The old town of Dubrovnik is the historical center of this southern Croatian city located on the Dalmatian coast. Located on a rocky promontory above the Adriatic Sea, it is bounded by cliffs to the west and south, port to the east, and by imposing ramparts to the north and west.
Known as Ragusa from its foundation in the old century until 1918, the merchant city came under Byzantine and then Venetian rule before becoming the independent republic's capital. The city, prosperous and opulent until the XVIIth century, is strongly damaged twice, in April 1667 by an earthquake and between the end of 1991 and 1992 during Dubrovnik's siege, the framework of the war of Croatia. This last event jeopardizes the old city's classification on the UNESCO World Heritage List made in 1979, but the reconstruction and restoration efforts prevent the deregistration. Thanks to this historic district's presence, Dubrovnik has been one of the main tourist destinations in Croatia since the end of the 1990s.