Castles and fortifications in Croatia

Samobor Castle

Samobor Castle was built on a hill above the crossroads of then important routes in the northwestern corner of the Sava valley, above the medieval market town of Samobor. The castle was erected by the supporters of Czech king, Ottokar II of Bohemia, between 1260 and 1264, who was then in a war with Hungarian king Stephen V. Croatian-Hungarian forces under command of duke of Okić soon retook the castle, for which he was g ...
Founded: 1260 | Location: Samobor, Croatia

Sisak Fortress

Sisak Fortress was built following the increasingly threatening and devastating Turkish attacks on the Kingdom of Croatia. The construction works were ordered by the Bishop of Zagreb, the owner of the estate, and lasted from 1544 until 1550.  Having become Bosnian pasha in 1591, Hasan Pasha Predojević launched a few attacks on Sisak. During his last campaign in June 1593, his army of around 12.000 Ottoman soldie ...
Founded: 1544-1550 | Location: Sisak, Croatia

Dubovac Castle

The Dubovac Castle overlooks the Croatian city Karlovac. Its square tower was probably built during the 13th century. In the 15th century, the castle was rebuilt in Renaissance style. The castle had various owners—from Slavonian nobleman family Sudar to famous Croatian counts and dukes Frankopan and Zrinski. From 1671 until 1809, the Dubovac was owned by the Karlovac generals. In 1837, a new owner, Count Laval Nugent, r ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Karlovac, Croatia

Verudela Fortress

The Verudela Fortress is one of the best preserved fortresses. When its control over Pula commenced, the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy decided to transform the town into the Monarchy"s maritime centre, which meant the construction of not only numerous newly-built structures such as the arsenal, hospital or the Hydrographic Institute, but also its defensive system. Thus, a magnificent fortification system was erected, whi ...
Founded: 1866-1881 | Location: Pula, Croatia

Ozalj Castle

Ozalj Castle, located on the stone cliff perched above the Kupa River, is one of the best-known fortifications of this type in Croatia. It is a very old stronghold (first mentioned in 1244) that has been converted into a castle. The popularity of this castle is because this was the joint castle of the Croatian noble families of Frankopan and Zrinski. In fact, it was the scene of the unlucky Zrinski–Frankopan cons ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ozalj, Croatia

Tureta Fortress

The Byzantine Fortress of Tureta is located in the Kornati Islands dates probably from the 6th century. It is assumed that the fort had a military purpose to secure and control sailing on the Adriatic Sea which was quite insecure at the time.
Founded: 6th century AD | Location: Kornati Islands, Croatia

Veliki Tabor Castle

Veliki Tabor is a castle and museum in northwest Croatia, dating from the middle of 15th century. The castle"s present appearance dates back to the 16th century. Most of the castle was built by the Hungarian noble family of Ráttkay, in whose ownership it remained until 1793. The oldest part of the fort centre is its central part, the pentagonal castle, whose stylistic characteristics belong to the Late Got ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Hum Košnički, Croatia

St. John's Fortress

St. John"s Fortress is an early modern fortress in Šibenik, situated atop a hill north of the city"s historical center. Named after a medieval church dedicated to St. John the Baptist that had stood there from at least 1444, the fortress, together with the adjacent Barone Fortress, was built during the Cretan War and successfully repelled consecutive Ottoman attacks in 1646 and 1647. A local name for the fortre ...
Founded: 1646 | Location: Šibenik, Croatia

Frankopan Castle

The Frankopan noble family used Kraljevica as the harbour for their town of Hreljin. The castle is on the hill of a peninsula, at the very entrance of the Bay of Bakar. Petar Zrinski began to build it in 1651. As the residence of a powerful feudal dynasty, it followed the then architectural style of aristocrats. The builders, most likely Venetians, arranged the large rectangular complex (44 metres long and 36 metres wide) ...
Founded: 1651 | Location: Kraljevica, Croatia

Vitturi Castle

Vitturi Castle was built by the aristocratic family Vitturi from Trogir, at the end of the 15th century. Two noblemen from Trogir, Nikola and Jerolim Vitturi, built the castle in order to provide protection not only for the Vitturi family but also for the population of the nearby village of Ostrog. The castle was built in the style of a luxurious renaissance palace and it was completed in 1564. It consisted of a residenti ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Kaštel Lukšić, Croatia

