Novigrad Castle

Novigrad, Croatia

Novigrad (literally “New Town”, somewhat of a misnomer), a castle ruin perched on a hill above the town of the same name, also has had a turbulent history. The Romans, and before them, the Liburnians, built forts on the same spot. Some of the walls date from Roman times, but Novigrad has been modernized.

It has several restaurants and cafes right on the water, offering nice views of the harbor. Located 31 km east of Zadar via route 502, Novigrad has been the front line in several conflicts. During dynasty wars (1385-1387) in what is now Croatia, two woman of royalty, Mary, the wife of Croatian-Hungarian King Sigismund Luxemberg, and her mother, Elizabeth, were murdered there. During the Kandian Wars (1645-1669) it was an important point of Venice’s defense against the Turks, who occupied the town during 1646-47. When the Venetians retook the town the castle was substantially destroyed.

During the more recent war of 1991-1995 after the break up of Yugoslavia, the Serbs also held the town for two years. There is another spectacular view of the modern day town and the sea from the ruins, which are accessible from several trails. The easiest to find (again, no signs!) starts from the top of some wide stairs that ascend from the east side of town. Go right at the top of the stairs and then left after about 10 meters. It takes around 10 – 15 minutes to reach the castle.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 13th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Croatia

More Information

www.inyourpocket.com

Rating

4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nik Ppp (8 months ago)
Cool ancient place
pts pts (9 months ago)
In desperate need of restoration before it's too far destroyed. Beautiful castle perched over a pretty town with very nice harbor. Peaceful location. Walk is about 10 minutes from near the harbormaster's area. Excellent views of area
A Green (9 months ago)
Lovely picturesque town with interesting streets to explore and ruined castle to climb up to. We went early morning and climbed up to the castle before it got too hot. It's a short climb but sensible shoes\sandals recommended. We then called in at the church before stopping for coffee and water at one of the little bars at the bottom of the hill.
Michael Tabolsky (10 months ago)
Nice view and good pics. Also 20% climb on bike
Irena Budna (10 months ago)
If you're staying around Zadar regium, you have to see this little city. It's worth every minute you spend there.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Heraclea Lyncestis

Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.

Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.

The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.

Late Antiquity and Byzantine periods

In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.

The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.

The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.