- Historical event
- 27 May 1806
- On this day, citizens of Ragusa opened the gates of the city to the French army and about 1,000 Napoleon’s soldiers entered Ragusa, led by General Jacques Lauriston (who was of Scottish origin).
After Napoleon’s army marched into Dalmatia, it continued to advance towards the south, with the intention of taking the Bay of Kotor.
But, the Russians, as Napoleon’s enemies, wanted to take a strategic position in the Balkans, which would limit the French expansion. So they sent a fleet led by Admiral Senyavin, who took up the Bay of Kotor, pre-empting the French. Neutral Republic of Ragusa was therefore wedged between two great powers.
The French were advancing from the north, the Russian fleet sought to expand its authority to Ragusa from the south, starting with blocking the port of Ragusa and Gruz. Senate of the Republic of Ragusa decided to accept the French.
On this day, citizens of Ragusa opened the gates of the city to the French army and about 1,000 Napoleon’s soldiers entered Ragusa, led by General Jacques Lauriston (who was of Scottish origin).
The Russians did not give up Ragusa without a fight. They started bombarding the city from the sea, and their allies Montenegrins attacked the land territory of the Republic.
The French army indeed provided Ragusa with protection. Of course, they did it to protect their own interests. The government of Ragusa thought that the French troops will stay in town only temporarily, in order to provide protection.
They were mistaken. The French did not leave Ragusa, but they, in fact, abolished the Republic two years later and made its territory a part of the French Empire.