Dubrovnik has a remarkable history. An independent, merchant republic for 700 years (abolished by Napoleon in 1806), it traded with Turkey and India in the East (with a consul in Goa, India) and had trade representatives in Africa (Cape Verde Islands). It even had diplomatic relations with the English court in the middle ages. (There is a letter from Elizabeth I on display in the City Museum in Dubrovnik). Its status was such that powerful and rich Venice was envious of this Croatian-Slav city.
The old town was completed in the 13th century and remains virtually unchanged to the present day. Tall ramparts surround it and there are only two entrances to the old town which lead to the Stradun, the city's promenade. One of the greatest pleasures for many visitors is to have a drink in one of the nearby cafes and watch the world go by, whilst they themselves are being watched by the city patron, St. Blaise, or Sveti Vlaho as the locals call him. In 1991/2, the Serbs shelled the city causing considerable damage, but thanks to local efforts and international aid, the old town has been restored to its former beauty.
Ravensburger HistoryRavensburger Spieleverlag GmbH is a German game company and market leader in the European jigsaw puzzle market.
The company was founded by Otto Robert Maier with seat in Ravensburg, a town in Upper Swabia in southern Germany. He began publishing in 1883 with his first author contract. He started publishing instruction folders for craftsmen and architects, which soon acquired him a solid financial basis. His first board game appeared in 1884, named "Journey around the world".
At the turn of the 20th century, his product line broadened to include picture books, books, children’s activity books, Art Instruction manuals, non-fiction books, and reference books as well as children’s games, Happy Families and activity kits. In 1900, the Ravensburger blue triangle trademark was registered with the Imperial Patent office. As of 1912, many board and activity games had an export version that was distributed to Western Europe, the countries of the Danube Monarchy as well as Russia.
Before the First World War, Ravensburger had around 800 products. The publishing house was damaged during the Second World War and continued to produce games in the years of the reconstruction. The company focused on children's games and books and specialized books for art, architecture and hobbies, and from 1962 grew strongly. The company started to produce jigsaw puzzle games in 1964, and in the same year opened subsidiaries in Austria, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In 1977 the company split into a book publishing arm and a game publishing arm.
Today there are approximately 1,800 available books and 850 games as well as puzzles, hobby products and CD-ROM titles at Ravensburger and its subsidiaries, which include Alea for "hobby and ardent game players" and FX Schmid for games and children's books. Ravensburger products are exported to more than fifty countries.
In September 2010, Ravensburger broke Educa's record for the world's largest jigsaw puzzle of 24,000 pieces. Ravensburger's new puzzle design by late pop artist Keith Haring titled, 'Keith Haring: Double Retrospect' breaks the Guinness Book of World Records measuring 17' × 6' built from 32,256 pieces and comes with its own dolly cart for toting.