The construction of the first stone walls of Dubrovnik started at the end of the 8th century. Old records show that previous defensive structures existed before, but it is unclear if those were made of stone. The wall changed over time and was gradually improved with the majority of the walls, as they stand today, being built between the 14th and 15th century. This includes reinforcing the walls and adding the five forts of Dubrovnik. The main reason was the fall of Constantinopole in 1453. to the Ottoman empire. Along with reinforcing the wall and adding defensive posts, the main change to Dubrovnik defences was building five forts, three on the wall itself and two detached from it. How to access them & when All forts, except fort St. Lowrence which is outside the old city core, are accessible through the Dubrovnik City Walls entry point. The entry point is to the left of the Dubrovnik's inner Pile gates, the west gates of the town. The fort is located outside of the Old town of Dubrovnik, on a 37 meters steep rock facing the sea. It is accessible by following the path from the outter Pile gate toward the sea. Summer opening hours 08.00 – 18.30 h (April 1 – May 31) 08.00 – 19.30 h (June 1 – July 31) 08.00 – 18.30 h (August 1 – September 31) 08.00 – 17.30 h (October 1 – October 31) Winter opening hours 09.00– 15.00 h (November 1 – March 31) Prices Individual:150 kn (from 1.1.2017. – 150 kn) Agencies:150 kn (from 1.1.2017. – 135 kn, only at Široka ulica selling place) Children and young adults (under 18), students:30 kn (from 1.1.2017. – 50 kn) Dubrovnik-Neretva County citizens: free with ID directly at the entrance Fun Facts: Dubrovnik city walls are 1940 meters long Forts Minčeta, Bokar and St. John are attached to the city walls Fort Minčeta got its name from the family Menchetich who owned the land on which the fort was built Fort Bokar is the oldest casemented fort in Europe Fort St. John is a combination of two joint forts, fort “od Mula” & fort Gundulić Fort Revelin is the strongest fort in Dubrovnik During the construction of fort Revelin all other consturcion in the city ceased Fort Lovrijenac was built in 3 months Fort Minčeta A remarkable defensive structure on the north side of Dubrovnik and the highest point of Dubrovnik's defense. Fort Minčeta got its name from the family Menchetich who owned the land on which the fort was built. The original fort was built as a rectangle and designed by a Croatian architect Nichifor Ranjina in 1319. The fort was later reinforced in 1461. by the Italian architect Micchelozza di Bartolomea who implemented the newest war knowledge and made the fort circular. The latest improvement was made by another Croatian architect Juraj Dalmatinac, who further improved the fort by adding the high narrow round tower. Fort Bokar The fort is known as Zvjezdan (roughly translated "made out of stars") it was designed to defend the Pile gate, the western entrance to the city. It was also built by Michelozzo between 1461. and 1463., and is considered to be one of the oldest casemented forts in Europe (attached to the wall but outside of it). Many architects regard it to be the perfect combination of beauty and functionality in the fortification architecture. Fort St. John On the opposite side of Bokar lies St. John fort. Facing the south-east and just at the edge of the old port of Dubrovnik it served as the first line of defence from marine invaders. In 14th century the fort was built and named fort "od mula" (translated to fort of the Port). To further secure the port of Dubrovnik, a second fort was built and named Gundulić fort. In 1522. the two forts were united and named St. John. Since 1557. fort St. John remained in its current design and for many years it served as a gunpowder storage room. The two forts that were combined into one are visible from the outside. Today, the fort is used as aquarium on the lower floor and a maritime museum on the upper floors. Fort Revelin The fort was built in 1463., but due to new Venetian threat, it was "perfected" in 1551. by the Spanish architect Antonio Ferramolino. The name Revelin comes from a military term "rivelino" which refers to buildings made within defensive walls just opposite of the gate to further reinforce defences. Revelin is a masterpiece of defensive building, a fort surrounded with a ditch and connected to the city by one bridge and land by another. It took 11 years to build fort Revelin,during this time all the other construction within the city was stopped in order to speed up the building of the fort. Nowadays, fort Revelin is a nightclub hosting the worlds most prominent Djs and Dubrovnik's cultural events. Fort St. Lowrence The fort is located outside of the Old town of Dubrovnik, on a 37 meters steep rock facing the sea. The legend has it that during Venetian regime, the Venetians planed to build their fort on this rock close to Dubrovnik to ensure permanent supervision of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik, a highly diplomatic city and well ahead of its time found out about Venetian plans and set to build their fort on the same place. The fort was built in three months and finished just in time to witness the Venetian boats arrive with building blocks. The fort's walls are 6 meters thick with one wall facing the city being only 60 centimetres, this way, if the fort fell it could be easily retaken. Today, fort St. Lowrence is used to host some of Dubrovnik's summer Festival events.