Historically the Republic of Ragusa, Dubrovnik’s prosperity was built upon maritime trade and foreign settlements, making it a thalassocracy. This brought it into rivalry with Venice, which actually ruled Ragusa in the 13th and 14th centuries.
After the great earthquake of 1667 it never really regained its former prominence and for several centuries maintained its independence only as a vassal of The Ottoman Empire. After the Napoleonic Wars Ragusa passed under the control of Austria-Hungary and was incorporated into Yugoslavia after the First World War.
A walk around the city walls today is neither cheap nor in summer heat all that easy, but it leads one to appreciate the work that has been done to restore ‘The Pearl of the Adriatic’ to its former glory.