One of the foremost landmarks of Dubrovnik’s atmospheric Old Town, the bell tower stands at the eastern end of Stradun, the main thoroughfare, and looms over Luza Square. The 31-m (102-ft) stone tower is topped with a stumpy dome and flanked by some of Dubrovnik’s most spectacular architecture, including the lovely Sponza Palace, St Blaise Church and Orlando’s Column. Constructed in 1444, the tower was badly damaged in the earthquake of 1667 and began to lean alarmingly; by the 18th century it had fallen into disrepair and it was not until the late 1920s that repair work began and the tower acquired its present shape and clock, the face of which resembles an octopus and also portrays the phases of the moon. Consequently, very little of the original tower has survived to the present day except the two-tonne bronze bell, which was cast by master metalworker Ivan Krstitelj Rabljanin from nearby Rab Island. The bell is bracketed by two bronze figures – now tinged green with age – known locally as the ‘zelenci’ or the ‘green ones’ and who strike the bell on the hour every hour – their much-restored originals are now on display in the Rector’s Palace along with the original clock mechanism.
Luza Square, Dubrovnik. Closed to the public. Best accessed on foot in the pedestrianized Old Town.