The Rector’s Palace | Attraction Guides | History Hit

The Rector’s Palace

Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Croatia

Lucy Davidson

17 Jun 2021

About The Rector’s Palace

The Rector’s Palace dates back to the time when Dubrovnik was the centre of a republic by the name of Ragusa (14th century-1808). Its present appearance is a culmination of many additions and reconstructions throughout its turbulent history.

History of The Rector’s Palace

Located between the Town Hall and the Church of St. Blaise, The Rector’s Palace is an outstanding monument of secular architecture.

At this time, Dubrovnik was ruled by a rector, whose seat was this historic building. The first incarnation of the palace was built in the 12th century, likely as a modest building; indeed, in the statues of Dubrovnik from 1272 it was referred to as a ‘castrum’. From 1296 it was referred to as the larger ‘castellum’, camp, and in 1349 a ‘palatium’, palace, and finally as a ‘palazzo maggiore’, a major palace.

The palace was destroyed in a fire in the 15th century, after which it was rebuilt into a majestic and harmonious two storey gothic building.

Indeed, the palace underwent several rebuilds, at least twice due to gunpowder explosions from the armoury that was housed within, as well as after the great earthquake of 1667.

The Rector’s Palace fulfilled many roles. Not only was it the place the rector lived and worked, but it was also a prison, the site of many administrative offices, and home to public halls.

The Rector’s Palace Today

Today, the Rector’s Palace is home to the history department of the Museum of Dubrovnik, which takes visitors back through the history of the Ragusan Republic.

The majority of the rooms within the palace contain furniture which has been recreated to suggest what the original style and atmosphere of the rooms would have been.

There are also pieces of art, coats of arms of many noble families, paintings from old masters, coins minted by the Republic, the original keys of the city gates, and a number of important state documents, all of which are on permanent display at the palace.

Getting to The Rector’s Palace

From the centre of Dubrovnik, The Rector’s Palace is reachable by walking 30 minutes along Ul. Andrije Hebranga and Zagrebačka Ul. through the pretty and historic city centre. By car, it can be reached in around 10 minutes via Zagrebačka Ul. Equally, Dubrovnik has a good public transport system which gets you around the city pretty quickly and efficiently.

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