Mali Ston – Walls, cats and ghosts

This weekend I was meeting some business partners in Mali Ston. Always a pleasure to go there no matter if it is in the high season or in the quiet Fall morning. Mali Ston is simply one of those authentic places that casts the spell on you and you cannot resist it. Ever…

Mali Ston seen from the main road

So, I came a bit earlier to take a walk around the town and to climb to Koruna fortress above it. That big and impressive place got it’s name as it looks like a crown or “kruna, koruna” (in Croatian) above the town. It is one of the many fortifications built by the Republic of Dubrovnik in the 1333. once they gained the control of the Ston salt pans. Koruna is part of the famous defense Ston wall system that stretches between the towns of Ston and Mali Ston for 5,5 Km making it the second longest defense wall in Europe, surpassed only by Hadrian’s Wall between Scotland and England.

Koruna fortress - under construction

Today, Koruna fortress is under reconstruction and it will be a great “addition” to the entire wall complex that is already one of the favorite tourist destinations in the area. The main building will be restored to a museum.

Koruna fortress - working within the walls

Quite important in the past, Mali Ston is today pretty much a ghost town outside the main season… Some houses have been bought by the foreigners and restored to former glory but most of the old stone homes are closed and abandoned. Several ruins can bee seen in the very heart of the town.

No one is home...
The main street

The town is fairly small and it was completely surrounded by big walls in the past that later served as good source of quality stone for construction of houses. The major buildings in Mali Ston are the salt warehouse, the harbor with the harbor wall, arsenal, parish castle, parish church, Luža bell tower and Koruna fortress. Most of the walls are still here as well as the towers Mali Ston is also known for.

The tower in the harbor

Mali Ston is best known for food! Few of the region’s best restaurants are located here: Bota Šare (located in 700 years old salt warehouse) and famous Kapetanova kuća next door. There is also a lovely hotel Ostrea – perfect for romantic getaways! Of course, Mali Ston is also known for oysters… ever since the Roman times. I also heard that these are the last genuine European oysters as the rest of them are American oysters that were introduced in Europe after a deadly oyster disease swept European shores… Could not find any articles on that.

Proof of life!

No person was to be seen in the streets. Only one fisherman in the harbor…
So sad that people moved to the cities in search of “better life” while abandoning this perfect, lovely town.
No sign of life…Oh, maybe there is life after all!

There is life on the streets of Mali Ston after all

Like in most Dalmatian towns and villages, cats are the true masters of the streets together with few elderly that remain. I am not sure if there are 50 people living in Mali Ston out of season. This is a great place to visit no mater if you are coming in the summer or winter and no matter if you are here for genuine and authentic Dalmatian charm or superb seafood meal at local restaurants.

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