About Lokrum Monastery
Just a ten minute boat ride from Dubrovnik in Croatia is the beautiful Lokrum Island, home to stunning wildlife: its main inhabitants are peacocks and rabbits. A French fort and a Benedictine Monastery and Abbey make for both a historic and scenic visit.
History of Lokrum Monastery
Lokrum Island is believed to have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Legend has it that Richard the Lionheart was shipwrecked here in 1192 while returning from the Crusades and vowed to build a church there in the event that he was saved. In the end, the church was built in Dubrovnik.
The first mention of Lokrum’s monastery is in 1023, although some records place the monks there from as early as 915AD. The Lokrum Monastery owned the entire island at one point, while its abbey served as a hospital and almshouse up until the mid-15th century.
The Roman Curia granted the mitre to the Lokrum Abbott in 1149 and as a result, the monastery’s abbots, after the archbishop, are considered to be the first prelates of the Dubrovnik Church.
Lokrum Monastery Today
Being so close to Dubrovnik Old Town, Lokrum is a popular day trip destination among locals as well as visitors to the city.
Visitors to Lokrum Monastery Complex today can see what remains in three broad categories. Firstly, the most ancient are the remains of the Romanesque-Gothic 12-13th century basilica. Another highlight is the Gothic-Renaissance 15-16th century monastery and cloister garden which was constructed to the south of the old Romanesque structure. Finally, the 19th century summer residence and gardens of Maximilian of Habsburg offers visitors a look at a stunning blend of neo-Romanesque, neo-Gothic, and neo-Renaissance architecture.
Also worth looking at is the nearby Fort Royal which was built by the French after taking Dubrovnik in 1806, and extensively added to by the Austrian army during the 1830s.
Getting to Lokrum Monastery
The main way of reaching the island is by taking the Dubrovnik-Lokrum ferry, which leaves half-hourly in the summer from Porporela, the Dubrovnik’s Old Port. The trip lasts around 15 minutes and costs about 5 euro. For the adventurous, you can book a private kayak guided tour to the island!
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