Novigrad na Dobri Castle

Netretić, Croatia

Above the river and bridge across the river Dobra, stands elevated Novigrad, a historic fortress built west of Karlovac in the 14th century. Until recently the old castle of Frankopan, Novigrad, was a neglected ruin. The restoration so far has at least brought back some of its basic dimensions and made it again a recognizable point in the landscape.

When this city appeared, is not known precisely. Its name Novigrad could mean that there was an elder one in the same place or near this location. The old Dobra was according to a historical source, dating back to 1193, established center of this region. It is certain that the Frankopans (Count Gaspar Frankopan Trzacki) came to a posession of this property in the 14th century when they bought Ozalj, and the town was built some fifty years later. Novigrad has been transformed through the centuries from the defensive tower to the magnificent castle in which the Austrian emperor Josip II stayed in 1783, what was testified once on the memorial plate above the entrance door of the town which are still located along the historic road Karolina (built from 1726 to 1732). Novigrad, a beautiful walled fortress, was during the preparation of the Zrinski-Frankopan conspiracy one of the places where Frank Krsto Frankopan plans an armed rebellion against the Habsburg court. After 1671 Novigrad experienced the fate of the other properties of Zrinski and Frankopan. It was robbed and devastated (the city is occupied by Krajina general Josip Herberstein, commander of Karlovac). Once equipped luxuriously, palace begins to decay.

From 1746 it is in the possession of baron Patacic who is renovating the fortress in a baroque mansion of romantic ambience, 1809 was bought by French Major Haraminčić, in 1939 it becams property of Banovina of Croatia and since the destruction of 1944 it was left to decay until the beginning of the reconstruction in 1999.. In 1969, the Regional Institute for the Protection of Cultural Monuments from Zagreb issued a settlement for enrollment of Novigrad into the Registry of Immovable Cultural Monuments. The reconstruction and conservation project of the old castle started in 1999, at the initiative of the Society of Friends of Novigrad na Dobri “Frankopan”.

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Netretić, Croatia
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Founded: 14th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in Croatia

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Pembroke Castle

Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

In August 1189 Richard I arranged the marriage of Isabel, de Clare's granddaughter, to William Marshal who received both the castle and the title, Earl of Pembroke. He had the castle rebuilt in stone and established the great keep at the same time. Marshal was succeeded in turn by each of his five sons. His third son, Gilbert Marshal, was responsible for enlarging and further strengthening the castle between 1234 and 1241.

Later de Valence family held Pembroke for 70 years. During this time, the town was fortified with defensive walls, three main gates and a postern. Pembroke Castle became de Valence's military base for fighting the Welsh princes during the conquest of North Wales by Edward I between 1277 and 1295.

Pembroke Castle then reverted to the crown. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle was a place of peace until the outbreak of the English Civil War. Although most of South Wales sided with the King, Pembroke declared for Parliament. It was besieged by Royalist troops but was saved after Parliamentary reinforcements arrived by sea from nearby Milford Haven. Parliamentary forces then went on to capture the Royalist castles of Tenby, Haverfordwest and Carew.

In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

The castle was then abandoned and allowed to decay. It remained in ruins until 1880, when a three-year restoration project was undertaken. Nothing further was done until 1928, when Major-General Sir Ivor Philipps acquired the castle and began an extensive restoration of the castle's walls, gatehouses, and towers. After his death, a trust was set up for the castle, jointly managed by the Philipps family and Pembroke town council.

Architecture

The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

In 1189, Pembroke Castle was acquired by William Marshal. He soon became Lord Marshal of England, and set about turning the earth and wood fort into an impressive Norman stone castle. The inner ward, which was constructed first, contains the huge round keep with its domed roof. Its original first-floor entrance was through an external stairwell. Inside, a spiral staircase connected its four stories. The keep's domed roof also has several putlog holes that supported a wooden fighting-platform. If the castle was attacked, the hoarding allowed defenders to go out beyond the keep's massive walls above the heads of the attackers.

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In the late 13th century, additional buildings were added to the inner ward, including a new Great Hall. A 55-step spiral staircase was also created that led down to a large limestone cave, known as Wogan Cavern, beneath the castle. The cave, which was created by natural water erosion, was fortified with a wall, a barred gateway and arrowslits. It may have served as a boathouse or a sallyport to the river where cargo or people could have been transferred.

The outer ward was defended by a large twin-towered gatehouse, a barbican and several round towers. The outer wall is 5 metres thick in places and constructed from Siltstone ashlar.

Although Pembroke Castle is a Norman-style enclosure castle with great keep, it can be more accurately described as a linear fortification because, like the later 13th-century castles at Caernarfon and Conwy, it was built on a rocky promontory surrounded by water. This meant that attacking forces could only assault on a narrow front. Architecturally, Pembroke's thickest walls and towers are all concentrated on its landward side facing the town, with Pembroke River providing a natural defense around the rest of its perimeter.