Klis Fortress near Split to be Illuminated at Night

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Starting later this year, during the upcoming tourist season, the Klis fortress (best known around the world as the place where Khaleesi kept her dragons in the HBO’s mega-hit show Game of Thrones) will be illuminated during the night!

The fortress of Klis has been an amazing place to visit not only for the Game of Thrones fans in the past several years but also for all those in love with the medieval archaeology, fortresses, historical armed forces and the tourists who expect to get more out of the vacation experience. Recently, a contract was signed in Klis which guarantees that the fortress will become even more interesting in the future when it becomes illuminated during the night. The former Croatian capital is a part of the project financed by the European Union, IPA Interreg ‘Fortress ReInvented’ project submitted by Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro. The whole project is about the reconstruction of the historical fortresses in the area, and it was submitted by Šibenik Museum for their St. Michael’s fortress reconstruction. The Klis fortress portion of the project is worth 2.4 million kuna (350 thousand euros), and almost of all those fund will go towards the illumination of the fortress during the night.

Slavica Vuković writes for Večernji list about the plans, and the municipal prefect of Klis Jakov Vetma explains that the plans for the night-time illumination have been around for a while. All the documentation for the project has been done several years ago, he says, and now the project will be finalized. The illumination will make the fortress even more attractive, and more visitors will come. In 2018, there were 70.000 visitors at the fortress (an increase of over 50% compared to 2017, which also held a record!), and the prefect is sure that the fortress will be able to attract even more people, once it’s illuminated. The deadline for the works to be completed is 90 days, so even in Croatia, that means that everything should be finished right in time for the high tourist season.

Klis fortress is considered to be an archaeological paradise as well, with renewed interest by the experts since a new, yet unknown site was found near St. Vid Church. The wealth of the archaeological findings at the area is the only real danger to the setup of the illumination on the fortress, as the process itself might be slowed down if something yet unknown is discovered while digging for the lighting.

Prefect Vetma also explains that there aren’t many places in Croatia that have such a wealthy history like Klis, and he thinks that it shouldn’t be a municipality, but it should be named a town. Municipal council and the Council of Split-Dalmatia County agree, and have supported that petition. Although the current number of inhabitants wouldn’t support that decision, Vetma says that it’s the people in tha past and the present that make a town, not buildings. He hopes that it would be easier to get European funding for the projects if Klis was a town, which will improve visibility, development and a better standard for the inhabitants.


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