Dubrovnik’s Museum of Croatian War of Independence (often known as the Museum of Homeland Wars) has a panoramic setting at the top of the cable car up Mount Srđ, which shadows the city from the north-east. Found in a wing of the battle-scarred Napoleonic Fort Imperial, the museum honors the 25,000 soldiers and civilians killed in the conflicts and sieges of the Balkan wars of the early 1990s. The fort was used to house Croatian troops during the war and was itself scene of fierce fighting; its stone walls are still pockmarked with bullet holes and fire damage. Inside its stark interior four hard-hitting themed exhibitions on the Balkan struggles feature TV news reels of the shelling of the city, recorded interviews with eyewitnesses to the destruction, war maps, explosives, weaponry and a collection of graphic war images. Most displays are well labeled in English and there is plenty of information on tap about the progress and aftermath of the war.
After visiting the museum, climb to the top of the fort for views over the red roofs and ancient city walls of Dubrovnik to the twinkling Adriatic Sea and the forested island of Lokrum just offshore. A large stone cross, erected in 1935, and a memorial plaque bearing the names of soldiers who died defending Dubrovnik are both close to the museum. As well as the cable car, a steep hiking path leads up to the summit of Mount Srđ, which is also the starting point of buggy safaris into the forested Croatian countryside.
Fort Imperial, Mount Srđ, Dubrovnik. Open daily Mar 22-Nov 2 8pm-6pm; Nov 3-Mar 21 8am-4pm. Admission adults 30 KN, children 15 KN. The museum can be reached by cable car (bottom station is five minutes from Buža Street exit of the city walls) or by path up Mount Srđ.