Dalmatia (Dubrovnik) Where to Go

THE STON WALLS – The Longest Defensive Walls in Europe!

The Ston Walls

Ston – perfect place for a one-day visit. The main attraction of Ston are the town walls from the 14th century open to visitors since 2009. These walls are the longest fortified walls in Europe, and after the world famous Great Wall of China, second in the world.

A view that delights

It is best to enter the Ston Walls through the entrance in the southwestern part of the Ston place. Walking across the walls is slightly harder due to the rise. The view from the central bastion Stoviš to the medieval Ston is worth every effort. The fort Podzvizd on the pinnacle Bartolomija (altitude 251 meters) is the highest point of the Ston Walls, but so far it is accessible only from the north via a goat path. When soon also the part of the walls that leads to it will be renovated, it will become undoubtedly the most impressive vantage point for enjoying the view. Continuing the walk across the walls you come to the north side which leads to the village of Mali Ston and Mali Ston Bay (Malostonski zaljev), famous for its oyster farming. Currently, it is possible to walk across the walls at a length of about 2 and a half kilometers, and their total length is about five kilometers. The entrance – ticket for adults is € 5,30 and is valid also for the fortress Veliki kaštio. The walls are open all year round, until 20 hours, but in the off-season, when I was there, until 15 hours.




Come in to the Veliki kaštio, too

Veliki kaštio is one of the three great fortresses of the Ston fortresses. It is the most protruded of all and in the past it was built to protect the port. It is certainly worth a visit because in addition to a unique medieval atmosphere it offers also the best view to the Ston walls from the “frog perspective”.


Narrow streets, salt-pan, oysters and mussels, sandy beach and wineries

Take a walk through the narrow and regular streets of Ston. Old and noble stone houses such as the Rector’s Palace (Knežev dvor) or the former office of the Dubrovnik Republic will strike your eye. A large number of wineries are places of a long tradition of producing quality wines on the Pelješac peninsula. Oyster farming, especially the Ston oysters (Ostrea Edulis), and mussels dates back to ancient times. The sandy beach and the bay Prapratno, 2 and a half kilometers from Ston, is often included in the Top 10 beaches in Croatia. The oldest active salt–pan in the world that nurtures traditional natural way of producing kitchen salt is located in Ston. This method has not changed since Roman times.


Do not miss Ston oysters and Black risotto

After walking I recommend to taste in one of the Ston taverns and restaurants oysters specific for Ston: raw, grilled or fried. Also, black risotto or as the locals call it “Crni rizot” is definitely one of the most delicious dishes that you can taste when you come to Croatia. I chose one of the best rated restaurants according to TripAdvisor in the town center. And I didn’t miss, on the contrary 🙂 !


Let’s return a little backwards

The town walls in Ston were, for defense, raised by the Dubrovnik Republic in the year 1334 when it acquired the Pelješac peninsula. At that time they were the largest fortifying – urban achievement of Europe. Their length was about 5,000 meters. The complex defensive corps was taking form for almost a quarter of century due to the adjustment to terrain and development of weapons. A defensive wall was built first, and then according to a unique project and by a plan determined fortified settlements Ston and Mali Ston in order to bring together people who would guard the boundaries and work in the salt- pans.


If they had not suffered continuously, the Ston walls would be side by side with Carcassone

The Ston walls were neither destroyed nor restored until the fall of the Dubrovnik Republic in the early 19th century. But, a part of the walls then becomes private property, they become a source of building material or are pulled down for “hygienic reasons”. The Ston walls suffered in earthquakes and in the Second World War. If they were preserved in the state in which they had been until the year 1874, they would be side by side with the famous walls in Carcassone in France.


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About the author

Stjepan Misulic

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