Konavle

Boka kotorska


Dubrovnik:

Baglivi, Gjuro
Boskovic, Rudjer
Bune, Vice
Desirveaux, Bruére
Didak, Izaija Cohen (Dydacus Pyrrhus)
Djurdjevic, Ignjat
Dobricevic, Dobric
Dobricevic, Lovro
Drkolica, Bonifacije
Drzic, Marin
Gradic, Stjepan
Gundulic, Ivan
Jarnovic, Ivan Mane
Kotruljevic, Benko
Mencetic, Vladislav
Pusic, Antonia Gertrude
Ratkovic, Franjo
Sorgoevic, Nikola
Sorkocevic, Antun
Sorkocevic, Luka
Stojkovic, Ivan
Zlataric, Dominko

 

Boka kotorska:

Corko, Krsto
Guguic, Ivo
Ivanovic, Kristofor
Kokolja, Tripo
Kotoran, Tripun
Lukovic, Antun
Marinovic, Josip
Martinovic, Marko
Mazarevic, Krsto
Melada, Matija
Mrazovic, Karlo
Paltasic, Andrija
Rosee, Pasque
Vida, Viktor
Visin, Ivan
Vojnovic, Marko
Zelalic, Petar
Zmajevic, Vicko
Zmajevic, Matej

 

Dubrovnik

© by Darko Zubrinic, Zagreb (1995)

View to Dubrovnik (photo by G. Prakash)The territory of the famous Republic of Dubrovnik (Ragusa), though somehow disconnected from the main part of Croatia, was able to keep balance with great forces, which always had respect for its economic well being and culture, and it remained free due to its numerous diplomatic and economic relations. This earliest Croatian city-state had as many as 85 consulates in various seaports throughout the Mediterranean, and diplomatic representatives in Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Vienna, Paris and London. Dubrovnik was especially flourishing from the 15th to the 18th century, and was the chief rival to Venice. In the 16th century Dubrovnik had a fleet of 200 larger ships, which grew to 300 in the 18th century. Around 1780 the ships from Dubrovnik were sailed to New York, Baltimore etc.

The English word ARGOSY (= Ragusin ship; Ragusa = Dubrovnik) soon after the first Dubrovnik ships arrived in England in 1510, became synonymous with a large, rich cargo ship (Karaka of Dubrovnik).

ARGOSY (reconstructon)

It is strange that "The World Book Dictionary", an important American dictionary of the English language, claims for "argosy" to be an "Italian (!) Ragusea (ship) of Ragusa, an Italian port (!) which traded extensively with England in the 1500's". See its 1995 edition, Vol. I, p. 110.

On the island of Sicily, Italy, there is a town called Ragusa. This town known from ancient times, was rebuilt by Dalmatian settlers in the VIIth century, who gave it the name of their native place (information from "Art and History of Sicily", Casa Editriche Bonechi, Firenze, Italy, p. 110).

Dubrovnik walls

An Italian naval historian Bartolomeo Crescentio, author of "La Nautica Mediterranea", 1602, Rome, states that the Ragusans were the best builders of galleons in the Mediterranean and that the Argosy was a galleon of Ragusa.

The Dubrovnik galleon Argosy is mentioned in two Shakespeare's plays: "Merchant of Venice" and "Taming the Shrew".

Main entrance to Dubrovnik (photo by G. Prakash) Sv. Vlaho (St. Blais, patron of the City) (photo by G. Prakash)

 

The white flag of Dubrovnik contains a figure of Sv. Vlaho (St. Blais, St. Blasius, Armenian martyr from 3/4 centuries), patron of the City. Also other flags were in use on Dubrovnik ships, like the one with significant inscription LIBERTAS, or

 

LI BER TAS

The famous Columbus crew in 1492 had at least two Ragusan mariners: Martin de Araguis, Pedro de Arague. The Ragusan name can be found in numerous places of the New World. Why? See Croatian mariners in the New World.

The earliest history of Dubrovnik goes back to Ancient times, at least to the 6th-5th centuries BC. In other words, the Grad (the City) is at least thousand years older than it was believed until recently, see [Nicetic]. This is confirmed by excavations carried out in 1980s and 1990s.

In the 12th century the famous Arabian geographer al-Edrisi (Idrisi) made a map of Europe containing Bilad Garuasia, that is, Croatia. In the accompaning text al-Edrisi mentions various cities in Croatia (Garuasia), among them Dubrovnik (Ragusa).

Photo by Najka Mirkovic, Dubrovnik

"Tractatus de Ecclesia", written by Ivan Stojkovic de Corvatia (or Iohannes de Carvatia, also known as Jean de Raguse, 1390/95-1443), a professor at the University of Paris, was the first systematic tractate about the Church in the history of Catholic theology. Ivan Stojkovic also headed the delegation of the Council of Basel to Constantinople, aiming to negotiate the Ecumenical questions of the Eastern and Western Church. He wrote that he was from Dubrovnik, which was a Croatian city (de Ragusio quae civitas est in Charvatia).


Literature written in Croatian flourished in Dubrovnik. In the first place we should mention Marin Drzic (1508-1567), who is one of the most outstanding names of the European Renaissance literature, a predecessor to Moliére's comedy and Shakespeare's drama (Moliére 1622-1673, Shakespeare 1564-1616). It was observed long ago that Marin Drzic handled themes and motifs that appeared 50 years later in the works of Shakespeare.

A few of Drzic's books printed in Venice in Croatian language have been discovered in Milano (MI0185 Biblioteca nazionale Braidense - Milano):

  • Tirena comedia Marina Darxichia prikasana u Dubrouniku godiscta 1548. ukoioi ulasi Boi na nacin od morescke; i tanaz Na nacin pastirschi. In Vinegia (Venice): al segno del Pozzo 1547. [Andrea Arrivabene], 1551.
  • Piesni Marina, Darxichia viedno staugliene s mnosim drusim liepim stuarmi. [Venezia : Niccolò Bascarini], 1551.

Also Shakespeare's The Tempest has its source in the old Croatian chronicle from the 12th century, known as the Chronicle of Father Dukljanin. Its Italian translation was published in 1601, a decade before The Tempest was composed (see [Mardesic], p. 151).

The importance of Drzic as a playwright for Croatians is analogous to that of Shakespeare for the English, Moliére for the French, and Goldoni for the Italians. Note that Shakespeare was three years old when Drzic died. Drzic's plays were translated into Chinese, Czech, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Finish, French, Italian, Japanese, German, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Slovakian, Swahili, Swedish, Ukrainean, and some other languages.

Ivan Gundulic (1589-1638). Note his cravat around his neck. This is the earliest known usage of cravat in history (1622). Lous XIV was born in the year when Gundulic died.

One of the greatest Croatian poets was Ivan Gundulic (1589-1638), who wrote the well known and endeared patriotic verses in Croatian language:

Oh beautiful, oh dear, oh sweet liberty,
the gift that Almighty God gave us,
the cause of truth and all our glory,
the only adornment of Dubrava;
Neither all the silver and gold,
nor the human lives
can match your pure beauty!

 

The word LIBERTAS is written on the flag of the famous city of Dubrovnik and its freedom loving people.

  • In 1272 Dubrovnik had its first statute (in eight books) and urban planning.
  • The seventh book of the Statute contains exclusively regulations concerning Maritime Law, which is the oldest such document in the world. Among other things, the statute saysIf a slave is embarked on a Dubrovnik ship - he must be considered as a free man.
  • In 1296 Dubrovnik had a sewerage.
  • In 1377 Dubrovnik had the first quarantine in Europe.
  • The first European pharmacy that has been working continuously till these days was opened there in 1317. Among the oldest ones (from 1355) is also the pharmacy of Zagreb, in which a great-grandson of Dante (Nicolo Alighieri) was a pharmacist in 1399. According to some documents the pharmacy in the city of Trogir goes back as early as 1271.
  • Dubrovnik's 1395 Insurance Law is the oldest in Europe. It had all aspects of contemporary maritime insurance. This law is three centuries older than Lloyd's insurance, London, which dates from the end of 17th century.
  • An organized production of soap started in 1417.
  • The first hospital (Domus Christi) in Dubrovnik was opened in 1347. The Dubrovnik Senat recognized it as the hospital in 1540. It was shelled and seriously damaged during the Greater Serbian aggression in 1991-1995.
  • Slave trade in the Republic of Dubrovnik was forbidden in 1418 (in the British Empire in 1833).
  • The first canon foundry in Dubrovnik was started in 1410, that is, 62 years before Vienna and 64 years before Russia. The most famous canon and bell founder in Dubrovnik was Ivan Rabljanin (1470-1540), employed by the City on a full-time basis. Source Welcome to Dubrovnik, 2009, no 18, p 27.
  • The first orphanage was founded in 1432.
  • Dubrovnik had the oldest arboretum in Europe - Trsteno, founded in 1498, with many rare plants. It was seriously damaged during the Greater Serbian aggression in 1991-1995. Also precious forests around Dubrovnik were burnt down during the aggression, for example a large part of the imposing hill of Srdj above the City.

Trsteno near Dubrovnik, the biggest plane-tree in Europe (photo by Mladen Zubrinic) Trsteno near Dubrovnik, the oldest arboretum in Europe (photo by Mladen Zubrinic)

Luciano Pavarotti & Friends: Together for the Children of Bosnia (Modena, Italy, 1995), with participation of Croatian singer Nenad Bach, New York, with his tune Can We Go Higher?. Bono, singer from U2, recites the famous Gundulic's verses O lijepa, o draga, o slatka slobodo from the 17th century in Croatian language (= Oh beautiful, oh dear, oh sweet liberty) in the song entitled Miss Sarajevo, sang by Pavarotti and Bono.


