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Dominican Monastery | Dubrovnik | How to make Your visit unforgettable

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to explore Dominican Monastery and Museum in Dubrovnik? This amazing building stands between the Sponza Palace and the Revelin Fortress in the Old Town. In fact, many people visit Dubrovnik’s Dominican Monastery to learn about its history and enjoy the beautiful artifacts.

Dominican Monastery, Dubrovnik's Dominican Monastery, Dominican Monastery and Museum, Dubrovnik attractions, Dubrovnik historical landmarks, Dubrovnik historical sites,

This article will take you on a journey through it. We’ll tell you all about Dubrovnik’s Dominican Monastery interesting past, what you can see and do there. Also, how to get there and how to make the most of your visit. So, whether you love history or just want to see amazing views, get ready to discover the magic of the place!

Dominican Monastery Dubrovnik FAQ

Let’s start by answering some of the most common questions regarding Dominican Monastery in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Where can I buy tickets for the Dominican Monastery in Dubrovnik?

You can in fact buy your tickets right at the entrance.

What’s the entrance fee for the Dominican Monastery in Dubrovnik?

The entrance fee in Dubrovnik’s Dominican Monastery is €4.20 per person.

Dominican Monastery and Museum opening times?

SeasonOpening Hours
Summer (May 1 – October 31)9:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Winter (November 1 – April 30)9:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Dominican Monastery and Museum Opening Hours

Discover Dubrovnik’s Dominican Monastery and Museum

Dominican monastery and church sit in the Dubrovnik Old Town’s eastern part. Right by the Dubrovnik City Walls and Ploče Gate entrance to Old Town. The place consists of a few buildings, including St. Dominica’s church, a bell tower, a peaceful cloister, and three wings of the monastery. At first, the monastery stood outside the walls. Yet, in 1301, because it was so important for defense, everyone agreed to pitch in with money and effort to integrate it into Dubrovnik’s defenses.

The monastery’s museum is full of important writings and paintings by Dubrovnik’s own artists in the 15th and 16th centuries. Like Lovro Dobričević, Mihajlo Hamzić, Nikola Božidarević. There’s even a piece titled “St. Magdalene” by Titian, a well-known Italian painter from 1550. The church is a big Gothic structure. In fact, it is one of the largest along the Adriatic’s eastern coast. Michelozzo di Bartolomeo designed it, but local experts like Utešimović and Radomanović built it.

History

Monks set up the Dominican monastery back in 1225. It’s a big place with a church that has one main section, a bell tower, and a cloister to the north. Furthermore, it has three parts of the monastery wrapping around the cloister. There are also four smaller churches part of it, but they’re not fully connected to the main complex. These include the church of St Sebastian, the church of St Luke, the Church of the Annunciation, and the last one, Church of Our Lady of the Rosary.

The Church of St. Sebastian

They built the Gothic Church of St. Sebastian in 1466, right by the church of St. Dominica, along its southern side. Even though it’s Gothic, it was the first in Dubrovnik to have a semicircular end part. Its location, so close to the city gates, likely symbolized St Sebastian keeping the city safe from the plague. Back then, the plague was a huge danger all over Europe.

Library

The library, the third to open to the public but first for both locals and visitors, came to life from Michelozzo Michelozzi’s plans at 1463. Finished well before 1520, this spacious spot stretched 33.2 meters by 8.8 meters, welcoming up to 130 people at once. Running north to south, it was brightened by tall side windows. This place stood out because it welcomed everyone, setting it apart from older libraries in Florence and Casena.

Tower Bell

Right next to St. Dominica’s church within the monastery grounds stands a bell tower. Hugged by the city walls on three sides. This tower, blending into the sacristy on the ground floor, began its rise in 1390 under the guidance of builder Cecho from Monopoli. By 1444, the tower was still a work in progress and didn’t reach completion until 1531 when a brass gilded chanter crowned its peak. Over time, lightning strikes in the 17th and 18th centuries led to redesigning adding baroque touches like garlands and a cubic shape. This tower weaves together Romanesque foundations with Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque influences. A significant 1979 earthquake damaged it among others in Dubrovnik, prompting a rebuild nine years later.

