Cavtat is a beautiful little town located opposite Dubrovnik. It is filled with cultural heritage – from ancient to modern times. You can visit remains of the Roman empire, unique mausoleum of family Račić, birthplace of famous Croatian painter Vlaho Bukovac, local painting gallery and much more. Take a walk next to the yachts moored in the old port, have a swim on one of many beaches around the peninsulas or eat in one of many top restaurants in town.
Historically, Cavtat is much older and in some aspect even more important than even Dubrovnik itself because people old Epidaurum founded Dubrovnik. Epidaurum was a name of the old Roman settlement located on the peninsula Rat where Old part of Cavtat is situated today. After a couple of disasters that hit the town (some sources speak about an earthquake, some about barbarian hordes attacking the region), inhabitants left for the little island of Laus which was where Old city is located today. During centuries, they developed their new settlement, gave it one more name – Ragusa, connected it to the mainland and the rest is history.
Cavtat was rebuilt as well and remained a important part of the region. In some parts and traditions it is known as Ragusavecchia or Old Dubrovnik. Its port was always well maintained, seamen well respected and history full of important people. Beside already mentioned Bukovac, renowned scientists and writer Baltazar Bogišić also originates from Cavtat. On the main Cavtat walkway, there is a statue of him sitting in a stone armchair and looking over the bay.
Also, Cavtat has its own brass band which consists of young and old members. They practice and perform during the whole year and have two traditional annual concerts – summer and Christmas one. The summer one is held on fifth of August (on the day of Cavtat) and be sure to check it out as they parade through the main street.
On the city’s cemetery, there is a sight which is worth the walk upstairs – mausoleum of family Račić. They were a family of rich local ship owners, and by the wish of late Maria Račić, their mausoleum was built on the place of the cemeteries church by Ivan Meštrović. World famous sculptor created this masterpiece in his workshop on island Brač and then sent it piece by piece to Cavtat where it was assembled. The entire building is built solely from stone, with only exception of the door and bell which are made from bronze. Today, the mausoleum is used as a cemetery chapel and is opened for visiting.
There are numerous legends and stories about town and its past. One of the most famous ones is the one about Captislava, a beautiful young girl who had two wooers who were in love with her, but she loved only one of them. Her father made pronounced that he will give her hand to the one who benefits the town the most. The young man which she favored built an aqueduct and brought fresh water to town, and the other one set sail to bring back the finest goods from the east. Unfortunately, his ship sank and he barely managed to save himself, but he was pronounced the looser. He couldn’t bear with that so he put a snake in the new aqueduct which bit the poor Captislava and she died. A young love was broken, but the Cavtat got its water supply.