Pilgrims to Dubrovnik:

Konrad von Grünemberg, Dubrovnik - the most important city in Croatian Kingdom, 1486

    Croatian interlace from the Dubrovnik region
  • In a book by a German pilgrim Bernard von Breydenbach, published in 1485, one can read that Ragusa is in Sclavonia, which is a province of Croatian Kingdom (...civitate que Ragusiu vocatur in Schlavonia provincia regni Croacie).
  • In 1486 a German pilgrim Konrad von Grünemberg wrote that Dubrovnik is the most important city in Croatian Kingdom (...die kunglich hobstat in Croattien), and that "it is surrounded with incredible strongholds which have no rival in the world". Furthermore, the City is archbishopric, and its jurisdiction encompasses the whole Croatian Kingdom. "...It recognizes the sovereignty of Hungarian king, but he is not able to defend it, since a mighty Turk occupied large portions of Croatia."
  • In 1497, a German pilgrim Arnold von Harff wrote in his travel book a short list of 56 Croatian words, as he heard them when talking to citizens of Dubrovnik, with explanation in German. He also wrote that this city is situated in the Kingdom of Croatia (...item dese stat lijcht in dem koenynchrijch van Croattia).
  • In 1506 an English Sir Richard Guylforde wrote that "Dubrovnik is in Sclavonia or Dalmatia, which is a province in Kingdom of Croatia." See [Raukar], pp. 360-362, and especially

Edo Pivcevic: Grünemberg o hrvatskim gradovima, Hrvatska revija, Zagreb, No 2, 2005, pp. 14-22. (see also his description related to Zadar)

In his 1564 epistle Ivan Vidal from the island of Korcula praises Ragusan playwright Nikola Naljeskovic (1510-1587) as follows (see Franolic):

Oh, Nicholas, you are the honour we praise,
You are the glory and fame of the Croatian language,
An excellnet poet full of virtue.

The beauty of remains of numerous Croatian stone monuments with interlace ornaments found in Dubrovnik and its environs is truly amazing. For example, only in the church of St. Peter the Great (crkva sv. Petra Velikog), the remains of which are hidden under the floor of The Luka Sorkocevic Art School in Dubrovnik, about two hundred fragments with interlaced patterns were found! See [Early Medieval Sculpture in Durbovnik].

 
Fragment of gable from Sv. Srdj, island of Kolocep
Altar closure, St. Michael's, island of Kolocep
Altar closure, St. Michael's, island of Kolocep

Some other Croatian monuments with interlace ornaments can be seen here, and also in Boka kotorska.

Very old and valuable is the Dubrovnik Missal from 12th century, now kept in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. Written in Latin, in Beneventan script, it contains prayers and some chants unique in Europe. See [Menalo, pp. 34-35].

The Dubrovnik Missal, 12th century, with musical notation (kept in Bodleain Library in Oxford))

The Missal, written for the Dubrovnik Cathedral , is full of old Gregorian chants, containing more than 200 monodic meodies. For a long time it was believed to have been written in North Italy, until E.A. Lowe discovered that it was written in Dubrovnik. Miho Demoviæ proved that the Missal was written for the Dubrovnik Cathedral, [Demovic, Rasprave i prilozi, p 171-183]. It is interesting that as many as 430 monodic melodies are preserved in the Dubrovnik region from that time: 220 are kept in Dubrovnik missals, out of 720 known monodic melodies preserved in the whole of Croatia. Out of these 220 monodic melodies, 50 of them represent the Dubrovnik music particularities. In this way Dubrovnik became important European center for monodic music. Some of them according to Demoviæ represent the highest achievements of world heritage with respect to melodic beaty [Demovic, Rasprave i prilozi, p 177].

A pioneer of the Dubrovnik tourism is Gabriel de Armino, a musician from Rimini in Italy. Since 1458 he lived in the City of Dubrovnik as trumpeter. In 1461
he obtained permission from Veliko Vijece (City Council) to keep a hotel with five beds. The council stressed that such institution is very important since many
foreigners visit the City. See [Demovic, Rasprave i prilozi, p 317].

The earliest known French-Flemish musician living in Dubrovnik was Gallus Piffarus. He was in the City since 1425. See [Demovic, Rasprave i prilozi, p 314].

The first known opera in Croatia was performed in Dubrovnik in 1629, composed by Lambert Courtoys junior. His grandfather was a naturalized citizen of Dubrovnik, Lambert Courtoys senior from France. The opera was composed on the text Junije Palmotiæ's (1606-1657) text Atalanta written in Croatian, which bore the subtitle Musica. Unfortunately, the scores are not preserved, but a document preserved in the Dubrovnik archives from that time proves that it was indeed an opera performed by 17 musicians. See [Demovic, Rasprave i prilozi, p 387].

Cvijeta Zuzoric (1552-1648), wrote her verses nad epigrams in Croatian and Italian. Known for her exceptional beauty, both physical and spiritual, verses were devoted to her by some of the best Ragusan and Italian poets, for example by Dinko Zlataric and Torquato Tasso. Torquato Tasso compared her verses to "rare pearls of unparalleled beauty". Unfortunately, not a single one has survived.

The first mention of playing chess in Croatia dates from 14th century, more precisely, from 1385 in the city of Zadar. Thomas Hyde, an English orientalist from 17th century, travelled through Croatia, and mentioned that the correspondence chess had been played between Croatian and Venetian merchants in 1650, more precisely, beween the Dubrovnik and Venetian merchants. It is the oldest mention of the correspondence chess in history. This fact can be found in his book "De ludis orientalibus" (On Eastern Games), published in Latin in 1694. Information by the courtesy of dr. Zvonko Krecak, Croatian physicist and president of the Croatian Correspondence Chess Association.

Luka Sorkocevic (1734-1789), whose beautiful symphonies are performed throughout the world, lived in Dubrovnik (you are just listening to his Andante). His two sisters were the first women-composers in Croatia.

Dubrovnik, 15th century

Here is a detail from the Dubrovnik polyptich by Lovro Dobricevic from 1466, representing an angel playing portative, a small portable organ.

Ivan Mane Jarnovic (1740-1804) was an outstanding Croatian violinist and composer of the 18th century, probably from Dubrovnik. He had a true European career - playing, composing and conducting in France (Paris), Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, Scandinavian countries, England. Also played the first violin in the orchestra of the Russian empress Katarina II. Jarnovic composed about 50 chamber instrumental pieces, 22 violin concerts (17 preserved), and is known for having introduced the romanza as a slow movement into the structure of the violin concert. His life is described in a novel Jarnowick by G. Desnoisterres - Le Brisoys, Paris 1844, and in a collection Scènes de la vie d'artiste by P. Smith (Une leçon de Jarnovic, Paris, 1844).

Let us mention the name of Dobric Dobricevic (Boninus de Boninis de Ragusia), Ragusan born on the island of Lastovo, 1454-1528, who worked as a typographer in Venice, Verona, Brescia. His last years he spent as the dean of the Cathedral church in Treviso. His bilingual (Latin - Italian) editions of "Aesopus moralisatus, Dante's "Cantica" and "Commedia del Divino" were printed first in Brescia in 1487, and then also in Lyon, France. We know of about 50 of his editions, the greatest number belonging to the period of 1483-1491 that he spent in Brescia - about 40. Croatia is in possession of 19 of his editions in 30 copies. The greatest number of his editions is in possession of the British Museum, London (22).

The first printed Croatian Cyrillic book was The Book of Hours (or the Dubrovnik breviary, or Oficje) published in Venice in 1512, prepared by Franjo Ratkovic from Dubrovnik. One copy is held in Paris in Bibliothèque Nationale. There is also another copy in the Codrington Library at All Souls College, Oxford (q.14.9); it was probably part of the founding bequest of Christopher Codrington in 1710. It is, admittedly, slightly less complete than the Paris copy, lacking 19 leaves. Many thanks to prof. Ralph Cleminson (University of Portsmouth, UK) for information about the Oxford copy.

Old Croatian pre-Romanesque church of sv. Ivan on the island of Lopud (photo by Najka Mirkovic)Bonifacije Drkolica (known also as Darcoliza, Drakolica, Drkolicic, Ragusinus, Stjepovic etc.), born on the island of Lopud near Dubrovnik in the beginning of 16th century, started his career as a Franciscan and continued his study of philosophy in Paris. In Rome he met many famous persons, including the future pope Sixto V, whose roots are Croatian on his father's side. Since 1550 he was appointed the apostolic guardian in Jerusalem, and apostolic vicar of the Holly Land, which meant that he was responsible for all Catholics on the Near East. With his diplomatic skills, having visited several times Constantinople and once Persia, he managed to renew all sanctuaries in Palestine. He renewed the basilica of St. Grave, and was the first after St. Hellena, mother of tsar Constantine, to enter and examine the St. Grave, about which he made a written report. Since 1561. he is apostolic visitator in Hungary, Poland and Russia. In 1564. he was appointed the Ston bishop (Ston is a lovely town near Dubrovnik). He was also in mission of Pope Pio IV in Russia at Tsar Ivan Grozny, and in Spain at King Phillip II. His book Liber de perenni cultu Terrae Sanctae (Venice 1573, 2nd edition in 1875) dedicated to pilgrims, is important for the study of situation in Palestine in his time. He also published his speech held at the Trident council, in the booklet Liber de ortu clerricorum in ecclesia (Venice, 1573). For more details see [Zoric].

Nikola Sorgoevic, a sea captain from Dubrovnik (born on the island of Sipan), wrote several books on navigation, shipbuilding, and tides, and three of them have been preserved. Two of them have been published in 1574 in Venice, soon after his death in 1573..

Didak Izaija Cohen, known under pseudonyms Dydacus Pyrrhus Lusitanus and Iacobus Flavius Eborensis, was a renowned Portuguese physician and poet of the Jewish origin. He lived in Dubrovnik from 1558 until his death in 1599, i.e. for more than 40 years. He devoted some of his verses to the beauty of Dubrovnik. Another famous Jew exiled from Portugal who found refuge in Dubrovnik (1556-1558) was Amatus Lusitanus (Juan Rodriguez), a leading European physician of the 16th century.

When Dominko Zlataric, a 16th century Croatian writer in Dubrovnik, translated Electra from the Greek original to Croatian (not via the Italian translation), he approximated the Hellenic spirit by Christianizing it, according to the measure and spirit of his own time. As he wrote himself, he made his Electra Croatian. He dedicated some of his translations into Croatian ("u hrvatski izlozene") to Juraj Zrinski, son of the Sziget hero Nikola Subic Zrinski. Zlataric's teacher and later a close friend was the above mentioned Dydacus Pyrrhus.

Cathedral of Mary's Assumption, Dubrovnik (photo by Najka Mirkovic)

André Vaillant, a famous French specialist for Slavic languages, defended his thesis entitled La langue de Dominko Zlataric, poéte ragusain de la fin du XVIe siècle in 1926. That same year he published Les Piesni razlike de Zlataric.

Vice Bune (1559-1612), a Dubrovnik merchant born on the island of Lopud, diplomat and high state official of Spanish kings, for some time occupied the position of viceroy in Mexico. He had important diplomatic missions for the Dubrovnik Republic on the courts of Naples, Milano and Madrid.

