Dubrovnik: last day in the Old City

Our wanderings today took us first around the centre of the city past the clock tower which we can see from our window. The bells keep time for us throughout the day.

At the top of the steps we had our evening meal by the other night is the Church of St Ignatius and the Jesuit College. They are on the highest point within the city walls. Construction of the church began in 1699 but was not completed until 1725. There are two alcoves on the front of the building which are empty. Apparently the ship carrying two statues that were to sit in the alcoves sank en route.

Inside, there is one central aisle with side altars. After completion of the building, the decoration commenced. The walls and ceiling of the sanctum which depict the death of St Francis Xavier were painted by Gaetano Garcia who took three years to finish his work.

The foundations of the college next door were laid in 1662 but the work was destroyed in the major earthquake of 1667 and did not begin again until 1670 and was completed in the 1690s. There was a pile of rubble in front of it today so I assume more renovations are underway. Tomorrow we are planning to visit the nearest island which has a nature reserve and as our museum ticket covers it, we popped into the Natural History Museum. It is small and has areas set out for children (a school trip arrived just before we left). As it is situated in a coastal city it focusses on marine life although there was a large display about the endangered Balkan Pond Turtle. Upstairs there were a few birds and butterflies on show and only one mammal, an otter. Afterwards we had a cold drink at the nearest of the two Buza Bars which has sea views.
Continuing up and down steps and through the narrow side streets we found the Ethnographic Museum. The ground floor was devoted to a large exhibition of the work of Mateo Kalć, a photographer working in the early twentieth century. The upstairs galleries were devoted to farming and home life and costume. It was very quiet with only one other person visiting. Working our way back towards the harbour via the narrow lanes and a detour due to building work we found the Atelier Pulitika, a small gallery. On our visit one room was devoted to an installation entitled Time by Ana Požar Piplica which was created this year and a replica of Duro Pulitika’s studio (he died in 2006).

Lunch was by the harbour. A cat was curled up under the table when we arrived but as a man set up to start fishing nearby, she moved over and watched him closely. He was unlucky and gave up after a while but the cat scrounged a fish from elsewhere and returned to eat it next to us. Our meal this evening was at a restaurant just outside the Pile Gate with views over the sea.

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