Having lived more than one thousand years on the Adriatic coast the Croats have protected, handed down and enriched the Mediterranean heritage in seamanship and shipbuilding. World-wide successes were achieved within the ranges realised by the independent Dubrovnik Republic in the 15th and 16th century.

Throughout its history the Dubrovnik Republic based its economic success mostly on seaborne trade.

In the second half of the 16th century, concerning the number and tonnage of its merchant navy, the Dubrovnik Republic was included in the leading navies in the maritime world of the time and Dubrovnik seafarers became world famous carriers among foreign parts of the Mediterranean, the Black Sea, the Northern ocean parts of Germany, the Netherlands and England and America as well. The word "argosy" was used by the English as a synonym of a merchant ship in a general sense. The word is assumed to have derived from the name "Ragusa" i.e. the Roman name of Dubrovnik.

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The argosy synonim was used by Shakespeare in the plays "The Merchant of Venice" and "The Taming of the Shrew".

Dubrovnik Maritime Museum was founded in 1949. by the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts. It is situated in the representative fortress of St.John on the mole in the harbour. The construction of the fortress began in the 14th century to break the force of the waves ond protect the harbour from the enemy. It is a part of systematic and careful constructive activity of fortification and the walls by means of which the Dubrovnik Republic protected its city in the course of centuries. Considering the riches of its maritime holdings, maritime museum is the richest in Croatia, therefore it has a national character.

Different views of maritime history of the larger Dubrovnik region, from the oldest times to the recent past, have been displayed there. That history has been represented in a variety of materials: written documents, charts, old editions and books of nautical theory and practise, pictures of ships, ports and captains, submarine archaeological finds of sunken ships, parts of equipment and armaments, ship's instruments, ship's pharmacies etc.

The museum contains a rich library. Apart from museological activities it deals with submarine and other research and exhibition activities as well.

Maritime Museum is part of a wide variety of museums found in Old Town Dubrovnik.

Maritime Museum in Dubrovnik
Photo credit: Maritime Museum


Adults 20 EUR, 8 EUR for students and pupils. Includes entry to Rector's Palace, Maritime Museum, Ethnographic Museum Rupe, Revelin Fortress archaeological exhibit, House of Marin Držić, Dubrovnik Art Gallery, Natural History Museum and Dulčić, Masle, Pulitika Gallery.

Save up to 50% and get free entrance to Dubrovnik City Walls, museums and galleries, including a city bus card with Dubrovnik Card.

Working Hours

Monday – Saturday: 09.00 – 16.00

Sunday and public holidays open


Maritime past of the Dubrovnik region

Located on the first and second floors of Fort St John (sv. Ivan)

Address & contact details

Street: Ul. kneza Damjana Jude 12
Postcode: 20000
City: Dubrovnik

Website: Maritime Museum

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