The first cofee-house in England was opened in London in the 17th century by a native of Dubrovnik, a certain Pasque Rosee (probably distorted form of Raguseo).
In 1983 at North Stoneham, England (a few kilometers from Southampton), a stone slab was uncovered under a boarded floor near the choir stall in the Church of North Stoneham (6 feet 8 inches by 3 feet 8 inches). It contains emblems of St Mathew, St Luke, St Mark and St John. Carved around the edge of the stone is the inscription: "The Guild of the Slavonians (Croats) in the year 1491." It is very probable that the stone was initially in Southampton in a chapel that belonged to the Guild of Croatian mariners there. One of the earliest Croatian mariners in Southampton is Blasius de Jar' from Zadar, mentioned already in 1396, while in the 15th century there are many other Croatians in Venetian galleys: from Dubrovnik, Zadar, Split, Zagreb, Kotor, Budva, Bar. Moreover, according to collected data from that period we know that a great part of the staff in Venetian galleys was composed of the Croats. See [Eterovich], p. 21, and Lovorka Coralic: Hrvatska bratovstina u juznoj Engleskoj (XV.-XVI.st.), Marulic, 1998, No1, p.53-59.

Island of Lokrum near Dubrovnik (photo by Mladen Zubrinc)

Island of Lokrum near Dubrovnik

From description of St. Luke in the Acts of Apostles, chapters 27 and 28, we know that during St. Paul's journey from Caesarea to Rome there was a shipwreck on the island of Melita, in Adria (Adriatic Sea). At that time there were two islands on the Mediterranean bearing the name of Melita: today's Malta, and the island of Mljet not far from Dubrovnik.There are many arguments that the shipwreck occurred on this island of Mljet, and not on Malta, see [Nicetic] (professor at the University of Dubrovnik, and experienced mariner). The journey from Crete to Malta would be impossible due to unfavorable winds and unfavorable sea currents.

Archeological excavations on Mljet have pointed to existence of Early Christian basilica which according to local tradition belonged to the Church of St. Paul. There are also other archeological findings on Mljet bearing Christian symbols of Syrian and Palestinian origin, dating from 5th to 6th centuries.

Ignjat Djurdjevic (Ignatio Georgio, 1675-1737), a Dubrovnik baroque writer, poet, and historian, issued a book D. Paulus Apostolus in mari, quod nunc Venetus sinus dicitur, naufragus, et Melitae Dalmatensis insulae post naufragium hospes, Venice, 1730, kept in the Metropolitan Museum in New York, containing a map indicating that St. Paul had the shipwreck in the Adriatic (Mare Adriaticum) on the island of Mljet (Melita).

A detail of gravure from Ignjat Djurdjevic's book from 1730, indicating that St Paul had shipwreck in Mare Adriaticum (Adriatic Sea) near the island of Mljet.

A detail from the title page of Ignjat Djurdjevic indicating Melitae Dalmatensis Insulae (i.e. Dalmatian island of Mljet) as the place of St. Paul's shipwreck, and not Malta which is in the Lybian Sea.

A sketch of St. Paul's shipwreck near the island of Melita (Mljet) in the Adriatic Sea, not near Malta. Published by Ignjat Djurdjevic in 1730. Source of the photos is [Djurdjevic].

Also a well known Greek statesman and historian Konstantin Porphyrogenitus, 10th century, in his well known book On Administering the Empire, mentioned that it was the island of Mljet that St. Paul visited. See See [Demovic, Glazba u staroj hrvatskoj drzavi, pp 109].

  • St Paul spent three months on the island of Mljet in Croatia
  • Miho Demovic: Sveti Pavao bio na Mljetu i osnovao Pracrvku? Glas koncila, br. 16, 20. travnja 2008., p. 25.
  • Ignjat Djurdjevic: Sveti Pavao apostol brodolomac, with foreword by Miho Demovic, Dubrovacka biskupija, Dubrovacke knjiznice, Opcina Mljet, Zagreb 2008. ISBN 978-953-97952-3-0 (see IKA)
  • Miho Demovic (ed.): Brodolom sv. Pavla u vodama hrvatskog otoka Mljeta, Zbornik radova, Dubrovacka biskupija i Matica hrvatska Dubrovnik, Zagreb 2009

The Zupa Dubrovacka fragment (10th or 11th century), written in Croatian Glagolitic Script, has been found in Zupa dubrovacka near the city of Dubrovnik in 2006 (see [Zeravica]).

It is little known that there existed Old Dubrovnik (Stari grad Dubrovnik), which refers to a Bosnian town north of Sarajevo. It had existed also after the fall of Bosnia under the Turks in 1463 (nahija Dubrovnik). This town in Middle Bosnia was founded by merchants from the famous Dubrovnik. A 1288 muniment has been found (a part of Acta Croatica), written in the Glagolitic Script, which mentions Stipan from old Dubrovnik, the glagolitic bishop of Modrus in Lika, see [Modrus, p. 112]. It was found by Franjo Glavinic near Trsat in Rijeka. In 2003 the Old Dubrovnik was proclaimed the National monument in BiH. See also Pavao Andjelic: Stara bosanska zupa Vidogosca ili Vogosca [PDF], Glasnik Zemaljskog muzeja BiH u Sarajevu, Arheologija, XXVI, 337-346.

Even today there is a town in the Kosovo region near Pristina, called Janjevo, whose citizens are old descendants of Dubrovnik merchants. They have uninterrupted, documented history of seven centuries. According to 1991 census there were still about 4,000 Croatian Catholics there, while after Greater Serbian policy of ethnical cleansing only 320 of them were left in very difficult conditions.

It is little known that there was the Society of Dalmatians in England already in 1590.
Personal information by Adam S. Eterovich.

It is interesting that the Dubrovnik merchants had their settlement in the city of Gvendolin in India in the 16th century, where they built the Church of St. Blase in 1653, which exists even today. In Goa in India there existed a strong Dubrovnik colony around the Church of St. Blase. In 1540 there arrived St. Francis Xaver on his mission to India, and later to Japan.

One of the most outstanding Dubrovnik mathematicians, physicists and astronomers of the 17th century was Stjepan Gradic (1613-1683), who was a Director of the Vatican Library. Some of his experimental results are cited by Jacob Bernoulli, and his tractate about navigation incited Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz to discuss the problem of steering ships using helms. Gradic's book Disserationes physisco-mathematicae quatour was published in Amsterdam in 1680. He died in Rome, where according to his last wish he was buried in the Croatian church of St. Jerome.

Gjuro Baglivi (born in Dubrovnik, of Armenian origin, 1668-1707) was a professor of anatomy and theoretical medicine in Rome (Sapienza) already at the age of 28, and the Pope's physician. He developed a theory that living fibre was the anatomical and physiological element of all pathological processes (fibral pathology). He also had some essential discoveries in the fine structure of muscles. His collected works written in the Latin language had more than 20 editions, translated into Italian, French, German and English. Académie Française accepted him as "membre d'honneur". Baglivi was also a member of the Royal Society in London and of the Accademia dell'Arcadia.

His Ragusan colleague Anselme Banduri (1675-1743) became a famous antique numismatist in Paris, and entered Académie des Inscriptions et Médailles.

Gjuro Dubrovcanin (Gjuro de Ragusa) published his "Epistolae Mathematicae" in Paris in 1680.


The Rugusan poet Vladislav Mencetic (1600 - 1666), dedicating his verses Trublja slovinska (Ancona 1665) to the Croatian ban Petar Zrinski, expresses feeling full of patriotic sentiment:

Your people are crowned with fame,
A teeming Croatian multitude -
Under captivity's wave long since
Would Italy have sunk
Had the Ottoman sea not broken
Upon Croatia's beaches.
(94)

The Franciscan Bernardin Pavlovic from Dubrovnik, born in Ston, had two works printed in Venice in 1747 "in the Croatian language." The title of the second work runs as follows: Salves for the dying...new and revised edition printed in Croatian for the benefit of the Croatian nation, Venice, 1747. (95)

In Dubrovnik the Jesuit Peric, the Franciscan J. Gjurinic and the Croatized Frenchman Derivaux-Bruerovic call their language Croatian. The latter at the outset of the XIX century complains that some of the people of Dubrovnik forsake their "Croatian heritage" and are ashamed "to speak only Slavic" (slovinski). (96)

This paragraph is taken from Mr Vicko Rendic web page, where you can find more information.


 

The first known manual about book-keeping was Della mercatura e del mercante perfetto, (On merchantry and the perfect merchant) written in 1458 by Benko Kotruljic or Benedikt Kotruljevic (Benedictus de Cotrullis, born in Dubrovnik, 1416-1469). It is also the oldest known manuscript on double-entry. As such it precedes Luca Pacioli's description of double-entry for no less than 36 years, so that Kotruljic's priority is indisputable.

Kotruljic's famous 1464 manuscript on book-keeping,
was printed in 1573 in Venice; editor and publisher was
another oustanding Croatian scholar - Franjo Petris

The French translation of Kotruljic's book appeared under the title "Parfait négociant" in Lyon in 1613.

In the book he states the following: "I declare that a merchant must not only be a good writer,accountant and book-keeper, but he also has to be a man of letters and rhetorician."

His another important manuscript is Benedictus de Cotrullis: "De Navigatione", 1464, written also in Italian. It is the first known manual on navigation in the history of Europe. Note that it appeared almost 30 years before the discovery of America.

Benedictus de Cotrullis: De Navigatione, 1464;
photo from Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library

The original manuscript is kept at the University of Yale (in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, MS 557), and has 132 pp. See

  • Benedikta Kotruljevica De navigatione, in Dubrovcanin Benedikt Kotruljevic : hrvatski i svjetski ekonomist XV. stoljeca. - Zagreb, Hrvatska akademija znanosti i umjetnosti : Hrvatski racunovoda, 1996. - ISBN 953-96998-0-0. - pp. 19-32.
  • Benedikt Kotruljevic: De navigatione / O plovidbi, Zagreb 2005., ISBN 953-6310-37-6 (parallel Italian-Croatian edition)
  • Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University (write in MS 557 and search; 20 pages of the book can be seen)
  • Benedetto Cotrugli: De Navigatione, online book

In this book Kotruljevic mentions places like Bocari (Bakar), Braca (Brac), Dalmatia, Fiume (Rijeka), Illirico (Croatia), Mare Adriatico, and many other, throughout Europe, Africa and Asia. In Chapter XXXXVIII (ie. Ch XLVIII), he also mentions that in Popovo near Dubrovnik [near the village of Ravno in Eastern Herzegovina] there is a huge cave [Vjetrenica] with miraculous wind: at the entrance the air is colder in the summer than in Italy in the winter.