Cloister

The cloister inside the Dominican Monastery is a real highlight in Dubrovnik, known for its generous size and stunning design. People had been thinking about adding a cloister since the 1300s. But it wasn’t until between 1456 and 1483 that the idea truly came to life with the construction of its porches.

This cloister marks a significant moment as it brought the first touches of Renaissance style to the city’s sacred buildings, though you can still spot some Gothic details here and there. Right in the middle of the courtyard, there’s an old stone well dating back to the 16th century. The design brain behind this beautiful cloister was in fact Masso di Bartolomeo, a renowned artist from Florence in the 1400s. The actual building work was in the hands of skilled local craftspeople.

Crucifix

Inside the Dominican Monastery, you’ll find a true masterpiece by Paolo Veneziano, known as the Crucifix. Positioned at the back of the church’s main nave, high above the altar, this artwork is truly breathtaking. Experts, like Grga Gamulin, consider it one of the most impressive pieces by Paolo Veneziano, a leading figure in the Venetian school of painting from the 1300s. This Crucifix, likely in its original spot, matches the traditional setup seen in medieval churches where such symbols were placed high up to echo the story of Jesus’ sacrifice and the hope for salvation it brings.

Dating back to between 1350 and 1355, the painting features Jesus on the cross, flanked by the Virgin Mary and John. This period marks the peak of Veneziano’s career, making this crucifix not only a spiritual icon but also a valuable piece of late medieval Croatian art.

Visit to Dubrovnik’s Dominican Monastery

Dubrovnik’s Dominican Monastery stands as a testament to the city’s rich cultural heritage, architectural ingenuity, and spiritual depth. Its walls tell stories of faith, art, and community effort, making it a must-visit for anyone looking to delve into the heart of Dubrovnik’s history. Whether you’re drawn by the allure of ancient paintings, the architectural grandeur, or the tranquil cloisters, the Dominican Monastery offers a glimpse into the past that’s both enlightening and inspiring.

Dubrovnik’s monastery complex is actually one of the city’s first “all-in-one” projects! Part of it is a hidden gem – a small museum tucked away in a narrow passage behind Sponza Palace. Many visitors miss it, but that’s a shame!

This charming little museum is all about religious art from Dubrovnik. Inside, you’ll find amazing paintings, special cups and bowls used in church ceremonies, and even folding alters called triptychs. There’s also a special container (reliquary) that supposedly holds the skull of King Stephen I of Hungary – pretty cool, right?


Must-see Dubrovnik Attractions

How to get to Dubrovnik’s Dominican Monastery?

To get to the Pile Gate in Dubrovnik, you have a couple of straightforward options. Firstly, if you’re arriving by air and landing at Dubrovnik Airport, you can catch a bus or take a taxi or Uber to reach the Old Town. The airport bus is a budget-friendly choice and drops you off near Pile Gate, making it super easy for you to start exploring right away. However, if you’re looking for a quicker and more direct route, a taxi will take you straight to Pile Gate but at a higher cost.

For those staying in Dubrovnik or nearby, local buses run frequently and serve as an efficient way to reach Pile Gate. Just hop on a bus that heads to the Old Town, and you’re set.

And lastly, if you’re up for a scenic walk, navigating your way to Pile Gate on foot can be a delightful experience, especially if you’re staying within the city. This way, you can soak in the sights and sounds of Dubrovnik as you make your way to the iconic Old Town.

Getting to Dubrovnik’s Dominican Monastery is easy and straightforward. Whether you’re strolling through the charming streets of Dubrovnik’s Old Town or coming from another part of the city, you’ll find this historic site accessible and well worth the visit.

Starting from Pile Gate

  1. Enter the Old Town through Pile Gate: This is one of the main entrances to Dubrovnik’s Old Town. Once you pass through the gate, you’ll find yourself on the main street, Stradun.
  2. Walk Down Stradun: Continue walking straight down Stradun, Dubrovnik’s vibrant main street. Enjoy the sights and sounds of this historic thoroughfare as you make your way towards the other end of the Old Town.
  3. Turn Right Before the Bell Tower: Before you reach the end of Stradun, near the Bell Tower, take a right turn onto Ulica od Puča street. You’ll start to see signs pointing towards the Dominican Monastery.
  4. Follow the Signs: Continue following the signs through the narrow streets, making your way past shops and local residences. The streets here are part of the charm, so enjoy the walk.
  5. Arrive at the Monastery: Soon, you’ll find yourself at the entrance to the Dominican Monastery, located next to the city walls in the eastern part of the Old Town.

