My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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DUBROVNIC, Yugoslavia —The drive to Dubrovnik is a beautiful drive through the mountains with glimpses of the sea. In one of the last villages we passed through when it was still light enough to really see, we found the streets, as is always the case in the evenings, filled with the promenading population. Kotor was in Montenegro but here we were in Dalmatia, and everyone tells us the women are beautiful. They are, but they add to their beauty by wearing the costume of the country which is colorful and becoming.

It was too dark as we came into Dubrovnik to get much of an idea of the city. Our hosts were waiting for us in an automobile to guide us in and we realized that the road wound through high walls of rock. We proceeded beyond the town to a hotel on the water and we found that we were in the same place where Governor Stevenson had stayed.

We awoke on Monday morning to a rather cloudy sky and during the day we had one or two small showers, never lasting but a minute. A delightful gentleman, Mr. Jaksic, came for us at about 9:30 and took us to see the old walled town. As far as scenery goes, I think this is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen and as an old walled town it seemed to me quite unique.

Dubrovnik was a republic like the republic of Venice and this little political invention seems to have worked well for both places since for many years they were both prosperous in trade and remained free. In fact Dubrovnik was never really conquered.

We visited the old monastery, walking through an old square to reach it where a very beautiful old fountain which must have been used by the whole city in early days, is still in use. We walked around and looked at the narrow little streets climbing the hill to the outer wall and we went up one of them to follow a street running over the old aqueduct . Here and there we would see a vine which had its roots somewhere far below near the aqueduct and which had climbed up to add a little green to these streets where, otherwise, earth has to be carried by hand to make a little garden and potted plants are the rule on most of the balconies.

Only certain streets were allowed balconies, I suppose because of their narrowness.

Our guide pointed out to us the windows of an old Jewish temple and told us that only seven out of the 140 Jews who had been in the city when the Germans took over, had survived but they had saved their records, which was the story time after time in these persecutions.

The monastery has a most beautiful cloistered garden and houses the oldest apothecary shop which has been continually operated in the world.

We visited a museum and saw where in the old days the rector held his court of justice.

In the afternoon we lay on the rocks and bathed again in the delightful warm water and at sunset time we walked around the walls of the old city, a really beautiful walk.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Dubrovnic (Yugoslavia) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 24, 1953

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.