Jewish Heritage of Dubrovnik

Discover the remarkable Jewish history of Dubrovnik!


Despite the small size of Dubrovnik's Old Town, its Sephardic synagogue has global significance in the history of Jewish culture in Europe and is considered the second oldest on the continent by the continuity of operation. With the first mentioned Jews arriving in Dubrovnik in the 1300s, the connection between these two merchant peoples continued to develop over the upcoming centuries. Although the Jewish community in Dubrovnik was always relatively small, its importance in the everyday life of the Republic was often significant. Travel back in time and explore the Jewish corner of "Pearl of the Adriatic".

Book Tour

Duration:   half day

Difficulty:   easy

Location:   Dubrovnik

Available all year round

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Scenic ride to Old Town
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Inside Synagogue
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The southern shores of Dubrovnik
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Quiet morning in old town
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The great Onofrio's fountain
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Dubrovnik Synagogue

Tour description


The first Jew mentioned in Dubrovnik documents in 1326 was a doctor although, around the same time, many Jews came to the area as coral hunters. Already in the beginning of the 15th century, Jews can take residence in Dubrovnik but following the 1492 expulsion from Spain, the Jewish immigrants quickly established themselves as merchants dealing in fabrics, silk, wool, leather and spices. Ultimately, this led to a decision of the Republic government from 1546, establishing the Jewish ghetto in Žudioska Street. In ghetto times, the alley was closed at the top and controlled by a gate at the lower end, neither of which exists today.

By 1614 the Jews of Dubrovnik were so much a part of the life of Dubrovnik that the Senate gave concessions to encourage them to live here permanently. Less than a decade later, however, the increased pressure from the Catholic Church and the changing sentiments of the local population had reduced the Jewish population to just four families. Today there are only a handful of Jews still living here and the synagogue is mostly a museum - but from time to time prayer services are still held by visiting rabbis.

Our tour takes you through the Old Town, down the main street Stradun, to Žudioska (Jewish) Street where the Jewish community once lived. There, we will visit the synagogue and its remarkably well-preserved and historically significant interior, dating back to 1652. In the complex, the small but remarkable Jewish museum holds precious 13th and 14th century Torahs and many valuable documents related to the history of Jews in Dubrovnik. After the visit to the Synagogue and the Jewish museum, the tour continues with exploring the magnificent cultural heritage of Dubrovnik and tells the story of the historically significant Jewish community and the time they lived in.

  • This tour is fully private and on request only.
  • Tour includes collection from your hotel, villa or private accommodation by our local guide and professional English speaking chauffeur in a comfortable luxury sedan car or passenger van and entrance tickets.
  • Bring your camera, comfortable shoes, hat and sunscreen in the summer months.
  • Please advise if you have any mobility issues so the tour can be adjusted accordingly.

 

Ghetto of Dubrovnik

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After the 1492 expulsion of Jews from Spain, many of the expelled sailed east and some eventually settled into the Balkans and the independent city of Dubrovnik. In 1546 Dubrovnik officials allocate a Jewish settlement within the city, the Dubrovnik Ghetto. The Ghetto consisted of between 4 and 18 houses, interconnected to one another and the synagogue by interior passageways. Still, the Ghetto was occasionally too small so members of the Jewish community sometimes lived outside it, but always in vicinity. Žudioska Street was like the petit Stradun (main Dubrovnik street), with vivid and active daily life and theatrical and musical performances which often attracted other Dubrovnik inhabitants to come visit.

Quick Info

AIRPORT NEARBY

Dubrovnik

HARBOR NEARBY

Dubrovnik

WEATHER

52°F  /  11°C

LOCAL TIME

8:58 PM

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Booking details

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Jewish Heritage of Dubrovnik

Jewish Heritage of Dubrovnik


Discover the remarkable Jewish history of Dubrovnik!

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