Barone Fortress

Šibenik, Croatia

The Barone Fortress in Šibenik is an early modern fortress constructed in 1646 on Vidakuša hill above the city. Together with the remaining three city fortresses, it is a part of the Šibenik fortification system. It played a significant role in city's defense from the Ottomans during the Cretan War.

Since at least the mid-16th century, the city rectors and envoys had been stressing the need for the construction of fortification objects on the hills north of the city, because the city walls and St. Michael's Fortress had not been built to endure any prolonged artillery attack. The pleas were constantly rejected by the Venetian senate due to lack of funds. In the spring of 1646, one year after the Cretan War broke out between the Venetians and the Ottomans, the Bosnian pasha began to amass a large army for the attack on Dalmatia. At the same time, a German nobleman in Venetian service, Baron Christoph Martin von Degenfeld, took over the defense of the city, and a Genoese military engineer, Father Antonio Leni, arrived in Šibenik and made sketches for the necessary improvement of the city's defense. When the people of Šibenik renewed their request for protection, the Venetians denied them the funds once again, but the citizens were not explicitly forbidden from building the fortification by themselves. Upon hearing that, they took the matter into their own hands – the construction of both Barone Fortress and the adjacent St. John's Fortress began on 1 August 1646, and both fortresses were successfully built in only 58 days.

The first Ottoman siege in October 1646 was fended off after just seven days. The fortresses were strengthened over the following winter and prepared for the next attack. On 17 August 1647, the Ottoman commander, Techieli-pasha, arrived in Šibenik with the largest invading army in Dalmatia since the Roman era – 25,000 soldiers and heavy artillery. After a ferocious one-month siege, the enemy withdrew with great losses in both manpower and equipment. Turkish invaders were forced to retreat to the interior, towards Drniš, and never managed to conquer Šibenik.

Originally, Barone Fortress looked somewhat different from what does today, as it was probably hurriedly built in the dry-stone technique. Thirteen years later, in 1659, the Venetian provveditore Antonio Bernardo initialized the construction work that transformed the fortress into an object measuring up to the standards of contemporary military architecture. Shaped as an irregular star, the fortress resisted enemy cannons thanks to the bastions reinforced with mounds. The northern part of the fortress (hornwork) has two demi-bastions connected by a curtain wall. That was the position of the defense artillery. The southern part was used for barracks and magazines. After the Ottoman threat had passed, the fortress was maintained poorly, and the original objects have decayed or been torn down with time. In the early 20th century, the City of Šibenik purchased and then renamed the fortress and its surrounding area.

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Details

Founded: 1646
Category: Castles and fortifications in Croatia

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Grzegorz Madej (2 months ago)
Nice sightseeing point in Szibenik. You can see a great panorama view for the whole city and other characteristic points.
Vlad Rosu (2 months ago)
An extraordinary view of the city and surroundings. A very nice place to enjoy a beautiful sunset
Andrea Ticic (2 months ago)
Amazingly kind staff, polite, professional. All is clean and tidy, they work till 10PM. Caffe bar has very good prices and great choice. The view is wonderful. The best time to come is at sunset. They also have souvenir shop. Easy access from both sides of Šibenik. Free parking.
Andrejs Kostenko (2 months ago)
It is very nice view to the islands, marina, bay and whole town. However also nice view you can see from another fortress (st. Michaels fortress). At this place only nice view and nothing interesting more.
photocetera (3 months ago)
Great place to visit (get an audio/video/tablet guide) but even more enjoyable for an event. From time to time here are film screenings and small concerts. Depend on the time of the year it might be chilly in the evening. There is also a bar.
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