Wooden doors and a stone path at the base of Fort Lovrijenac in Kolorina Bay, Dubrovnik
© Barbara Vallance/Getty Image
Stepping back in time. Steps to Dubrovnik’s past
The steps in today's photo lead to Fort Lovrijenac, an ancient fortress jutting out into the Adriatic Sea just outside the walled city of Dubrovnik. Game of Thrones fans will recognise these doors as an entrance to dwellings in the fictional city of King's Landing. Legend has it that when the fort was built on this rocky coastal outpost in the 11th century, it took just three months to construct. The locals of what was then called Ragusa knew they had limited time before their rivals, the Venetians, would arrive to build their own outpost and rule over them. According to The Chronicles of Ragusa, the plan worked - the fort was completed just as the surprised Venetians arrived in ships heavy with supplies.
As the centuries marched on, Fort Lovrijenac was reinforced and extended until an earthquake in 1667 nearly destroyed it, along with the rest of the town. What would eventually become Dubrovnik was rebuilt, as was the fort, complete with an inscription above the gate that translates as “Freedom is not to be sold for all the treasure in the world”. Today the walled city is a Unesco World Heritage Site, safeguarding its Baroque architecture as well as one of the oldest arboretums in the world.