Dubrovnik Defenders’ Day in Croatia Date in the current year: December 6, 2024

Dubrovnik Defenders’ Day in Croatia Every year on December 6 the Croats commemorate an important date in the history of their country. This day is known as Dubrovnik Defenders' Day and its observance is connected with the siege of Dubrovnik during the break-up of Yugoslavia.

The siege of Dubrovnik started on October 1, 1991 when the units of the Yugoslav People's Army started an attack of the city. The siege lasted till May 31, 1992, but the bloodiest events took place on December 6. At least 3 civilians were killed, the Old Town of Dubrovnik, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was destroyed by the bombardment.

A ceasefire was agreed and it came into force only in May, 1992. About 70% of all buildings of Old Town were damaged and over 90 civilians died during the siege. The warfare caused over $ 9.5 million in damage.

People who died during the siege of Dubrovnik are commemorated annually on December 6. A special mass is held in the central church of Dubrovnik. Citizens, who lost their relatives and friends during the Croatian War of Independence bring flowers to the graves of the defenders and innocent victims of the siege to express their sorrow and show respect for their efforts to protect the city.

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