Refurbished fort will help to bring more visitors to ancient coastal city

An imposing but crumbling castle overlooking the mediaeval city of Šibenik on the Croatian coast has been restored to its former glory, thanks to an EU-funded project.

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An aerial view of the refurbished St Mihovil Fort and the town of Šibenik. An aerial view of the refurbished St Mihovil Fort and the town of Šibenik.

The ancient city of Šibenik on Croatia’s rugged Dalmatian coastline is known for its ancient fortifications, which for centuries have protected the city from attacks, particularly from the sea.

The St Mihovil Fortress is dramatically perched above the centre of the city, but the building had in recent decades fallen into disrepair to the point that the safety of visitors could not be ensured.

Restoration work on the crumbling structure of the fortress took just over one year, during which collapsed outer walls, floors and ceilings were rebuilt and made safe for visitors.

Adding value for tourists

Visitors to the refurbished fortress will be able to see various exhibitions about the region’s history as well as inform themselves about other nearby attractions by visiting a newly-created tourist information centre.

An open-air stage on the site has been renovated and will host various cultural activities, such as concerts during the summertime. The audience capacity for the performing area is 1 200 people. In addition, a corner for children’s activities has been constructed.

Local and regional economy will benefit

The expected increase in tourist numbers to the city because of the refurbished fortress will benefit small and medium-sized businesses in the city, such as cafés, restaurants, hotels, souvenir manufacturers, tour guides and shops.

The refurbished St Mihovil Fortress will also be used to provide training for employees of the city museum and others involved in the local tourist industry.

Project manager Matija Bumbak said that that the rebuilding of the fortress would make the city of Šibenik, as well as the wider region of Šibenik-Knin, more attractive to tourists. The project also involves the development of a plan for managing the cultural riches of the city and the surrounding region.

Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Revitalisation of St Michael’s Fortress in Šibenik” amounted to EUR 1 666 389, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 1 000 000 from the “Regional Competitiveness” Operational Programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date