The name of the cave of Vjetrenica (wind cave; vjetar = wind) appears under this name for the first time in 1461 in the minutes of the Dubrovnik Senat. However, this famous cave was known already to Plinius the Elder (1st century AD), who mentioned it in his Natural History (Gaius Plinius Secundus: Naturalis Historiae, in 2, 115). This largest cave in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the nearby village of Ravno, deserve to be seen (25 km NW of Dubrovnik).



Dubrovnik had maritime and trade contract with the port of Messina on the island of Sicily alreday in 1283. Also, Dubrovnik had the consulate in Messine for more than 400 years, from 1397 till 1808. In1588 Dubrovnik had greater traffic with Messina than France and Venice (measured in weight-tons of ships), in fact, almost as France and Venice taken together. Messina was the most important trade partner for Dubrovnik on the entire Mediterranean. 
See Ilija Mitic: Pomorsko - trgovacke veze Durbovnika sa lukom Messinom od kraja XIII do pocetka XIX stoljeca, Pomorski Zbornik, 22/1984, 549-556. 

Dubrovnik had consulates from Lisabon to Odessa on the Black Sea. In the 18th century Dubrovnik had as many as 80 consulates, which is more than Austria at that time (35), or France (40). 
From an interview with dr. Ilija Mitic published in Sonja Seferovic: Znanstveni rad koji je urodio dugogodisnjom suradnjom s njemackim sveucilistima,  Dubrovacki vijesnik, 24. veljace 2007., p. 51.


 

The greatest and most famous Croatian philosopher and scientist Rudjer Boskovic (Boscovich, 1711-1787), was born in Dubrovnik, where he was educated in the Jesuit Collegium. He was a member of the Royal Society of London, a member of St.Petersbug Academy, "membre correspondant" of the French Academie Royale des Sciences, a member of the Accademia dell'Arcadia, a professor at many European universities. Very delicate work on repairing the cupola of St. Peter's church in the Vatican (diameter: 42m) was entrusted to R. Boskovic, a proof that he was a leading European authority for static computations and civil engineering of that time. Upon the request of Austrian Empress Maria Theresia, Boskovic was solving the problem of stability of Royal Library (now National Library) in Vienna.

Rudjer Boskovic

Portrait of Boskovic by the English painter Edge Pine (London, 1760).

He was also the founder of the astronomical observatory in Brera near Milan. In 1773 a charter granted by Louis XV made him a French subject. Soon he was appointed by Louis XV to a very prestigious position and became the Director of Naval Optics of the French Navy in Paris (Optique Militaire de la Marine Royale de France). He left to his adoptive country an achromatic telescope and micrometer. Boskovic spent nine years in France, and became a good friend to many outstanding scientist, like the mathematician Clairaut, Lalande, Buffon. When D'Alembert took him for Italian, he hastened to correct him.

Boskovic stayed 7 months in England and met many famous scientists there: James Bradley (famous astronomer), George Parker (president of the Royal Academy), Samuel Johnson (Lexicographer), Edmund Burke (philosopher and political writer), Joshua Reynolds (the first president of the Royal Academy of Arts), and others. It is interesting that in England he designed a telescope filled with water in all its components, which was implemented at the Greenwich observatory in 1871, that is, 84 years after his death. He also met Benjmanin Franklin, who showed him some of his electrical experiments, see an article by Branko Franolic.

A detail from the Jesuit Collegium where R. Boskovic was educated,
17th century, representing coat of arms of
the Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia,

Boskovic was also a brilliant Croatian Latinist poet. He wrote an extensive scientific epic De solis et lunae defectibus (On Solar and Lunar Eclipse) published in London in 1760. It contains 5570 Latin verses, and was dedicated to the Royal Society of England whose member he was. In the title one can read "Father r. Boskovic, of the Jesuit Order", although at that time it was forbidden for Jesuits to live and work in England. The epic was written in the manner of Roman classics, in dactilus hexameter.

For more information see Latin as literary language among the Croats

When Charles Burney, a well known English musicologist, met Boskovic in Milan, he wrote: ...if all Jesuits were like this father, who uses the higher science and the work of mind to advance science for the happiness of mankind, then it were to be wished that this society were as durable as is this world. Boskovic was buried in the church of S. Maria Podone in Milano.

Rudjer Boskovic

French astronomer Joseph-Jerome de Lalande wrote the following lines in his book Voyage en Italie:

Le plus grand mathématicen que l'aie connu à Rome est M. Boscovich, alors jésuite: il est né à Raguse en 1711, mais il vint à Rome étant encore fort jeune, et après avoir longtemps professé les mathématiques au collège romain il fut fait professeur à Milan et ensuite à Pavie; mais l'on voyait avec peine des talents supérieurs comme les siens, concentrés dans cette derniére ville; non seulement il n'y a personne en Italie dont les ouvrages soient aussi célàbres dans toute l'Europe que les siens, mais je ne connais pas de géomètre plus spirituel et plus profond que lui. Sa mesure de la terre, son beau traité sur la loi de la pesanteur, ses découvertes sur la lumière et sur diverses parties de la physisque, de l'astronomie, de la géométrie, son poème sur les éclipses, imprimé à Londres, à Venise et à Paris, peuvent doner une idée du nombre et de l'étendue de ses talents; mais il faut l'avoir connu particulérement, pour savoir combien il a de génie, combien son caractère est aimable, sa conversation intéressante, et ses idées sublimes dans tout les genres. En 1773, il a été appelé en France et naturalisé Français. Il est actuellement [1784] à Bassano, occupé à faire imprimer ses nouveaux ouvrages, en cinq volumes.

William Thompson-Kelvin, the English physicist (19/20 centuries), once expressed his opinion that his atomic theory is a pure "Boskovicianism." Still earlier, Sir Humphry Davy, professor of physics and chemistry at the Royal Institution in London from 1802 till 1827, mentioned the name of Boskovic on several occasions in his Diary (Commonplace Book), accepting his atomistic theory. The diary is kept in the archives of the Royal Institution in London. Also a famous Irish mathematician and physicist R.W. Hamilton wrote extensively about Boskovic's theory of forces.

With his theory of forces R. Boskovic was a forerunner of modern physics for almost two centuries. It was described in his most important book Theoria Philosophiae naturalis (Vienna 1758, Venice 1763, London 1922, American edition in 1966).

Werner Heisenberg (Nobel prize for physics in 1932) wrote the following:

Among scientists from the 18th century Boskovic occupies outstanding place as a theologian, philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer. His "Theoria philosophiae naturalis" announced hypotheses which were confirmed only in the course of last fifty years.

Indeed, see his graph of regions of attractive and repelling forces between material points (elementary particles), the closest region being repelling, tending to infinity (nuclear force!; see here; published in his Dissertationes de lumine pars secunda, 1748), and the farthest region is repelling, corresponding to gravitational force:

Rugjer Boskovic's unified theory of forces (nuclear, gravitational,...)

This graph was since 1763 called the Boskovic curve (curva Boscovichiana).

Robert Marsh, the author of Physics and Poets, credits Boskovic with the idea of FIELD. Faraday and others took the idea from him, see here. He was the first to apply probability to the theory of errors. Laplace and Gauss acknowledged their indebtedness to his work which led to the Legendre principle of least squares in statistics (stating that the best fitting line is the one with the smallest sum of squared residuals).

Interior of Franciscan monastery in Dubrovnik (photo by Najka Mirkovic)

He was also very active in astronomy and diplomacy. A great many letters sent to his sister and two brothers written in Croatian witness that he did not neglect his mother tongue. So in one of his letters he wrote that in one of European cities he saw soldiers - "our Croats" (nase Hrvate).

Interior of Franciscan monastery in Dubrovnik (photo by Mladen Zubrinic)

He also wrote poetry. Most of his manuscripts are kept in the special Boskovic Archives in the Rare Books library in Berkeley, University of California, USA:
  • altogether 180 items and including 66 scientific treatises, plus
  • rich correspondence comprising over 2,000 letters, among others with D'Alambert, Lagrange, Laplace, Jacobi and Bernoulli; he had intense correspondence with his friend Voltaire.

A portrait of Boskovic, published in Milano in 1818 in a collection of famous
people living between 18th century the beginning of the 19th.
(many thanks to Dr Luca Leoni, Italy, for the photo)

Some of his books, articles and letters, together with other documents, are kept in the famous Franciscan monastery (Samostan Male Brace) in Dubrovnik. Its library possesses 30,000 volumes, 22 incunabula, 1,500 valuable handwritten documents. It was severely damaged in the aggression in 1991/92 (shelled by the Serbian Army - 37 direct hits).

Franciscan monastery in Dubrovnik (photo by Najka Mirkovic)

The names of Rudjer Boskovic and Marin Getaldic (Ghetaldus) appear on an extensive list of the Chronology of Mathematics, where you can find additional biographical sources related to Boskovic held in the USA and UK.

One of the greatest English 20th century novelists Aldous Huxley, in Antic Hay (1923) mentions Boskovic, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Händel.

Rudjer Boskovic, Gelehrter und Diplomat, by Kresimir Veselic, Hagen, Germany

Rudjer Boskovic, numerous links

Cornelia Wright (1757-1837), an English writer, in her "Autobiography'' left us important information about Raymund Kunic (Croatian latinist and grecist), whom she met in Rome. She also met Rugjer Boskovic in Paris, whom she admired as a "mathematician and astronomer and as a good Latin poet who like many of his countrymen had the gift of composing Latin verse with facility''. It is very likely due to her acquaintance with Kunic that the first translation of a Croatian poem into English arose (a poem by Ignjat Gjurgjevic, translated into English from its Latin translation).

Croatian writer Vojmil Rabadan wrote a poem Carmen Boscovichianum iliti Spomen mali velikom nam Rudi (on the occasion of 200 years since the death of  Ruđer Josipa Bošković DI), Zagreb 1987. Inspired by this text, maestro Boris Papandopulo composed a cantata. Source Valentin Pozaić


Procession during the feast of Sv. Vlaho (photo by Najka Mirkovic)

During the French occupation in 1808 the Republic of Dubrovnik was abolished, although the Senat refused such a decision with indignation. On the other hand, it is interesting to mention René Bruère Desrivaux (1736-1817), a French consul in Dubrovnik about 30 years earlier, who declared: j'aime les Ragusins comme les Francais. His son, born probably in Tours or Lyon, has been completely "ragusinated," and became a ragusin poet - Marko Bruerovic (~1765-1823). In 1793 he was engaged for 4 years in diplomatic work in Bosnia (Travnik) as commercial attaché. He also helped Jewish merchants in Sarajevo. His wife was Katarina Hodic, a Bosnian Croat who gave him two children. See [Dolbeau], p 38.
The name of Katarina is very frequent among the Croats in central Bosnia. This is related to the last Bosnian Queen Katarina.

