Palace sights in Dubrovnik
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The 16th-century Sponza Palace was originally a customs house, then a minting house, a state treasury and a bank. Now it houses the State Archives, which contain a priceless collection of manuscripts dating back nearly a thousand years. This superb structure is a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles beginning with an exquisite Renaissance portico resting on six columns. The 1st floor has late-Gothic windows and the 2nd-floor windows are in a Renaissance style, with an alcove containing a statue of St Vlaho. Also inside is the Memorial Room of the Defenders of Dubrovnik, a heartbreaking collection of portraits of young people who perished between 1991 and 1995.
The Gothic-Renaissance Rector’s Palace was built in the late 15th century and is adorned with outstanding sculptural ornamentation. It retains a striking compositional unity despite being rebuilt many times. Notice the finely carved capitals and the ornate staircase in the atrium, which is often used for concerts during the Summer Festival. Also in the atrium is a statue of Miho Pracat, who bequeathed his wealth to the Republic and was the only commoner in the 1000 years of the Republic’s existence to be honoured with a statue (1638). We may assume that the bequest was considerable. The palace was built for the rector who governed Dubrovnik, and it contains the rector’s…