Dubrovnik (pronounced [dǔbroːʋnik], Italian: Ragusa) is a city on the Adriatic Sea coast of Croatia, positioned at the terminal end of the Isthmus of Dubrovnik. It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations on the Adriatic, a seaport and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Its total population is 42,641 (census 2011). In 1979, the city of Dubrovnik joined the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The prosperity of the city of Dubrovnik has always been based on maritime trade. In the Middle Ages, as the Republic of Ragusa, also known as aMaritime Republic (together with Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, Venice and other Italian cities), it became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a high level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries.
The beginning of tourism in Dubrovnik is often associated with the construction of the late 19th-century luxury hotels in Croatia, such as Grand Hotel (1890) in Opatija and the Hotel Imperial (1897) in Dubrovnik. According to CNNGo, Dubrovnik is among the 10 best medieval walled cities in the world and among the 10 best places in the world for a fairytale proposal of the Valentine's Day. Although Dubrovnik was demilitarised in the 1970s to protect it from war, in 1991, after the breakup of Yugoslavia, it was besieged by Serb-Montenegrin forces for 7 months and received significant shelling damage.