The city of Dubrovnik is a town in a southern exclave of Croatia on the Adriatic. The city is due to their cultural significance and the centuries of special political position often referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic” and “Croatian Athens.” In 1979 the entire old town is on the UNESCO’s list of world cultural heritage included.
Dubrovnik is now the administrative seat of Dubrovnik-Neretva and seat of the Catholic Diocese of Dubrovnik. The city was in the census 2001 43.770 inhabitants. The majority of the population are 88.39% with the Croats. There are still some Serbs and Montenegrins, Bosnians, Albanians and a small Jewish community. The city of Dubrovnik was one of the centers in the history of the development of the Croatian language and literature. Many major Croatian poets, artists, scientists, mathematicians and physicists are from this city. Dubrovnik can now be referred to as a cultural center of Croatia.
For centuries Dubrovnik was an independent city-state, the trade relations with much of Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean entertained. In addition to the name of the city is still the motto “Libertas” (Latin for freedom) highlighted. Today, we find this name among others in the motto of the Dubrovnik Festival Weeks for music and theater. Also famous is the legendary phrase, as the Ottomans wanted to take the city, which is evidence of a strong and forward-looking understanding of freedom of the inhabitants. The Dubrovnik (Croatian Dubrovčani) known to the words of its poet Ivan Gundulić : “Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro” (German: “For all the gold in this world we will not sell our freedom.”)
The Croatian name of the city is from the Slavic word dubrava derived (Oak Grove), the Latin name Ragusa / Rausa goes back to the name of the island, was the first settlement (Lave, Lausa). New archaeological finds prove that in the rock, which was called in ancient Ragusa, 3 Century BC a Illyrian settlements existed. With the reorganization of the Roman Empire and especially the church administrative conditions in the middle of the 6th Century, the rocks around 550/60 under Justinian I mounted, and a thought, as episcopal basilica built of larger dimensions (31 mx 18 m) on the site of the present cathedral. However, during the Gothic wars 533/34 seems to Ragusa in the operations of Belisarius to have played a role. At the earliest at the beginning of the 7th Century Slavs settled in consequence of the invasion the inhabitants of the destroyed Epidaurum (today’s Cavtat) mounted on the island.