Medieval castles in Croatia

Erdödy Castle

The Erdödy Castle is the oldest building in Jastrebarsko. The castle is located in a beautiful old park that is actually a monument of horticulture. It was originally a water castle, a lowland fort surrounded by moats that are now filled and covered with grass, but still visible in the outlines of the landscape. According to records, the castle was built by Matija Gereb between 1483 and 1489. The Erdödy family came into ...
Founded: 1483 | Location: Jastrebarsko, Croatia

Dreznik Castle Ruins

The old town of Drežnik is mentioned in the historic sources back in the 12th century. Its history has been marked by wars and its different rulers. The historic events in the area have mostly been marked by constant wars, which is also the reason that it did not develop as a trading place or a settlement but rather as a defence fortress. After 1830, the Austrian monarch sold the fortress to a private trader, who started ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Rakovica, Croatia

Kastel Sucurac Castle

In Kaštel Sućurac stands the defensive fortress built in 1392 by A. Gvaldo, the Archbishop of Split. Archbishop Averaldo rebuilt the castle to his summer residence in 1488, and castle gets its final form in 1509. Today, there is the exhibition room 'Podvorje' where one part of archeological artifacts from Putalj is held.
Founded: 1392 | Location: Kaštel Sućurac, Croatia

Hreljin Castle

Today’s castle of Hreljin represents remains of a medieval town Hreljin, therefore it is considered Hreljin’s old town. It is proudly standing on a high, steep cliff above Bakarac, on the most western part of Vinodol. In the middle ages, the old town of Hreljin was an important residential, trade, defence, and governing centre. The medieval town of Hreljin was mentioned for the first time in 1225 when the King Andrew ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Bakar, Croatia

Momjan Castle

The Momjan castle, presently dilapidated and ivy-grown, can hardly evoke the power and wealth of the life that characterized it. It was built above the abyss overlooking the Dragonja River, today a border between Croatia and Slovenia. Located at 280 meters above the sea level, it dominates the Dragonja valley, divided from it by the Poganja brook. Momjan was first mentioned in 1035. The Patriarch of Aquileia was given a ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Merišće, Croatia

Kostajnica Fortress

Fortress Kostajnica was built most probably in the 14th century and owned by the members of the noble families Frankopan, Lipovečki, Tot, Benvenjud and finally (in the 16th century) Zrinski, so it is today also known as Zrinski fortress or castle. It was conquered by the Ottomans on 17 July 1556, but it was freed from their rule relatively fast, in 1688. Situated on the bank of the river Una, the fortress has very st ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Hrvatska Kostajnica, Croatia

Erdut Castle

Built in the 14th century, Erdut Castle lies on a bluff 70 metres above the Danube. The surrounding area below the bluff is completely flat, which provided an excellent view of any marauding hordes invading from the east. The settlement and castle is first mentioned as Ardud in 1335. The documents of the 15th century in Titel provost and the Bánffy family owned estate is mentioned in the Erdődy, dated 1552 an ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Erdut, Croatia

Krsan Castle

The old town and medieval castle of Kršan lies on the hill, while new town and village is along the road. The castle is first mentioned in 1274. It was abandoned until the 13th or early 14th century, when it was rebuilt byHeinrich III. Until 1374, when counts of Gorizia became extinct, it was in duality of governance, between the real masters Counts of Gorizia, and Aquileia church in which name the Counts ruled over th ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Kršan, Croatia

Milengrad Castle

Milengrad was built during the reign of Hungarian–Croatian King Béla IV after the Mongol invasion of 1241–1242. Around 1303, King Charles Robert donated the fortress to the Cseszneky family in compensation for their loss of Ipolyvisk Castle. The counts Cseszneky sold it soon to Ban Mikcs, who, in 1309, ceded the lordship to the Herkffy family. In 1536, by the marriage between Katalin Herkffy and Miklós ...
Founded: c. 1250 | Location: Budinščina, Croatia

Vrana Castle

The significance of Vrana to the medieval Croatian history was closely connected with three religious communities: the Benedictines, the Knights Templar, and the Knights Hospitaller. The arrival of these three orders in Vrana and their cultural and political influence was conditioned by the medieval circumstances in Croatia and by the Roman Pope. Vrana had become one of the most important centers of political life, ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Pakoštane, Croatia

