The existence of the Fort Risban was first mentioned when it was besieged by the English in November 1346. Edward III of England's troops, finding the defences of Calais impenetrable, decided to erect a small fort to prevent any supplies reaching the town by sea, with a view to starving the inhabitants into submission. Under the English occupation the wooden tower was replaced by a stone structure, the Stone Tower, after 1400 renamed Lancaster Tower, a name often given to the fort itself.

Fort Risban was used by the English forces until 1558 when Calais was restored to France. In 1596, the fort was captured by the Spanish until May 1598 when it was returned to the French following the Treaty of Vervins. It was rebuilt in 1640. Vauban, who visited the fort some time in the 1680s, described it as 'a home for owls, and place to hold the Sabbath' rather than a fortification and let the fortress be altered. In the 19th century the Engineers Corps altered it again. The sea-fortress was dismantled in 1908 but fortified again during World War II when it served as an air raid shelter.

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Founded: 15th century
Category: Castles and fortifications in France

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3.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Avalon Kef (2 years ago)
Magnifique site historique des anciennes guerres à Calais à proximité de la mer.
laurent lenoir (2 years ago)
Magnifique vue sur le port et sur les falaises anglaises par beau temps. Fort qui remonte à son origine à la présence anglaise.
Kam Ben (2 years ago)
Cool
Matthias Hartmann (2 years ago)
its ok for a promenade but nothing spectecular. inside a football and hockey field.
Jay Turner (4 years ago)
Dangerous and full of migrants when I went.
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From its origin as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatae, becoming a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, to its final development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times. Due to its location on a pass that separates the mountains Mosor and Kozjak, the fortress served as a major source of defense in Dalmatia, especially against the Ottoman advance, and has been a key crossroad between the Mediterranean belt and the Balkan rear.

Since Duke Mislav of the Duchy of Croatia made Klis Fortress the seat of his throne in the middle of the 9th century, the fortress served as the seat of many Croatia"s rulers. The reign of his successor, Duke Trpimir I, the founder of the Croatian royal House of Trpimirović, is significant for spreading Christianity in the Duchy of Croatia. He largely expanded the Klis Fortress, and in Rižinice, in the valley under the fortress, he built a church and the first Benedictine monastery in Croatia. During the reign of the first Croatian king, Tomislav, Klis and Biograd na Moru were his chief residences.

In March 1242 at Klis Fortress, Tatars who were a constituent segment of the Mongol army under the leadership of Kadan suffered a major defeat while in pursuit of the Hungarian army led by King Béla IV. After their defeat by Croatian forces, the Mongols retreated, and Béla IV rewarded many Croatian towns and nobles with 'substantial riches'. During the Late Middle Ages, the fortress was governed by Croatian nobility, amongst whom Paul I Šubić of Bribir was the most significant. During his reign, the House of Šubić controlled most of modern-day Croatia and Bosnia. Excluding the brief possession by the forces of Bosnian King, Tvrtko I, the fortress remained in Hungaro-Croatian hands for the next several hundred years, until the 16th century.

Klis Fortress is probably best known for its defense against the Ottoman invasion of Europe in the early 16th century. Croatian captain Petar Kružić led the defense of the fortress against a Turkish invasion and siege that lasted for more than two and a half decades. During this defense, as Kružić and his soldiers fought without allies against the Turks, the military faction of Uskoks was formed, which later became famous as an elite Croatian militant sect. Ultimately, the defenders were defeated and the fortress was occupied by the Ottomans in 1537. After more than a century under Ottoman rule, in 1669, Klis Fortress was besieged and seized by the Republic of Venice, thus moving the border between Christian and Muslim Europe further east and helping to contribute to the decline of the Ottoman Empire. The Venetians restored and enlarged the fortress, but it was taken by the Austrians after Napoleon extinguished the republic itself in 1797. Today, Klis Fortress contains a museum where visitors to this historic military structure can see an array of arms, armor, and traditional uniforms.