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Photographer's Note

The tiles of Dubrovnik make, say its inhabitants, a great part of its charm. Straw uellow, saffron, ochre, faded pink, Sienne ground, curry, all the delicate nuances of the time which passes patinate them. They are gray color of lichen which covers them since centuries, worn and diluted by the history and the rain, the wind and the wars, the storms and the battles. They date from the rebuilding of the city after the terrible earthquake of 1667, which devastated old Raguse, killing 5 000 people and destroying the major part of the monuments of the Rebirth.

Registered since nearly a quarter century to the world Inheritance of humanity by UNESCO, this fragile and marvellous city is not only built on a zone of geological disorders: it is also the prey of the madness of the men. During the civil war which devastated Balkans, between 1991 and 1992, Dubrovnik, hardly given from the seism of 1979, was the target of more than 2 000 shells. Two thirds of the houses and 90% of the roofs were reached.

One does not rebuild a city founded in VIIe century of our era like any city. The specialists in UNESCO are leaning per tens with its bedside, once returned peace. The famous tiles came from a factory located at 8 kilometers of Dubrovnik, but this one is closed since more than one hundred years. The workshop of Slovenia who had taken the changing was quite unable to provide the 400 000 units necessary. Also experts in restoration of the historic buildings made the turn of the world to find a company able to manufacture in urgency the hundreds of thousands of tiles which could be based harmoniously with those remained on the roofs. It was a French factory, located close to Toulouse, which provides a first quota of 200 000 parts.

Unfortunately, once posed, the new tiles contrasts terribly with the old ones. Top of the ramparts, that the inhabitants and the visitors have surveyed for seven centuries, one did not see any more but they. Some people suggested all replacing the old ones by the new ones, to harmonize the roofs. This crime of "lèse-tuiles"* was the subject of rough discussions and heavy debates within the population. One finally decided to slip the news under the old ones in order to soften as much as possible the difference. The orders had placed gradually in three colours, yellow, beige and pink, hoping time will get the patina.

http://www.lexpress.fr/voyage/destinations/dossier/vcroatie/dossier.asp (French)
* impossible to translate !

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Additional Photos by JeanPierre Fayeulle (fayeulle) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1956 W: 626 N: 6621] (27827)
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