It was 1971 when I made my first trip up Mt. Srd on the original Dubrovnik Zicara (cable car), stood at the viewpoint at Fort Imperial and watched the sun disappear into the Adriatic Sea. As the lights of the old town began to sparkle in the evening dusk, I knew Dubrovnik would someday be my home. It took me 37 years to make my dream my reality and once again, I am able to gaze at the golden hues of the sun as it disappears beyond the emerald-green of our sea.
Dubrovnik lights at dusk
A lot has changed since then. The new cable car, replaced 19 years after its destruction in the 1991 Homeland War, is only one thing. At that earlier time there was a disco on the mountain top with a dance floor of glass blocks lit from beneath, a small bar with tables and chairs and of course, very loud music. Set under the millions of glimmering stars in the darkness of night with nothing but small candles scattered about the area, it was a romantic setting for many and the perfect place to dance the night away. For me, that place not only gave me a lot of pleasure but it shaped my life.
Dubrovnik Zicara – Vintage 1969
Finding the base entrance to the cable car can be daunting to those who are not familiar with the town. The Zicara website does have directions, but the access route shown may not be viable for those who are unable to manage the many steps needed to reach the Buza Gate (northern) exit. (Do not confuse the Buza Gate with the very popular site of the Buza bars. The word buza translated is hole. The hole in the city wall on the seaside is the location of both Buza bars.) The Buza Gate is located at the north side of the old town, and does require the climbing of far too many steps to reach the exit.
Steps leading to Buza (north) gate exit
There are several routes to reach the entrance to the Dubrovnik Zicara. From the Gruz harbor where many cruise ships dock, the most direct and fastest is to take a taxi, which will drop passengers at the base entrance. For less money, you can also locate the correct bus stop at the harbor and ride our Libertas #8 bus, which also stops at the entrance.
Dubrovnik Zicara – Cable Car Entrance
However, if you enter the old town from the Pile Brsalje (square), cross over the bridge and under the arch and walk down the Stradun, our main promenade toward the clock tower. Go under the arch and follow the path that bears to the left. Continue uphill toward the Ploce entrance to the city wall, along the walkway there several lovely art galleries and the perfect spot for a photo opportunity of the island of Lokrum set against the Peskarija of the old port. Upon exiting the Ploce gate, make a sharp left turn and walk with the city wall on your left. Soon there will be a zebra (pedestrian) crossing painted on the road, cross over toward the mountain and follow the path between the parking lot on your left and buildings on the right. At the end under the trees, a few steps will take you right up to the base entrance of the cable car.
On top of Mt. Srd please take the time to visit the memorial to the fallen of the 1991 Homeland War at Fort Imperial and the photo opportunities are limitless. The stunning views from the mountain with the clear blue green Adriatic lapping against the rocks just below the city wall are only a very small part of the breathtaking view. Looking toward the Gruz harbor you can see the Elafiti islands in the distance and toward Cavtat, the islands of Mrkana, Bobara and Supetar glisten under the golden sun. Watch the golden sunset over the Adriatic and you will understand why Dubrovnik won my heart.