. These gardens were planned in the unique way, where the building was simple and humble, built in the L-shape, fully opened to the surrounding gardens, forming a unity of home and nature. Most of them were built by the sea or atop the rocks over the sea, and always with direct access from the sea to the estate.

Over the last two centuries, most of these specific and unique gardens were destroyed. Large, open spaces near neighboring villages, especially those in suburbs of Dubrovnik became new residential areas. Over time, most of the villas were destroyed or neglected.

One of the last fully preserved estates is in the Arboretum Trsteno, the former summerhouse of the noble Gučetić/Gozze family.

Ivan Marin Gučetić in 1502 had started the tradition of acquiring and planting various Mediterranean and exotic species of flora, later continued by descendant generations. They always requested the sea captains to bring them different plants from their voyages to fill the collection in their elegant garden, and most of them are preserved till nowadays.

The villa was completely devastated during the Homeland War, and it is not fully restored yet.

A visit to the Arboretum can be included in your Game of Thrones tour since the show was filmed there during the seasons 2 and 3. Also, it can be a stop-over on your trip to Pelješac peninsula.

Entrance to one of the summer villas built in Gruž, near the sea

Dubrovnik Summer Villas with Renaissance Gardens

A compound of useful and leisure time

Villeggiatura (holiday life) was a phenomenon in the lifestyle of the Dubrovnik nobility and its richer citizens in the Renaissance period.

Noblemen were engaged in investments in maritime affairs, trade, banking or public services, but as landowners, they needed to be present on their estates during all major agricultural activities, to supervise them and to get a complete insight into the state of the harvest and bringing in of the crops.

In order to combine functional and leisure activities, to indulge in various pleasure during the summer and early autumn time, and at the same time to carry out necessary work, they built comfortable villas with landscaped gardens next to farmhouses on their country estates. In addition, these villas were used as family retreats in the event of outbreaks of dangerous epidemics (like the plague).

These complexes were never permanent residences and certainly did not provide accommodation for agricultural workers and gardeners, nor were intended for regular economic activities.

Unique architectural complexes on the Adriatic

It is estimated that between the 15th and the 18th centuries more than 200 villas with gardens, landscaped in a specific manner, were created in the Dubrovnik area. These gardens were planned in the unique way, where the building was simple and humble, built in the L-shape, fully opened to the surrounding gardens, forming a unity of home and nature. Most of them were built by the sea or atop the rocks over the sea, and always with direct access from the sea to the estate.

Over the last two centuries, most of these specific and unique gardens were destroyed. Large, open spaces near neighboring villages, especially those in suburbs of Dubrovnik became new residential areas. Over time, most of the villas were destroyed or neglected.

One of the last fully preserved estates is in the Arboretum Trsteno, the former summerhouse of the noble Gučetić/Gozze family.

Ivan Marin Gučetić in 1502 had started the tradition of acquiring and planting various Mediterranean and exotic species of flora, later continued by descendant generations. They always requested the sea captains to bring them different plants from their voyages to fill the collection in their elegant garden, and most of them are preserved till nowadays.

The villa was completely devastated during the Homeland War, and it is not fully restored yet.

A visit to the Arboretum can be included in your Game of Thrones tour since the show was filmed there during the seasons 2 and 3. Also, it can be a stop-over on your trip to Pelješac peninsula.

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