The year 2019 marks many important anniversaries for the city of Dubrovnik. The monumental heart of the city has been under UNESCO protection since 1979, while the Festivity of Saint Blaise has been on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity since 2009. The UNESCO List of Cultural Heritage includes both tangible and intangible heritage, whose symbiosis in Dubrovnik is more evident than anywhere else, their growing together becoming part of its cultural inheritance.

Living in such a city and nourishing its values on a daily basis is a privilege, but one which is necessarily accompanied by a responsibility for preserving its specific features and the prestigious place it holds in the UNESCO list of localities, by taking an expert-based approach to monument restoration and managing sustainable tourism in the context of heritage preservation.

And our heritage is also our present. The historic heart of the city is a living organism in which the past meets the present on an everyday basis. The monumental heart of the historic ambience, the very essence of its identity, is grounded in the spirit of Saint Blaise and his Festivity. The saint has been more than a mere religious guardian of the city, he is a touchstone and a stronghold, a spiritual as well as a political symbol. The ceremony and tradition of honouring Saint Blaise, which has been resistant to all changes in the City since the 10th century, is a definite refining addition to the cultural heritage of humanity, while to Dubrovnik it is an indispensable part of existence within its walls.

This is the year when Dubrovnik celebrates its heritage. Apart from these two significant UNESCO-related anniversaries, this year also marks 600 years since the installation of Orlando’s Pillar and 70 years since the first Dubrovnik Summer Festival.