Exterior of Pile Gate.

Pile Gate


The natural starting point to any visit to Dubrovnik is this imposing city gate, built in 1537. While crossing the drawbridge, imagine that this was once lifted every evening, the gate closed and the key handed to the rector. Notice the statue of St Blaise, the city’s patron saint, set in a niche over the Renaissance arch.

After passing through the outer gate you'll come to stairs and a ramp leading down to an inner gate dating from 1460, topped once again by a St Blaise statue, this one by leading Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović (1883–1962). As you pass through the Gothic arch you'll immediately be struck by your first view of Placa, or as it’s commonly known, Stradun, Dubrovnik’s pedestrian promenade.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dubrovnik attractions

1. Large Onofrio Fountain

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One of Dubrovnik’s most famous landmarks, this circular fountain was built in 1438 as part of a water-supply system that involved bringing water from a…

2. Holy Saviour Church

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Built between 1520 and 1528, this church was one of the few buildings to survive the earthquake of 1667. It’s open for occasional exhibitions and regular…

3. Franciscan Monastery & Museum

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Within this monastery's solid stone walls are a gorgeous mid-14th-century cloister, a historic pharmacy and a small museum with a collection of relics and…

4. Fort Bokar

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The westernmost tower of the city walls was built to protect the approach to Pile Gate.

5. Marin Držić House

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Educational but not terribly interesting (unless you're a fan of 16th-century Croatian theatre), this small museum is devoted to Marin Držić (c 1508–67),…

6. War Photo Limited

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An immensely powerful experience, this gallery features compelling exhibitions curated by New Zealand photojournalist Wade Goddard, who worked in the…

7. St Joseph's Church

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Interrupting the continuum of souvenir shops on Od Puča, this small church is most easily spotted by the cypress tree growing out of the façade, sharing…

8. Ethnographic Museum


Inhabiting the 16th-century Rupe Granary, this museum contains mildly interesting exhibits relating to agriculture and local customs.