I am sure that no traveler passed tiny Grebaštica village, when driving from Split to Šibenik, without noticing the imposing wall on a long peninsula. That wall always looked so mysterious and so prohibitive that I simply had to visit. Another sunny morning yesterday and, after I have finished some work in Šibenik, I simply drove south to see the wall up close.
Grebaštica was a fairly important town in the Middle Ages and had a large monastery destroyed probably in the Turkish wars. The Turks started raiding this area as early as late 15th century and, with the fall of some important towns and strongholds in the area, the panic made the people flee Grebaštica and the town never recovered. But, at the time, being wealthy, the people of Grebaštica could afford a construction of an impressive wall that would protect them from the Turks.
The wall is called “BEDEM” – meaning defensive, protective wall in Croatian. It is 10 meters (about 30 ft) high and about 1 meter (about 2 ft) wide running across the entire narrow neck of Oštrica peninsula. It is truly impressive and looks like some fallen defense wall from the Lord of The Rings overrun by the Orcs 🙂
I am not sure how well it protected the locals since the Turks had a fairly good navy later on…
It is also said that the wall was used, in the time of the plague, to separate the sick from the healthy so the sick were moved to the other side of the wall where (probably) some buildings were erected for their last days…
The wall is still in a very good shape! The parts closest to the sea are the only ones that are ruined and that was probably on purpose. Local people have always used abandoned structures as a great source of building material… Following the dirt road from Grebaštica, you will come to a fence and a gate just next to the wall – the entire peninsula is now a hunting ground and they are trying to keep the game on the peninsula. It is easy to get “inside” though – there is a construction of ladders that is easy to climb.
The massive wall of Oštrica is one of the prettiest example of Medieval defense walls in Croatia making it well worth a visit. The secluded beaches of Oštrica peninsula are also quite pretty and the entire peninsula, heavily wooded is a pleasant hiking area.