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Lazareti - Time machine
From 5.00pm live event about Lazareti - the first quarantine
Lazareti - Time machine
One would have thought that in 643 years a lot would have changed and that nothing is the same as before. New technologies, scientific discoveries, daily advances in medicine, 5G...we dive to the greatest depths, conquer the peaks of the greatest mountains, walk on the moon, we drive 300 kilometres per hour, we fly, and again, in front of an invisible enemy we make the same decisions that some wise and skilful people made 643 years ago, that is, 6 centuries ago, 43 years and only a few hours.
Namely, on this day, 27.7.1377 the Republic of Dubrovnik made a historic decision, a decree on quarantine. Apart from isolation, nothing helped in the fight against the plague epidemic that was then ravaging the world, claiming countless human lives. Even then, nothing helped but physical distance, isolation, and not only for 15 days, but longer, as the word quarantine itself says, 40 days.
Near the proud city walls and the powerful fortresses, overlooking the Old City harbour is located another guardian of Dubrovnik, Lazareti.
It is completely surreal and strange that people back in 1377 had the same dilemmas as we do today. That is why we will dedicate today to those who have found ways to maintain such a fragile and demanding balance between life that must not stop and life that must not be lost, the balance between, for the survival of necessary economic activities, and preserving human health and human lives
That s why we re going to visit Sponza today. A beautiful building in which this city in its archives has for 7 centuries carefully preserved its history, documents that speak of skill, and common sense and good decisions that have elevated, maintained and made this city resilient and unique.
The first quarantine was the so-called "trentena".
On July 27, 1377, the Republic of Dubrovnik, a city-state, the Dubrovnik that today is part of Croatia, proclaimed "Veniens de locis Pestiferis non intrect Ragusium vel districtum." A little less than thirty years after the first outbreak of the medieval plague, it is in fact the first quarantine applied by law, the record of which exists in the Book of Liber viridis in the Dubrovnik Historical Archive in the Sponza Palace.
Anyone who came to Ragusa from the infected lands could not enter the territory of the Republic, but had to "camp" on the island of Mrkan (Marčana) or on the site of Cavtat (Ragusavecchia), near the city, "ad purgandum" for a month, today we would say "thirty" or "trentena." In the first form, the legislation already banned anyone from visiting people in isolation, "without the permission of the authorities." It should be emphasized that the measure did not block trade between vulnerable guests and only 20 years later, a new law also banned the purchase and sale of goods from infected areas. Another island, Meleda (Mljet), was added as a quarantine site, which together with Mrkan provided temporary residence for foreigners coming from the sea, while Ragusavecchia filtered foreigners from the mainland.
Certainly, the then headquarters consulted, after a frequent increase in the number of patients, and made a decision to increase the days in isolation, a quarantine of 40 days.


In 1590, the government started with the construction of the lazaretto in Ploče, near the eastern city entrance. Just outside the city walls, to be closer to the city. The construction was completed in 1642. It contained 10 multistory buildings (5 for goods, 5 for people) connected by 5 interior courtyards. This lazaretto had five areas and five residential buildings for passengers who had to go through quarantine.
With the construction of the Dubrovnik lazarettos, epidemics were significantly suppressed and these great buildings are still standing as Dubrovnik guardian, Of its culture. Lazarettos are today The Creative Neighborhood of Dubrovnik.
Join us today! we Are going "live at five" in Dubrovnik Archives looking for a first world decree on quarantine!

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