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Orlando's Column visible again – one more year of monitoring needed before restoration Photos by the City of Dubrovnik

Orlando's Column visible again – one more year of monitoring needed before restoration

Written by  Jun 29, 2020

The wooden scaffolding has been completely removed from the Orlando's Column, and monitoring of the damage continues along with a protective fence that will be erected. After approximately one year of additional monitoring, a final decision on the restoration model will be made.

This is the perfect time to learn a bit more about this great statue. Orlando's Column is one of the most famous monuments in Dubrovnik, situated on the amazing location - in front of the Saint Blaise's Church. It was made by Bonino di Jacopo from Milan with the help of the local master Antun Raguseo. The idea to erect the Column was born in 1417, and its construction started two years later. On 13th of May 1519, the Minor Council entrusted the noblemen, senators Lujo Gozze and Zore Palmota, with the task to place Orlando's Column on the main square in front of Saint Blaise's Church.

During the history of Dubrovnik the Orlando's Column had a multi-faceted role and symbolism. The column represents the character of a pale knight. The knight, according to legend, was the nephew of the Spanish King Charles, who died in 778 on his way back to Spain. It was believed that Orlando had supernatural powers and a naval victory over the Saracene pirate Spucento was attributed to Orlando and his special forces.

Another legend about the origins of the column dates from the 15th century. The legend states that the column was installed at the time when Sigismund protected Dubrovnik. Sigismund was a famous Hungarian, Czech and later German king. During his life the king was famous for erecting Orlando columns all across the Brandeburg County.

Orlando’s stone column served the city of Dubrovnik as a flag carrier, symbol of freedom and as a metaphor for trade. His forearm is 51.2 centimeters long and this was for centuries the standard Dubrovnik measurement for fabric. For many centuries Dubrovnik merchants stood in front of the column measuring and cutting fabric. Orlando used to hold his sword in the direction of the Ottoman Empire as a symbol of readiness to fight for the freedom and independence of the Republic of Dubrovnik. Today the column is turned to Sponza Palace with his back to the church of Saint Blaise.

However, the column has been damaged during the years and has gone through numerous reconstructions. It's been under monitoring for some time now, before it goes under restoration. 

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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