Lokrum Island - History and Facts | History Hit

Lokrum Island

Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Croatia

Lokrum Island sits 600 metres into the Adriatic Sea off the coast of Dubrovnik. A fifteen-minute ferry ride gets you to the 4.6 square kilometre uninhabited nature reserve which contains the ruins of the former Benedictine monastery among other remains. For Game of Thrones fans, it was the location where Daenerys enters Qarth after being granted access by Xaro Xhoan Daxos.

Peta Stamper

22 Jul 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Lokrum Island

Lokrum Island is a stunning and uninhabited nature reserve 600 metres from Dubrovnik’s historic harbour out in the Adriatic Sea which contains the ruins of a former Benedictine monastery among other remains. The name Lokrum comes from the Latin ‘acrumen’ meaning ‘sour fruit’, a reference to the oranges and lemons that still grow on the island today.

Lokrum Island history

First mentioned in 1023 by the Benedictine monks who built the (now ruined) abbey and monastery, Lokrum Island later appears in literature in 1192. Legend has it that the island gave shelter to Richard the Lionheart who became shipwrecked on his return from the Third Crusade. By way of thanks, he built the Romanesque cathedral on the mainland.

The island changed ownership many times and after remaining untouched for centuries, Maximilian of Habsburg, the brother of Austrian emperor Francis Joseph I bought the islet in 1859 and set about turning it into a stunning nature reserve.

Lokrum Island today

Today you can find the fascinating the ruins of the Benedictine monastery nestled among olive groves, citrus trees, forests of pine, laurel, oak, cypress and ash trees. If you go to the southern tip, you’ll find a small saltwater lake, all under the protection of UNESCO. In addition, the only inhabitants of the island are exquisite peacocks.

Perhaps Lokrum Island’s biggest claim to fame in recent times is it’s place on the Game of Thrones map as the interior of Qarth, the place where Daenerys is granted access to the city by Xaro Xhoan Daxos.

To avoid surprises, it’s worth noting that to the southeast of the island is a naturist beach. It’s clearly marked ‘FKK’ which stands for ‘Freikörperkultur’ or ‘free body culture’ so if you’re of a sensitive nature, stick to the ruins and the amazing plants, trees, flowers and peacocks!

Getting to Lokrum Island

Less than a mile wide at its widest point, Lokrum Island is accessible by a taxi-boat from Dubrovnik and the return price of around £10/€13 includes the island’s entrance fee.

Featured In