In front of St. Blaise's Church
The monumental baroque Church of St Blaise (1715) in Dubrovnik is situated in the Luža square, the junction of the two main streets and meeting places - Placa (Main street) and Pred Dvorom (In front of the Rector's Palace). The Church was constructed (1706 – 1715) by Venetian architect and sculptor M. Gropelli. The legend has it that St Blaise saved the residents of Dubrovnik from a Venetian attack in 972. Before becoming the protector and patron saint of Dubrovnik St Blaise was a doctor. Presented as an old man with a grey beard and dressed as a bishop, he holds an iron comb, the sign of martyrdom, and a lit candle symbolising healing. He is considered the patron of wild animals and throat illness for saving a child from suffocating. He always holds a model of the City in his hand.
The area in front of St Blaise’s Church called Luža (Lounge) has been the centre of public life of the City from its very beginnings.
It was named after a guardhouse with a porch that stood in front of St Blaise’s Church till the 18th century. Otherwise, Loggia, or belvedere, is a meeting place and centre of public life, enabling the widest field of vision and having both reconnoitring and defence purposes. In the present time area of Luža stood a building from 1356, which was pulled down in 1708. Luža Zvonara (Bell Lounge) was constructed in 1463. It had four bells that summoned the council members, or sounded alarm in case of danger. Until 1463 the bells had been at the Rector’s Palace arsenal, but were moved from there after a gunpowder explosion. The bells are nowadays used on festive occasions, such as the Opening Ceremony of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Adjacent to the Bell-tower is the most representative and most beautiful building in Dubrovnik, Sponza Palace (see: Sponza Palace). Across Sponza Palace is St Blaise’s Church from 1715 (see: St Blaise’s Church). In front of the Church is Orlando’s Column put up in 1418 (see: Orlando’s Column). The Small Onofrio’s Fountain stands by the City bell-tower, and next to it is the Main Guard. Adjacent to the Main Guard building is the City Hall from 1867.