Drivenik Castle

The castle of Drivenik is first mentioned in 1228 as one of the co-signers of the Vinodol Code. From the 13th century the castle was the seat of the district administration, and upon the arrival of the Frankopans, their deputy Dragoljub resided there in 1288. In the 16th century (1571 based on an inscription on its walls) the castle was expanded in size and in the style of Renaissance fortresses it received round towers o ...
Founded: 1228 | Location: Crikvenica, Croatia

St. Michael Fort

St. Michael"s Fortress dates from the 13th century and it was built by the Venetian Republic. The island"s highest point, rising to an elevation of 265 meter above sea level, is easily visibloe from Zadar. Although in ruinous state, the Fortress is favourite place to visit, thanks to its magnificient view over Zadar archipelago and Kornati National Park.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Ugljan, Croatia

Novigrad Castle

Novigrad (literally “New Town”, somewhat of a misnomer), a castle ruin perched on a hill above the town of the same name, also has had a turbulent history. The Romans, and before them, the Liburnians, built forts on the same spot. Some of the walls date from Roman times, but Novigrad has been modernized. It has several restaurants and cafes right on the water, offering nice views of the harbor. Located 31 km east of ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Novigrad, Croatia

Prozor Castle

Prozor Fortress sits prominently above the town of Vrlika. The known history of fortress begins parallel with the history of Vrlika in the 7th century, when the Croats moved there and formed a village on the spring of the river Cetina, in a field below the mountain Dinara. After the crowning of Ladislaus as the Hungarian King in Zadar in 1403, and in political maneuvering against his arch political rival and enemy, king ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Vrlika, Croatia

Kastilac

Kaštilac was a fortress of a Benedictine Monastery. Kaštilac is the only castle of seven castles in Kaštela. King Zvonimir of Croatia of the Svetoslavić branch of the House of Trpimirović, had donated to a Benedictine from Split possession in the Kaštela field (Kaštelansko polje) in 1078. In the 12th century Benedictine built a church of St. Cosmas and Damian in the Romanesque Architecture style. Due to th ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kaštel Gomilica, Croatia

Ilok Castle

Ilok Castle overlooks the town of Ilok in eastern Croatia. It is built on a hill above the town centre, offering views on the Danube and the Pannonian Plain. The castle was originally built in the 15th century by Nicholas of Ilok, Croatian viceroy and the king of Bosnia. The Ottomans conquered Ilok in the 16th century. After the victory against the Ottomans at the Battle of Vienna in 1683, the Emperor Leopold I gran ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Ilok, Croatia

Marusevec Castle

Maruševec castle dates back to 1547. In the 19th century it was described as having a square, lowland fortress with entrenchments, four circular towers and one square one, entered across a wooden bridge. In 1618 Baltazar Vragović of the noble family Vragović, (entitled in 1351 by King Ljudevit I), restored and enlarged the castle. This is recorded in the inscription and family arms on the first floor of the western ...
Founded: 1547 | Location: Maruševec, Croatia

Orsic Castle

Orsic Castle was built in 1756 by Croatian count Krsto Oršić (1718–1782) on the site of a previous fortress from the Middle Ages and designed in an L-shaped ground plan. From the backyard side, both the wings are open in arcades that follow the line of the corridor, while the outside frontage is quite simple, with rhythmically aligned windows and a few rustic details in the corners. After a large earthquake in the 19 ...
Founded: 1756 | Location: Gornja Stubica, Croatia

Pietrapelosa Castle

Pietrapelosa is a castle in the Croatian part of Istria, now ruined. In the medieval period a family took their name from the castle. 'Pietrapelosa' comes from the Italian words meaning 'hairy stone' after the moss that has always grown on the walls of the castle. It is one of the best-preserved of the Istrian castles. History Pietrapelosa is a few kilometers west of Buzet in a strategic location at ...
Founded: 10th century | Location: Buzet, Croatia

Sokol Castle

Sokol castle was first documented in 1373, but it has been used already in the Roman ages. After been a stronghold of Roman and Byzantine empires, the city-state of Dubrovnik (Ragusa) took its possession in 1423. After the Cretan War (1645–1669) the castle lost its military purpose and it was abandoned. Today it is a protected site.
Founded: 14th century | Location: Konavle, Croatia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Caerleon Roman Amphitheatre

Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.

Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.

Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.