Travel Guide to Ston, Croatia
Ston Croatia is a small fortified town on Peljesac Peninsula, about 54 km north-west of Dubrovnik , well known for it’s medieval walls that circle the town itself.
This town is also well known for it’s oyster production in nearby Malo Stonski Bay as well as for it’s salt works in the near vicinity that produce sea salt for centuries.
If you are driving to Dubrovnik, only 21 Km after passing the Neum Corridor (Croatia and Bosnia border crossing), you have to turn right onto D 414 road, that takes you straight to Ston town.
If you are coming from Split or you are driving from Dubrovnik to reach either Korcula or Mljet islands, following D414 to Orebic (Peljesac peninsula) you can take a car ferry to Korcula island or from Prapratno bay you can embark the car ferry to Mljet island (Prapratno – Sobra (Mljet).
Ston Croatia History
After Dubrovnik, Ston was the second most important town and the inseparable part of Dubrovnik Republic.
In 1333 Ston became a part of Dubrovnik Republic. The inhabitants of Dubrovnik built and fortified the town with 980 meters of walls, forming an irregular shape of pentagon to defend Peljesac and to protect the salt fields, out of which they made a high profit.
This protective wall was built from 14th century to15th century, extending over 5.5 kilometers in length and measuring 5-10 meters in height with with its 40 towers (20 of which have survived) and 5 fortresses. The Walls of Ston were known as the ‘European wall of China’.
When the construction of the fortifications with 5.5 km long walls was finished in 1333, it was the longest fortification complex in Europe and the second largest in the world, after the famous Chinese wall. Ston is a rich treasury of cultural and historical monuments.
From the north-western corner the walls rise to the top of hill where stands the fortress on Podzvizd hill (224 m) while from the north-eastern corner the walls follow the line to Mali Ston (Small) village.
Ston town is full of Gothic and Renaissance buildings from the time of Ragusa Republic (better known now as Dubrovnik), some of them worth visiting like:
Sorkocevic Palace – Once administrative office of the Republic built in Gothic and Renaissance style.
Bishop’s palace from 16th century that has elements of late Renaissance.
Duke’s Palace – in Renaissance style reconstructed in the 19th century.
Franciscan monastery with its cloister built in Gothic-Renaissance style and St.Nikola church.
The parish church of the Annunciation was erected in the 15th century outside the town walls.
The village – Mali Ston (Small Ston)
Ston Croatia is usually called the Veli Ston (Big Ston) while a small fishing village Mali Ston (Small) lies along the Small Ston Bay, only 1 Km from his big brother.
Actually both settlements where closely connected by walls that end with Koruna fortress in Mali Ston. Its construction began in 1347 to protect access to the city from the south-east.
The fortress has several square towers which have the shape a Crown and that’s why it was called Crown Fortress (Tvrdava Koruna). From the south-western fortress connects to the walls running to Hill Pozvizd and Ston town. The fortress is at the moment in the phase of reconstructions.
But, what really makes this small village famous is the best seafood in Croatia. Oyster and mussel farms dot the bay at this village while town restaurants serve all kinds of fish, mussels and Croatia’s best oysters. My favorite dish is fried shrimps (Croatian kozice ).
Even Italy imports Croatian fish because they say the seafood is better along the rocky coastline on this side of the Adriatic. Visiting Mali Ston Croatia without sampling the seafood isn’t recommended.