Dubrovnik (dōˈbrôvnĭk) [key], Ital. Ragusa, city (2011 pop. 42,615), in extreme S Croatia, on a promontory of the Dalmatian coast in the Adriatic Sea. It is a port and tourist and cultural center, with some light industries. Dubrovnik was founded as Ragusium in the 7th cent. by Romans fleeing Slav incursions. Later, however, Slavic people settled in the city, which became a link between the Latin and Slavic civilizations. Ragusa became a powerful merchant republic (the term argosy derives from its name); although it was a protectorate of the Byzantine Empire until 1205, of Venice until 1358, of Hungary until 1526, and of the Ottoman Empire until 1806, it remained virtually independent until it was abolished in 1808 by Napoleon I and included in the Illyrian provs. The Congress of Vienna assigned (1815) it to Austria, and in 1918, as Dubrovnik, it was included in what became (1929) Yugoslavia. The medieval city was a center of south Slavic culture and literature. It suffered a severe earthquake in 1667 but retains much medieval architecture, notably its walls and forts, customshouse, mint, 15th-century rector's palace, and Dominican and Franciscan monasteries, with one of the oldest (1317) pharmacies in Europe. The city was heavily damaged in fighting that followed Croatia's secession from Yugoslavia in 1991, but much of the damage was repaired, and the tourism industry largely revived, by 2000.
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