St. Michael Fort

Ugljan, Croatia

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.


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Unnamed Road, Ugljan, Croatia
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Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Croatia


4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Tracy Simpson (11 months ago)
The best views I have ever seen! Beautiful place with beauty all around. Not very good health and safety at the fort - climb the walls at your own risk! We did though, and the views were worth it. Easy parking right by the fort. The ferry was quick and easy and the fort a 12 minute drive from the ferry. Go!
Rocky Shilly (11 months ago)
Looks like a challenge but it actually an easy-mediate climb. Amazing view from the top.
Bartosz Klukaczewski (12 months ago)
The views are stunning what makes the hike really rewarding. I took a bike rented in Preko. It was hard, with moments where I needed to walk but manageable. Going down was pure fun though. Remember to take some water with you as there are no facilities at all.
Niks - (12 months ago)
If you like nature you will love this place. I would recommend you go with car but it's also great for hiking. It's free. Best view of islands.
Matija Mikec (13 months ago)
Not worth the hike. Its a different story if you're driving. The view is really good, however the Fort itself is rundown, and dangerous to walk around.
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Broch of Gurness

The Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age broch village. Settlement here began sometime between 500 and 200 BC. At the centre of the settlement is a stone tower or broch, which once probably reached a height of around 10 metres. Its interior is divided into sections by upright slabs. The tower features two skins of drystone walls, with stone-floored galleries in between. These are accessed by steps. Stone ledges suggest that there was once an upper storey with a timber floor. The roof would have been thatched, surrounded by a wall walk linked by stairs to the ground floor. The broch features two hearths and a subterranean stone cistern with steps leading down into it. It is thought to have some religious significance, relating to an Iron Age cult of the underground.

The remains of the central tower are up to 3.6 metres high, and the stone walls are up to 4.1 metres thick. The tower was likely inhabited by the principal family or clan of the area but also served as a last resort for the village in case of an attack.

The broch continued to be inhabited while it began to collapse and the original structures were altered. The cistern was filled in and the interior was repartitioned. The ruin visible today reflects this secondary phase of the broch's use.

The site is surrounded by three ditches cut out of the rock with stone ramparts, encircling an area of around 45 metres diameter. The remains of numerous small stone dwellings with small yards and sheds can be found between the inner ditch and the tower. These were built after the tower, but were a part of the settlement's initial conception. A 'main street' connects the outer entrance to the broch. The settlement is the best-preserved of all broch villages.

Pieces of a Roman amphora dating to before 60 AD were found here, lending weight to the record that a 'King of Orkney' submitted to Emperor Claudius at Colchester in 43 AD.

At some point after 100 AD the broch was abandoned and the ditches filled in. It is thought that settlement at the broch continued into the 5th century AD, the period known as Pictish times. By that time the broch was not used anymore and some of its stones were reused to build smaller dwellings on top of the earlier buildings. Until about the 8th century, the site was just a single farmstead.

In the 9th century, a Norse woman was buried at the site in a stone-lined grave with two bronze brooches and a sickle and knife made from iron. Other finds suggest that Norse men were buried here too.