Tuesday 21 Nov 2017


Some 9 kilometers outside of Split to the northeast, situated at a height of 340 meters, lays the original preserved fortress of Kastel Klis. An important pass road ran through here from the fertile plains around Split to the mountainous hinterland. The Klis fortress is one of the most significant fortifications in Croatia, due to its strategic importance had an important defensive position.
From the 2nd century BC this area was inhabited by the illyrian tribe of Dalmatia, while the first records about the fortress from the 10th century speak of the oman fortress Kleisa being besieged by the Avars and Slavs which hastened the conquering of Salona in the first half of the 7th century at the time of the arrival of the Croats. 2 Centuries later Klis had already become the ruler's property and one of the centers of the Croatian state.
In the document issued by prince Trpimir in 852 the court mentioned that it was his property, and it also became the center of the Early Croatian Littoral or Klis County (Parathalassia).
The end of the 11th century was marked by the end of the Croatian national dynasty and Klis fell under the rule of the Hungarian-Croatian kings. One of them, Bela IV and his family used the Klis fortress as shelter during the Tartar siege in 1242, at which time his daughter Margarita was born. Nowadays she's celebrated as St. Margarita of Klis.
By the end of the 13th century Klis was ruled by the princes Subic's of Bribir, the mightiest family of Croatia, and from 1535 the town was again under the protection of the king and the administration of its fortress commanders.
The most turbulent time of the history of Klis was the beginning of the 16th century, the time of the 16th century, the time of the greatest Turkisch invasion to these areas. An important role in its defence was played by Petar Kruzic, captain and town duke, who together with his warriors Uskoks managed for two and a half decades to resist Turkisch attacks and besieges. With his death on March 12, 1537; KLis fell under Turkisch rule which meant the loss of the most powerful Croatian fortifications in Dalmatia. For 111 years was the river Jadro the border between the Turkisch Klis (Kliski Sandzak) and the Venetian controled Split. During one of the attempts to liberate Klis, the Croats led by Split noblemen Ivan Alberti and Nikola Cindro utilized the element of surprise and managed to take over the fortress by the end of May, thus defeating Croatian general Juraj Lenkovic who came to the aid of the defenders.
As late as March 31, 1648 the Venetian army led by general Leonardo Foscolo, joined by the numerous Croatian locals, managed to libirate Klis from the Turks after 10 days of hard-fought battles and achieved its greatest success during the Cretan war. The area of Klis was organised as a special military and administrative area ruled by the providur based in Klis.
The Klis fortress, completely restored and significant enlarged, remained under the flag of Venice until 1797 when it was taken over by the Austrians. from 1805 until 1913 it was shortly ruled by the French. the period of the second Austrian administration lasted until the end of world war I in 1918, when, with the fall of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy, Klis, together with the remaining parts of Croatia shared the same fate of all Croatian lands within the borders of the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and afterwards Yugoslavia.
During world war II, from april 1941 until October 1944, the KLis fortress was for the last time used for military purposes, mainly as the stronghold of Italian and German occupation forces. Finally in 1990 the flag of the sovereign Republic of Croatia was placed on it.

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