Dubrovnik, located in Croatia, is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641 (census 2011). 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
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 facade 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, 22 incunabula, 1,500 valuable handwritten documents. Exhibits include a 15th century silver-gilt cross and
silver thurible, an 18th century crucifix from Jerusalem, a martyrology (1541) by Bemardin Gucetic and illuminated psalters.
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.