Rupe, or ‘holes’, refer to those dotting this spacious granary that once fed Dubrovnik. Today it houses a modest ethnographic museum on the top floor, containing peasant costumes and items depicting life in the countryside. Most of all, it offers a fabulous view of the Old Town, complemented by the sea on one side and mountains on the other. It’s two minutes up from Stradun, a handy diversion from the sights and crowds below. This former granary, opened in 1590 after 42 years of work, sits up a hill – high means dry. The Rupe was where grain was stored in 15 large wells hewn from rock, coated with impermeable mortar. It held 1,200 tonnes of grain, the centre of the local food administration system, ensuring the rapidly rising population could all be fed. Grain was dried and aired in the upper floors then channelled down huge chutes to the stores below, then sold to the public. The Ethnographic Museum shows how locals used to live. This remit makes it more down to earth than rector’s robes and angelic madonnas. There are mosaics of boats, lions and doves. A floor dedicated to traditional farming tools and techniques shows olive-oil grindstones, wicker baskets, rusty guns and old hoes. There are festive peasant costumes, painted eggs and a selection of weird lute-like instruments. It’s all quite fun before you step outside again to take in that breathtaking view – and all the crowds that come with it.

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Croatia Tourist board Dubrovnik Tourist Board