Antun Sorkocevic (Compte de Sorgo, 1775-1841), a good friend of Marko Bruerovic, was the last ambassador of his native Republic of Ragusa in France, where he spent 35 years. Author of numerous publications, he became member of Académie Celtique (1806), Société des Antiquaries (1828). Among other books he published "Mémoire sur la langue et les moeurs des peuples slaves", "Fragments sur l'histoire et la littérature de la République de Raguse et sur la langue slave", translated Ivan Gundulic'es Osman (Osman, poéme illyrien en vingt chants) in 1838.

Antonia Gertruda Pusic (1805-1883), outstanding Portuguese poetess and writer, is the daughter of Antun Pusic (Pushich) (1760-1838), the Croat from Dubrovnik, doctor of literature and science, officer of the Dubrovnik navy.

Arthur Evans, a well known English archaeologist, lived in the City from
1875 to 1882. He brought a valuable gift to Dubrovnik, the incunabula by
Croatian Latinist Juraj Dragisic, De natura angelica, Dubrovnik, 1498. This valuable book, kept in the Scientific Library, bears the following dedication: This book is presented as a historic relic of the City of Ragusa, and its civil library by Sir Arthur Evans, who here, like its author, first arriving through Bosnia, found a hospital retreat. On the ocasion of his revisiting Dubrovnik - after an interval of fifty years - June 18th, 1932.

Dubrovnik Dubrovnik

The city of Dubrovnik endured a great many attacks in its history. Only during the Serbian Nemanjic dynasty (1168-1371) the Serbs performed 15 unsuccessful attempts to occupy Dubrovnik: in 1172, 1196, 1215, 1228, 1252, 1253, 1254, 1265-1268, 1275, 1301, 1302, 1317, 1318, 1325, 1328. The greatest tragedies in the history of Dubrovnik were the earthquake and the fire in 1667, and the well known Greater Serbian aggression in 1991/92. The population of the Dubrovnik region was 82.4% Croatian before the aggression, with only 6.7% Serbs.

Dominican convent in Dubrovnik (photo by Najka Mirkovic)

The Dominican convent from 14th century is one of the most beautiful architectural masterpieces of the city. Very famous are paintings by Nikola Bozidarevic (16th century), especially the one in which Sv. Vlaho holds the model of the city in his hands.
During the French occupation of the City in the beginning of 19th century the convent served as a stable for horses!

The Dominican convent is in possession of a very nice work by Tizian (1489-1576), a famous Italian painter, representing St Mary Magdalen and St Vlaho (Blasius), patron of the City (with a model of the City in his hands).

The philosophical and medical works of Ibn-Sina (Avicenna, 980-1037) are a part of the rich collection of our oldest libraries. The Dominican Library, founded in 13th century in Dubrovnik, possesses one of the oldest Latin translations of Avicenna's works on metaphysics and logic and a tractate of St. Thomas Aquinus - Concordantie super Physiceu (14th century). It was one of the biggest European libraries in the period between the 15th and the 17th century. Now it possesses 16,000 volumes, 240 incunabula and important archives (shelled by the Serbian army in 1991/92 - 25 direct hits).


Stradun, the main street, in 1991

Barbarian rhapsody

(from the presentation by prof.dr. Enver Sehovic, University of Zagreb)

The map of 1991 bombing raids on Dubrovnik Barbarian rapsodyDestruction of Inter-University Center

1991 Greter Serbian bombing and shelling of Dubrovnik

A missile shot in December 6 1991 to the convent of Minor Brothers in Dubrovnik. This convent only was hit with 50 (fifty) direct granade hits during the Serbain agression, causing a lots of damage on this top monument of Croatian culture. The hall hit by the granade is precisely the place where the oldest European pharmacy working continuously to these days was founded in 1317.

 To dr. Slobodan Lang - grateful Dubrovnikers

Dr. Kathleen V. Wilkes devoted her life to the victory of Croatia


Bernard Shaw:
Those who seek paradise on Earth
should come to Dubrovnik
and see Dubrovnik.

The most famous street in Dubrovnik is the Stradun street (shelled in 1991 during Greater Serbian aggression):

Stradun, the main street (photo by G. Prakash)

Croatian Heroes: Pavo Urban defended Dubrovnik with his camera

The city state of Dubrovnik unanimously decreed that the Jews should have a permanent living quarter in the city. The Ghetto was formed in 1546. In the city there is a street called Zudioska ulica (Jewish street).

It is not widely known that Dubrovnik has the second oldest Jewish synagogue in Europe (shelled by the Serbian army in 1991/92). Here we would like to stress that only half a dozen of the 2000 Jews in Croatia have chosen to emigrate to Israel since the Greater-Serbian aggression began.

To be more precise, the Dubrovnik synagogue represents

  • the oldest Sephardic synagogue in Europe, and
  • the second oldest among Ashkenazi and Sephardic synagogues in Europe.

The oldest Jewish cemetery on the territory of former Yugoslavia was in the town of Cernik, near Nova Gradiska in Slavonia. The cemetery has been totally destroyed during the Greater-Serbian aggression in 1991.

When German Gestapo entered Dubrovnik in 1941, the annals ("Pinkes") of the Jewish Sephardic community were confiscated. This represents irreparable loss for the Jewish and Croatian culture. The annals described the history of the community and the city itself over a very long period, starting with 1600.

Saving the famous Sarajevo Haggadah (Jewish Bible) from German Nazis in 1941.

Panorama of Dubrovnik from the Lovrijenac fortress (photo by Najka Mirkovic)

The Inter-University Center in Dubrovnik hosted thousands of scholars from all over the world since its foundation in 1970. In 1991 it was completely destroyed during Greater Serbian aggression:

Destruction of Inter-University Center

In a fire caused by missiles fired at the building disappeared the valuable library with collection of 25,000 volumes of books and 205 periodicals. See [Wounded Libraries in Croatia, p. 48]. See destroyed Dubrovnik roofs: roof1 and roof2.

Petar Perica (1881-1944) wrote verses for two sacral songs still extremely popular among the Croats: Do nebesa nek se ori (in 1900, at the age of 19) and Rajska Djevo (in 1904, at the age of 23). In 1901 he entered the Society of Jesus. Killed by communist partisans in 1944 on the islet of Daksa near Dubrovnik.


According to Croatian historian dr. Vinicije B. Lupis, a very old sword of a Dubrovnik prince, as a symbol of the Dubrovnik statehood, is kept today in Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Art History) in Vienna, since the 1814 occupation of Dubrovnik. This and other relevant Dubrovnik insignia, kept in that museum and elsewhere, should be returned to the City. An initiative has been undertaken by Društvo prijatelja dubrovačke starine (Society of Friends of the Dubrovnik Antiquity).


Mediterranean sounds
Croatia's Mystic Voices

Klapa Lindjo, Dubrovnik

Klapa Lindjo

Nenad Bach Music
Graphic design by Andrej Urem

Nikola Primorac Croatian captain of City of Ragusa craft sailing from Liverpool to New York and back in 1870


 

Pope John Paul II in Croatia

Pope John Paul II visited three times Croatia (1994, 1998, 2003) and Bosnia and Herzegovina twice (1997, 2003). During his apostolic visit to the city of Dubrovnik in 2003 he beatified Marija of the Jesus Crucified Petkovic (1892-1966), born on the island of Korcula, founder of Daughters of Mercy. For more information see marijapropetog.hr .

 

Daughters of Mercy

M. Yusuf Abbasi

As a swarm of snow flakes
Swirling in the wind,
A bevy of girls
In uniforms white
Spin about the aisles
And bustle about in wards
A bunch of busy bees
Bearing no sting
Sucking no nectar
These fair daughters
Of mercy are rent
With work and fatigue
In giving smiling hope
To broken bodies
And failing hearts.


Dubrovnik (photo by Mladen Zubrinic)

Recommended literature:
  • Stjepan Ćosić, Nenad Vekarić: Dubrovačka vlastela između roda i države, Salamankezi i sorbonezi (Ragusan patriciate between kinship and state: the Salamankanists and Sorbonnists), HAZU, Zagreb - Dubrovnik, 2005., ISBN 953-154-660-6
  • Bruno Šišić: Vrtni prostori povijesnog predgrada Dubrovnika od Pila do Boninova (Gardens of the historical suburbs of Dubrovnik from Pile to Boninovo), HAZU, Zagreb - Dubrovnik, 2005., ISBN 953-154-565-0
  • Robin Harris: Dubrovnik: A History, Saqi Books, 2003 (550 pp.)
  • Croatian Heroes: Pavo Urban defended Dubrovnik with his camera
  • [Hrvoje Kačić]
  • Hrvoje Kačić's interview for AMAC (in Croatian): Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
  • Hrvoje Kačić: Dubrovnik and Calamities of War; Attempt to Deblockade Dubrovnik
  • Hrvoje Kačić: "Dubrovačke žrtve", Jugokomunistički teror na hrvatskom jugu 1944. i poratnim godinama (početak Bleiburga)
  • Slobodan Lang et al.:  The Libertas diary
  • Slobodan Lang: An overall civilan support
  • [Alojzije Prosoli, The Voice from Dubrovnik]
  • Kathy Wilkes
  • Antun Ničetić: Nove spoznaje o postanku Dubrovnika, o njegovu brodarstvu i plovidbi Svetoga Pavla, Sveučilište u Dubrovniku, Dubrovnik, 2005., ISBN 953-7153-02-9
  • Anica Kisić - Vinicije B. Lupis: Miho Pracat, o 400. obljetnici smrti.
    Matica hrvatska, Dubrovnik, 2007.
  • Vinicije B. Lupis: O armensko-hrvatskim kontaktima
  • Vinicije B. Lupis: Dubrovnik i Poljska : o kulturnim i političkim vezama hrvatskog juga i Poljske / Polska i Dubrownik O kulturalnych i politycznych zwiazkach poludniowej Chorwacij z Polska (Dubrovnik and Poland : about cultural and political relationships between Croatian south and Poland), Veleposlanstvo Republike Poljske, Zagreb 2005 (in Croatian and Polish)
  • Some photos are taken from the web page Dubrovnik, été 2003 with permission (photos by Gwendolyn Prakash - Notre conclusion sur cette ville : Si d'aventure un week-end vous ne savez quoi faire, prenez un aller/retour par avion et visitez la sans hésitaion, vous ne serez pas déçus !).
  • Ston

 

Konavle

 

Konavle women (Kapetnaic, Vekaric, Stanovnistvo konavala 1, p. 182)
Konvale family (Kapetanic, Vekaric, Stanovnistvo Konavala 1, p. 318)

To the east of Dubrovnik is the region of Konavle. Its east most part is the cape of Ostra (rt Ostra, also imprecisely called "Prevlaka"), which is an interesting stretching about 2,5 km long and several hundred meters wide. This area was in possession of the Dubrovnik Republic since the first half of 15th century, when it was bought from Bosnian dignitaries in 1419 and 1426. As such it is a part of Croatia (also during the ex-Yugoslav communist period).

