About Klis Fortress

Straddling the Mosor and Kozjuk mountains high above the city of Split and the Adriatic Sea, Klis Fortress started life as a small stronghold built by the Dalmatae, one of the Illyrian tribes in the second century BC.

Over the next 2,000 years, it has been the seat of many of Croatia’s kings and a key crossroad between the Mediterranean and the Balkans as well as a vitally important strategic defender of the area, most famously rebuffing the Ottoman advances in the Middle Ages.

Inaccessible from three sides, Klis Fortress has changed dramatically over the years to the point where the original appearance has been lost to history. Many of the buildings you see today are Venetian and from the 17th – 19th centuries. Over the years, dozens of battles have reigned down upon the fortress which changed hands many times between, amongst others, the Hungaro-Croatians, Turks, Romans (who knew it as ‘Clausura’, the origin of the later name ‘Clissa’ and today’s name, ‘Klis’), the Knights Templar, Venetians, Austrians, French and Yugoslavs.

Thirteen kilometres north of Split, Klis Fortress is one of Croatia’s most significant and strategically important fortifications as well as one of the most valuable surviving examples of defensive architecture. On the Game of Thrones map, it was the setting for the outdoor scenes of Meereen, the mercantile city-state and northernmost of the three great city-states of Slaver’s Bay.

Today, Klis Fortress is a popular tourist site in Croatia where visitors can walk through the ancient halls and ramparts as well as visiting the museum full of arms, armour and traditional uniforms.

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