This year Dubrovnik marks 1045. celebration of St.Blaise, its patron-saint.
Citizens of Dubrovnik have celebrated St. Blaise as their patron since the year 972 AD, when allegedly he saved the Dubrovnik Republic from an attack by their rivals, the Venetians. The chroniclers record that Venetians anchored their ships in Gruž harbour and in front of the Island of Lokrum, under the pretence that they would sail for the Levant after they supplied themselves with food and drink. Instead, the visitors used the opportunity to see the sights and observe the weaknesses in the city’s defence.
However, St Blaise appeared to the town rector in a dream and warned him about the night attack. Preserving their independence, people proclaimed St Blaise as the patron of Dubrovnik, erected a church in his name and placed his image on their flag.More than just the patron-saint of Dubrovnik, St Blaise has become a reminder of the town’s tradition and culture, a confirmation of the existence of the ancient city, a symbol of the independence of the Dubrovnik Republic and its turbulent history, a spiritual and religious unification of the town and the countryside into one inseparable whole.
The deep connection between St. Blaise and the tradition and lives of the people of Dubrovnik is shown by the number of times he appears in reliefs and sculptures around the city.