Dubrovnik (Ragusa) is the most picturesque city on this side of the Adriatic sea and one of the most attractive on the Mediterranean coast (called “Pearl of the Adriatic” by Lord Byron).
It is a city of unique political and cultural history and of world-famous cultural heritage and beauty (inscribed in the List of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO).
History of Dubrovnik Republic
In the Midde Ages the Republic of Dubrovnik became the only eastern Adriatic city-state to rival Venice. Supported by its wealth and skilled diplomacy, the city achieved a remarkable level of development, particularly during the 15th and 16th centuries. Dubrovnik was one of the centres of the development of primarily Croatian language and literature, home to many notable poets, playwrights, painters, mathematicians, physicist and other scolars.
Republic of Dubrovnik was ruled by elected Rector (Knez).
His term was one month only (preventing the possible usurpation of power) and he was elected among the nobles (“vlastela”) themselves which were members of the council.
The Rectors Palace (Knežev dvor) is a remarkable gothic architecture in the middle of Stradun. Stradun (main street – called also “Placa”) is the only broad street inside the city walls
Very close to the Rectors palace is the Sponza palace or “Dogana” (“Customs house”), where all the imported goods were presented, the duties were evaluated and paid, thus forming the main income of the Republic.
Next to the Sponza (or Dogana) is the Martecchini house facing Stradun and Sveti Vlaho church (SvetiVlaho – St.Blasius – the patron of Dubrovnik).
History of Martecchini Family
Martecchini family settled in Dubrovnik at the end of the 18th century.
They were craftsmen from Venice (where still family names Martecchini can be found) specialized in printing and therefore the Dubrovnik Republic invited them by opening a new concession right.
In the 19th century the family published and pressed books, graphics and newspapers. The following generations were active as lawyers, physicians etc.
The last member of Martecchinis, permanently settled in the house was “city doctor” (gradski liječnik) Baldo Martecchini (1867 – 1936). Baldo was a very remarkable and rich man, a doctor who helped the poor for free, charged (a little bit more) the rich, slept on his own operating table and had other interesting original but modest habits still remembered as anecdotes by the elder people in Dubrovnik.
The house is still owned by the family.