The fortress Klis

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Klis, Croatia

The fortress Klis Reviews

Chokk Chokk
1733 reviews
Stunning place and well worth visiting Jul 18, 2016
The Klis Fortress or Tvrđava Klis as it is called by the locals is a medieval fortress situated above a village bearing the same name, near the city of Split. The fortress is easy to spot coming from Split going to the motorway that is leading you away from the area.

This fortress has probably seen more than is good to know because in its origin it was constructed as as a small stronghold built by the ancient Illyrian tribe Dalmatian. Later it became a royal castle that was the seat of many Croatian kings, and in the end of its heydays it was development as a large fortress during the Ottoman wars in Europe, Klis Fortress has guarded the frontier, being lost and re-conquered several times throughout its more-than-two-thousand-year-long history.

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.

Today this tourist attraction is getting many fans as it has become a setting in the GAME OF THRONES. The Klis Fortress was the setting for many of the outdoor scenes of Meereen.

The Wikipedia has loads of information on the castle itself:

The fortress was built into the south face of a rocky mass, and is barely discernible from the distance as a man-made structure. The defensive capabilities of the fortress have been tested through history in many military operations. During the centuries of its use, the structure served various armies and has undergone a number of renovations, to keep up with the development of arms. The original appearance of the fortress is no longer known, due to the structural changes undertaken by Croatian nobility, Turks, Venetians and Austrians. The present day aspect of a mostly stone fortress dates back to the restructuring work carried out by the Venetians in the 17th century.

First defensive line

Many buildings of the Klis Fortress which are from 17th through 19th centuries are partially or entirely preserved. The Fortress actually consists of three parts, enclosed by walls with separate entrances. The first main entrance was built by the Austrians in the early 19th century, on the place of an earlier Venetian entrance. Left of the entrance there is a fortification erected by the Venetians in the early 18th century. Also, near the main entrance there is a "position Avanzato" built in 1648, which was repeatedly renewed afterwards. On the ground floor of the fortification there is a narrow over-vaulted corridor, which is called a Casemate.

Second defensive line

The second entrance which was significantly damaged in the siege of 1648, leads to the former medieval part of the fortress previously ruled by a Croatian nobility. After 1648, Venetians fully restored the second entrance, but its present appearance was made by the Austrians during the early 19th century. Along the northern wall near the second entrance, there is fortress-tower called "Oprah", the most important medieval fortification of the western part of the fortress. It was mentioned for the first time in 1355, but later the Venetians made the lower crown on it. Nearby of the entrance are artillery barracks, built by the Austrians in the first half of the 19th century. In 1931 its upper floor was ruined, so now only the ground floor remains.

Third defensive line

The third entrance leads to the former medieval part built in the early Middle Ages. The Venetians renewed it several times after conquest in 1648, and the last upgrade was in 1763. Within this part of the fortress there is the side tower, built during the 18th century, and completed in 1763. Following is a repository of weapons built in the mid-17th century and old powder magazine from the 18th century. "House of Dux" later called governor’s residence was rebuilt in the mid-17th century on the foundations of the oldest buildings from the period of Croatian kings. Austrians repaired this building, and there were placed commandments unity of the fortress and Engineering. On the top point of the fortress there was a "New gunpowder storage", built in the early 19th century.

The oldest remaining building with the dome and minaret, was a former square-shaped Turkish mosque, built after the conquest of Klis in 1537 on the foundations of an earlier Old Croatian Catholic chapel. After occupation in 1648, the Venetians pulled down the minaret and converted it into a Roman Catholic church, dedicated to St. Vitus. It is a simple constructed square with the octagonal stone roof. There used to be three Altars, dedicated to St. Vid, Virgin Mary and St. Barbara, but today the church has no inventory. In the church there is a Baroque stone sink from the 17th century, which served as a baptistery, where there is engraved the year of 1658. West of the church is the bastion of Bembo, the largest artillery position in the third defense line and in the whole fortress. It has wide holes for guns, and was built in the mid-17th century on the site of former Kruzic's tower, and the defensive positions of Speranza.
3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
missandrea81 says:
I thought this looked familiar. Thank you for this very detailed review! :D
Posted on: Aug 29, 2016
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vila vila
42 reviews
The fortress Klis Jan 19, 2011
Shortly before getting into Split, if you turn left, the road ascends up the mountain, passing the little town of Klis. Overtopping it on a cliff is the historic fortress of Klis.

During the turbulent Croatian history, this fortress has gained fame as one of the last barriers against various conquerors from the east. Today, one can visit the leftovers, which are currently being restored.

Thick stone walls, chambers and a church can be admired, as well as a stunning view over the land and on the sea. There don't seem to be many visitors, which, while looking around, might be a big plus ;) Certainly, it is worth a visit.
Chokk says:
I liked this place too - the view was amazing; I agree
Posted on: Jan 19, 2011

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photo by: Chokk