Medieval castles in 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slunj Castle

An old fortification of the Frankopans, built during the wars against the Turks, Slovin was first mentioned in the 12th century. The old fort was property of the Frankopan family since the 15th century, joined by an old Franciscan monastery from the same period. Later, this town has been called Slunj. In the 16th century the town was ravaged by the Ottoman wars and turned into a military outpost of the Croatian Military ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Slunj, Croatia

Novigrad na Dobri Castle

Above the river and bridge across the river Dobra, stands elevated Novigrad, a historic fortress built west of Karlovac in the 14th century. Until recently the old castle of Frankopan, Novigrad, was a neglected ruin. The restoration so far has at least brought back some of its basic dimensions and made it again a recognizable point in the landscape. When this city appeared, is not known precisely. Its name Novigrad could ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Netretić, Croatia

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Kisimul Castle

Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.

Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.

The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.