the end of Placa (Stradun) street, beside Luža,
on the left side of the square centered with Orlando column
the monumental Gothic-Renaissance Sponza Palace found its
rightful place. Sponza is one of the most beautiful palaces
in the City, which has preserved its original form. Built
1516-1522, its form suggests possible appearance of the majority
of public and private palaces in Dubrovnik before the earthquake
Sponza palace derived it's name from the word for the spot
where rainwater was collected (Spongia-”alluvium”)
according to the former use of the spot it was built on.
the time of the Republic this palace housed the custom office
and bonded warehouse, hence it was often referred to as Divona
(from dogana - ”customs”).
Palace was the seat of a number of state offices. The palace
also housed the mint, the bank, the treasury, and the armoury.
This complex palace was designed by protomagister (chief
architect) Paskoje Miličević. The project was
completed in 1522. It is a large rectangular building with
an inner courtyard. An open porch communicates with the square
in front; another porch opens on the first floor in front.
The building is a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles,
which was typical for the conservative Dubrovnik Republic
of those times.
The porch and the sculptural ornaments of the building
were made after 1516 by the brothers Andrijić,
masters from Korčula,
and by other less known stone-cutters.
beautiful medal with Jesus' monogram and 2 angels was carved
by the sculptor Beltrand Gallicus on the back wall.
custom bonded warehouses have names of saints inscribed in
capital on the arch of the atrium from which a balance was
fact that the city measures were true is captured on the
inscription on the arch:
NOSTRA VETANT; ET FALLI PONDERA: MEQUE PONDERO CVM MERCES:
PONDERAT IPSE DEVS
(Our weights do not permit cheating or
being cheated. When I measure the commodities the Lord measures
The Sponza Palace was not damaged in the earthquake of 1667
and this fact probably saved the Dubrovnik Republic.
Affairs of state could continue notwithstanding heavy destruction.
of the Academia dei Concordi founded at the close of 16th century
by the group of poets, met in the large hall of the first
floor. That was Dubrovnik's first institution of literary
Nowadays the Sponza Palace is the home of the most
important cultural institution of Dubrovnik - the archive.
The archive found its home on the first floor.
Sponza palace has a unique role during the special opening
ceremony of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Actors inpersonating
the Rector and the members of the Council Minor sit on the
upper porch of the Sponza palace and greet the actors that
have come to the City to entertain and amuse the public with
their music shows and theatre plays. After many skill demonstrations
by the actors and a long discussion from the side of the
council, the ceremony always ends as the Rector grants the
actors free access to the City and gives them the keys of
the City in order for them to put up their shows and entertain