“The Great Wall of Europe” is located in Ston town.
Between Ston and Maly Ston there stretches a complex of fortification structures – walls and buildings – build in the 14th century as a means of protection against Turkish attacks.
During the times of the Republic of Dubrovnik, the walls were renovated and more of them were built, and their total length amounted to 5,5 km.
The walls had 40 towers and 7 fortification buildings, and due to their monumental nature and thickness, they are called “the Great Wall of Europe”.
Three fortresses – Veliki Kastio in Ston, Koruna in Maly Ston, and the fortress on Podzvizd hill – were the main defensive structures, which had been built so skilfully that the town was indeed impregnable from the side of the shore.
Veliki Kastio was living quarters, a granary, and an armoury at the same time. Koruna – a mighty fortress with five towers looking out into the sea – was founded in 1347, and for centuries it was used as a port for salt imports.
After the fall of the Republic of Dubrovnik, the walls were demolished, and the stone blocks they were made of were sold as building materials for the construction of schools and public buildings.
Today, the remains of three of the towers, and of the majestic walls can be seen. When you come to Ston, apart from taking a look at the walls, you should try the famous mussels – “kamenici”, which are grown here.
Tourists particularly enjoy the night battle, when a bombardment of the city with flaming arrows and fiery cannonballs takes place. In that theatrical performance knights fight for the old city of the Zrinski. After that, the guests go to try the dishes of the medieval cuisine. Different cereals, roasted ducks coated with honey are cooked over open fire. At the exhibition of old crafts the visitors can try the famous “gvirc” drink, which is made from honey, and see how some of the forgotten items of everyday life used to be made.
During the celebration of the battle of St Elena, children are given special attention. In a specially constructed palace of the Princess, which occupies the area of 300 sq.m., parents and children can take part in numerous games and competitions.
Adults can try their skill at archery. Skilled instructors will explain the fine points of this art to everyone. Guests can also walk on stilts, compete at wooden sword fights and so on.
Cultural and entertainment events
During the celebration there takes place the theatrical performance “The Master Rang”, whose premiere took place in 2004, and which shows the relations between the servants and the masters of Zelingrad.
Actors of Zelingrad’s amateur theatre “Zamka” act in the performance, as well as members of Croatia’s vocal group “Zelina”. In this part of the show, members of the Brotherhood of St Ladislav participate as well – theirs is an organisation that attempts to preserve medieval customs connected with the cultural and historical heritage of the old Zelingrad, and in their performance they show the lifestyle in a medieval (13th-15th century) war camp.
The war camp is built from the spears of medieval tents, medieval weapons and siege machinery – catapults and ballistae, which are used to fire at the improvised palace walls. The evening performance, when a replica of the palace is bombarded with fiery cannonballs, is particularly impressive. In the war camp, there is also a medieval canteen, in which the dishes of that time are cooked. Altogether, about 150 people dressed in medieval costumes take part in the show. There can be over 15,000 spectators.
On this page used photos from www.pticica.com, www.justdubrovnik.com, dubrovacki.hr, www.zadarskilist.hr, photodox.com, holidayplannercroatia.com, www.antenazadar.hr