Castles and fortifications in Croatia

Fort Royal

On the Lokrum island"s highest point stands Fort Royal Castle, which was built by the French during Napoleon"s occupation of Croatia in 1806, though it was later named Maximilian"s Tower by the Austrians. It was completed around 1835.
Founded: 1806 | Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Klis Fortress

From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major sour ...
Founded: 7th century AD | Location: Klis, Croatia

Walls of Ston

The Walls of Ston are a series of defensive stone walls, originally more than 7 kilometres long, that surrounded and protected the city of Ston. Their construction was begun in 1358. Today, it is one of the longest preserved fotification systems in the world. Despite being well protected by massive city walls, the Republic of Ragusa used Pelješac to build another line of defence. At its narrowest point, just before it j ...
Founded: 1358 | Location: Ston, Croatia

Varazdin Castle

Varaždin medieval castle is the most important monument of the town. Its construction began back in the 14th century and lasted for over four centuries, as it was built and rebuilt several times in different architectural styles. Castle’s rounded towers and the moat filled with water were constructed in the 15th century. During the invasion of the Turks. in the late 16th century, high walls with bastions were built. Ov ...
Founded: 1454 | Location: Varaždin, Croatia

Starigrad Fortress

Starigrad Fortress was built during the Croatian–Ottoman wars (15th century) as a primary defence against the Ottoman Empire. The precipitous fortification is sited on a 262 m ridge above the town Omiš. In the event of attack, its purpose was to provide refuge for local people and be a stronghold where they could retreat to and resist the Turks. As the stone fort"s defensive strength is derived from the elevatio ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Borak, Croatia

Knin Fortress

Knin Fortress is situated on the main transport corridor leading from Dalmatia to continental Croatia and Bosnia. Archaeological excavations date that this area was populated since the 6th century. The Croats built the fortress near a devastated Roman settlement, soon after they settled in the area. It was one of the residences of Croatian monarchs, and possibly became the main residence later, since it was much safer to ...
Founded: 8th century AD | Location: Knin, Croatia

Vrsar Castle

The Vrsar castle is a former palace and residence of the bishop of Poreč who ruled Vrsar from the 6th century until 1778. Today’s castle is basically a medieval building that was extended and altered in Baroque style in the 17th century. With the establishment of the Venetian reign in 1778, the castle was taken away from the Church and laicised. In the 19th century, it came under the ownership of the Vergottini family. ...
Founded: 17th century | Location: Vrsar, Croatia

Barone Fortress

The Barone Fortress in Šibenik is an early modern fortress constructed in 1646 on Vidakuša hill above the city. Together with the remaining three city fortresses, it is a part of the Šibenik fortification system. It played a significant role in city"s defense from the Ottomans during the Cretan War. Since at least the mid-16th century, the city rectors and envoys had been stressing the need for the construction o ...
Founded: 1646 | Location: Šibenik, Croatia

Hum Castle

Medieval Hum town was first mentioned in 1102 in the deed of gift by Marquis Ulrich II. The passage through the early 12th century double entrance gates, and then this one from 1562 leads us into the square. The exceptionally small area has all town features: the town loggia, nobility and folk houses, and the parish church with the priest residence. The castle was located on the site of the current Church of the Assumpti ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Buzet, Croatia

Medvedgrad

Medvedgrad is a medieval fortified town located on the south slopes of Medvednica mountain, approximately halfway from the Croatian capital Zagreb to the mountain top Sljeme. For defensive purposes it was built on a hill, Mali Plazur, that is a spur of the main ridge of the mountain that overlooks the city. On a clear day the castle can be seen from far away, especially the high main tower. Below the main tower ...
Founded: 1249-1254 | Location: Zagreb, Croatia

Zrinski Castle

Čakovec or Zrinski Castle is the biggest fortification in Međimurje County. It was constructed of hewn stone and red brick, and, during its more than 7-century-long history, subjected to several reconstructions. Today it is partly restored. First fortification was built in the 13th century by Count Dimitrius Csáky, after whom the city of Čakovec is named. It was later owned by many other notable families, includ ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Čakovec, Croatia

Topana Fortress

The Topana fortress is located near to the mountain slopes of Modro jezero (Blue lake) and dominates over the town. The fortress was built in the 10th century and throughout history had a great strategic significance. The patron of the Imotski border- land is Our Lady of the Angels, and a small church of the same name is located in the fortress" surroundings. The fortress was under Ottoman rule for over 200 years. To ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Imotski, Croatia

