Hiking Dubrovnik: Mount Srđ

Hiking the Mediterranean Via Dolorosa high above the old town of Dubrovnik (see this post for picture from the climb).
  • Start at: Gate of Old Town, Dubrovnik.
  • End at: Gate of Old Town, Dubrovnik.
  • Distance: ~ 8 km.
  • Time: ~ 3 hours.
  • Difficult parts: A long and tedious climb to the fort on top of mount Srđ.
  • Food: N/A
  • Water: N/A.
  • Wear: solid hiking shoes.
Start at the gate of Dubrovnik's Old Town.Enter the gate and follow the main street until you reach 2/3 into it. Enjoy the marvellous architecture of the Old Town, then turn left and go up the narrow streets until you reach the ramparts. Exit through the only gate there. Follow straight uphill choosing narrow alleys, most of which are pedestrian. The alleys typically zigzag while climbing to the main road high above Dubrovnik. Before crossing the road, look back for magnificent view of the old town. Cross the road and walk ~250 m to the left until you reach a brown sign at the starting of a path in the woods. Follow the path. For the fist 15 minutes path traverses the wood in a zigzag fashion until it reaches its upper end. From there you can observe the remaining part of the path, snaking up to the fort on top of Mount Srđ. On your right you'll see a cable car linking a bus stop above Dubrovnik with the fort. After the path leaves the woods, each of its turns is marked by a bas-relief, dedicated to the Stations of the Cross thus forming a true Via Dolorosa climaxing on the top of the mountains, where the brave Croatian troops withstood the fierce attacks by the invading Serbian-Montenegro armies in 1992. The bas-reliefs were established in part to commemorate their sacrifice and in part to confirm the strong roots of the Catholic church in Croatia. On top of the mountain stands an imposing 18-century fort, a witness of many a historical turnovers. Its present form it acquired when Napoleonic troops occupied in the early 19 century. The fort was heavily damaged by the bombardments in 1992; some parts of it have (intentionally) not been restored, so they are off-limits (only enter at your own risk!) In the central part there is an audio-video exhibition telling the story of the macabre 9 months of blockade that Dubrovnik barely survived in 1992/93 (ticket purchase required). The top of the mount offers commanding views of the Mediterranean coast for miles to the South and North. Looking the other way, the stony high planes slowly rise to even higher peaks to the East. Avoid getting further without a local guide as many of the surrounding areas were covered with land mines in the 1992-93 war, some of which may still be unrecovered. To get back to Dubrovnik, follow the same path downhill all the way to the main road. Cross the road where the path ends and follow the narrow pedestrian alley until it leads you close to the Old Town (which will be on your left). As you approach it,  look for special marks on the pavement that will lead your way to the main gate. Tracks: KMZ file (Note: coordinates are approximate, because they were taken from Google Earth and not from GPS device.)
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