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 soldiers suffered on 22 June 1593 a heavy defeat against the defending joint Croato-Slovene-Austrian forces and he himself lost his life. This battle was a turning point, which meant interruption of further Ottoman conquest.
After slackening of Ottoman pressure on Croatian lands in the 17th century, the fortress changed its owners for a couple of times, being sometimes damaged, but immediately repaired. The last major damage occurred during the Second World War, as the fortification was hit by shells and the northwest tower was partially destroyed.
Present-day fortress houses some collections of the Sisak Town Museum (established in 1951), which include holdings of archaeology, ethnology, cultural history and numismatics.
Sisak Fortress is a triangle-shaped structure, mostly made of brick and supported by stone parts. Each corner of the fortress is reinforced with a round tower covered by conical roof. Towers are connected by the more than 30 metres long thick walls with loopholes. Being on the river bank, the fortress has a natural line of defense from the west-southwest, while the other sides are partially protected by the Sava River in the immediate vicinity, flowing southeast.References:
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.