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The oldes traces of settlements in the vicinity of Dubrovnik date from the times of Illyrian and Roman rules. During the 7th century, the inhabitants of the island of Epidaurum (today Cavtat) had to flee from Awars and Slavs and founded a village on the rocky island of Lausa. The name later changed to Rausa and became the origin of the italian name, Ragusa. About at the same time a slav village called Dubrava developed on the foot of the hill Srđ. Both villages merged and formed an independent city state which only formally was under Byzantine sovereignty. In 1205, the Republic of Venice eventually managed to conquer the city. In 1358, after the Peace of Zadar, the city regained its independence, this time under formal Croat-Hungarian rule which lasted until 1526. From the 14th until the 16th century, the city was an important trading nation in the adriatic sea. At the end of the 16th century the city state kept a fleet of 200 ships and 5000 seamen. In 1808 the independece of the city state was ended by Napoleon. At the Congress of Vienna 1815 Dubrovnik/Ragusa became part of the Austrian Empire where it remained until 1918. The rich history and the perfect condition of the old town earned Dubrovnik the name 'Pearl of the Adriatic'. Despite being declared a World Cultural Heritage by the UNESCO in 1979 (see also list of other UNESCO heritage sites), Dubrovnik suffered damage during the Yugoslav Wars of Secession in 1991. Seven palaces in the historic town centre were destroyed completely and many other historic buildings were damaged by the bombardement by the Yugoslav Army. Major restoration works are in progress since then.
The only building easily recognizable on the small picture on glass no.328 [near left] is the cathedral Sveta Gospa (Ascension of Our Lady) [centre] with its large cupola. Archeological finds prove the existence of a church from the 7th century on this spot. The next church was a Romanesque cathedral built in the 11th/12th century. According to a legend, this church was built with the money that the English King Richard the Lionhearted donated for having been saved when became shipwrecked on the island of Lokrum on his return from the crusade in 1192. This church was destroyed by the large earthquake of 1667. The new cathedral was built between 1673 and 1713 in italian Baroque style. The interior contains important paintings by Tiziano, Andrea del Sarto and Parmigianino and others. The treasury of the cathedral was one of the largest in Europe until the earthquake of 1667. It still contains more than hundred reliquiaries from the 9th century onwards. the most valuable pieces are the reliquiaries of the hand and skull of the town's patron, St. Blasius, dating from the 11th and 12th century.
The island depicted in the background of the picture on glass no.2748 [far left]