Cavtat is a unique town on the Adriatic, an old city situated on the hilly part of the wooded peninsula Rat. There are new settlements along the coast, and the whole of Cavtat is overgrown by Mediterranean vegetation, with the ever green pine and cypress trees. There are more than 5 miles (7 km) of sandbanks, clean sea water, sand beaches and bays, fine new hotels of high and luxury class, and all this has made Cavtat one of the most sought after and visited tourist resorts in the Dubrovnik area.
The special charm of this old city are the buildings that have remained from the time of the old Dubrovnik Republic. This city was also built according to the regulation plans prescribed by the Republic, and the result was the present-day look of the old part of Cavtat. A larger part of the monuments of history and culture belong to the fine but modest Renaissance architecture with some traces of the Gothic style: the Rector's palace, fortifications, city walls round the city, squares, St. Nicholas' church, the church dedicated to Our Lady of Cavtat and the Franciscan monastery.
This ancient city with its surroundings keeps many traces of the old, several thousand-years' long history. It had been built several times and restored from ruins and total destruction. It used to be the flourishing famous city Epidaurum, well known in the ancient times and after the total destruction in the 7th century only the deserted ruins remained. When the Republic bought Cavtat with Konavle in the 15th century it was built up again on the ruins of the old city.
There are numerous remnants of the ancient settlements to be found, Illyrian, Greek and Roman, old walls, fortifications, ruins, piles of them -spread all over the city and its surroundings. Many archaeological findings like: amphorae, parts of capitals, architraves, friezes, mosaics, memorial tablets from gravestones, jewelry and coins, found covered by soil, witness the wealth and beauty of the ancient historic settlements on the peninsula Rat.
Even today it is possible to see the remnants of old streets, passages, remnants of the old amphitheatre near the Franciscan monastery, city walls and stairs that used to lead to the top of Rat, where, according to the legend and some historical proofs, there used to stand temples and the ancient Greek acropolis with the temple of Asclepius, later on the Roman Forum Augustum. Today the small hill is the place of the masterpiece of the great Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic, and from there his St. Rock's chapel, the Mausoleum of the family Racic, dominates the view.
Cavtat is still a treasury of art, culture and historic wealth, kept in the Rector's palace, the museum and the churches, in the Picture Gallery and the many family collections.
Cavtat is the home town of Baltazar Bogisic, a 19th and 20th century scientist of world-wide fame, member of many European academies, Doctor of law, a passionate collector and guardian of national folklore. Bogisic's rich cultural heritage is stored in the Rector's palace in Cavtat: the library with more than 22,000 rare old books, about 70 incunabulae, a rich archive collection of enormous value, a collection of drawings of more than 10,000 items, a collection of antique coins and coins of the Dubrovnik Republic with about 1,500 pieces, a collection of old arms, an ethnographic collection, etc.
In the Rector's palace there is also the Lapidary with excavated objects and monuments from the ancient times. Here we shall also find the famous picture "Carnival in Cavtat" by Vlaho Bukovac.
Cavtat is the home town of the great painter Vlaho Bukovac (19th and 20th c.). In his birth-place there is the Memorial Home of Vlaho Bukovac with his atelier. In Cavtat many of his works can be seen: in St. Nicholas' church, in the Picture Gallery, in the church of the Franciscan monastery and in private collections. Cavtat is also the home town of the great Croatian politician and statesman Frano Supilo (19th and 20th a).
St. Nicholas' church possesses a valuable picture Carmela Reggia Palermitana, a work of an artist from Dubrovnik, and the Franciscan monastery has the well known Polypthych of St. Michael by Vicko Dobricevic from Dubrovnik (16th c.). The cloister of the monastery is one of the masterpieces of Renaissance architecture. The Picture Gallery houses a large collection of valuable works of art, from the ancient to the contemporary times.
Cavtat has excellent connections with the whole world by means of the Dubrovnik airport. Beside the hotelsaccomodation can be found in fine private apartments with excellent comfortable rooms. There is a large number of excellent restaurants in Cavtat.