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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Thursday 4 May 2023

Klis Fortress and Salona

We are in Croatia this week for a holiday, based near Split. It is 23 years since I last did this coast properly, other than a brief stop en route to Vis in 2014. So, having settled my wife in at the poolside, I jumped in the car and headed for one of my favourite castles, Klis.

Situated just east of Split, it sits on top of a hill dominating the pass into the mountains and the interior of modern Croatia. The Illyrians first fortified it, followed by the Romans. It was the early capital of medieval Croatia before the Ottomans arrived and defeated the Uskoks in a famous siege in 1537. The Uskoks moved up the coast to create a pirate stronghold at Senj. The Venetians got it back, but the Ottomans recaptured it. 

It's not quite as inaccessible to visit as it looks, with a road up to the village. You can get there by bus. However, it is still a climb from the car park. The views make the climb worthwhile, as you can see right over Split, the coast and the island. It is easy to see why it was such a key fortress.

The Uskoks are not forgotten with a small display of costumes and weapons.

Finally, Game of Thrones fans may recognise the site as Meereen, where Daenery's defeated the slave owners and freed the slaves. She left a wee dragon behind!

After Klis, I headed back to Split and the ancient Roman town of Salona. Still plenty of remains in the sprawling site, including the remains of an amphitheatre that held 17,000 spectators.

For dinner, we drove down the coast to Omis. It has a fine castle and harbour, which was a Partisan base in WW2.

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