Ston and Mali (the little) Ston — Second longest wall in all of Europe Ston & Mali Ston are two small beautiful, fortified towns, situated at the point where Pelješac Peninsula joins the mainland, (59 km north-west of Dubrovnik) extending 1km between the two, each town is positioned within two different bays, (Malostonski and Mljetski Kanal) north and south, divided by a high peak.
Mali Ston is situated on the Northern side of the Peninsula and was founded in 1335 as part of the Republic of Ragusa (today’s Dubrovnik). It was essentially a defensive town, meant to protect powerful Ragusa, with an impressive arrangement of walls and towers.
The port of Mali Ston was completed in 1490 and clearly resembles the port of Dubrovnik with three arsenals, a round tower and a fortified port gate with a Romanesque statue of St Blaise over it.
The Mali Ston Bay is a protected area where aquaculture is successful thanks to the virgin cleanliness and wealth of the sea. This is the only successful breeding ground for the European flat oyster (Ostrea Edulis) in the world. It has a unique, full bodied aroma and flavor of the sea. Since ancient times, it has been recognized on the tables of the European courts, and today is an irreplaceable culinary pleasure of this region. Oysters are fullest and most delicious in March, when St Joseph s Day in celebrated. Mali Ston has become famous for “the" place to eat oysters.
p.s. Shellfish cultivation in Mali Ston Bay presently is based on only two species: The European Flat Oyster, Ostrea Edulis, and the mussel, Mytilus Galloprovinicialis.
Ston which is larger and more historically important is situated on the southern side. The town is surrounded by a high wall, 5 km in the shape of a pentagon. Wall of Ston has to be the second longest wall in all of Europe, surpassed only by Hadrian’s Wall (118 km) between Scotland and England. Ston was founded in 1333 with purpose of defending and servicing the salt pans which are still being worked today. The town was built according to the plans approved by the Dubrovnik government in 1335 and amended in 1370 and is considered one of the best planned and best structured cities in Europe.
Because of Ston’s unique position and cultural qualities, especially its natural salt pans, the Republic of Dubrovnik decided to erect a monumental defensive wall in 1358, to protect it from attacks and pillage. (Salt was one of the most important sources of the Republics riches at that time.)
During the first 30 years, the defensive walls were built from one side of the Peninsula to the other, the fortified towns were erected to provide housing for people to guard the borders and work in the salt pans. It was completed in the 15th century. Being 5.5 km long complete with 40 towers and 5 forts, it has been likened to a miniature “Great Wall of China". Today, 5 km of wall and 20 towers remain.