view from Fort Lovrijenac
It was built upon a steep, sheer cliff face about 121 feet high and was originally designed for defense against enemies approaching from the west.
The fortress was first mentioned in a legend from the 11th century, but a more reliable construction date is from the 14th century. It was reconstructed several times, with the main reconstructions happening in the 15th and 16th centuries. Having suffered damage in the great earthquake of 1667, Lovrijenac was also repaired in the 17th century. Triangular in build and following the contour of the rock on which it was built, Lovrijenac faces the western suburbs with its narrowest, highest part, and its longest wall is open toward the tower Bokar and the western wall, protecting the small, but also the oldest, port of the city, Kolorina. The walls exposed to enemies are almost 40 feet thick, while the large wall surface facing the city is under two feet thick.
Lovrijenac was defended with 10 large cannons, the largest and most famous being “Gušter” (“Lizard”). It was designed and cast in 1537 but never fired a single shot.
Above the fortress’s entrance is an inscription in Latin: “Non bene pro toto libertas venditur auro” (“Freedom is not sold for all the gold of the world”). It’s currently used for popular stage plays performed during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.