War in Dubrovnik

The 1991 homeland war and siege of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik’s history is filled with stories of fights and combat, one of the most recent being the Homeland War of the early 1990s, with the city of Dubrovnik being one of the most heavily affected places in the whole war.

The war began in 1991, when Croatia separated from Yugoslavia. The Serbian forces responded with an armed resistance, and the war commenced in the subsequent year. As Dubrovnik was a well-known port city with a long history and rich tradition, Serbia targeted it. The city was assaulted by artillery strikes for months, countless properties were ruined or damaged during the struggle, and many citizens had to flee, and too many losing their lives.

The impact of the siege on Dubrovnik was devastating. Many people lost their loved ones in the battles. So many were left homeless and had to either make heavy reparations on their houses or build them from scratch. The city lost all of its tourism revenue which was a massive blow to the local economy, not only because of the immediate financial loss, but also because of the long-term effects. As Dubrovnik slowly started to rebuild in the aftermath of the war, it was obvious that everybody’s lives had been irreparably changed by the war.

The Dubrovnik area was ultimately liberated in 1992, but the city would be left with the memories of the battle for a long time. The old city was seriously damaged and heavy repairs were necessary. The population of the city also decreased highly since a lot of citizens had to ran away during the war and they never came back.

Even today, many citizens still carry the scars of war,  and the Homeland War serves as a reminder of the viciousness of battles, but also of the bravery of those who stood on the first line of the battles and defended the city from invaders.

To learn more about the war visit the War Photo Gallery.