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Trg Luža and Gundulićeva poljana from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Trg Luža, the large square in Dubrovnik, lies at the end of the largest artery crossing the citadel from west to east, called Stradun or Placa. Each extremity represents a point of entry into the citadel, marked by a gate and a square. This structure, clearly visible in an aerial photograph, is linked to the way the city was once built. Ten centuries ago, Stradun’s current path was a canal separating the old Greco-Roman colony Ragusa, which was established on an island, from Dubrva, the settlement of the continental Slavs. In the 11th century, the canal was silted and the two communities became one, although their rivalry and mutual contempt would never disappear. A century later, they were still found within the same walls. In accordance with the classic plan of the process of synoecism, the main square was shaped at the geographical contact point between the two communities. Thus, Trg Luža was born and this was also the place where the most important historical buildings would be: Orlando’s statue, the Palace of the Rector, the Sponza Palace, the Clock Tower, Onufri’s small well. The well’s street unites Luža square with the second most important market, Gundulićeva Poljana, which was built much later, after the earthquake of 1667. Although planned separately, the two squares make up a system.