Senj Fortress (Nehaj Castle)

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Senj Fortress, also known as Nehaj Fortress or Nehaj Castle, is a historic fortress in the small Croatian coastal town of Senj, which towers over the city and the Adriatic Sea with its imposing appearance and is a symbol of Senj’s rich history and strategic importance. Throughout its existence, the fortress has played an important role in defending the city against various attackers and remains one of the region’s most recognizable landmarks.

Nehaj Senj Fortress today and visit to the castle

Today, Seni Fortress stands tall as a testament to the city’s rich heritage and turbulent past. It is open to visitors who can explore its walls, towers and interiors while enjoying panoramic views of the Adriatic Sea and the surrounding landscape. The fortress also hosts cultural events, exhibitions and historical reenactments, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the history and atmosphere of this iconic landmark.

In addition to its historical significance, Senj Fortress is an important symbol of Croatian identity and pride and is a reminder of the resilience and determination of the Senj people in the face of adversity. The fort continues to arouse the admiration of visitors from all over the world who come here to experience its timeless beauty and historic past.

Entrance to Senj Fortress:

The castle costs 5 euros entry. Children pay an entrance fee of 2 euros. There are also cheap family tickets (10 euros) and group tickets for larger groups for Nehaj Fortress (all entry prices at the beginning of 2024). Admission applies to the museum and the fortress complex.

How to get to Nehaj Castle: You can walk up from Senj town. The narrow road to the fortress starts from the large roundabout above the town (signposted “Tvrdava NEHAJ”). Parking is possible free of charge in front of the castle.

Opening hours Nehaj Senj Fortress: Only in the season from mid-April to the end of October. Then at least daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Much longer in high season (until 9 p.m.).

The red Zora and her gang: The castle in Senj is known from the book and the television series. Senj Fortress is the castle in the series. “The Red Zora and Her Gang” is a young adult book by the author Kurt Held, who wrote under the name Kurt Kläber. The book was published in 1941 and tells of Zora, a girl who lives with a group of orphans in Croatia. Together they form a kind of children’s gang and survive through theft and other adventures. The novel deals with themes such as friendship, cohesion and social justice and is available as a film and well-known television series.

>>> Link tip: Tours by bus and boat, tickets for sightseeing, city walks etc. in Croatia are best booked on the website Getyourguide.

Nehaj Senj fort in the past

History of Senj Fortress:
The origins of Senj Fortress date back to the 16th century, when the Republic of Venice and the Ottoman Empire fought a bitter battle for control of the Adriatic coast. The Croatian nobleman and captain of Senj, Ivan Lenković, recognized the strategic importance of Senj as an important defensive position on the coast and began building Senj Castle in 1558. The fort was built on Nehaj Hill, which overlooks the city and offers magnificent views of the surrounding area.

Architecture of Senj Fortress:
Senj Fortress is characterized by its solid structure and fearsome appearance. Built primarily of stone, it features thick walls, towers and bastions designed to withstand attacks from land and sea. Its strategic location on a hill gives the defenders a natural advantage as they can observe and repel enemy advances from an elevated position.

The fort consists of several interconnected parts, including the main tower, the courtyard and the outer defenses. The main tower, known as the Nehaj Tower, which served as the residence of the captain and his soldiers, is a striking rectangular structure with thick walls and narrow windows, typical of the defensive architecture of the time.

Surrounding the main tower are other fortifications, including ramparts, bastions and ditches, all intended to strengthen the fortress. The structure of the fortress reflects a strategic defense concept, with nested firing points and multiple layers of protection.

Role in the story:
Throughout history, Senyi Fortress has played a pivotal role in defending the city against various threats. It has withstood numerous sieges, including attacks by the Ottoman Empire and the Republic of Venice. The fortress was a symbol of resistance and defiance, inspiring the city’s residents to persevere in the face of adversity.

One of the most notable events in the fortress’s history was the successful repulsion of a siege by Ottoman troops led by the Ottoman admiral Uluz Ali Pasha in 1579. Although outnumbered and outgunned, Senj’s defenders held out, inflicting heavy losses on the besiegers Damage occurred and forced them to retreat. This victory cemented the fortress’s reputation as an impregnable fortress and boosted the morale of the city’s residents.

View of the town of Senj from the parking lot in front of the fortress

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