At the very end of the Stradun, on its north-east side, the most splendid profane building, the Sponza palace, was built in the period from 1516. to 1521. as a commercial centre of medieval Dubrovnik with a mint, a Custom-House, a weights and measures office, etc.
The Sponza Palace was built according to the design of the best-known Dubrovnik architect, Paskoje Milicevic in a transitional Gothic renaissance style. The stone masons work was carried out by the famous Andrijic brothers from Korcula, Josip and Nikola.
The facade shows, to its full expression, the harmonically arranged style: the renaissance arcades, on the ground floor, the Gothic triforium on the first floor and the renaissance windows on the second floor. This building was originally used as a customs house, the warehouses were on the ground and second floors. Further, on the ground floor(on its eastern side) was the Republican Mint.
In the courtyard are eight side arches, in one of them was the scale with weights and the Latin inscription FALLERE NOSTRA VETANT ET FALLI PONDERA - MEQUE FONDERO DUM MERCES, PONDERAT IPSE DEUS »Our measures forbid deceit what I measure God also measures«. On the second floor was the grain storage.
This gothic-Renaissance palace now houses the Historical Archives, one of the oldest institutions of this kind in Europe. The oldest document kept in the archives dates from 1022, and from 1301 to the end of the 19th century, books, records and documents which reveal the socio-economic, political and cultural conditions of the ancient Republic were stored here
It was the seat of the »Learned Academy«, where literary evenings and sometimes carnival dances were held as well as artistic performances given. Ancient Dubrovnik was very active in the fields of literature and science and these works have even today, not only deep cultural and historic interest, but are also of considerable scientific value.
Address & contact details
- Street: Sv. Dominika 1
- City: Dubrovnik
Last updated 9.11.2020