DISCOVER DALMATIA BLOG:
There is no question that Dalmatia is beautiful, and therefore universally considered a prized possession. So it’s no surprise that numerous invaders throughout history wanted to claim it as theirs – and Klis fortress is certainly a majestic witness to that. Often described as “the gates of Dalmatia”, Klis was imperative to the successful defence of the Dalmatia against its numerous invaders from the East. This is clear even from its name, “Klis” (“clavis”), which in Latin means “key”.
My friends and I have excitedly embarked on a sweet, sunset adventure from Split to visit this beautiful location and learn all about its glorious history.
Klis fortress and the (south) view to Dalmatia.
My excited friends & I (wearing a blue jacket) in Klis
Outline of Klis, Kozjak and Mosor mountains on a map
With the expert guidance of Sanda, our tour guide, we learned that Klis is a medieval fortress, built high above sea level on a steep and inaccessible cliff in the narrow rocky gorge that separates the mountains Kozjak and Mosor.
Remember the three rules of great real estate? Location, location, location! And as the only passage route from inland towards the coastline, Klis was prime real estate – and a major military stronghold since the ancient times.
Klis fortress and the (west) view to Mosor.
Klis fortress and the (north-east) view to Kozjak.
Two (out of three) fortresses in Klis
Klis actually consists of three separate fortresses, each functioning independently from each other. In other words, if the first fortress is breached in an invasion, the defending soldiers just retrieve to the second (inner) fortress and continue fighting!
For centuries, many brave warriors of Klis desperately fought to hold their positions even in the most dire circumstances. One of the most featured personalities managing to resist the ongoing Turkish attacks was Captain and Duke Petar Kruzic. Unfortunately, after 25 years of successful campaign at the head of his Uskok warriors, Petar Kruzic was killed by the Turks – and with his demise, the fate of Klis was sealed.
Oh, and did you know that the famed “Games of Thrones” was filmed here? Yes, you got it! This is where the many scenes of Mareen came to life! In the honor of super successful series, a model of Daenerys’ dragon is set up to “fly” in one of the many exhibition rooms in Klis. Lana had a blast running for her life from Drogon’s deadly fire breath! 🙂
Another fun, thing we did was role-play how it must have been to live in medieval times. Rebels as we are, we could almost imagine how we would all end up: in shackles and locked in some … disciplinary tools. 🙂
For realz now, Klis’ history is definitely compelling. We (eventually) got to see the exhibit of old customs, soldier uniforms and weapons. Amazing stuff.
Our tour was still not done: we also got to see the church of St. Vid, built over a Turkish mosque, and still a rare example of Islamic architecture in Dalmatia.
In addition to everything we’ve seen and heard on this lovely tour, we’ve also had numerous opportunities to snap gazillion photos of the truly majestic views of Split and its surroundings.
And finally, it’s time to head to a famous restaurant for our roasted lamb dinner – a cherished delicacy in Klis since the old age. Oh how I love history – especially when it’s so yummy! 🙂
Jon and Bojan take in the beautiful sunset from Klis