Croatian Glagolitic heritage in the region of Dubrovnik

Konavoski glagoljski natpis

It is important to note that in the Konavle region a very old remain of Croatian glagolitic inscription on the marble plate was discovered in 1990's (Konvale Glagolitic fragment), dating probably from the year 1060 or later, that is, from 11th century (see [Fucic] and [Kapetanic, Zagar]). Also some stecak tombstones bearing Croatian cyrillic inscriptions, have a few glagolitic letters. See [Kapetanic, Konavoski epigraficki spomenici].

Stechak tombstone near Dubrovnik

As shown by dr. Agnezija Pantelic, well known Kiev and Sinai folia, written in the Glagolitic script, were used in the Dubrovnik bishopric by the end of 11th century (see [O Kijevskim i Sinajskim...]. It is of interest to stress that Glagolitic monuments carved in stone exist only among the Croats (in today's Croatia and parts of BiH), nowhere else. For more information see Croatian Glagolitic heritage in the region of Dubrovnik.

Traditional dance lindjo in Cilipi (photo by Mladen Zubrinic) Traditional dance lindjo in Cilipi (photo by Mladen Zubrinic)

Konavle children on the feast of sv. Vlaho, protector of Dubrovnik (photo by Najka Mirkovic)

Konavle are known among others for beautiful national costumes.

Mrs Ane Marnic from the village of Dubravka in Konavle, south of Dubrovnik
photo from 2006, many thanks to Dr. Zdenko Zeravica, Dubrovnik

The region of Konavle, occupied by the Yugoslav (Serbian and Montenegrin) army in 1991/92, served as a basis for ferocious attacks on the city of Dubrovnik. The lovely town of Cilipi near the Dubrovnik airport was devastated to the point that no house was left with a roof, and the Cilipi church was destroyed.

Dunave in Konavle with fortress against the Turks (photo by Mladen Zubrinic)Dunave in Konavle where the above glagolitic inscription from 1060 has been found (photo by Darko Zubrinic)

By aggressive and primitive intrigues (claiming that borders of states in ex-Yugoslav federation were only administrative) and pseudo history, the Yugoslav and Montenegrin official institutions and diplomacy are trying in vain to question Croatian jurisdiction over this territory. For more details see [Macan].

The village of Kuna in Konavle with view to the sea (photo by Mladen Zubrinic) View from Snjeznica in Konavle to Dubrovnik, Cavtat, low Konavle, and the sea (photo by Darko Zubrinic)

Mavar glagolitic breviary (Mavrov brevijar) from 1460 contains a marginal note written by Catholic priest Mavar from the town of Vrbnik (island of Krk) about his sojourn in Konvale with this book around 1475.

Literature about Konavle:

 

Boka kotorska

The region of Boka kotorska is situated on the south-east of Dubrovnik and Konavle, along the Adriatic coast from Herceg Novi to very near the town of Bar. It was named after the town of Kotor, which is placed in a fascinating fjord.

Croatian benedictins in Boka kotorska had their abbeys since at least the year 1066. There were at least seven of such abbeys:

  • Sv. Juraj near Perast,
  • Sv. marija de Resson, 
  • Sv. Luka in rtoli, Sv. Mihovil in Prevlaka,
  • Sv. Nikola from Petranac,
  • Sv. Petar from Gradac, and
  • Sv. Marko de Pinita.

The benedictins in Boka kotorska appeaar in the 9the or the beginning of the 10th century. A Bull of pope Clement III from 1089, and to a Bull of pope Calisto II from 1124, confirm that on the territory of Duklja (Doclea) there were abbeys that were designated as latinorum, graecorum et sclavorum (Glagolitic benedictine abbeys), under the auspices of Duklja-Bar archbishops. The source of this information is [Ivan Ostojić].

Boka kotorska was annexed to Montenegro in 1945. At that time it was populated mostly by Croatian Catholics (Bokelji). Now the ethnic situation in this region is entirely different, especially after 1991.

Archbishop Vicko Zmajevic (1670.-1745.), born in Perast, brought Albanian Catholics, endangered by the Turks, to environs of Zadar where they live also today. He built a school "Collegium Illiricum" or "Seminarium Zmajoillyricum" in Zadar for educating Glagolitic priests (today archbishops school "Zmajevic"). His brother Matej Zmajevic was a famous admiral of the Russian tsar Peter the Great, see below.

A street in Zadar (Arbanasi) named after Vicko Zmajevic, founder of Zmajevicevo glagoljasko sjemeniste in Zadar

Glagoljica u Arbanasima kod Zadra
Photos: Moris Nakic, Soni Banic, Dario Tikulin i don Zdenko Milic (Zadar)

In Perast the first nautical school has been founded by the end of 17th century. It is considered to have been founded by Marko Martinovic (1663-1716), a famous Boka mariner. In 1698 the Russian Emperor Peter the Great sent 16 young Russian nobleman to Boka to attend maritime studies in Perast, in order to be able to organize the future Russian Navy. See Croatian Encyclopaedia (Boka kotorska in Volume III).

The Bokelj's had a very strong fleet, which counted as many as 300 ships in the 18th century. Boka was a rival to Dubrovnik and Venice. It is worth mentioning that one of the Bokeljs - Matej Zmajevic or Matija Zmajevic (1680-1735) - was the admiral of Baltic navy and the ship-builder of the famous Russian tsar Peter I the Great, and for whom he built a fleet in Voronez. 

Matej Zmajevic had great successes in maritime battles against Sweden, and for this reason he was decorated with the Order of Aleksandar Nevski by Empress Katarina. Peter I the Great took of his personal sward and donated it to Matej Zmajevic in recognition of his military successes. Matej Zmajevic had the honour to carry the crown of Romanov's during the funeral of Peter the Great in 1725. Zmajevic was buried with greatest military honours in the Catholic church in Moscow. Peter the Great sent some of his young officers (bolyars) to the town of Perast in Boka in order to study maritime sciences there. For more information see [Milos Milosevic, pp 244-251].

Marko Vojnovic from Hercegnovi organized the Russian marine on the Black Sea, and achieved the status of admiral. Matija Melada of Perast, a well known engineer of his time, arranged many Russian ports. See Croatian Encyclopaedia (Boka kotorska in Volume III).

Boka kotorska region is under protection of UNESCO, due to its very rich Croatian cultural heritage. The region around the town of Kotor is situated in probably the most beautiful fjord in Europe. In 1979 there was an earthquake that destroyed or seriously damaged numerous cultural monuments.

Very important historical source for early Croatian history is Libellus Gothorum, a chronicle from 12th century known in Croatia as Ljetopis popa Dukljanina. It was written by Archbishop Grgur of Bar, born in Zadar, and Bar is a coastal town near Boka kotorska. The chronicle represents the oldest historiographic work of Croatian Middle Ages.

It is interesting that Tripun Kotoran, a Kotor goldsmith, worked on the court of Ivan Grozny in Moscow in 1476. One of the earliest Croatian typographers was Andrija Paltasic (~1450-1500), born in the town of Kotor. He was one of the best Venetian typographers around 1480, who printed more than 40 incunabula, among them the Bible in Italian language. We also mention by the way that a very old missal from 12th century - the Kotor missal, is held in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Nikola Modruski (Lat. name Nicolaus Machinensis, Italian name Nicolo di Cattaro, ~1427-1480), born in Boka kotorska, was bishop of Modrus in Lika, Pope's representative at the court of Stjepan Tomasevic in Bosnia, and on the court of the Hungarian king Matijas Corvin in Budim, his huge library was left to the newly founded Vatican library (founded by Pope Sixto IV). In 1478/79 he wrote a treatise in defense of the Glagolitic Script which he sent from Rome to the Modrus bishopric. It is regarded to be the first polemic treatise in the history of Croatian literature, and it was written in the Glagolitic Script. Buried in in the church of Sta Maria del popolo in Rome.

In the village of Bogdasic near Tivat, in the church of Sv. Petar, a Croatian Glagolitic inscription has been found. Also the Glagolitic mass (i.e. Catholic mass served in Croatian Church Slavonic language instead of Latin language) has been in use in the church. The same for the village of Kostajnica near the town of Perast. These two parishes were glagolitic also in the 19th century. See [Pederin, p 247]. Many thanks to dr. Vanda Babic for information about the Bogdasic Glagolitic inscription.

Sea-captain Krsto Corko, born in Perast, was Spanish Marquis and Governor of Ballearic Islands in the second half of the 17th century.

Kristofor Ivanovic, a Canon of the town of Budva in Boka kotorska, published his Memorie teatrali in Venice in 1681. It was the first history of Venetian opera, covering the period of 1637 - 1681. Its 2nd edition appeared in 1687.

The first balloonist in Croatia was Karlo Mrazovic, who performed two balloon flights in Zagreb with his own balloons in 1789 and 1790. He was born in Boka kotorska. See [Croatia - Europe, III, Barok i prosvjetiteljstvo, p. 426, the article by Vladimir Muljevic].

Captain Petar Zelalic (Zhelalich), 18th century, born in Boka kotorska, was a member of Order of Maltese Knights. He became famous after his ship defeated a huge Turkish ship called "The Ottoman Crown."

Josip Marinović

Josip Marinovic (1741 - 1801), was a Jesuit born in Perast - Kotor (in Boka kotorska, annexed to Montenegro in 1945), professor of theology in Venice. His friendship with an Armenian banker Serpos resulted in his interest for the history of Armenians. His assiduous research resulted in the book "Compendio storico...della nazione armena", published in Venice in 1783. The book had a great success. Though it was signed by Serpos, its true author was Marinovic. It represents the first history of Armenians published in Europe. It is interesting that the book had been extended and republished by Ivan Dominik Stratico (1732-1799), bishop on the Croatian island of Hvar. This book incited European interest for Armenian people and their culture. In particular, upon the initiative of the Vatican, supported by Austria and Russia, in 1830 the Turkish sultan admitted very old Armenian Christian Church and allowed Armenian Archbishopric to be founded in Constantinople. See [Gregory Peroche], p. 119, and [V. B. Lupis, O armensko-hrvatskim kontaktima].