Sokolac Castle

Sokolac Castle back to medieval times, while the town was held by the noble Frankopan and Gorjanski families. The castle was part of an important medieval fortified city held by Frankopan family. The cast was documented first time in 1411. Sokolac Castle was an extremely grand building, dominated by the powerful perpendiculars of the entry tower, and the Chapel of the Holy Trinity. The entry into the burg was through a s ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Brinje, Croatia

Dinaric Fortress

Glavaš-Dinarić Fortress was built in the 15th century, when Croatia was threatened by Turkish invasions. It was chain link of nearby forts like fort Prozor and Potravnik.
Founded: 15th century | Location: Vrlika, Croatia

Ruzica Castle

Ružica Castle is large ruined castle in Virovitica-Podravina County, Croatia. Since the origin of the medieval structure remains unknown, it has become the stuff of legend over the years. It is one of the most picture-perfect places in the country and a must-see for those in search of hidden gems that are far from mass tourism. The first document of Ružica castle dates from 1357. It lost its military purpose after Turk ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Duzluk, Croatia

Orsic Castle

In the green corner of the docile Slavetić region with scattered orchards, vineyards and flower fields, on the top of the hill opposite the parish church of St Antony the Loner (Sv Antun Pustinjak) from 1600, lies the castle of the counts of Oršić. The old town is mentioned in 1294 within the foothill county, and after changing a few masters, in 1468 it came into possession of counts of Oršić, until 1869 when its own ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Slavetić, Croatia

Nečven Castle

Fort Nečven is a medieval Croatian fortress from the 14th century, and one of the most important fortified buildings in Croatia in terms of size and degree of preservation.  The fort and its associated yard cover a square kilometer. It used to be surrounded by high walls made of small, poorly assembled stones combined with lime. The northeast courtyard wall was separated by a deep moat and perhaps a moving (lifting) b ...
Founded: 14th century | Location: Promina, Croatia

Posert Castle Ruins

Posert Castle, also known as Šabec (Schabez) and St. Martin, is a ruined fortress near the road between Paz and Šušnjevica, in municipality of Cerovlje. The ruins of the castle depending on the name are dating back to the 11th century (St. Martin), or 16th century (Šabec), while by archeological evidence to the second half of the 14th century. The castle was vastly devastated in the Uskok War (1615–17). Between 2009 ...
Founded: 11th century | Location: Cerovlje, Croatia

Sumber Castle Ruins

Šumber castle was built at the site of the prehistoric hillfort. The site was first mentioned in documents in 872, and in 950 when Byzantine Emperor Constantine VII Porfirogenet confirmed the presence of Slavs in these villages. In 1260, has passed into the possession of vassals of the Counts of Gorizia, the Austrian noble family Schönberg by which it got its name. Among the signatories of the peace treaty in 1274 betwe ...
Founded: 9th century AD | Location: Sveta Nedelja, Croatia

Durdevac Castle

Đurđevac castle and old town was built by the Bishop of Pécs, most probably around 1488. The town, or fort, was built on high ground in the middle of a swamp to the north of the town of Đurđevac in Croatia, because of the threat of the Turkish, and constant conflicts between the nobility. The height of the tower is aroun 9 m.
Founded: 1488 | Location: Đurđevac, Croatia

Gracanica Tower

Gračanica castle tower dates probably from the 14th century.  The curtain wall partially remains.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Baćin Dol, Croatia

Gvozdansko Castle

The Gvozdansko Castle was probably built in the second half of the 15th century, due to mining rights of Croatian Zrinski noble family. The castle was first mentioned in 1488. Nikola III Zrinski and his son Nikola Šubić Zrinski frequently came to Gvozdansko in order to inspect the mines and the mint. The Turks attempted to conquer the Gvozdansko Castle on several occasions. Three major attempts were made in 1561 by Mal ...
Founded: 15th century | Location: Dvor, Croatia

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Hagios Demetrios

The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.

The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.

The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.

The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.

Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.

Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.