THE CITY OF STONE & SALT
Ston is famous for its great fortifying walls bearing the nickname the European Great Wall of China.
Ston is a tiny town at the head of the Pelješac Peninsula, one hour’s car drive from Dubrovnik. The Ston Walls were built in the 14th and 15th centuries to defend both the northern borders of the Dubrovnik Republic, and the salt marshes, still in use today. Salt was once a precious commodity, and thanks to the salt trade, the Dubrovnik Republic continued to grow and flourish.
The present-day Ston was founded in the 14th century when the Dubrovnik Republic took control of the Pelješac Peninsula. But Ston had existed before that! The early settlement of Ston was located in the fertile valley nearby, the remains of many early Christian churches bearing witness to this. In other words, with the arrival of the Dubrovnik Republic, Ston, and its population, moved house.
The Dubrovnik Republic built a new Ston at the foot of the southern slope of the Pozvizd Hill, and Mali Ston (literally the Small Ston) at the foot of the northern slope of the same hill. Lying on opposite sides of the hill, and also on opposite sides of the Pelješac isthmus, the two settlements are connected by the Big Wall, controlling land access onto Pelješac.
Today Mali Ston is famous for oyster and mussel farming. The long narrow Mali Ston Bay, between the mainland and the peninsula, contains a mix of salt and fresh water, and together with strong currents and tides, this is ideal for cultivating the ostrea edulis, a high quality oyster, extinct in other areas. Of course, the best months to visit Mali Ston are those which have an R in them.
Top sightseeing tours