Armenian and Croatian contacts described by Vinicije B. Lupis

In 1782 Krsto Mazarevic from the city of Kotor (in today's Montenegro) performed a flight in two balloons.

Another outstanding Croat is captain Ivan Visin born in Prcanj in Boka. His travel around the world started in Antwerpen in 1852 (his ship "Splendido", built in Rijeka, was 30m long, 311 metric tons of cargo) and ended successfully in Trieste in 1859, having sailed 101,000 nautical miles (the circumference of the Earth is 21,600 n.m.; the ship sailed in westward direction around the Earth, which is more difficult than in the opposite direction). Visin was only the sixth after Magellan to do a similar exploit.

Ivo VIsin (photo from Brodovi na Jadranu by Veljic - Govedic)

For his brave undertaking, which was of the historical importance, he had been decorated by a flag of honour Merito navali by the Austrian Emperor (in fact, Visin was the only one who ever obtained such an honour). The trophy is held in Prcanj. Visin also became the honorary citizen of Trieste.

The ship Splendido of Ivo VIsin (photo from Brodovi na Jadranu by Veljic - Govedic)

Ivo Visin in Trieste in 1860, photo from [I Croati di Trieste]

Rout of Ivo VIsin (photo from Brodovi na Jadranu by Veljic - Govedic)

 

Antun Lukovic, descendant of an old Croatian family from Boka kotorska, was the chief engineer in the project of building the Suez Canal (1859-1869).

The Bokelj Marine 809 (Bokeljska mornarica 809) is a confraternity whose aim is to preserve more than a thousand year's Croatian maritime tradition. In 809 the remains of St Tripun were brought by Croatian mariners from Asia Minor to Kotor. The Cathedral of St Tripun in Kotor is the oldest Croatian cathedral in this area built by Croats in 1166.

It is worth mentioning that New Yugoslavia participated at the international maritime exhibition EXPO'98 in Lisabon, Portugal, with Croatian cultural and maritime heritage of Boka kotorska. This very old and rich heritage was presented as Yugoslav without even mentioning that it belongs to the Croats in Boka kotorska. One can say that the Croats had in fact two pavilions in Lisabon: one belonging to Republic of Croatia (generally considered as one of the most original pavilions on the exhibition), and the other hidden under the name of Yugoslavia.

Yugoslav press (and even some Croatian!) used to add an innocent number 1 to 809, to obtain 1809, thus reducing the rich history of Croatian mariners in Boka kotorska for no less than 1000 years!

A delegation of the Bokelj mariners from Boka kotorska participated with their traditional uniforms at the funeral of Stjepan Radic in Zagreb, after his assassination in the Yugoslav Parliament in Belgrade in 1929.

B. Ivankovic (1815-1898): A Kotor sailing ship, 19th century, source Matrix Croatica

Boka kotorska is also known as the Bay of Croatian saints. Out of eleven Croatian saints and blessed (St Leopold Mandic, St Nikola Tavelic, St Marko of Krizevci, Bl Augustin Kazotic, Bl Ozana of Kotor, Bl Jakov Zadranin, Bl Gracija of Mulo, Bl Julijan of Bale, Bl Alojzije Stepinac, Bl Ivan Merz, Bl Marija Petkovic), three of them are from Boka kotorska:

  • St Leopold Bogdan Mandic (1866-1942),
  • blessed Ozana Kotorka (Kata Kosic, 1493-1565),
  • blessed Gracija from Mulo (1438-1508).

St Leopold Bogdan Mandic

St Leopold Bogdan Mandic (1866-1942, memorial day 30th July) was born in Herceg Novi in Boka kotorska, and died in Padova, Italy. Physically malformed and delicate, having height only 1m 35cm, with clumsy walk and stuttering, he developed tremendous spiritual strength. Although he wanted to be missionary in Eastern Europe, he spent almost all of his adult life in Italy, and lived in Padova from 1906 until the end of his life. He spent also one year in Italian prison during the WWI, since he did not want to renounce his Croatian nationality, see here. He dreamed unceasingly about going to Orient, but one day he gave Communion to a very good person. And, as he described:

After finishing her thanksgiving, she came to me with this message: "Father, Jesus ordered me to say this to you: Your Orient is each of the souls you assist by hearing confessions." (see here).

He became known as Apostle of Confession and Apostle of Unity. Here is a famous prayer in honour of this forerunner of today's Ecumenism:

O God, source of life and love, you gave Saint Leopold a tremendous compassion for sinners and a desire for church unity. Through his prayers, grant that we may acknowledge our need of forgiveness, show love to others, and strive to bring about a living unity among Christians. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Also the famous Pope Sixto V has Croatian roots from Boka kotorska on his father's side.

Gospa od SkrpjelaOut of 38 churches existing in the Kotor region (annexed to Montenegro in 1945) 36 are Catholic and only 2 are Orthodox (one of them was a gift of the Croats in Boka kotorska). On the photo you can see two beautiful churches on islets in the Boka bay, belonging to the Croatian Catholic community in Montenegro, built in the first half of the 17th century (Sveti Juraj and Gospa od Skrpjela near the town of Perast). It is interesting that the Church of Gospa od Skrpjela (on the photo) is built on an artificial island! Each year a procession of Croatian Catholics encircles in numerous fishing boats the island of Gospa od Skrpjela and pilgrims throw pebbles around it.

Cathedral of St. Tripun, KotorAn important monument, showing uninterrupted presence of the Croats in Boka kotorska during many centuries, is the cathedral of St Tripun in the town of Kotor, built as early as 1166. As we have said, it represents the oldest known Croatian cathedral. Its ciborium is decorated with a beautiful interlace pattern which is even older than the church itself, and of the same type as numerous exotic interlace patterns found in many pre-Romanesque churches along the Croatian littoral. The town of Kotor has a surrounding wall which is about 5km long.

The benedictine order is present in the region of Boka kotorska since the 9th century. Today this region has about a hundred of Catholic churches and chapels.

The town of Perast had extremely difficult moments in 1654 when the attacks of the Turks were especially dangerous. Their brave and successful defense of Boka was the reason of the arrival of Petar Zrinski, a famous Croatian statesman, who also had numerous dramatic battles with the Turks. During his three day sojourn in Perast he presented his legendary sword to the town, as the sign of his recognition to their efforts to defend their homeland, and to stop the approach of the Ottoman Empire to Middle Europe.

 

1928 inscription in Perast dedicated to Petar Zrinski

Many thanks to Smiljana Sunde and Vesna Svagusa for photos.

 
NA VJECNU USPOMENU
KAD
PETAR KNEZ ZRINJSKI, VOJVODA HRVATSKI, POTOM BAN
IZA SLAVNE POBJEDE JUNAKA PERASTANA NAD TURCIMA
ODVJETOVANJEM GOSPE OD SKRPJELA 15.V.1654. DOJEDRI
SVOJIM BRODOM 23-24.V.1654. U PERAST DA CESTITA
KAKO RECE : SLAVNOM SRETNOM I PLEMENITOM PERASTU
DAROVAVSI IM JUNACKU SABLJU
P.
GRAD PERAST - 15.V.1928.

 

FOR ETERNAL REMBERANCE
WHEN
PETAR PRINCE ZRINJSKI, CROATIAN DUKE AND BAN
AFTER A FAMOUS VICTORY OF PERAST HEROS OVER THE TURKS
WITH HELP OF GOSPA OD SKRPJELA 15.V.1654. SAILED
WITH HIS BOAT 23-24 V 1654 TO PERAST TO CONGRATULATE
AS HE SAID : TO THE FAMOUS, HAPPY AND NOBLE PERAST
PRESENTING IT WITH HIS BOLD SABRE
P.
GRAD PERAST - 15.V.1928.

 

Many Croatian artists (like Tripo Kokolja) have described the struggle of Bokeljs against the Turks. The verses of "Kotor Knights" written by Andrija Kacic Miosic(1704-1760) in his famous book "Razgovori ugodni naroda slovniskog" (published in Venice, 1756, 1759) start as follows:

Ej Kotore, gnizdo sokolova,

na visokoj grani savijeno,

di se legu zmaji i sokoli,

koji caru puno dodijase!

Svijeno je na jeli zelenoj

ter pokriva Buku od Kotora,

kojano je dika od Hrvata

i vitesko srce od junaka."

As we see, the verses describe Kotor as the nest of falcons, and as the pride of Croats. Kacic's book was enormously popular in Croatia. It was translated by A. Fortis, and some of the verses appear in Herder's "Volkslieder". Some of the verses were translated also into French, and even into Latin. In Croatia the book had about eighty editions!

One of Croatian churches, given as a gift to Serbian Pravoslav Church in Kotor already in 1657 (during Venetian rule), was the church of St Luka in Kotor. The church itself is much older, and dates from 1195. Above the main entrance to the Church we can now read the following inscription "Serbian Pravoslav Church - 1195." This falsification that appeared in 1990's aims to "prove" that the Serbs built this church already in 1195. In 1995 the Serbs in Montenegro even "celebrated" 800th anniversary of this church which was Catholic until 1657, when it was given as a gift to Serbian Pravoslavs.

Catholic churches Gospa od Skrpjela and Sv. Juraj

One of the greatest Croatian Baroque painters is Tripo Kokolja (1661-1713), born in the town of Perast in Boka kotorska, whose works of art are held in the Church of Gospa od Skrpjela, and also in the Dominican church in Bol on the island of Brac, in the townn of Hvar on the island of Hvar, in the town of Korcula on the island of Korcula (where he died), and in the city of Dubrovnik.

Kotor bay with catholic churches Gospa od Skrpjela and Sv. Juraj

When a Russian travel-writer P.A. Tolstoy visited Boka in 1698, he noted that the local hills are also inhabited by the Croats.

Jozo Kljaković (1889-1969) is distinguished Croatian painter and illustrator. His paintings and murals are mainly of religious content. Kljaković is best known for his frescos that he painted in the church of St. Mark in Zagreb, in the parish churches of Vranjic (near the city of Split), in Dobrota in Boka kotorska, and in the memorial church in Biskupija near the town of Knin, as well as for his  mosaics in the Pontifical Croatian St. Jerome Institute in Rome. He left Croatia in 1943, and spent the following 25 years in Rome and Buenos Aires.

A distinguished Croatian composer Ivan Brkanovic (1906-1987) was born near the town of Kotor in Boka kotorska. He studied at the Music Academy in Zagreb. Among others he was a director of The Zagreb Philharmony and professor at the University of Sarajevo. He composed Bokeljsko kolo, Konavosko pirovanje, opera Zlato Zadra (Gold of Zadar), etc.


