If you arrive in Split, Sibenik, Trogir, or some nearby place, it's worth visiting the Klis fortress, an amazing fortification building located in the village Klis.
Klis fortress is one of the most prominent fortification buildings in Croatia, with an imposing history dating back to the period before the new era.
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History of Klis fortress
It is known that in today's fortress area there was a fort built by Illyrians in the 2nd century BC.
In the 9th century, after the arrival of Croats and the creation of the early Croatian state, Klis became a place where the Croatian prince had his residence. This is evidenced by the oldest document of the early Croatian state made by a prince called Trpimir in the 9th century.
That period is the beginning of the turbulent fortress's history which was desired by all conquerors due to its position featuring great strategic importance.
The period of the early Middle Ages was notable for barbarian invaders, mostly Goths and Avars who occasionally tried to conquer the fortress.
Throughout the later Middle Ages, the fortress was ruled by Venice, which had power over many of the Dalmatian cities at that time.
In the 15th century, Europe is partially ruled by the Ottomans, who try to conquer Klis on several occasions. They succeeded one century later, in 1537 when the fortress fell into Ottoman hands. Governor of the fortress Petar Kružić was killed. One hundred years later, the fortress was returned back to the hands of the Venetians, who ruled Dalmatia at the time.
In the 19th century, the fortress was under Napoleon's rule for a short time, when the Habsburg (Austrian) monarchy took over. The Austrians ruled until the 20th century.
While sightseeing the fortress, you will notice that it has been upgraded and rebuilt many times during history, due to the military needs. The Turks, Venetians, French and Austrians adapted it per their needs. That is why the fortress is a real small historical museum of the Middle Ages and the more recent times.
The last stage in the history of the fortress is taken by Game of Thrones series. The fortress played the role of the town of Meeren.
Klis fortress location
Klis fortress is located 15 kilometres away from Split, near the entrance to the A1 highway. It's easy to approach by car and there is free parking near the fortress.
There are a few bus lines from Split to Klis, which run every day multiple times during the summer season. You can check the schedule on bus station Split. There are also local bus lines Split - Klis operated by Promet Split.
Klis fortress ticket price
The ticket price for Klis fortress is 60 kuna (8 euros) for adults and 20 kunas (2.65 euros) for children. The ticket is also valid for Ethno park Stella Croatica and the Interpretation centre located at the foot of the fortress. Find the updated info on the official website of the fortress.
Klis fortress attractions and sightseeing
When you enter the fortress, you will receive a brochure with a map and information about all places of visitor interest.
The fortress had several entrances throughout history. There is an interesting secret entrance that was used only as needed, and then re-walled again.
Oprah fort was built in the 14th century. It became the most important defensive element of the western part of the fortress.
The former weapons depot is today a small museum which exhibits weapons that have been used on the fortress during its history.
The former Croatian prince's residence is a museum exhibiting archaeological inscriptions. The most important is Trpimir's inscription from the 9th century.
The church of St. Vid was built in the Romanesque style.
Interpretation centre and Stella Croatica
After visiting the fortress, you can visit two additional places which are included in the ticket. The first one is the interpretation centre located a few meters away from the parking, just near the coffee bar. It features a video projection which lasts about 10 minutes and demonstrates the most important details in the history of the fortress.
Stella Croatica is ethno park located 3 kilometres away from the fortress. There you can see, feel and taste the tradition of the Dalmatian hinterland.