Fortress of Klis

Klis fortress blends perfectly into its surroundings, constructed to suit the natural topography. Today it is mostly known as the locations for the fictional city of Meereen in the popular HBO series Game of Thrones. Now let us tell you a little more about the rich and very real history of this great military stronghold.

Known as Tvrđava Klis in Croatian, the structure was build 2000 years ago! Originally, it was a stronghold by the ancient Illyrians, more specifically the tribe of Dalmatae. The location of the stronghold is quite impressive as even the Romans had a hard time defeating the tribe way back in 9 AD. Traces of a Roman campsite are still visible on the southeast side of the fortress. History often mentions the significance of this great fortress in the battles that erupted after the fall of the Roman Empire. Later on, it became the seat of Croat nobility. Even the Mongols were unsuccessful in their efforts to take over the fortress and generally didn’t have much military success in the region, aside from plundering. The Ottomans, however, did not give up. Petar Kružić, also called Captain Kružić or Prince of Klis, managed to fend them off alone for over two and a half decades with his garrison composed of Croat refugees. Army after army after army and the Ottomans finally got ahold of Klis. For the next century, it was an administrative centre (Kilis Sancağı) of the Bosnia Eyalet. When the ”rights” to Dalmatia were sold to the Venetians they made quite a lucrative effort to take back Klis, as it was always one of the region’s most important strategic points. The Venetians took care of the stronghold, restoring and enlarging up until their fall. The last military occupation of Klis Fortress was by Axis powers during World War II.

If you’re a history buff, definitely check out our Salona, Klis & Trogir Private tour.