Coming from Ploče Gate

  1. Enter Through Ploče Gate: If you’re closer to the eastern side of Dubrovnik, enter the Old Town through Ploče Gate. This entrance will put you on the opposite end of Stradun from Pile Gate.
  2. Walk by the Revelin Fortress: Once inside, walk by the impressive Revelin Fortress, following the road as it curves towards the main part of the city.
  3. Head Down St. Dominik Street: After passing the fortress, make your way down St. Dominik Street (Ulica sv. Dominika). This street will lead you directly to the Dominican Monastery.
  4. Enjoy the Scenery: As you walk, take in the beautiful views of the city walls to your right. The path here is less crowded and offers a more tranquil approach to the monastery.
  5. Reach the Monastery: Continue down the street until you see the striking Gothic architecture of the Dominican Monastery on your left, next to the city walls.

If you’re arriving from Dubrovnik Airport, you can find directions to and from Dubrovnik Old Town in this article.

Good to Know before you go

InformationDetails
Opening HoursSummer (May 1 – Oct 31): 9.00 AM – 6.00 PM
Winter (Nov 1 – Apr 30): 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM
Admission FeeAdults: €4.20
Included InNot included in Dubrovnik City Pass
Distance from Pile Gate550 meters / 1804 feet
Walking Time from Pile Gate8 minutes
Distance from Ploče Gate130 meters / 425 feet
Walking Time from Ploče Gate2 minutes
Important Information about Dominican Monastery

Tips for Your Visit

  • The streets of Dubrovnik’s Old Town are paved with stones and can be uneven in places. Comfortable walking shoes will make your exploration more enjoyable.
  • Especially during the summer months, it’s important to stay hydrated as you walk through the sun-drenched streets.
  • The journey to the Dominican Monastery is as much a part of the experience as the destination itself. Allow yourself to wander, take photos, and soak in the atmosphere of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.
  • Combo tickets: If you’re looking for a more economical option, consider a combo ticket. For instance, it includes entry to the Dominican Monastery and 9 other museums (check the Dubrovnik Museums website).
  • If you’re planning on visiting iconic Dubrovnik City Walls, one of the entrances is located next to Dominican Monastrey!

Following this guide will help you navigate your way to the Dominican Monastery, one of Dubrovnik’s most serene and historically rich sites.

Dubrovnik’s Dominican Monastery on Google Maps.


Discover More of Dubrovnik

For further exploration of Dubrovnik, check out Dubrovnik comprehensive travel guide, filled with itineraries, activities, and all you need to plan your visit to this historic city.

Enjoy your visit!

author avatar
AdriaticExplorer
Greetings, fellow wanderers! I am the AdriaticExplorer, born and raised amidst the stunning landscapes and rich cultural tapestry of Croatia. Nestled between the majestic mountains and the azure Adriatic Sea, I have spent a lifetime immersing myself in the beauty and wonders that Croatia has to offer. Growing up in this enchanting land, I cultivated a deep connection with its diverse regions – from the historic streets of Dubrovnik to the picturesque landscapes of Istria and the sun-kissed shores of Dalmatia. My roots run deep, and my soul is intertwined with the very essence of Croatia. As the AdriaticExplorer, I have made it my mission to know every nook and cranny of this breathtaking country. From hidden gems tucked away in ancient cities to the serene beauty of the Adriatic coastline, my journeys have taken me far and wide, uncovering the secrets that make Croatia truly special. Whether it's the vibrant festivals that echo through the cobbled streets or the tranquil walks along pristine beaches, I am your guide to the heart and soul of Croatia. Join me on this virtual walkabout through the wonders of my homeland, and let's explore the beauty, history, and culture that define Croatia together. So, lace up your virtual hiking boots and embark on a journey with me, the AdriaticExplorer, as we discover the magic of WalkaboutCroatia – your gateway to the soul-stirring experiences that Croatia has to offer. Let the adventure begin! 🇭🇷✨

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