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Pile Gate – Step into the beautiful Dubrovnik Old Town

If you’re exploring Dubrovnik, you’ll likely come across the Pile Gate. It’s in fact the main entrance to the city’s famous old town. Right away, you’ll see that this gate isn’t just any old door; it’s a piece of history that takes you straight into the heart of Dubrovnik.

Dubrovnik’s Pile Gate: From Fantasy to Reality

Remember that shocking scene in Game of Thrones where King Joffrey faces an angry mob outside the Red Keep?

“Kill them, kill them all!”

Surprise! It wasn’t filmed in Westeros. This was season two, episode six, and the “Red Keep” you saw was actually Pile Gate, the main entrance to Dubrovnik’s historic Old Town in Croatia.

The Real Story of Pile Gate

The name “Pile” comes from the Greek word “pylaj,” meaning “gate.” No wonder! This Gate has served as the grand entrance to Dubrovnik for centuries. In fact, most walking tours of the Old Town begin right here. It’s also a perfect starting point for a walk along the famous Dubrovnik City Walls. You’ll find Pile Gate on the western side of the walls, leading directly into Stradun Street, Dubrovnik’s busy main promenade.

Double the Gate, Double the Protection

Pile Gate isn’t just one gate, but two! The inner gate was built way back in 1460, while the outer gate is a bit younger, dating from 1537. For extra defense, the imposing Cylindrical Fort Bokar and a formidable moat flank Pile Gate, once surrounding the inner wall. Don’t worry, though, the moat is dry these days and has been transformed into a lovely park area between the two walls.

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Pile Gate entrance in Dubrovnik Old Town

Crossing the Bridge

A beautiful stone bridge with Gothic arches on each end, designed by architect Paskoje Milicevic in 1471, connects the outer gate to a wooden drawbridge that used to span the moat. Imagine this! At night, the drawbridge would be raised to block the entrance, keeping the city safe. Look up! Right above the gateway arch, you’ll find a Romanesque statue of Dubrovnik’s patron saint, Saint Blaise. He proudly holds a model of the city in one hand.

A City Wrapped in Stone

Pile Gate is just one piece of Dubrovnik’s impressive city walls. The entire Old Town is in fact enclosed by a massive curtain wall, stretching over 6,300 feet long and reaching up to 82 feet high in some places! For extra landside protection, the walls are supported by a series of circular bastions and a casemate fortress. This Gate shares the role of main entrance with another gate on the opposite side, the Ploče Gate.

So, next time you see Pile Gate on screen, remember the real story behind this magnificent piece of history. It’s more than just a dramatic backdrop for fantasy battles – it’s the real-life guardian of Dubrovnik’s Old Town.

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St. Blaise Statue watching over Pile Gate

Pile Gate Today

While the tradition of lifting the drawbridge is long gone, Pile Gate remains open, inviting visitors to enjoy its timeless awe. Venturing down a flight of stairs introduces you to the scintillating view of Stradun, the town’s famous main promenade. Here, at the heart of Dubrovnik, you have the option of exploring the City Walls, Onophrian’s Fountain, Franciscan Monastery or walk to the end of the Stradun Street to quaint Saint Blaise church, Sponza Palace, Rectors Palace and so much more.


In conclusion, Pile Gate is more than just an entrance; it’s an introduction to the historic city of Dubrovnik. So, the next time you plan a visit, be sure to explore this timeless beauty.

Must-see Dubrovnik Attractions

Pile Gate – Local Tips

  • To explore the captivating Dubrovnik City walls, seek out one of the entrance points conveniently located near the Pile Gate.
  • Get the Dubrovnik Pass! It helps you save money, especially if you’re in Dubrovnik for a few days. In fact, even the basic One-day Dubrovnik Pass is a good deal. It’s priced at €35 per person, the same as the City Walls entrance fee. But here’s the bonus – it also covers entry to major attractions and museums in the city, including the City Walls, and includes bus tickets to get you around.
  • Pile Gate Dubrovnik location on Google Maps
  • Pile Gate is open 24 hours, in fact all gates – entrances in Dubrovnik Old Town are open 24 hours and free of charge.
  • If you’re visiting in peak summer, head to the gate early in the morning. Many cruise passengers come later in the day.
  • This gate is wheelchair accessible.

How to get there?

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.

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
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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