The 'Pearl of the Adriatic'

Horizons section editor Pongpet Mekloy clearly loves the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia. See if he can convince you that it is a place worth visiting.

I hope the introduction below will cause you to read the whole story. You can find the story and lots more photos here: http://bit.ly/hceTaU


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Gem of a City

The 'Pearl of the Adriatic' is about as close as you will ever get to paradise on Earth

Pongpet Mekloy

If you don't believe in love at first sight, you must go see Dubrovnik. If you have never experienced a moment that would shine perpetually in your memory, the ''Pearl of the Adriatic'' will definitely provide you one.
 
Actually, Dubrovnik is pretty small –  if you could resist the temptation to drop by at some of those many little shops lining the main street. You can stroll across the walled ancient town in less than 15 minutes. But this one little place is indeed Croatia's biggest attraction for international visitors.

Which is evidently not surprising, thanks to Dubrovnik's medieval architectural heritage distinctive even when seen from a distance by its orange tiled roofs that gleam against the placid blue of the Adriatic Sea.

Dating back to the first half of the 7th century, Dubrovnik's long history evolved around maritime trade and power competition with its Mediterranean neighbours, particularly Venice. For four and a half centuries, the wealthy Republic of Dubrovnik was also known as Ragusa before it was conquered by Napoleon's French Empire in 1808.

During the following decades of political confusion, Dubrovnik was annexed by many states such as Austria and Yugoslavia when it was still a kingdom. To cut a long story short, after World War II it became part of what formerly was the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and remained so until Yugoslavia broke up in the early 1990s. Since then Dubrovnik became part of Croatia.

But the road to independence had tragic consequences. Late 1991 through May 1992, Dubrovnik was bombarded and beseiged by vengeful Yugoslav forces, the biggest tragedy to befall the city since a massive earthquake over 300 years earlier destroyed much of its original settlements.

A few years after the war, with the help of the European Union and Unesco, which had included Dubrovnik on its list of World Heritage Sites in 1979, the old town was reconstructed and the ''Pearl of the Adriatic'' has since regained much of its centuries-old lustre.

These days, Dubrovnik welcomes millions of visitors each year thanks to the internet which makes photographs of the picturesque Croatian town readily accessible from virtually anywhere in the world. Perhaps some of those tourists had fallen in love with Dubrovnik long before they even got to see the real thing!

paradise – a place that is extremely beautiful and that seems perfect, like heaven  สวรรค์,แดนสุขาวดี
perpetually – continuing for a long period of time without interruption อย่างต่อเนื่อง
resist – to stop yourself from having something you like or doing something you very much want to do อดทน, อดกลั้น, ทนต่อ
temptation – the desire to do or have something that you know is bad or wrong การยั่วใจ,การล่อใจ,สิ่งล่อใจ
line – to form lines or rows along something  เรียงเป็นแนว
stroll - walk in a slow relaxed manner, especially for pleasure เดินเล่น
(tourist) attraction – somewhere or something tourists can visit that is interesting or enjoyable แหล่งท่องเที่ยว
evidently – used for saying that something is obvious เห็นได้ชัด
medieval – connected with the Middle Ages (about AD 1000 to AD 1450)  เกี่ยวกับสมัยกลาง
heritage – the art, buildings, traditions, and beliefs that a society considers important to its history and culture  มรดก ประเพณีที่ตกทอด
distinctive - something that is distinctive is easy to recognize because it is different from other things พิเศษ, มีลักษณะเฉพาะ
tile – a piece of baked clay that is used in rows for covering roofs แผ่นกระเบื้อง
gleam – a brightly shining light ระยิบระยับ
placid – calm and peaceful, with very little movement สงบนิ่ง
evolve – to develop gradually, or to cause something or someone to develop gradually ค่อยๆ พัฒนา
maritime – connected with human activity at sea; near the sea or coast ทางทะเล, เกี่ยวกับทะเล
trade –  a type of business; doing business การค้าขาย
century – a period of one hundred years ศตวรรษ
conquer – to take control of a country or city and its people by force ปราบ,เอาชนะด้วยกำลัง
decade – a period of ten years  ทศวรรษ
annex – to take control of a country, region, etc, especially by force  ยึดครองบริเวณ
independence – freedom from control by another country or organisation ความเป็นอิสระ
tragic – causing or involving great sadness, because someone suffers or dies น่าสลดใจ
consequences – results of effects of something ผลที่ตามมา
bombard – to attack a place with continuous shooting or bombs กระหน่ำ
besiege – to surround a place and prevent people or supplies from getting in or out ห้อมล้อม ล้อมปิด
vengeful – showing a desire to punish somebody who has harmed you  ซึ่งอยากแก้แค้น
befall – (of something unpleasant)to happen to somebody เกิดขึ้น,บังเกิดขึ้น
massive - very large in size, amount or numberใหญ่โต
settlement – a formal agreement that ends a disagreement ข้อตกลง, การทำข้อตกลง
World Heritage site – a place, building, structure, etc. that has been determined by the UN to be of great historical or culture value and is given a special protected status โบราณสถานที่เป็นมรดกโลก
reconstruct – building or create something again that has been damaged or destroyed สร้างใหม่, ประกอบใหม่
regain – to get back something that was lost ได้กลับมาใหม่
lustre – the quality of being special in a way that is exciting; the shining quality of a surface อเสียง,ความรุ่งโรจน์,แสงเหลือบ
picturesque – pretty, especially in a way that looks old-fashioned สวย,งดงาม,น่าดู,เหมือนภาพวาด
accessible – that can be reached, entered, used, seen, etc  ที่สามารถเข้าได้
virtually - almost เกือบจะ

Related search: Dubrovnik, Croatia

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Writer: Terry Fredrickson
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