St John's Fortress

20 Jan 2023
Built in 1646 at the time of the Candia War (when Venetan-controlled Dalmatia was engaged in a bitter struggle to ward off Ottoman encroachment) this is a typical example of 17th-century military architecture, its star-shaped plan providing any number of ideal angles for defensive artillery fire.
Even today it is a stirring sight, its angular jutting bastions surrounded by outcrops of limestone and spindly evergreen trees.
Getting here from the centre of town is fairly easy: from the main Kralja Zvonimira take Težačka then turn left into Zadarska Street, before turning right onto the steeply ascending Put V. Mandušića. Alternatively, drive as far as Barone (see below) and take the footpath from there. Once you’re here, the access path to the fortress itself leads through a stepped gateway and out onto a grassy plateau, where there are remains of barrack blocks, powder stores, World-War-II gun positions and a modern radio mast. The views, taking in St Michael’s Fortress and the Šibenik Channel, are well worth the uphill walk.


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