Cavtat (Italian - Ragusavecchia) is an ancient Mediterranean town that raises on the slopes of the southern Croatian coast, only 18 kilometres (11 miles) away from the more famous Dubrovnik. It is a small town filled with beautiful houses and palaces, summer mansions and hotels, with pleasant climate and luxuriant vegetation, topped with very nice beaches. Cavtat is known to be a famous tourist centre of the southernmost part of the Croatian coast.
In the 4th century BCE (Before Common Era), on the place of today's Cavtat, the Greeks had founded a settlement called Epidaurus. The city lied on the crossroads of Salona-Durrës. Epidaurus came under the Roman rule in 228 BCE, and then it changed name to Epidaurum. At some point Epidaurum grew to become city with more than 40000 dwellers. At the time it got damaged in an devastating earthquake, in the 4th century, it was the metropolis of South Adriatic and the south part of Illyricum. Later in the 7th century Avar and Slav tribes ransacked Epidaurum during the great migration. The refugees of Epidaurus were welcomed to the nearby city of Ragusium (Italian - Ragusa Nuova) from which Dubrovnik later developed.
In time on the ruins of Epidaurus, a new city arose like Phoenix from the ashes and was named CIVITAS VETUS (Latin - Ancient / Old City) (Italian Ragusa - Vecchia), from which today name of Cavtat is derived. In the middle ages it was first a part of Konavle parish, later it came under the rule of Zachlumia (Hum) rulers and finally it became a part of Dubrovnik Republic in 1426 until the demise of Dubrovnik Republic in 1806.
Cavtat today is painted with rich colours of the green coast's hundred-years old pine groves, slender cypresses and old olive groves, the ever changing blue of the crystal clear Adriatic sea that basks the stone-white Cavtat promenade and the stone houses and palaces topped with red roof-tops that glow under the ever shining warmth of the Mediterranean sun. Cavtat offers superb accommodation, beautiful promenade and pleasant walks and jogging trails. Cavtat lures with its small markets, narrow winding streets, shaded trail woods, tennis courts, gyms, saunas, and water sports. Cavtat Summer Festival is one of the most important events in Cavtat.It lasts during the months of July and August and features a number of concerts of classical music, folk music groups, a cappella groups, sports tournaments are hosted (Second Croatian water-polo league), street performances are held. All of the events are admission free. The most popular and important event in the Cavtat Summer Festival is the Cavtat Carnival Fiesta held end of July.
Cavtat promenade is one of the most beutiful places on the planet. Many restaurants, coffee bars, and small shops are located on the promende giving you a chance to sit in the shade, sip on your beverage and simply enjoy the view.
As far as accommodation goes, there are many hotels in Cavtat and various accommodation rental options whether you are searching for rooms, apartments or whole houses.
We provide the best tours of Dubrovnik and the whole surroundings ! Please don't hesitate to contact us and ask for a tour of Cavtat !
Cavtat is surrounded by a wreath of islets (Mrkan, Bobara, Supetar, Šuperka, Grebeni). The islets hide the scars of the long passed times. The three of the islets bear names of patron saints of the churches that were built on them: St.Mark, St. Bobara, St. Peter. Mrkan was once a see of the Mrkan-Trebinje bishopric. Bobara still hold the the remains of monasteries that served to house the sick during the medieval epidemics. Dubrovnik had one of the first laws in regards to quarantine (1377) whereby all in-comers needed to spend a 30 day period on the islets in front of Cavtat. Later that period was extended to 40 days (Italian quaranta - forty) hence the name quarantine.
lovely islets are a suitable leisure spot for fishing and an ideal for holidaymakers who prefer peace and quiet and plenty of sun.
The most interesting sights in Cavtat include:
The parish church of St. Nicholas in the east is a Renaissance building from the 15th century. It has Renaissance distaff bell-tower with octagonal dome, four decorative styles, and stone staircase in front of the facade, with stone balustrade around. The church interior is in Baroque style. The main altar is the work of well-known Dubrovnik painter Carmello Reggio Palermitano, who lived in Dubrovnik at the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century.
The altar of St. Nicholas is decorated with a large and stylised painting of Cavtat. Carmello Reggio also made the altar of St. Blasius with a large panorama of Dubrovnik.
In the presbytery with semi-circular apses there are 4 evangelists by Bukovac: Mark, Matthew, Luke and John. There is also one early work by the same painter - Holy Mother of Sorrow. At that time the painter was 22, without means, hence to paint this masterpiece he used a special mixture to produce paint, he crushed brick and mixed with washing blue.
The church holds two more valuable paintings: Our Lady of Rosary, work by unknown master from the 17th century, and Our Lady with a Child, a copy after Murillo, about 200 years old, presented to the church by the great Cavtat singer Tino Patiera.
Particularly valuable part of the church museum is the painting gallery. The most prominent works are paintings of Madonna by master of Corregio's school from the 15th and 16th century, a few Madonnas from Italian Renaissance and those painted by Salvio Sassoferatto, 17th century. The painting's gallery is dominated by work of Vlaho Bukovac - Burying of Christ from 1902. The well-known sculptor Petar Palavicini also left many of his works. His impressive monument to Balthazar Bogišić can be seen in front of St. Nicholas' church.
Franciscan church of Our Lady of Snow, in the west, is yet another Renaissance master piece from the 15th century.
The side chapel houses the polyptych of St. Michael, the work of well-known artist Vicko Lovrin Dobričević from 1510. Made under the influence of Byzantine iconography this polyptych is a unique work in this part of south Adriatic. The semi-circular apse is dominated by the painting of our lady of Cavtat by Vlaho Bukovac, 10m long and 3 m high.
The Rector's Palace with distinct Renaissance characteristics is another interesting building. Apart from its architectural value, it is also the treasury of cultural and historical heritage of Cavtat. The famous scientific library of Baltazar Bogišić is located there holding over 30000 copies of valuable books, among them numerous incunabulas and rare books, collection of over 1000 letters of prominent personalities, and a collection of graphics and engravings. Rector's Palace is decorated with several masterpieces painted by Vlaho Bukovac: “Epidaurus Carnival”, portraits of Baltazar Bogišić and Marija Bogišić.
The gallery of Vlaho Bukovac is situated in the house of his birth. The famous “Hand”, the painting that made him world renown after it had been exhibited in Paris can still be found here. The gallery is actually the place of his last atelier: the painter's clothes, brushes, palettes with paints, manuscripts - everything remained the way it was in the time when he had lived here.
Mausoleum of the Račić family is located up-hill in the Cavtat cemetery. It is a magnificent work of art made out of white Brač stone by Croatian master sculptor Ivan Meštrović. The mausoleum is the final resting place of the prominent Cavtat shipping family, Racic. The mausoleum was erected in 1921. It is interesting to note that the entire structure of the mausoleum was built without a single piece of wood, or any other material except bronze, of which the door and bell were made. Bronze bell in the cupola bears the inscription "Know the mystery of love and though shall solve the mystery of death and believe that life is eternal." The interior of the mausoleum contains reliefs depicting the stages of life.
Want to see more pictures of Cavtat ? Follow link -> Cavtat Pictures
go to top ^