Cippico Castle

In 1512, Pavao Antun Cippico, a nobleman from Trogir, built a fortified summer residence with inclined ground-floor walls and an adjoining fortified village for his labourers from the villages below Mount Kozjak.
Founded: 1512 | Location: Kaštel Novi, Croatia

Trakoscan Castle

Trakošćan was built in the 13th century within Croatia"s northwestern fortification system, as a rather small observation fortress for monitoring the road from Ptuj to Bednja Valley. According to a legend, Trakošćan was named after another fortification (arx Thacorum) that was alleged to have stood in the same spot back in antiquity. Another source claims that it was named after the knights of Drachenstein w ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Trakošćan, Croatia

Pazin Castle

Pazin Castle is built on a solid rock situated in the middle of the town of Pazin, the administrative seat of Istria County. It is the largest and best-preserved castle in that westernmost Croatian county. The fortified structure was constructed of hewn stone, and, during its 1100 years long history, subjected to several major reconstructions and renovations. The Pazin Castle was first mentioned in 983 in a document issu ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Pazin, Croatia

Arapovo Castle

Arapovo Palace, also called Soderini, was built at the beginning of the 16th century.
Founded: 16th century | Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

St. Nicholas Fortress

St. Nicholas' Fortress was built on the left side at the entrance to St. Anthony Channel, on the island called Ljuljevac. The island is situated at the entrance to the Šibenik channel across the Jadrija beach lighthouse. St. Nicholas' Fortress got its name from the Benedictine Monastery of St. Nicholas, which was originally on the island, but due to the construction of the fortress, it had to be demolished. At the reques ...
Founded: 1525 | Location: Šibenik, Croatia

Fort Punta Christo

Fort Punta Christo was built at the end of the 19th century by the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy to defend City of Pula, their main naval port. Situated on a small peninsula at 45 meters above sea level, Fort Punta Christo offers a breathtaking view of the entrance to the Bay of Pula, its breakwater, as well to National Park Islands Brijuni on the other side. The fortress is surrounded by a deep ditch and there are three entr ...
Founded: 19th century | Location: Pula, Croatia

Nejah Fortress

The name Nehaj comes from the Croatian term Ne hajati, which means Don"t care. This name was given to the hill and the Fortress by the Uskoks, who built it on the top of this hill the for defensive purposes. They gave the hill and the fortress such a name because they wanted to emphasize to the citizens of the town of Senj, and all of those that lived in the vicinity of the town of Senj that they should not ca ...
Founded: 1558 | Location: Senj, Croatia

Dvigrad Castle Ruins

Dvigrad was originally two towns, Moncastello and Castel Parentino. Dvigrad was first mentioned in 879, when it fell under the rule of the Patriarch of Aquileia. However, it had existed long before it as a part of the Roman province settlement. Its name speaks originally of two towns. Today"s ruins are the remains of the northern town of Moncastello, while the other one, Castel Parentino, was abandoned in the 10th ce ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Kanfanar, Croatia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

La Iruela Castle

The castle of La Iruela, small but astonishing, is located on the top of a steep crag in Sierra de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas Natural Park. From the castle, impressive views of the surrounding area and of the town can be enjoyed.

The keep dates from the Christian era. It has a square base and small dimensions and is located at the highest part of the crag.

There are some other enclosures within the tower that create a small alcázar which is difficult to access.

In a lower area of the castle, protected with defensive remains of rammed earth and irregular masonry, is an old Muslim farmstead.

After a recent restoration, an open-air theater has been built on La Iruela castle enclosure. This theater is a tribute to the Greek and Classic Eras and holds various artistic and cultural shows throughout the year.

History

The first traces of human activity in La Iruela area are dated from the Copper Age. An intense occupation continued until the Bronze Age.

Originally, La Iruela (like Cazorla) was a modest farmstead. From the 11th century, a wall and a small fortress were built on the hill to protect the farmers.

Around 1231, don Rodrigo Ximénez de Rada, Archbishop of Toledo, conquered La Iruela and made it part of the Adelantamiento de Cazorla. Over the Muslim fortress, the current fortress was built.

Once the military use of the fortress ended, it was used as cemetery.