Avansa Travel Agency Dubrovnik, your partner in Dubrovnik
 
 
 
 

Konavle

Konavle is the most southern part of today's Dubrovnik Riviera, with whose purchase the Dubrovnik Republic rounded off its territory in the 15th century. It is a region with particular natural beauties and contrasts: mountain and valley, green hills and naked stone, the blue and the green or, as called by the inhabitants of Konavle, "Gornja" and "Donja Banda"....


Konavle is the most southern part of today's Dubrovnik Riviera, with whose purchase the Dubrovnik Republic rounded off its territory in the 15th century. It is a region with particular natural beauties and contrasts: mountain and valley, green hills and naked stone, the blue and the green or, as called by the inhabitants of Konavle, "Gornja" and "Donja Banda". Fringed by the Konavle mountains in the North, bordered by the Adriatic Sea in the South, it reaches from the entry into the Bay of Kotor to the peninsula of Prevlaka in the East, and in the West it inclines down to the cosy coves of Obod and Cavtat.
The preserved natural, unique and exceptionally precious rural architecture, numerous monuments of the thousand-year-old history of this area, traditions that are hundreds of years old and have been kept through folklore, the distinctive traditional costumes of Konavle and the Konavle embroidery, the harmony of man's life and the nature all come together in this area.
This part of the country was called by an artist "The valley of beautiful people" on account of its powerful men and refined women, whose rich folklore has been preserved. Their costumes in harmony of colour and style, their embroideries, customs and songs are well known.

Geopolitical and Geographic Position
Konavle covers an area of 209 km2, on which there 9500 inhabitants live in 33 smaller and larger settlements. The northern mountain part, which borders to Bosnia and Herzegovina and to Montenegro, is dominated by the mountain massif of Sniježnica (height:1234 m). The fertile field represents the central part of Konavle; it stretches over 35 km lengthwise and over 12 km breadthways, with the rivers Ljuta, Konavočica and Kopačica  courses merging in its central part.
Almost one third of the area of Konavle is covered with forests: in the rocky coastal part, the low forests of macchias, pines and cypresses predominate, and in the northern mountain part you can also find oak and hornbeam forests next to cypresses and macchias.
The generally defining climate in Konavle is the Mediterranean one: mild winters, warm and rainy autumns, dry and hot summers. The dominating winds are jugo, bora, and the mistral. With regards to the characteristic climate and the typical soil, the most prevent agricultural cultures are the vine and the olive, but other fruit and garden cultures as well, as the stock farming are absolutely represented.

The History of Konavle
The name Konavle derives from the Latin word "canale", "canalis", in the local dialect "konali", "kanali", what is connected with the viaduct, which, in the times of the Romans, carried water from Vodovađa to Epidaurum (Cavtat) .We can track the concrete course of the history in Konavle from the fifth and fourth century before Common Era on, when this area was populated by the Illyrian tribes of the Plereians and the Ardians, while the Romans submitted the Illyrians in the second century before Common Era. At the beginning of the 7th century, Avarian and Slavic tribes break into Europe and also into this region, and founded Epidaurum in 614 (Cavtat), as well as the entire region of Konavle, where they displaced the inhabitants from former times, the Illyrians and the Romans. Shortly afterwards, the Croats instigated the Slavs and evicted the Avarians to the Pannonian Valley, while a part of the Croatian tribes stayed in Dalmatia, and one part stayed in the Pannonian Valley.
In the 14th century, Konavle comes under the governance of the Dubrovnik Republic, when Dubrovnik's inhabitants bought it. Konavle was of specific importance for the Dubrovnik Republic, not only due to agriculture, stock farming and seafaring, but also because of its strategic value.
With the fall of the Dubrovnik Republic in the year 1807, Konavle comes under French administration, and afterwards under the rule of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy, under which it will stay until its decay in 1918 and the formation of the Yugoslavian Kingdom. After World War II, Konavle is integral part of the socialist Yugoslavia within the borders of the SR (Socialist Republic) of Croatia; and today, after the endured aggression in the Homeland War (from 1991 to 1995), it enjoys the fruits of the independency of the Republic of Croatia.

What to see
The administration centre of this area was at Pridvorje on the edge of the large plain. Here the remains of the Governor's Palace and the large building of the Franciscan Monastery again remind us of the days of the Dubrovnik Republic, which aquired the region in the first half of the 15th century. Now Cavtat is the centre of public life and traffic.
The atractive little village of Cilipi has become important through the Dubrovnik airport.
At the very southern end of the costal area, and protected by a small peninsula is the village of Molunat 17n/m from Dubrovnik, with historic monuments from Roman times such as baths, mosaics etc. and has been included in the tourist area.