Secret Dalmatia Blog - Travel Experiences in Croatia

The Medieval Fortresses of Krka River

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September is my favorite part of the year. Still beautiful weather but that special feeling of “dying” nature preparing for the winter. That is the best time for hiking! Almost twice a week we get together and head to the hills looking for less known historic or natural sites. I use my military maps and old books I collect, as guides for each adventure.

Few years back I decided that we should go and visit the fortresses of Nečven and Trošenj. One opposite another on two banks of the deep Krka river canyon…

Necven Fortress - Trosenj is across the canyon
Necven Fortress - Trosenj is across the canyon

Both built in the 14th century, they were part of the local noblemen defense system in one of the most turbulent parts of Croatian history. A legend tells a horrifying story – a king who built the fortresses lost his daughter just before the fortresses were completed. In grief, he ordered that two local girls be bricked alive in the towers. Their screams still echo the deep canyon… Scary but probably not true.

Krka River...
Krka River...

Today, only the ruins remain. The Necven fortress can be reached from the village of Cucevo… small village inhabited by elderly Serbs who did not go away in the past war. The village is quite picturesque and people are very friendly and pleasant. Cucevo is near Kistanje on the road from Zadar to Knin and it is now inhabitet with “Croatians” brought from Kosovo – people who have no relation with this area whatsoever!!! They don’t appreciate the history, traditions. They don’t know the stories, legends, mythology of the area. Sad.

Empty house with ancient gumno in front
Empty house with ancient "gumno" in front

Many houses like this remain in this area. Gumno is a specific part of the village where people would bring their wheat to extract the seeds from the rest of the plant. It was best done with horses walking in circles over the wheat.


Cucevo is a nice little village that nicely represents the way life was in Bukovica for centuries. The area is abundant in wild life: foxes, rabbits, birds of all sorts, amazing flower fields in the spring!

Krka River canyon
Krka River canyon

Krka river still flows through this wonderful canyon. Promina mountain in the distance…

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