Posted on 09.11.2012, 07.07.2014
Located in the southern Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik, named official Ragusa until 1918, and known as Pearl of the Adriatic or even Thesaurum mundi, "is a remarkably well-preserved example of a late-medieval walled city, with a regular street layout", reason for which it was designated by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 1979 (with an extension in 1994), under the name Old City of Dubrovnik. Until recently, it was believed that the city was founded about 614 AD by a group of refugees from Epidaurum (today's Cavtat), who fled of the Slavs and Avars and established a settlement to an island, and named it Laus (lausa means rock in latin), which will become Ragusa or Rausa. Opposite that location, at the foot of Srđ Mountain, the Slavs developed their own settlement, under the name of Dubrovnik (from dubrava, which means oak woods). In the 12th century the channel that separated these two settlements was filled (in present is Placa or Stradun, the main street of the city) and they were united. But recent archaeological discoveries have pushed the city's history before the Common Era, there being evidence that Dubrovnik was established by Greek sailors.
Being first under the protection of the Byzantine Empire, Ragusa came, after the infamous Fourth Crusade, under the sovereignty of Venice (1205-1358), then by the Treaty of Zadar (1358) became part of the Hungarian-Croatian Kingdom, and since 1458 paid a tribute to the Ottoman Empire, but was effectively a free state between 1358 and 1808, named Respublica Ragusina (Ragusan Republic). Its motto, Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro (Latin for "Liberty is not well sold for all the gold"), says everything about its principles, as also the fact that the republic abolished the slave trade early in the 15th century, and its official language was Latin until 1472, and thereafter the Ragusan dialect of the Romance Dalmatian language.
Along with England, Spain and Genoa, Ragusa was one of the Venice's most damaging competitors in the 15th century on all seas, even in the Adriatic. Furthermore, the most part of the traffic between Florence and the Ottoman port Bursa was carried out via Ragusa, and Ragusa's merchants founded settlements from India and Africa within America.
The Republic gradually declined after the catastrophic earthquake of 1667 (which killed over 5,000 citizens and levelled most of the public buildings), until 1808, when was occupied by the Napoleonic army. Seven years later the Habsburg Empire annexed the city, which became part of Yugoslavia since 1918. The war following Croatia's independence in 1991 greatly affected the city, which was besieged by the JNA (Yugoslav People's Army) for seven months and heavily bombed.
About the stamps
On the first postcard
The stamp is a commemorative one, issued on October 28, 2011, with the occasion of 50th Anniversary of the Institute Of Art History in Zagreb. Designed by Orsat Franković and Ivana Vučić, it has the value 4,6 HRK.
On the second postcard
The stamp, depicting European fan worm / Sabella spallanzanii, is part of the series Croatia Undersea World, about which I wrote here.
This is a post for Postcard Friendship Friday #141, hosted on Beth's blog The Best Hearts are Crunchy. Click on the button below to visit all the other participants.
Dubrovnik - Wikipedia
Old City of Dubrovnik - UNESCO official site
Dubrovnik - Encyclopaedia Britannica
Dubrovnik - Dubrovnik Online
50th Anniversary of the Institute Of Art History stamp - Hrvatska Pošta official site
Sender 1: Vladimir Klešćic (direct swap)
sent from Samobor (Zagreb County / Croatia), on 30.10.2012
photo: Tješimir Marić
Sender 2: Marius Vasilescu
sent from Trogir (Split-Dalmatia / Croatia), on 26.06.2014