PUBLIC ROADS, STREETS AND SQUARES IN MEDIEVAL DUBROVNIKReport as inadecuate




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Contributions to the History of Art in Dalmatia, Vol.29 No.1 February 1991. -

The late antique city, built in one part of the present-day Dubrovnik originated in the period of great Byzantine conquest and restauration of their empire. Many scholars took part in researches on the early period of the city, among them Josip Stošić must be mentioned, since his discovery of the earliest of three cathedrals and fortifications near the cathedral had confirmed all the earlier suppositions. In Byzantine times the city had two strong fortifications, a fortress on the southern cliff and the fortified administrative centre near the port and the cathedral. Two big roads leading from the city connected those fortifications with the surrounding territory. One was running to the sea strait later the streets of Domina and Široka, while the other is supposed by the author to have been vertically lying on the port with the sorrounding territory to the est present-day streets Za Rokom, Hliđina, Prolazna, Gučetić and once the part of Kriva street.

Turbulent, dangerous Middle Ages conditioned a different way of living when all the inhabitansts tended to fortify themselves. They lived in densly built city nucleuses, sorrounded by narrow streets. Some parts of these streets were privatized steps in front of the houses, vaults, protruded house walls, while other parts were owned by the richest people of the city for instance blind passages, public courtyards in business and residential parts of the town.

In the late Middle Ages when the communal authority was established, Dubrovnik was a free city-state. Common authority was put above the individual one that prevailed in earlier times. With the Statute from 1272 and with a series of later regulations, especially in 1276 an extenstion of the city was planned. The street net was parallel with two streets of the late antique city. The city Statute mentions the existence of some streets from this orthogonal pattern which must have been connected with the good, well-cared for roads of the original settlement during 11th and 12th cenutries. Now houses of similar type were built for merchants, seamen and craftsmen, mostly in the part of the city called Prijeko along numerous newly planned streets.

Prosperous mediaeval city fortified by strong walls gradually built its most important streets and squares, in the first place its oldest square that connected the administrative centre in the port with the Cathedral and Placa, built over the filled up sea strait. The city centre was paved and new buildings were no longer made of wood but of stone. Two fountains were built by Onofrio della Cava on two extremes of the Placa, while the local craftsmen Grubačević, Radončić and Utišenović made the clochk-tower. By the loggia, on the market place, Orlando’s statue was erected near the church of St. Vlaho, the patron saint of the city. Numerous shops made of wood, huddled by buildings flanking the Placa and in the vicinity of Duk’s palace, fontik customs office and arsenal.

The port and the area in fromt of the city gates from Pile to Ploče lay outside the mediaeval city.



Author: Marija Planić-Lončar - ; Institu za povijest umjetnosti, Zagreb

Source: http://hrcak.srce.hr/



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