Fort Nečven is a medieval Croatian fortress from the 14th century, and one of the most important fortified buildings in Croatia in terms of size and degree of preservation.
The fort and its associated yard cover a square kilometer. It used to be surrounded by high walls made of small, poorly assembled stones combined with lime. The northeast courtyard wall was separated by a deep moat and perhaps a moving (lifting) bridge from the remains of the fortress. The walls were over a meter thick. The steep southern walls reached a height of up to 15 metres and consisted of five floors. The northern side, where the five-storey ancient square tower stands, is now filled with rubble.
On the other side of Krka, opposite from Nečven, are remnants of another old Croatian city, Trošenj (Čučevo). Those cities were previously connected by a bridge (which was destroyed in 1647 during the war between Don Stjepan Sorić and Krajišnici) that connected central Dalmatia with Bukovica and Ravni Kotari. The bridge was supervised and travellers who passed the border between Šubić's and Nelipić's properties were charged a toll.
The First Lords of Nečven-Nelipić were at the height of their power after the collapse of Mladen Šubić II (1322 AD) when they were named as the major force in the Southern Croatian region by Prince Nelipac.
The Turks ruled Nečven from 1522 to 1678 or 1686, apart from a period between 1648 and 1670 during which it was given to Venetian vassals Šibenik and Trogir, and burned down at the orders of Leonardo Foscolo, using the established constructions they found and the mighty wooden bridge over the river Krka. In their time there lived: the Dizdars, the Aghas, the Begs and the Kadijas), which showed a great deal how important the fort and the city was because it was in effect the seat for administrative and judicial power in that area for that time.
By the end of the 18th century, the fortress lost its strategic importance, and it was abandoned and the surrounding villages depopulated.References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.