Dubrovnik's monumentally impressive architecture has earned it the oft-touted title of 'The Pearl of the Adriatic'. So it's little surprise that this coastal city, whose gems include Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monastries, palaces and fountains, constitutes a city-wide Unesco site.
Beautiful it may be, but what makes Dubrovnik's maze of architectural masterpieces so astounding is what it reveals about the city's past. Its prime coastal position made it an important - and much sought-after - Mediterranean maritime power from the 13th century, and it passed under the rule of Venice, the Austro-Hungarian empire, and Yugoslavia.
Its intact veneer belies major setbacks, not least in the form of an apocalyptically destructive 1667 earthquake. Damaged again from armed conflict in the 1990s, it's now in the midsts of a long-standing restoration project overlooked by Unesco.