Croatian Working Society Progress (Hrvatsko Radnicko Dru±tvo Napredak), Kotor 1901
From the front cover page of Stolacko kulturno proljece, Godisnjak za povijest i kulturu, god. VII., 2009.


Note Croatian Coat of Arms on the tricolor flag


Croatian tamburitza
players in Kotor in 1901

In the Boka kotorska churches there are important works of art of many outstanding Croatian artists, like Ivan Mestrovic, Antun Augustincic, Celestin Medovic, and other.


Viktor Vida

Important Croatian poet born in the town of Kotor is Viktor Vida (1913-1960), since 1945 living in Buenos Aires in Argentina. Here are some of his verses:

"Freedom, I like you as bread

Freedom, I like you as a star and bird

Freedom, I like you as a beloved dream.

(Freedom)

SPIRITUAL CROATIA

All the earthly experiences undergone by Croatia reflect on her own significance. Her true national character corresponds more to the formations, which gleam at us from the depths of eternity, as stalagmites in bluish caves, the deposits of geological millennia, than to the political expediencies of empirical reality...

...I imagine the land of Croatia as a white fortress high on a glacier beneath which mists roll and fiery dragons hiss. The mire bubbles in the ravines and furrows, yet will never defile the holy threshold of the fatherland.

Here, then is Croatia several miles above the earth in elevated spheres. It reigns above the clouds with a hoary smile and white roses all around, as a beautiful woman in the apotheosis and quintessence of light and sound.

In her hands a sceptre; her locks of hair the silvery moon. Deep down below her the iron raven crows late in the centuries.

According to official Montenegrin sources, 40% of real monumental property and 66% of movable monumental property of this republic is in the Boka kotorska region. This means that at least 50% of the entire monumental cultural heritage of Montenegro belongs to the Catholic church in Boka, i.e. to the Croats. And now Montenegro has less than 1% of Catholics.

A result of the assimilation and systematic persecutions from the Serbs and Montenegrins in the Boka kotorska region was that the population of the Croats began to diminish rapidly since Yugoslavia was created in 1918, and especially after the aggression against Croatia in 1991. Let us illustrate only the "silent" ethnical cleansing in the ex-Yugoslav period (1918-1991). Namely, while in the period from 1910 (when the last Austro-Hungarian census was held) to 1991 (the last ex-YU census) the overall population in Boka kotorska doubled, on the other hand the number of Croats dropped in the same area three times.

The towns of Kotor, Perast, Tivat, Dobrota, Prcanj, Herceg Novi and Budva had a Croatian majority in 1910. A large Catholic majority in 1910 had peninsula Vrmac and southern part of Spich (from Sutomore to the border between Boka kotorska and Montenegro near the town of Bar). For example,

  • the number of Croats in Kotor dropped from 69% in 1910 to 7% in 1991;
  • in Herceg Novi from 70% to 2%;
  • in Tivat from 95% to 23%.

In 1991 there were only 8% of Croats in Boka kotorska region, and today (after 1991-1995 Serbian and Montenegrin aggression on Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) even less. For example, 350 Croatian families had to leave their native town of Tivat in the period of 1991-1998.

In June 1996 msgr. Ivo Gugic, bishop of Kotor, was cruelly killed (strangled by a wire).

The name of the town of Dobrota in Kotor bay has interesting meaning: Goodness. In fact, the French bonté is even closer to the meaning of Croatian dobrota. And there is a family name - Dobrota, that can be found also among the Croats in Konavle region south of Dubrovnik.

Vjenceslav Cizek (Gjenovici, Boka kotorska, 1928-2000) has passed away in Dortmund. He was born in a peasant-working class family, educated in Kumbor and Herceg-Novi, and studied philosophy in Sarajevo. For his political beliefs he was sentenced twice to a total of 17 years imprisonment, and due to savage prison tortures he became blind. After his release he lived in Germany. 


Vjenceslav Čižek

He became internationally known as the "captive of conscience." Vjenceslav Cizek was an exceptional lyricist and satirist of dictatorship. Unfortunately, his literary activity was interrupted by prison. Due to his blindness, he memorised poems while he was in prison using a special mnemonic technique. In his poems he writes about places of his youth - Boka and Konavle.

In 1998 a new mosaic was exhibited in a Catholic chapel in the town of Budva in Boka kotorska, on the initiative of the Pravoslav Church in the city. This was done without knowledge of the Catholic Church. On the other hand, it is known that the Votive Icon of Our Lady existed on the same place from 1333 to 1949, when local yugoslav communists threw it out into the sea. Fortunately, the old Catholic icon was saved (though damaged), but it was not allowed to be placed where it had been for centuries.

It is little known that until 1949 Bosnia - Herzegovina had another entrance to the Adriatic sea in the region of Sutorine (between Prevlaka peninsula and Herceg Novi), which is today in Montenegro. Today quite unjustly the New Yugoslav state claims the right to Croatian Prevlaka. See [Macan].

As confirmed by all partisan documents related to Boka kotorska and Montenegro during WW2, both regions are mentioned with clear distinction: Boka kotorska (which is defined as a coastal region from Herceg Novi to very near the town of Bar) and Montenegro. Since 1945 the name of Boka kotorska was simply erased. The name of Montenegrins (or Yugoslavs) was imposed to the Croats. Even today many Croats in Boka kotorska are hidden under the name of Yugoslavs (of Catholic faith).

Andrija Maurović (1901-1981), distinguished Croatian cartoonist and painter, was born in the coastal village of Muo near the city of Kotor.

An outstanding Croatian intellectual born in 1919 in Boka kotorska was Luka Brajnovic, professor of Ethics of the University of Navarra, a former director of the Institute of Artes Liberales, a well known Spanish intellectual. Premio Brajnovic a la communication is a prestigeous Spanish award (500,000 pesets) established in his honor during his lifetime upon the initiative of newspapermen and lecturers from the University of Pamplon.

For the reader who thinks that these claims are not sufficiently well grounded, I can offer a personal experience from the city of Zagreb, Croatia's capital. In 1971 a census of population was held in the whole ex-Yugoslavia. At that time I was a 15 years old secondary school pupil. My math teacher "suggested" to everybody, in front of the whole class, to fill in the form as follows: "If I were on your place, I would fill in Yugoslav in the nationality section, and underline it three times." She was a daughter of a Serbian colonel in Zagreb. It was only many years later that I realized the meaning of this "suggestion."

  • Trpimir Macan: Rt Oštra u povijesti i politici, Matica hrvatska, Zagreb 1998, ISBN 953-150-168-8
  • Miloš Milošević: Iz prošlosti Boke kotorske, Matica hrvatska, Zagreb 2008.
  • Dominik Mandić: Crvena Hrvatska, ZIRAL (Zajednica Izdanja Ranjeni Labud), Chicago-Rim, 1973 (see other Mandic's references related to history of Bosnia and Herzegovina)
  • The history of Boka kotorska from Antiquity until 1918, Based on the text "Boka kotorska od najstarijih vremena do 1918" by Ankica and Josip Pečarić. Summarized and translated by Ivica Krešic, University of Chicago.
  • Josip Pečarić
  • Agneza Szabo: Hrvati Boke kotorske u doba preporoda i bana Jelačića
  • Lovorka Čoralić:
    • Barani u Mlecima: povijest jedne hrvatske iseljeničke zajednice, Dom i svijet d.o.o., Zagreb 2006, ISBN 953-238-015-9
    • Iz prošlosti Boke - odabrane teme, Meridijani, ISBN 978-953-239-070-4
  • Boka kotorska - jedno od izvorišta hrvatske pasionske baštine, Tivat, 3.-7. svibnja 2006., V. Medjunarodni simpozij, Udruga Pasionska bastina, ISSN 1334-8264
  • Nada Fisković: Slikarsko djelo B. Ivankovica, Hrvatska bratovština "Bokeljska mornarica 809"-Zagreb, 2006.
  • Cvito Fisković: Spomenička baština Boke kotorske, Matica hrvatska, Zagreb 2004.
  • Zeljko Brguljan: Portreti bokeljskih jedrenjaka, Hrvatska bratovština "Bokeljska mornarica 809"-Zagreb, 2006.
  • Dario Musić: Glasilo Hrvata Crne Gore, Hrvatska revija, 2, Zagreb 2007, 33-35
  • Antun Tomić:
  • Anita Mažibradic: Prčanj - biser u riznici Boke, Hrvatska revija, 2, Zagreb 2007, 38-43
  • Anita Mažibradic: Tivat kroz vjekove, Hrvatska revija, 2, Zagreb 2007, 44-48
  • Miloš Milošević, Tripo Schubert: Tri hrvatska glazbenika i skladatelja, Hrvatska revija, 2, Zagreb 2007, 49-58
  • Hrvatska bokeljska glazba 1910. u Kotoru, Hrvatska revija, 2, Zagreb 2007,
  • Vladimir Maruvčić: Hrvati u Baru - "Ostaci ostataka", Hrvatska revija, 2, Zagreb 2007, 59-66
  • Stijepo Obad: Hrvatska društva u Boki kotorskoj do Drugoga svjetskog rata, in Stolačko kulturno proljeće, Godišnjak za povijest i kulturu, godište VII, 2009., str. 23-36
  • Ivan Bongo Bolica: Opis zaljeva i grada Kotora, Matica hrvatska Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik 2010.
  • Milenko Pasinović: Hrvati u Crnoj Gori s posebnim osvrtom na Boku kotorsku i drugu polovicu XX. st., Adamić, Kotor - Rijeka, 2005.
  • Kotorska biskupija
  • Boka kotorska, Wikipedia
  • Dalmatia
  • Hrvatsko građansko društvo Crne Gore
  • Hrvatski glasnik, Kotor, časpis (mjesečnik)
  • Đuro Vidmarović: Hrvati Boke kotorske kroz povijest; Sjećanja i zaboravi; Dux Croatorum, Tivat 2011.
  • Đuro Vidmarović: Prilog povijesti Hrvata Gornje i Donje Lastve, Dux Croatorum, Donja Lastva 2013.
  • Gracijela Čurić (ur.): Sidrišta zavičaja, Zbornik radova, Kotor, I 2009., II 2010.
  • Vinicije Lupis: Povijest i sakralna baština crkve Male Gospe u Gornjoj Lastvi.
  • Radio Dux
  • Hrvatska glagoljica u Boki kotorskoj, Radio Dux
  • Hrvatski glagoljički dokumenti iz Gornje Lastve
  • Gornja Lastva

The city of Dubrovnik is under the protection of UNESCO since 1979.

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