Dubrovnik is a city on the Adriatic Sea coast of Croatia, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik has always been based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, also known as a Maritime Republic (together with Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, Venice and other Italian cities), it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries.
The beginning of tourism in Dubrovnik is often associated with the construction of the late 19th-century luxury hotels in Croatia. According to CNNGo, Dubrovnik is among the 10 best medieval walled cities in the world and among the 10 best places in the world for a fairytale proposal of the Valentine's Day.
A feature of Dubrovnik is its walls that run almost 2 km (1.24 mi) around the city. The walls run from four to six metres thick on the landward side but are much thinner on the seaward side. The system of turrets and towers were intended to protect the vulnerable city. Among the many tourist destinations are a few beaches. Banje, Dubrovnik's main public beach, is home to the Eastwest Beach Club. There is also Copacabana Beach, a stony beach on the Lapad peninsula, named after the popular beach in Rio de Janeiro.
Few of Dubrovnik's Renaissance buildings survived the earthquake of 1667 but fortunately enough remain to give an idea of the city's architectural heritage. The finest Renaissance highlight is the Sponza Palace which dates from the 16th century and is currently used to house the National Archives. The Rectors Palace is a Gothic-Renaissance structure that displays finely carved capitals and an ornate staircase. It now houses a museum. Its façade is depicted on the reverse of the Croatian 50 kuna banknote, issued in 1993 and 2002. The St. Saviour Church is another remnant of the Renaissance period, next to the much-visited Franciscan Monastery. The Franciscan monastery's library possesses 30,000 volumes, 216 incunabula, 1,500 valuable handwritten documents. Exhibits include a 15th century silver-gilt cross, an 18th century crucifix from Jerusalem, a martyrdom (1541) by Bemardin Gucetic and illuminated plasters.
Dubrovnik's most beloved church is St Blaise's church, built in the 18th century in honour of Dubrovnik's patron saint. Dubrovnik's baroque Cathedral was built in the 18th century and houses an impressive Treasury with relics of Saint Blaise. The city's Dominican Monastery resembles a fortress on the outside but the interior contains an art museum and a Gothic-Romanesque church. A special treasure of the Dominican monastery is its library with 216 incunabula, numerous illustrated manuscripts, a rich archive with precious manuscripts and documents and an extensive art collection.