Who hasn’t heard of Dubrovnik. You haven’t? Then you have probably seen it on television. Located on the Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik is one of Croatia’s most visited destinations – thanks to its unofficial sponsor Game of Thrones. Dubrovnik’s main claim to fame is its lovely old town, encircled with massive 16th-century stone walls. But do you know how Dubrovnik got its name?
“The tree in the photograph is the most important tree for Dubrovnik. You might wonder why, but the name will tell you everything! English – OAK, Polish – DĄB or in Croatian DUB gave the name to the entire City. Long time ago (around 6-7th century AD) the Slavic tribes settled in the oak forests on the slope of Srđ (a low mountain just behind the walled city of Dubrovnik). They named their village in a proto-slavic language that later transformed into modern Croatian or to be more precise, the characteristic local “dubrovački” dialect. The oaks in the picture grow near the Solitudo walking trail. It’s a bit remote and not that popular place to walk but it’s especially nice in the summer when the heat is overwhelming and the DUB trees give you shade. There are a couple of nice beaches around as well.”
– Story and photograph of oak trees by Zuza
Read our full conversation with Zuza, a tour guide who has been living in Dubrovnik for the last two years.
A: I was born in Poland. I had a bit of a love-hate relationship with Croatia. I first visited Pag island as a child and I was terrified (there were no trees in there because of strong Bora wind and it looked like a creepy moon surface, plus it was right after the war in 90s so a lot of buildings were damaged), but later on I went again to Croatia, to Dubrovnik and that time I fell in love with the place and decided to move in. I’ve been here for a couple of years and I definitely don’t plan to move somewhere else.
A: I have been a licensed tourist guide for 2 years. I love the history of Western Balkans and I want to share what I know about this conflicted yet very fascinating region with others. I enjoy interacting with other people. Also I speak Polish, Croatian, Hebrew, English and Spanish. Being a tourist guide gives me an opportunity to speak all these languages.
A: When it comes to Solitudo, I recommend it as a place to have a walk at because the view from the walking trails is very beautiful and it is a bit off-the-beaten-track, so it is much less crowded. What is more there are many nice beaches near the Solitudo walking trail, like Solitudo beach, Madrač beach, Copacabana and if you keep on walking towards Babin Kuk, also President beach. When it comes to accommodation, Solitudo is a good option if you want to avoid crowds and you came to Dubrovnik mainly to go to a beach, relax and enjoy the nature around you. If you prefer to sightsee the main attractions, you should rather choose the accommodation near the Old Town. Solitudo is a bit far from the Old town.
A: It is the name of a dialect, not a separate language. It’s a dialect of BCS (Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian) languages. The slavic tribes spoke proto-slavic – the dead language that was a base to many modern languages and their dialects like Czech, Polish, Russian, Croatian, Bulgarian.
A: Croatian culture is very divided. It’s much different in e.x. Zagorje (a region in northern Croatia) and in Dubrovnik. Each city of Croatia has its own traditions and culture. What I love the most about Croatia is the hospitality of people here, amazing cuisine (mostly grilled meals, lots of seafood and fresh vegetables) and very good music like traditional Klape bands and old Croatian new wave classics e.x. Psihomodo pop, Prljavo Kazalište and Hausor.
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