Dubrovnik is an old city on the Adriatic Sea coast in the extreme south of Croatia. It is one of the most prominent tourist resorts of the Mediterranean, a seaport and the center of the Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its population was 43,770 in 2001. Dubrovnik is nicknamed "Pearl of the Adriatic" and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city of Dubrovnik/Ragusa was built on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages it became the only city-state in the Adriatic to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development during the 15th and 16th centuries. Furthermore, Dubrovnik was one of the centers of the development of the Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicists and other scholars.
Today Dubrovnik is the proudest feather in Croatia's tourist cap, an elite destination and one of the most beautiful towns in the Mediterranean, definitely a place to visit. Dubrovnik used to be an independent republic, surviving mostly on trade. It managed to survive many centuries, with constant threats to its territory, particularly from the mighty Ottoman Empire and Venice. As early as 19th century, it was discovered by celebrities, to get its well-deserved title of elite destination in the 20th century. The fact that nine out of Croatia's fifteen most luxurious hotels are situated in Dubrovnik shows how important it is to be seen in Dubrovnik. It was thus visited by numerous kings, queens, princes and princesses, presidents, high diplomats, celebrities and businessmen, including, of course, the late Pope John Paul II, who was also an honorary citizen of the city of Dubrovnik.