The name Nehaj comes from the Croatian term Ne hajati, which means Don't care. This name was given to the hill and the Fortress by the Uskoks, who built it on the top of this hill the for defensive purposes. They gave the hill and the fortress such a name because they wanted to emphasize to the citizens of the town of Senj, and all of those that lived in the vicinity of the town of Senj that they should not care that someone will conquer this hill or the Fortress until they are there.
It was built by Croatian army general Ivan Lenković, a captain of the Uskoks, on the hill Nehaj. Finished in 1558, it was built on the remains of ruined churches, monasteries and houses which were situated outside of the walls of Senj. These buildings were scrapped since it was concluded that they would not survive anyway if they were outside the city walls, as the Ottomans would loot them or use them as housing during sieges. The fortress was mainly built to fight the Ottoman Empire, and to be used as a base for the Uskoks. The Uskoks (who built and inhabited the fort) were great enemies of the Ottomans, as they had previously taken another city called Klis, where the Uskoks used to reside. Before the fortress was built, Senj had been besieged three times, but none succeeded; after the fort was built, the fortress or Senj were not attacked again. However, the Uskoks were also known to be the enemies of the Venetians, as the Venetians were quite aggressive toward the Croatian coastal cities. The Venetians viewed them as pirates, since they would plunder and sink their ships. They were known to travel as far as Istria and plunder Venetian ships. In fact, the Venetians were so disturbed by the Uskok attacks that they had a war with Austria (which Senj was a part of at that time). One of the peace terms was the banishment of the Uskoks. The Emperor did banish the Uskoks and that was their end. However, during the hundred years that they were active they stood by their oath of vengeance towards all their enemies which they took when their former fortress of Klis was conquered by the Ottomans in 1537. The Uskoks and the Fortress successfully held the border and kept invaders away, as the fortress was never conquered or torn down. In 1592, a strong Ottoman army invaded Croatia hoping to capture Senj. Led by Telli Hasan Pasha, the beylerbey of Bosnia, the Ottomans managed to capture a number of Uskok settlements, killing and enslaving the population. However, the army was routed and dispersed in the following year. Austria was involved in war with the Ottomans and the Venetian admiral Giovanni Bembo blockaded Trieste and Rijeka (Fiume), where the pirates forwarded their booty for sale. They also erected two forts to command the passages from Senj to the open sea. In 1600, the Prince of Senj was Mickael Radic. The Duke Micheal Radic, appointed as Prince of Senj on 1 December 1600 by King Rudolf in Graz. Prince Radic was Prince of Senj. Radic family is a Native noble family from Lika region; members of the family were Uskok military leaders at the headquarters in Senj.
The fortress is 18 metres tall and 23 metres wide, and square shaped with walls averaging from 2 to 3 metres in thickness. There are five towers on top of the Fortress, and eleven large cannon openings along the walls. Inside the Fortress, there are displays of cannons and other household items, as well as a collection of costumes and weapons of the Uskoks of Senj. There is also an annual medieval festival that is held in Senj, and an important part of it is when the 'Uskoks' march up to the fortress on horseback. There are also crafting workshops and other medieval themed attractions around the fortress at this time; as well as a detailed overview of its history.
Today, the fortress serves primarily as a museum. With exhibits of weapons, clothing, drawings and models of various things from the time when the fortress was actively used. Virtually all regions of the fort are accessible. Including the toilet which dangles over the edge, but that is not available for use today.References:
Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.
Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.
It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.
Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.
Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.
The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.
The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.
With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.
Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.