Probably the oldest public monument in Dubrovnik. It’s a high stone column with a carved image of Orlando – a medieval knight holding a sword in his hand. Orlando is actually “Roland”, the main character of one of the most important literary works dating back to the Middle Ages, the “Chanson de Roland”.
Although the statues of Roland were put up mainly in German cities, the myth about him was brought to Dubrovnik in the 15th century by Hungarian and Bohemian King Sigismund, the patron of the Republic of Dubrovnik.
The legend even says Roland himself defeated the Saracen pirate Spucant near the island of Lokrum.
According to preserved documents, the statue of Orlando was made by Bonino of Milan in 1418.
Orlando’s Column was the place where all important decisions of the state authorities were proclaimed and also it was a symbol of old Dubrovnik’s independence.
On its pole, where once was the flag of the Republic of Dubrovnik, now stands the Croatian national flag. During the Festival of St. Blaise, the Dubrovnik patron saint, the column is bedecked with a flag with his image and during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival – with the Libertas (freedom) flag.