The attractive tourist town of Cavtat is located in the south of Croatia, on the Rat peninsula. It is distinguished by a variety of tourist facilities and dining options, and has won numerous tourism awards. Cavtat is one of the most attractive resorts on the Adriatic when it comes to maritime tourism. It is the ideal choice for guests who love romantic strolls by the sea, secluded locations for swimming and a variety of summer activities to choose from.
The renowned Croatian tourist resort of Cavtat can be visited at any time of the year. It is close to numerous sites of interest, and offers a rich programme of cultural events, and a dynamic yet laid-back lifestyle.
The legend of the origin of the name of Cavtat says that the town took its name from the beautiful Cavtislava, daughter of the King of Epidaurus. She had two suitors, and her father decided that she would marry the one who accomplished the greater deed. One had to bring water to the town from the spring at Vodovođa, and the other had to bring in a ship full of silk. The first suitor succeeded in bringing water to the town by means of an aqueduct. On the day it was supposed to be opened, Cavtislava was to drink water from a golden jug. However, the other suitor, who had failed to carry out his task because his ship had sunk in a storm, put a lizard in the aqueduct. The lizard jumped out of the water on to Cavtislava's breast and she died from fear. In her memory, the new town, which emerged on the same spot of ancient Epidaurus after a big earthquake, was named Cavtat.
Cavtat is a medieval town with a rich cultural and historical heritage. It was built on the slopes of a peninsula between two deep, easily accessible coves. Throughout history, this town was home to many distinguished people whose great works have been preserved right up to the present day. Here are some of the sites that you should visit during your stay in Cavtat:
The house in which one of Croatia's most famous painters was born is a valuable heritage site and a legacy of the Bukovac family. The two-storey house was built in the 19th century and includes murals that Bukovac painted before his studies in Paris. The house today hosts a collection of some thirty of the best paintings by this renowned artist, as well as some of his furniture and personal items. On the ground floor, there is a gallery that hosts contemporary art exhibitions. The house is open to the public all year round.
The Račić Family Mausoleum was built in 1921 by the famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović on the orders of Marija Račić. The bell was also cast according to his design and contains his famous line: "Learn the secret of love, you will solve the mystery of death and believe that life is eternal". The mausoleum is made entirely of white stone from the island of Brač; the only other material is bronze, which was used to make the door and bell. At the entrance, there are two caryatides, the ceiling is covered with angels' heads, and the main altar symbolises the three main stages of human faith: birth, life, and finally death.
The famous Croatian lawyer and scientist Baltazar Bogišić moved to Paris in 1875. His collection, which was founded between 1909 and 1912, includes more than 35,000 archive, library and museum items. The library of this renowned cosmopolitan ranks among the most valuable collections because of the many rare and unique editions in it. There is also a numismatic collection of 2,700 coins, and the collection of ancient prints, which has 8,185 items from Croatia and the rest of Europe dating from the 16th to the 19th century, is one of the largest of its kind in Croatia. Since 1958, the Bogošić Collection has been housed in the Knežev dvor Duke's Palace.
The art collection (pinacotheca) of the Church of St. Nicholas in Cavtat dates back to 1952, when it was founded by Academician Cvito Fisković. This extraordinarily valuable collection of paintings, sculptures and church liturgical vessels was accumulated over centuries. It is located next to the rectory and is open to the public throughout the year.
The Sokol Fortress was built during the Republic of Dubrovnik on the site of a former Illyrian and Roman fortification. Its construction follows the shape of the natural rock on which it was built on a mountain pass into the Bosnian hinterland. This is the largest fortress in the defensive system of the historical Republic of Dubrovnik. When you climb up the fortress, you will have the most comprehensive view of the entire Konavle area.