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 Malkoč-beg, in 1574 by Ferhad-beg, and in 1576 by Kapidži-pasha. The final siege by Ferhat-paša Sokolović with 10,000 soldiers, which was fought from 3 October 1577 to 13 January 1578, was much better prepared. That Siege of Gvozdansko ended with an Ottoman victory, after long and bloody siege. Ottomans managed to break into castle only after last defenders froze to death in harsh winter, having no wood or anything else to light the fire, on 13 January 1578.
Ottoman rule in Gvozansko lasted until 1718. Ottoman commander was stunned by the brave Croatian defenders, after witnessing frozen bodies of defenders still holding their muskets on combat positions in the ruined castle.References:
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.