Bokar Fortress | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Bokar Fortress

Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik-Neretva, Croatia

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Bokar Fortress

Bokar Fortress was built 1461 by Italian architect Michelozzo di Bartololmeo to defend Pile Gate, the western entrance to the city of Dubrovnik. The fort as seen today was completed in 1570 and is the oldest casemented fortress in Europe.

Bokar Fortress history

Designed and mostly built during the 1460s by Michelozzo di Bartololmeo, an Italian architect considered to be one of the great Renaissance pioneers, Bokar Fortress is one of the world’s finest examples of ‘harmonious and functional fortification architecture’ and was built to defend the western entrance to the city of Dubrovnik. It was the key defendense structure for the strategically vital Pile Gate.

The fort was finally completed in 1570 after a century of debate as to whether it should actually be finished.

Often called ‘Zvjezdan’, a Serbo-Croat word meaning ‘starry’, presumably for the amazing views of the light pollution-free night sky as you look out into the Adriatic Sea, parts of the magnificent, almost perfectly cylindrical fort are perched on a detached rock allowing the sea water to pass beneath it – which can still be seen today.

Bokar Fortress today

Today, the fort is open all year round and is perhaps most famous as a venue for performances of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival.

The fairytale-esque Bokar Fortress featured in seasons two and three of Game of Thrones and is perhaps best seen when Varys informs Tyrion he’s ‘quite good’ at being the hand of the king.

Getting to Bokar Fortress

The fortress is a half an hour walk from the historic centre of Dubrovnik. Visitors can also reach it within 5 minutes by car from the same place.

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