To the east of Dubrovnik is the region of Konavle. Its east most part is the cape of Ostra (rt Ostra, also imprecisely called “Prevlaka”), which is an interesting stretching about 2,5 km long and several hundred meters wide. This area was in possession of the Dubrovnik Republic since the first half of 15th century, when it was bought from Bosnian dignitaries in 1419 and 1426. As such it is a part of Croatia (also during the ex-Yugoslav communist period).

Croatian Glagolitic heritage in the region of Dubrovnik

Konavoski glagoljski natpis

It is important to note that in the Konavle region a very old remain of Croatian glagolitic inscription on the marble plate was discovered in 1990’s (Konvale Glagolitic fragment), dating probably from the year 1060 or later, that is, from 11th century (see [Fucic] and [Kapetanic, Zagar]). Also some stecak tombstones bearing Croatian cyrillic inscriptions, have a few glagolitic letters. See [Kapetanic, Konavoski epigraficki spomenici].

Stechak tombstone near Dubrovnik

As shown by dr. Agnezija Pantelic, well known Kiev and Sinai folia, written in the Glagolitic script, were used in the Dubrovnik Diocese by the end of 11th century (see [O Kijevskim i Sinajskim…]. It is of interest to stress that Glagolitic monuments carved in stone exist only among the Croats (in today’s Croatia and parts of BiH), nowhere else. For more information see Croatian Glagolitic heritage in the region of Dubrovnik.

Traditional dance lindjo in Cilipi (photo by Mladen Zubrinic)
Traditional dance lindjo in Cilipi (photo by Mladen Zubrinic)
Konavle children on the feast of sv. Vlaho, protector of Dubrovnik (photo by Najka Mirkovic)

Konavle are known among others for beautiful national costumes.


Mrs Ane Marnic from the village of Dubravka in Konavle, south of Dubrovnik
photo from 2006, many thanks to Dr. Zdenko Zeravica, Dubrovnik

The region of Konavle, occupied by the Yugoslav (Serbian and Montenegrin) army in 1991/92, served as a basis for ferocious attacks on the city of Dubrovnik. The lovely town of Cilipi near the Dubrovnik airport was devastated to the point that no house was left with a roof, and the Cilipi church was destroyed.

Dunave in Konavle with fortress against the Turks (photo by Mladen Zubrinic)
Dunave in Konavle where the above glagolitic inscription from 1060 has been found (photo by Darko Zubrinic)

By aggressive and primitive intrigues (claiming that borders of states in ex-Yugoslav federation were only administrative) and pseudo history, the Yugoslav and Montenegrin official institutions and diplomacy are trying in vain to question Croatian jurisdiction over this territory. For more details see [Macan].

The village of Kuna in Konavle with view to the sea (photo by Mladen Zubrinic)
View from Snjeznica in Konavle to Dubrovnik, Cavtat, low Konavle, and the sea (photo by Darko Zubrinic)

Mavar glagolitic breviary (Mavrov brevijar) from 1460 contains a marginal note written by Catholic priest Mavar from the town of Vrbnik (island of Krk) about his sojourn in Konvale with this book around 1475.

Baltazar (Baldo) Bogisic (Cavtat, 1834 – Rijeka, 1908) is a notable Croatian intellectual, who grew up under the spiritual influences of Josip Juraj Strossmayer, archbishop of Djakovo, and of Josip Marčelić (1847-1928), bishop of the city of Dubrovnik, responsible for his education (Bogišić was receiving a stipend from the Dubrovnik bishop). He attended the Gymnasium in Dubrovnik, was a librarian in the Royal Library (now the National Library) in Vienna, lectured at the University of Odessa, where he changed his name to Valtazar, which he used afterwards. The then Kingdom of Montenegro offered him to prepare the first Constitution of this country.

Monument to Baltazar Bogisic (1834-1908), distinguished Croatian jurist, historian and etnographer, born in Cavtat.
Created by Ivan Rendić (1849-1932), a famous Croatian sculptor.

He was a very good singer, so that (according to personal information due to dr. Miho Demović) Franz Suppé, distinguished composer, born in the city of Split, offered him a position in an opera, but he did not accept it. He founded the “Primorska dramska družina za Dalmaciju” (Primorje Drama Confraternity”), which extended its activities also in Istria. When he died, the Dubrovnik Theatre prepared his commemoration. He was a full member of JAZU (now Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts) in Zagreb, since its foundation in 1867, as well as a member of many other Academies and Scientific societies, and a holder of several European decorations.

Related to his name is the village of Bogišić near Tivat in Boka kotorska, as well as a Hungarian bishop whose name was Bogišić.

Distinguished Croatian painter Vlaho Bukovac was born in Konavle, in the town of Cavtat.
Vlaho Bukovac: Cavtat tamburitza orchestra (Cavtat is a small, very nice Croatian town near Dubrovnik). Arround 1900.
All the persons appearing on the photo are known. This painting (of large dimensions)
is kept in the Baltazar Bogisic Museum in Cavtat.

A detail from the above photo, the left part.

Vlaho Bukovac (self-portrait) is sitting on the right, playing tamburitza. On the left are his three children,
and just in front of his forhead is his wife, also playing tamburitza.

Tino Pattiera 1890-1966 distinguished Croatian tenor promoted by Franica Vidovic Krampus

This work of art of munumental dimensions by Miho Šiša Konavljanin, represents local customs of the Konavle region
near Dubrovnik. Plundered during the Serbian-Montenegrin aggression on Croatia, it is still not returned to its proprietor,
the Konavoski dvori Croatian national restaurant.

Three thosand six hundred (3600) houses have been pillaged and burned to ground in the 1990s, during the Serbian and Montenegrin occupation of the region of Konavle, south-east of Dubrovnik. All of them have been renovated with a lots of effort. Information by Luka Korda.

Literature about Konavle:

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