About Fort Lovrijenac

Fort Lovrijenac is a stunning and imposing cliff-top fort located just outside Dubrovnik’s medieval city walls. One of Dubrovnik’s most impressive structures, it guards the western entrance to the city from the Adriatic Sea.

Legend has it that Fort Lovrijenac was built on a 37m high cliff in in merely three months in the eleventh century by the people of the Republic of Dubrovnik to head off an imminent attack from the Venetians. At the time, the Venetians were intent on building their own fort in this location, but Dubrovnik’s citizens completed Fort Lovrijenac first, thus frustrating the Venetian plans for military superiority.

On the three sides an enemy could attack – north, west and south-west – the walls are up to 12m thick but on the city side they are no more than 60cm thick. There was some logic to this whereby if a fort commander attempted a coup d’état, the Republic’s artillery could quickly and easily penetrate the fort and take back control.

The fort has a quadrilateral court with high arches and three terraces with parapets overlooking the sea. It was defended by ten large cannons including the beautifully carved ‘Gušter’ (‘Lizard’) made by Ivan Rabljanin. Above the door leading into the fort is the famous inscription ‘Non Bene Pro Toto Libertas Venditur Auro’ – ‘freedom is not to be sold for all the gold in the world.’

Game of Thrones fans will recognise Lovrijenac Fortress as the Red Keep in King’s Landing, the capital of the Seven Kingdoms. Scenes filmed here include the tournament thrown in honour of King Joffrey’s name day in the second series.

Today, the parapets once used to defend the city have been transformed into some of the most dignified theatrical stages in Europe, famous for performances of Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’.
 

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