Home > 2011 Posts > The Roofs of Dubrovnik

The Roofs of Dubrovnik

If you want to stroll through a medieval walled city, it’s tough to beat Dubrovnik. This town has a lovely setting, fascinating buildings, amazing history, a very pretty old harbor, lovely Adriatic sunsets and friendly people.

I was there not too long ago exploring Dubrovnik’s Roman and Venetian roots. But one thing struck me as unusual: from up on the old city walls, you see that the roofs are two different colors: tan and red.

Dubrovnik looking North toward the old city and the Roman / Venetian harbor

I learned the reason from a Croatian photographer named Mojca. When she was a young girl, almost all the roofs were made of tan tiles. Then the Balkans erupted into war. By the end of that war, Croatia had won its independence. But, Dubrovnik had been hit by almost 3.000 Serb artillery shells fired from ‘can’t miss’ impregnable positions on the steep mountain ridgeline just southeast.

Most of these roofs were tan

Mojca took me to a memorial map that shows all the hits, pointing out the one that killed her uncle and his family. After a moment of respectful silence, I remarked that she must be glad to see her city so peaceful and prosperous now. She said that it was “like coming out of a cave and living in the sunshine. Everybody works hard and we don’t have much. But things are getting better.”

Most Croats I met seemed like good, steady, optimistic folks. I couldn’t help but wonder whether most Americans would be doing as well. It’s been 156 years since any U.S. city was shelled by artillery.

  1. March 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I love Venice – it’s one of my favourite places I visited in Europe. Great photos!!

    • March 9, 2011 at 12:45 pm

      Venice. Yes! Me too. I go back as often as I can. The folks there have done a great job holding onto how unique and magical it truly is. And thank you for your kind comment. Over the next few weeks, I have a couple posts with photos planned that are about Venice itself.

  2. March 11, 2011 at 12:55 am

    Dubrovnik has to be a phographer’s heaven. I visited in 2009 and was so overwhelmed had to go back in 2010. Sad history but great place!

    • March 11, 2011 at 8:00 am

      Absolutely! Have you been to Cavtat, a very photogenic small town a little to the south? Lovely little boat harbor there.

  3. March 11, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Went there last year, stayed nearby in another delighful village called Mlini. Croatia seems to have a unique natural light, soft and gentle, which is great for photographs.

    • March 12, 2011 at 8:10 am

      Thanks for the tip on Mlini! I do like the light as well. Sadly, on my last visit, there was a lot of sea mist in the islands north of the city. Ah, well. That just means I need to come back again soon.

  1. November 26, 2011 at 7:53 am

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