The Construction of Fortress Revelin

Total Croatia News

The present-day Culture Club Revelin was recently dubbed as one of the 50 best clubs in Europe, but do you know what’s the story behind this famous landmark situated on the eastern side of the Old Town, next to the Ploče Gate?

The name Revelin derives from a term in the fortification architecture, “Rivelino” that denotes a fortification erected to protect the weakest points of the city or certain city gates. These types of rivelino fortresses were usually built in front of the city gates and connected to the city and suburbs by bridges.

Revelin Fortress stands just in front of the famed Dubrovnik City Walls, one of the most impressive series of defensive stone walls in the world and the main landmark of Dubrovnik consisting of forts, bastions, casemates, towers and detached forts. Revelin is separated from the Old Town by a ditch above which the bridge is built so one might not even have the feeling that these two parts were once separated.

Revelin fortress was designed according to the plans by an Italian engineer Antonio Ferramolino from Bergamo: an irregular quadrilateral fortress where the northern corner, one of the most important points in defense of the city, forms a sharp angle. At the level of a ditch in the northern walls, the corridors are divided into small spaces that have triple loopholes and ducts for ventilation that end up on the top floor of the fortress. Inside the fortress, three huge spaces are interconnected with the arcades. Numerous historians have praised the perfect execution of the fortress since it was not harmed by devastating Great earthquake that left most of the Old Town in ruins in 1667.

The most impressive place is definitely a big platform in front of the fortress surrounded by three sides by a ditch and the forth side by the sea. The road that leads to the city was placed on this platform that consequently needed to be additionally protected by guns that safeguarded the road and the port of Dubrovnik. The bridge on the Ploče Gate that travelers used to enter the city was designed by a famous engineer from Dubrovnik, Paskoje Milićević, in 1449.
Milićević was inspired by a former model of the single-arch bridge used at the Pile Gate.

The construction of the Revelin fortress took more than eighty years: from 1463 when the initial detached fortress was built to 1538 when Senate approved new Ferramolino’s drawing for the new and stronger fortress: it was finally finished in 1551.
It is written that during the construction of the Revelin fortress each passenger entering the Old Town had to bring one piece of stone to help construct the fortress.


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