The Sponza Palace (Croatian: Palača Sponza), also called Divona (from dogana, customs), is a 16thcentury palace in Dubrovnik, Croatia. Its name is derived from the Latin word “spongia”, the spot where rainwater was collected.
The rectangular building with an inner courtyard was built in a mixed Gothic and Renaissance style between 1516 and 1522 by Paskoje Miličević Mihov. The loggia and sculptures were crafted by the brothers Andrijić and other stonecutters.
The palace has served a variety of public functions, including as a customs office and bonded warehouse, mint, armoury, treasury, bank and school. It became the cultural center of the Republic of Ragusa with the establishment of the Academia dei Concordi, a literary academy, in the 16th century. It survived the 1667 earthquake without damage. The palace’s atrium served as a trading center and business meeting place. An inscription on an arch testifies to this public function: