Amongst all the Croatian towns on the Adriatic coast, the Dalmatian city of Šibenik is set apart by its unique location in a picturesque and open bay at the mouth of the Krka River that empties into the 10 km long Bay of Šibenik which is connected to the open sea by the St Anthony Channel. St Anthony’s Channel links Šibenik’s harbour to the Adriatic Sea at the St Nicholas’ Fortress, the most important renaissance fortress on the eastern coast of the Adriatic. The fortress was built in the 16th Century to prevent Ottoman boats from reaching the port and it was armed with 32 cannons. Supposedly its imposing appearance and size were a bigger threat to the enemy than the cannons ever were.
Šibenik is actually a proud owner of four fortresses, but the St Nicholas’ is the only one of them located at the sea. Today the fortress stands as a unique monument of world heritage which was in 2017 inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list as part of the “Venetian Works of Defence between the 16th and 17th Centuries”. Soon after the UNESCO listing, the building was put under careful restoration and conservation works which had to take into account not just the fortress’ historic significance, but also the protected natural area of the St Anthony Channel which is a natural phenomenon admired for its pristine beauty and the only natural sea-way to Šibenik.
In mid-June 2019, the St. Nicholas’ Fortress for the first time after the restorations opened its door for the public. Public Institute of Nature of the Šibenik-Knin County (JU Priroda Šibensko-kninska županija) organizes incentive trips to the fortress with a boat. The boat ride starts and finishes at the Šibenik waterfront and it lasts for 30 minutes in each direction. As the boats is driving through the St Anthony Channel towards the fortress, visitors get acquainted with the historical and natural sights of the significant landscape ‘Channel-Port’, formed by the Šibenik Bay and the Channel.
Once in the fortress, the visitors are guided around the impressive stone building with the help of a guide as well as with provided multimedia multi-lingual mobile guides with headsets. Organized visit to the fortress is enriched with the exhibition “Croatian heritage sites on the World Heritage List” by Miljenko Domijan and Bruno Diklić. The exhibition, presenting around fifty photo-murals with art works of renowned Croatian photographers, after touring almost the entire world in 15 years and being shown in more than 20 countries, is set on the fortress’ terrace.
On the way back from St. Nicholas towards the medieval town of Šibenik, participants at the incentive trip can enjoy the view and take pictures of the beautiful panorama. Some of the visitors might be additionally stoked by the whole experience as the spot was also used as the sea entrance into the city of Braavos in the Game of Thrones.
|Best time of the year:||Early May – late October|
|Duration:||App. 2 hours|
|Number of participants:||Min: 1, Max: 94|