Stradum street in Dubrovnik

The city of Dubrovnik has many activities and walks to offer. One of the easiest and most pleasant ones is to cross Stradum Street (in ancient Venetian, stradum means “big street”). This shopping street has shiny cobblestones and is sometimes called Placa, Corso or Stradone. It is the most important pedestrian shopping street in the old town.

It is the widest street in Dubrovnik (and the noisiest during the day) and runs right through the city. Stradum Street runs from the Pile Gate, with its drawbridge, to the port and Ploce Gate 300 meters away, passing the Onofrio Fountain.

The clock tower, with its 35-meter-high bell tower, overlooks the northwestern end of the street since 1944. There are charming narrow streets on both sides of the avenue that lead into the old town.

dubrovnik croatie, rue stradum
Early morning in Dubrovnik’s main street

Stradum Street history

This place was originally a small canal marking the boundary between the ancient Slavic city of Dubrava and the Roman city of Ragusium. It was filled up in the 12th century, which unified the two cities and turned them into Dubrovnik. The first paving stones were laid in 1468, but there are no traces of them left today. The entire street was rebuilt in 1667 after an earthquake caused severe damage.

The houses on either side of Stradum Street all date from the 17th century and have been minimally altered. Nearly nothing has changed regarding the facades, the height of the buildings, the style, and even the interior layout of the houses. This makes everything look cohesive and gives it a nice perspective.

The shops along Stradum Street are also very homogeneous. Some facades are decorated with arches to protect from the rain or the sun. This style of construction is called “na koljeno”.

Visiting Stradum Street

Stradum Street is a pleasant street to walk along during the day, while wandering between the stores. The people of Dubrovnik are very attached to it and like to be seen there. Visitors appreciate the real local life, both for the setting and for the stores.

There are many souvenir stores that blend in with the scenery. However, the avenue reveals its most beautiful attractions at night, when everything is closed and the crowd has dispersed. In the evening, the street is lit up in a very beautiful way. You can appreciate the soft lights, the calm, the architecture and the straight lines that characterize this shopping street. On rainy days, the ground is quite slippery, but the cobblestones’ patina transforms the ground into a mirror.