The Sokol Fortress

The Sokol fortress or 'Sokol Grad' is the largest and for its location on the mountain pass towards the Bosnian hinterland, exceptionally important fort from the period of the Dubrovnik Republic. It is located in the village Dunave and was built on the site of a previous Illyrian and Roman fortification which can be proved by remains of Roman bricks and ceramic pieces found in its walls. Its form is adjusted to the natural cliff on which it was build. From the fort and from the churchyard of Our Lady of Sokol one has a unique view of the whole Konavle region. Then rulers of Konavle, the Sankvić brothers in 1391 ceded the whole region with the Sokol fort to the Dubrovnik Republic. The Republic finally came into its possession in 1423. Due to the fort's excellent position and the strategic importance, the Republic permanently invested in the fortress. It had all necessary services; a water well, an ammunition edifice, wine and food warehouse, the accommodation premises for the "castellan" who was in charge of the fort, sentry boxes and a building for the soldiers. It also had a separate building for the accommodation for women and children from the nearby villages in case of war emergency. Even today when climbing to the top of the fortress one has a feeling of respect and admiration for the heritage that the ancient Republic of Dubrovnik has left to us.


The Franciscan Monastery in Pridvorje

The Pridvorje village is located in the central part of Konavle under the slopes of the mount Snježnica. This picturesque settlement covered by the mulberry trees, plane trees and poplar trees, surrounded by a river and the water springs, became famous, together with the whole area of Konavle, through Dubrovnik writers in the 15, 16 and 17th centuries. Following the history of this village we may follow the history of Konavle through two thousand years. In the 12th century the village was called St. Martin's village and it got its present name in the 15th century during the golden age of the Dubrovnik Republic.

The Rector's palace was built in the middle of the village where rectors and poets resided. Around the palace were built the villagers' houses, barn floors and churches, so the whole complex got the name of Pridvorje. In the lowlands in front of the church of the Holy Trinity the Franciscan monastery with the St. Blaise church was built in the period from 1423 to 1429 in the early Dubrovnik Renaissance style. The monastery was a pilgrimage place, so it collected a rich treasury of religious artistic objects with a particularly valuable late Gothic wooden Crucifixion displayed at one the church's altars.

Franjevački samostan sv. Vlaha Pridvorje
Podvor bb, 20217 Pridvorje
: +385 20 797 148

Watermills on the River Ljuta

In the upper stream of the river Ljuta there is a complex of watermills and stamp mills that used to be the industrial zone of the Dubrovnik Republic. Originally the complex consisted of eight watermills for flour, two watermills for oil and three stamp mills. When the Dubrovnik Republic bought Konavle, there were four mills on the upper stream of the river. After 1550, the system called "lower mills" was built and has been preserved until today. Recently some of the watermills have been restored primarily for the purpose of rural tourism in Konavle. The functioning of the mills was based on a channel system, and some of them were driven by three aqueducts. Most of the buildings were on the western bank apart from the Đivanović stamp mill, which was on the eastern bank. The mill system was extremely important for the economy of Konavle and the Republic as a whole. The river source and the upper stream of the river where the complex of mills is located are registered by the government as a protected natural landscape, whereas the system of watermills and stamp mills are protected preventively as cultural monument.


The Roman Aqueduct

The name 'Konavle' derives from the Latin word 'canalis', in the local dialect 'konali' which is associated with a channel that supplied with water the Roman settlement Epidaurus, presently Cavtat.

Legend says that beautiful girl Cavtisava, a daughter of then ruler of Epidaurus, was proposed by two young men and her farther decided to give her to the one who does a greater deed. One of them, Stjepan the Duke, was supposed to bring fresh water from the spring in Vodovađa to Epidaurus what he successfully did.


Stećci

Necropolises of stećci (tombstones) are an integral part of present small village cemeteries beside local chapel. The impressive necropolis is in the village Dubravka near the church of St.Barbara, then those in the villages Mihanići, Gabrile and Pridvorje nearby the parish church. These are medieval tombstones engraved with scenes from the life of the deceased and inscriptions chiselled in the medieval script called bosančica.


Kominate

Kominata represents a traditional ancient fireplace with a chimney built in Konavle through centuries and those preserved till today present the protected monuments of our rural architectural heritage. These are mortared pyramidal roofs set above large house hearths, built in stone without wooden constructions or other fixings. There are preserved 18 registered fireplaces in the villages of Donja Banda and the only one preserved in Gornja Banda is the one in the Franciscan monastery in Pridvorje.


The Illyrian Necropolis Gomila

These are prehistoric Illyrian necropolis, made of stone and there are about 115 of them, mainly in the villages Mikulići, Pločice, Čilipi. They have been irregularly arranged, frequently are inaccessible and they hide the sepulchral inventory of prehistoric Illyrian chiefs.


The Monument to the God Mithras

Mithraeum in the village Močići is a religious monument that belongs to the cult of the God Mithras. It is an old Indo-European Deity and originally Mithras comes from Persia. Mithraic sanctuary in Močići is called spaeleum as it is located in a natural setting of a cave. It dates from the 2nd century A.D. The scene expressed in relief called Tauroctony, shows God Mithras dressed in oriental manner who kills the Taurus stabbing a knife to its chin which symbolises the struggle of light and darkness, the good and evil. There is another ichnographically similar monument, a relief of Mithraic cult in the lapidary of the Bogišić's house in Cavtat.


The Church of St.Dimitrije

This small church is the single church of the Pre-Romanesque architecture in Konavle that has been restored in its original shape so far. It belongs to the style of Early Croatian churches that were built along the eastern Adriatic coast in the mediaeval period and which were very original in their forms and dimensions.


The Napoleon's Road

Four parallel roads stretch along Konavle and one of them is called 'Napoleon's Road' built during the presence of Napoleon's general Marmont in this area between 1806 and 1814. The Road runs through the field of Konavle from the village of Zvekovica to the Franciscan monastery in Pridvorje.


The Railway Line

The railway lane along the route from Sarajevo to Zelenika in the Bay of Kotor passed through Konavle in length of 33 kilometres and it represents a remarkable monument of industrial architecture. It was built during the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and was in function from 1901 till 1968. It was the economic and commercial impetus of the region. On this railway line there were four tunnels, seven railway stations, one bridge and a number of warehouses and water pumps. In addition to the tunnels broken through carst rocks which entrances and exits were done in regularly shaped and carved pieces of stone, there is a rare example of architecture representing the turning tunnel near the station in Mihanići where the train went down to the sea. The railway line or locally called štrika among the local population is a symbol of professional and thorough construction of the previous state.