Cavtat is a small charming town situated twenty kilometers south-east of Dubrovnik. Three centuries BC Greeks from Vis had founded a coastal settlement called Epidaurum until it was captured by Romans in 228 BC. In the seventh century Cavtat was overrun by Avars displacing the inhabitants further north-west, at the place of today's Dubrovnik. The name is derived from Civitas Vetus
, as the old refugees used to call the rebuilt town. Not much has been preserved from the old settlement, just theatre remains, graves, and patches of the old road. Cavtat became part of the Dubrovnik republic at 1426. That was the period when Cavtat got its defensive walls, Renaissance Governor's palace, Franciscan church, and parish building. At the beginning of the twentieth century Cavtat became a favorite place for Austro-Hungary vacationers. It has attracted a wealthy clientele till the buildup of large luxurious hotels at the hidden wooded outskirts in the 1980s.
Today, Cavtat is a vibrant touristy town with a small old center, palm dominated Riva that attracts yachts of the rich and famous people. The harbor is protected by islands Supetar, Mrkan and Bobara. It is conveniently situated between Dubrovnik and the Ćilipi airport for an easy land access. During the summer months of July-August is hosts Cavtat Summer festival with "klapa" - harmony singing groups, folk music, and water-polo sport events. The most important hiliday is Day of Our Lady of the Snows on August 5. Small Carnival Fiesta takes place during the slow months of January and February.
The town offers very rich vegetation and nice long shores. At the hill overlooking the bay is the Račić mausoleum. It was built during the span of 1920-1923, after the ship-owning Račić family has commissioned the famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović. It is an eclectic piece of architecture with a Byzantine dome structure, dig-faced gargoyles, Greek angels, and Teutonic looking eagles. At the bottom of the hill is the Franciscan Monastery of Our Lady of the Snow which has an early 16th century triptych by Vicko Lovrin. In the Rector's Palace there is a rich international and domestic graphics artists collection bequeathed by lawyer Baltazar Bogišić. The house of the painter Vlaho Bukovac (1855-1922) contains a rich collection of his works.
Cavtat has a good land and sea connections with Dubrovnik
and other Župa Dubrovačka places like Konavle
which offer rich culture and authentic folk articrafts.