Standing on Luza Square among some of Dubrovnik’s most impressive architecture, including St Blaise Church and the lovely Sponza Palace with its appealing mixture of Gothic and Renaissance architecture, Orlando’s Column was erected in 1418 at what remains the political and social heart of the city. Here public meetings and executions were held on the small stone platform guarded by wrought-iron railings that tops the column. The stone carvings adorning the four sides of the column were created by master craftsman Antun Dubrovcanin and represent the heroic knight Orlando, who was the nephew of Frankish Emperor Charlemagne; according to legend he was credited with saving Dubrovnik from Saracen pirates in the eighth century and here he is depicted surrounded by figures of minstrels and balladeers. As well as the length of Orlando’s arm becoming a common measurement in the city, the column has come to represent the freedom of Dubrovnik and the white flag of the Republic always flies above it on public occasions, including the opening of the annual Dubrovnik Summer Festival in July.
Luza Square, Dubrovnik. Open 24/7 and free to all; best accessed on foot in the pedestrianized Old Town.