Cavtat (know at Middle Ages under Italian name Ragusa Vecchia) is a small town in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County of Croatia. Cavlat is on the Adriatic Sea coast 15 kilometers south of Dubrovnik and is the center of the Konavle municipality.
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Last reviewed: 19 May 2020
The original city was founded by the Greeks in the 6th century BC under the name of Epidaurus or Epidauros. The surrounding area was inhabited by the Illyrians, who called the city Zaptal.
The town changed its name to Epidaurum when it came under Roman rule in 228 BC. Justinian I the Emperor of the Byzantine Empire sent his fleet to Cavtat during the Gothic War (535–554) and occupied the town.
The town was sacked and destroyed by the Avars and Slavs in the 7th century. Refugees from Epidaurum fled to the nearby island, Laus (Ragusa) which over time evolved into the city of Dubrovnik.
The town was re-established in the Middle Ages. After a short while it came under the control of its powerful neighbor, the Republic of Ragusa.
The Cavlat, modern Croatian name for the town, reveals its ancient origins and its link with Dubrovnik. Cavtat is derived from Civitas Vetus, that means old city in Latin Language.
Today, Cavtat is a popular tourist destination with many hotels and private households that rent rooms and apartments. The seafront is filled with shops and restaurants. A ferry boat connects the town to neighboring Mlini and Dubrovnik. There are often many private luxury ships and yachts along the strand.
In Cavlat is also located Monastery of Our Lady of the Snow. The church attached to this Franciscan Monastery founded in 1484 is worth a look for some notable early Renaissance paintings and a wonderful Bukovac canvas depicting the Madonna and Child gazing at Cavtat at dusk. Concerts are regularly held in the cloister.
Inside of the church is a 16th-century triptych by artist Vicko Lovrin. Also, the most popular event on Cavtat is the festival of Our Lady of the Snows on August 5, and the church plays a pivotal role in that.
In year 2004 Cavtat got the title European Competition for Towns and Villages in Blooms, especially for the well-tended green areas and flower arrangements on the beach promenade. The Epidaurus Festival of Music has been held annually in Cavtat since 2007.
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