Tourism in the medieval Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik – a tourist hub

When we think about past times, we usually remember wars, diseases, horrible living conditions, lack of hygiene, and short life expectancy. The general opinion is that small cities, like Dubrovnik, were isolated, far from civilization, and enclosed within their territories.

Five hundred years ago, people were curious and adventurous, the same way we are, and they wanted to travel. Although not for the same reasons.

To please God and ensure eternal life in paradise, they started to travel to the most significant religious destinations like Jerusalem or different apparitional sites all over Europe. The most popular was Rome and the grave of St. Jacob in Santiago de Compostela.

Dubrovnik was a trading point, and its port attracted many visitors. Traders from the hinterland, from territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Serbia, would come to Dubrovnik to sell their products or trade them for imported things they could not find in their regions. There was a caravan route connecting Dubrovnik with Bosnian or Serbian territories, and it went to Istanbul. Because of that road, considered the safest way to travel to the Ottoman empire, western travelers, like diplomats, a middleman in commerce, or just adventurers intrigued with the mystic Orient, were sailing to Dubrovnik. It was a stopover on their voyage further east.

In modern terms, Dubrovnik was a hub, a transit center, and a place to get a transfer.

Tourism in medieval Dubrovnik

B&B in the Renaissance

To accommodate such numerous visitors, so-called hospices, like today’s hostels, were all around town. Every monastery in those days accommodated travelers, for money, of course.

Even the Sponza Palace, the custom’s house, was a hospice in the 16th century. In hospices, you could sleep over but rarely get some food. Thus, the hungry tourist had a variety of taverns. In the 15th century, there was a 132-registered tavern in the city that served food and wine, and occasionally, it was possible to get accommodation. At the same time, a private initiative started to develop. More and more locals rented their beds to visitors. Obviously, B&B is not an invention of modern times!

Today, Dubrovnik lives mainly in tourism and services related to it. To hear more about Dubrovnik in the past and present, join me on The Welcome to Dubrovnik tour.

 

Medieval Dubrovnik

Tourism in the medieval Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik – a tourist hub

When we think about past times, we usually remember wars, diseases, horrible living conditions, lack of hygiene, and short life expectancy. The general opinion is that small cities, like Dubrovnik, were isolated, far from civilization, and enclosed within their territories.

Five hundred years ago, people were curious and adventurous, the same way we are, and they wanted to travel. Although not for the same reasons.

To please God and ensure eternal life in paradise, they started to travel to the most significant religious destinations like Jerusalem or different apparitional sites all over Europe. The most popular was Rome and the grave of St. Jacob in Santiago de Compostela.

Dubrovnik was a trading point, and its port attracted many visitors. Traders from the hinterland, from territories of Bosnia and Herzegovina, or Serbia, would come to Dubrovnik to sell their products or trade them for imported things they could not find in their regions. There was a caravan route connecting Dubrovnik with Bosnian or Serbian territories, and it went to Istanbul. Because of that road, considered the safest way to travel to the Ottoman empire, western travelers, like diplomats, a middleman in commerce, or just adventurers intrigued with the mystic Orient, were sailing to Dubrovnik. It was a stopover on their voyage further east.

In modern terms, Dubrovnik was a hub, a transit center, and a place to get a transfer.

 

Tourism in medieval Dubrovnik

B&B IN THE RENAISSANCE

To accommodate such numerous visitors, so-called hospices, like today’s hostels, were all around town. Every monastery in those days accommodated travelers, for money, of course.

Even the Sponza Palace, the custom’s house, was a hospice in the 16th century. In hospices, you could sleep over but rarely get some food. Thus, the hungry tourist had a variety of taverns. In the 15th century, there was a 132-registered tavern in the city that served food and wine, and occasionally, it was possible to get accommodation. At the same time, a private initiative started to develop. More and more locals rented their beds to visitors. Obviously, B&B is not an invention of modern times!

Today, Dubrovnik lives mainly in tourism and services related to it. To hear more about Dubrovnik in the past and present, join me on The Welcome to Dubrovnik tour.

 

Medieval Dubrovnik
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