PHOTO: DREAM DIVISION
The Fortified County

ST. MICHAEL'S FORTRESS 

The oldest of four Šibenik’s fortresses, St. Michaels Fortress is one of the most significant cultural and historical monuments in the town. First mentioned in 1066, medieval fortress is the place from which city emerged. Simply said, if there had been no St. Michael’s Fortress, there would have been no Šibenik. Built about sixty meters above the ground, on a steep rock looking over St. Anthony’s Chan­nel, St. Michael’s Fortress domi­nates over the old town of Šibe­nik, bay and mouth of river Krka. It was named after the church from the 12th century which is locat­ed inside the walls. The imposing and strong tetragon shape, sur­rounded by defensive walls, made the fortress a protector of the area.

With its new added facility – a unique open air stage with 1077 seats, the re­vitalized fortress has opened its doors in 2014, and has since been an unavoidable cultural tourism destination offering numerous evening events and concerts to its visitors.

 

THE FORTRESSES OF ST. JOHN

St. John's Fortress is located on a hill 115 m above the old town centre of Šibenik. It was built in 1646 in the form of a star, according to the project of Venetian military engineer Antonio Leni, in order to protect the town from Turkish attacks from the mainland. It is interesting that the construction of the fortress lasted for only a month and a half, because Šibenik's citizens were so afraid of Turkish attacks that they helped building it too.

 

BARONE FORTRESS

Barone Fortress was built in the summer of 1646, alongside the nearby St. John Fortress. They were built by the citizens of Šibenik in less than two months to strengthen their city's defense against the Ottomans. Baron von Degenfeld was the commander of the defense, which fought off the attacks. The enemy retreated with great losses and the grateful citizens name the fortress Barone, after its builder and their hero, Baron von Degenfeld.

Barone Fortress is a unique regional cultural attraction, a place where, with the help of augmented reality (AR) technology, one can look at Šibenik's past. The Gastro-cultural center with a special offer of selected delicacies and wines promotes the local gastronomic offer while lasting memories of time spent in Šibenik can be found at the Barone souvenir shop.

 

THE KNIN FORTRESS

The Knin Fortress is one of the greatest Croatian fortification monuments and the second largest military fortification in whole Europe, extremely indented and preserved in all its parts. The construction of the fortress started in the 9th century, in the period of the Early Croatian Republic, and some Croatian kings held their capital intermittently in Knin, whereas King Dmitar Zvonimir even held the permanent one.

The fortress consists of five connected parts located 345 m above sea level and about 100 m above the town of Knin. It is 470 m long and on its highest part 110 m wide. The defensive walls, about 2 km long and enclosing the fortress from all sides, are even up to 20 m high at several places. The fortress is a living monument of culture and includes a museum, exhibition galleries and a restaurant, so it represents the main brand of Knin's cultural tourism. It is open from March 16th to October 31st every day from 7 am to 7 pm, and out of season from 7 am to 3 pm.

THE GRADINA FORTRESS

The Gradina Fortress is a historical monument and a part of the system of fortresses of the noble family Nelipčić, located in Drniš 344 m above sea level, above the canyon of the Čikola River. Built on the site of strategic importance, it offers a breath-taking view of the city and Promina Mountain. With the arrival of the Venetians in the late 17th century its demolition was ordered, however it was soon restored because of the threat of the Turkish breaking in, which was present until 1715.

In the 19th century the fortress lost all functions and became a source of building materials for the growing city of Drniš. Today's remains that are visible on the southern side are the original part of the medieval fortress, while the central tower and the north-eastern defence wall are added in the period of Ottoman rule.