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Knin Fortress, Knin

#5 of 27 in Historic Sites in Sibenik-Knin County
Ruin · Tourist Spot
Knin Fortress is located near the biggest mountain in Croatia Dinara and near the source of the river Krka. It is the second largest fortress in europe and most significant defensive stronghold, and a historical town in the Šibenik-Knin County in the Dalmatian hinterland. The construction of the fortress started as early as 9th century, while the current state was brought up in 17th and 18th centuries. It reached its peak during the reign of Demetrius Zvonimir, King of Croatia from 1076, as it served as a political center of the Croatian Kingdom under him.
It is situated on the main transport corridor leading from Dalmatia to continental Croatia and Bosnia. The Knin Fortress lies on top of the steep Spas mountain, just 100 meters (328 ft) above the Croatian town of Knin, whose historical location was formed quite early at the foothills of the same mountain. Archaeological excavations date that this area was populated since the 6th century. It is 470m long, and 110 meters (361 ft) wide, elevated at 345m above the sea. The original look of the building, because of the lack of its material, isn't completely known. According to other similar fortifications from that time, it is assumed that it was surrounded by high walls, while the construction was accommodated to the terrain; it is environmentally secured by steep slopes on some places.
The fortress comprises three parts: northern, middle and southern. Each part of the fortress is protected by loopholes and gun holes, and is connected to other parts by the city gates and drawbridges. The formation of the northern section, according to recent research, happened from the middle of the 8th century to the end of the 11th century.
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Knin Fortress reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
112 reviews
  • Such a fantastic huge n vast fortress with the fantastic views! This is the best place to learn about the local history visiting the various exhibitions starting from the BC times to the recent...  more »
  • I come here every time i am in Croatia. My first time there was nothing but the old fortress, now there are museums and places to eat. Every year there is more and more added for tourists to see...  more »
  • Amazing historical location. Some context would greatly improve the experience. The war museum was poignant but that is the only structure with any information.
  • This is apparently the largest and best preserved fortress in Central Europe and definitely worthwhile seeing. Access by car is easy and walking around on the site is pleasant. Tip for parking: it may look like a one way to the top but it's not. We were fortunate to park almost next to the front gate. The entrance fee is very reasonable (30 Kona/person) and the staff was courteous and helpful. However, bring cash as they don't take credit cards. Perhaps the best thing is that there's nobody there. We virtually had the place to ourselves. Quite a contrast to Dubrovnik's old town. This is explained by the fact that it's a bit out of the way. On site there are 3 museums (one of which was closed during our visit). We found the war museum informative on the Serbian aggression.
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