There are two different versions of Ragusa that appear in the game. It was originally Sicilian, but was later replaced with a Croatian city that stands in present-day Dubrovnik. The Civilopedia entries for both versions of Ragusa are given below; the latter was implemented in the 188.8.131.525 patch, which was released in April 2011.
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Ragusa of SicilyEdit
Located on the island of Sicily, Ragusa is an Italian city of some 75,000 inhabitants. A port city situated almost directly in the center of the Mediterranean, Ragusa is some 3,500 years old. Originally settled by the native Sicels (ancient Sicilians), over its long history it has been conquered by the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Arabs, Normans, French, and Spanish. Ragusa was the seat of the Kingdom of Sicily, created in the mid-12th century, and then part of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies under the Bourbons. In 1860 it became part of unified Italy.
Ragusa is constructed on a wide hill. A huge earthquake in 1693 devastated the city, and few of the original buildings survived. The city was largely rebuilt in the 18th century, in the process making it a marvel of Baroque architecture.
Ragusa's economy is based upon agriculture - especially olives - light manufacturing, and tourism. Ragusa is a beautiful city, with numerous museums and churches (including the wonderfully-named "Church of Purgatory"). The Marina di Ragusa is a famous seaside resort, and the area boasts some of the least crowded beaches in Sicily.
Although not the biggest or most popular city in Sicily, Ragusa is beautiful and rich with culture and history - certainly worth conquering if one has an army or fleet in the area.
Ragusa of CroatiaEdit
The modern Croatian city of Dubrovnik was at one time a powerful city-state known as the Republic of Ragusa. Established in the 7th century, the city of Ragusa is believed to have originally been founded on a small island nestled in the Adriatic Sea, not far off the southern coast of modern Croatia. These founders, a group of Roman refugees, established the settlement after fleeing the destruction of their home city of Epidaurus. Over time, the city would expand into the surrounding region thanks to assistance from the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires as well as the kings of Croatia and Hungary. The development of the city, particularly into key areas such as the Harbor of Gruz (a crucial port even today) would draw the ire of Venice, whose dominance of maritime trade had previously been unrivaled.
Beginning in 1205 when Venice invaded what was then known as Dalmatia (a region of Western Croatia), Ragusa was forced into a position of suzerainty, providing extensive tribute to Venice while also serving as the Venetian naval base in the Adriatic Sea. Despite the pressures of Venetian influence, Ragusa's own development as a center of trade on the Adriatic would continue. Venice's meddling, however, took its toll on the populace and growing resentment amongst the Ragusan people towards Venice during this period would mark the beginning of a longstanding economic rivalry between the two city-states. After Venice yielded its claims to Dalmatia in 1358, Ragusa finally had an opportunity to gain real autonomy. The Republic of Ragusa was established soon after, the city's aristocracy quick to consolidate power amongst themselves. The nobility managed nearly all aspects of Ragusan politics, leaving the citizens and plebeians with almost no voice at all. This government would operate autonomously, under the sovereignty of the Hungarian king, for the next 100 years.
In 1458, a treaty signed with the Ottoman Empire would solidify Ragusa's position as a powerful trade center for the remainder of its time as a republic. Under the protection of the Ottomans, the city thrived. Reduced customs fees, access to the Black Sea (previously restricted to Ottoman merchants), and Ottoman backing in trade disputes would all provide valuable advantages bolstering Ragusa's position as the dominant Adriatic port.
At its peak, Ragusa had a population approaching 30,000 people, and served as a crucial link between the ports of Italy and the destinations of the East. However, as goods from India, China and beyond became more readily available, Ragusa's commercial influence dwindled. A massive earthquake would strike the city in 1667, destroying nearly 75% of the structures and killing over 5,000 residents. A shell of its former self, in 1806 the city was finally surrendered to the army of Napoleon and by 1808 the Republic of Ragusa was no more.
Today, the city of Dubrovnik is a popular tourist destination on the Adriatic Sea with a population of over 40,000. Dubrovnik also remains a commercial seaport, one of the few remaining remnants of its storied past.