Secret Dalmatia Blog - Travel Experiences in Croatia

Fortresses of Dalmatia – Sv Nikola of Šibenik

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Very few fortresses are so beautiful and elegant like the Sveti Nikola at the entrance of wonderful Šibenik Channel. One of the most amazing city ports on the planet, was heavily guarded by a number of fortresses and the crown jewel was the 16th century Sveti Nikola. It was designed by the famous Venetian architect Hyeronimus di San Michaele and has two “sister fortresses”: one in Malta and one in Venice (also St Nicola)


The fortress is beautiful and very elegant which is a rarely used term for a military building but San Michele was often criticized for his building being more artistic than functional. It was finished in 1540 but almost never used and nearly abandoned in 1572 since it was clear that the canon fire would cause more damage to the structure than to the enemy vessels. It continued being the military base up until the late 1990s when it finaly came under the civilian rule of Šibenik…

The approach from the land side...
The approach from the land side...

Just past Monday I took a group of my clients on a brief tour of this monument. They were waiting for the boat so, to kill time, no better way than then to do some exploring! The fortress is simply splendid! The halls, the stairs, the play of light and darkness, the moisture and the scent of the centuries that passed…

The frieze above the door.
The friez above the door.
The main hall - spooky!
The main hall - spooky!

I always thought that it would be good to give some purpose to this wonderful building but then the charm would be lost. It should be kept better and certain parts need restoration, but in general, it is in great shape and it is one of the most beautiful remains of Venetian rule in Dalmatia.

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