24 May Time Travel Dubrovnik: Lokrum Island
A globally popular destination, Dubrovnik abounds in history and splendid venues. However, only one of them is mobile: Galleon Tirena. Free as a wind, swift like a sailfish, Galleon Tirena embodies all the glory and elegance of historic tall ships. The amazing white stone palaces and churches of Dubrovnik safe keep the city’s proud past and myriad of stories. However, Galleon Tirena – the only one among Dubrovnik historic attractions that is made entirely of wood – is the city’s true moving treasure trove of history and mystery in one.
WHAT MAKES LOKRUM ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR DUBROVNIK HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
As soon as Galleon Tirena sails out of the Old City Port – a green, unpopulated island appears in front of the brave galleon adventures. One would expect that this small island laying less than a mile away from the city does not offer much history. The truth is exactly the opposite! Lokrum packs many surprises: 11th-century Benedictine monastery, stunning botanic garden, Napoleonic Fort Royal, Charlotte’s well, Lazaret …. along with many amazing accounts and stories. Croatians even believe this island is cursed. No wonder Lokrum is counted among the best Dubrovnik historic attractions!
LOKRUM SECRETS EXPLAINED
Of all Dubrovnik historic attractions, Lokrum Island boasts the largest number of thrilling tales and mysteries. One of the famous individuals connected with Lokrum was Richard the Lionheart. Returning from the Crusade in 1192, the king and his ship were caught in a terrible storm. Pledging to God that he will build a church wherever his foot touches firm land, King Richard was cast ashore Lokrum. The smart citizens of Dubrovnik persuaded him to build a church in the city, after all.
However, the central and most important story of Lokrum is tied to Benedictine monks. Their island monastery was first recorded in 1023. In the 15th century, they were forced to leave by – and it’s still unclear – either the pope or the ruling nobility. On the night when the deadline to leave expired, monks traveled from their beloved island dripping a trail of candle wax and placing a curse on the island and anyone who tried to seek it as their own in the future.
Therefore, citizens of Dubrovnik were not surprised when an untimely and terrible death found Archduke Maximilian Ferdinand of Habsburg. After building a magnificent mansion on Lokrum in 1859, Maximillian went on to become Emperor of Mexico where he was executed. After that, his wife Charlotte sank into insanity and a further chain of misfortunes befell Habsburgs. That said, someone might expect Lokrum feels haunted. On contrary, Lokrum continued to live on unburdened by the dark shadows of history, basking in its Mediterranean splendor. Visitors have much to see and enjoy on Lokrum. The Benedictine Monastery’s newest addition is the Iron Throne. This coveted item arrived straight from the Games of Thrones TV series that was shot in and around Dubrovnik. The path winding among the lush Mediterranean greenery leads into the Botanic Garden with its peculiar mix of local, tropical, and subtropical plants. As you enter this fantastic garden, today a popular Dubrovnik wedding venue, you’ll pass near the gothic-renaissance Annunciation Chappell only to meet – wild peacocks. These beautiful birds freely roam the island, apparently not bothered by the curse at all. Not to mention that, unlike people, they are allowed to remain on the island overnight. The networks of trails, including the central one going by the name Paradise Path, crisscross the island and its high points, One of those is Fort Royal, a military complex built by Napoleon’s army. With all these sites and sights, No wonder the island is one of the most popular Dubrovnik historic attractions.
NATURAL ATTRACTION AND LOVE ISLAND IN ONE
Besides being one of the most popular Dubrovnik historic attractions, offering much to see and learn, Lokrum abounds in many beautiful beaches that annually attract as many as 250.000 lovers of the clean sea. However, do not expect masses of people, since the island enjoys a long swimming season spanning from April to late October. Also, as you’ll notice while sailing around the island on Galleon Tirena, there are numerous coves and beaches. Some of them appear in a form of amazing flat rock slabs where sun lovers soak up the southern heat. Lokrum has even its small salt lake, known as the Dead Sea. Some of the beaches are so miniature that a couple can barely squeeze in, for which reason it is said that Lokrum is a true love island. And, just like every other love island, it has delicious fruits. Lokrum’s name comes from the Latin word for sour fruit, acrumen, indicating that oranges and lemons have been cultivated here for millennia. Once you set your eyes on this island, you’ll know why it’s loved by locals and visitors alike. Suffused with history, Lokrum is both a treasure trove of natural beauty and one of the most popular Dubrovnik historic attractions – that can be reached only by sea. No better way to do it than aboard a 100% accurate replica of the 16th century Dubrovnik galleon!