The Klis Fortress, located on the steep cliffs between the mountains Kozjak and Mosor, has been known as the key of Dalmatia and the heart of the medieval Croatian kingdom.
It was strategically built to protect the cities of Split and Salone from various invasions in very uncertain times in history, but it has also always had a very big commercial importance.
A brief history
The Klis Fortress developed from a small stronghold built by an Illyrian tribe called Delmatea in the 2nd century BC.
Over the next 2000 years, it served as a shield of the ancient Roman town of Salona and the Diocletian’s palace, it has been a seat of many Croatian kings for a few centuries, playing a role of a crossroad between the Mediterranean and the Balkans and it was also a very important strategic defender of this part of Europe from Ottoman attacks.
The Fortress has changed a lot throughout the history. It changed hands many times between, amongst others, the Hungaro-Croatians, Turks, Romans, the Knights Templar, Venetians, Austrians, French and Yugoslavs. Most of the buildings you see today are either from the Venetian times or built in the 17th and 19th century.
At only 13 kilometres north of Split, in an area surrounded by mountains, over the years, with the development of tourism, Klis has become a very popular sight among tourist and the film makers.
In Game of Thrones it was the setting for the outdoor scenes of Meereen, the mercantile city-state and northernmost of the three great city-states of Slaver’s Bay.
The fortress is located near the entrance to the A1 highway, so it’s easy to reach it by car. There is also a free parking around the fortress.
If you’re not travelling by car, you can easily reach it by a few bus lines from Split. Bus line number 22 and another, a bit less frequent one, number 34 got to Klis. The downside of taking the bus is that it could take a while to get there, since it stops along the way. However, it is the cheapest option.
The best idea, however, would be to go there by an organised transfer that often include guided tours.