There are several smaller fortresses, castles and towers lining up at the sea in the western part of Split – towards the city of Trogir. If you don’t know about their history and the fact they belong together you might just miss the beauty and meaning of this series of small castles.
Today we start introducing these tiny treasures with Castel Vitturi or Kaštel Lukšić, the biggest and best preserved building amongst them.
Kaštela and its Background Story
The name of the area – “Kaštela” (citadels) – comes from a variety of such citadels which were built to protect the farmers and their land.
When Bosnia fell in 1463, the whole region Dalmatia was under Venetian authority with the danger of Turkish attacks as a constant threat. In 1537 Klis Fortress fell under the administration of the Ottomans, so the Kaštela field was even more exposed to their frequent incursions. This is why landowners from Split and Trogir started to build fortifications in the area between both towns. Between the 15th and the 17th century there were seventeen forts and twelve fortified villages.
Castel Vitturi was the first of these fortifications – built by the brothers Jerolim and Nikola Vitturi, two noblemen from Trogir. It consisted of a courtyard in the north, surrounded by defensive walls and towers and a two-storey residential building on the southern side in a Renaissance style.
Today the fortress contains a museum which is definitely worth a visit. It shows where the owners spent their time (the rooms were generously decorated with openings, balconies, fireplaces and washstands), and were wine and oil were produced and stored.
A complete renovation was finished in 2001 – today Kaštel Lukšić does not only contain the Town museum, but is also the cultural center of the Town of Kaštela including a major Croatian music company, the Town library and the local Tourist office.
Romantic Fact: There is a Romeo&Juliet-like story to be found in Castel Vitturi. Ask for Miljenko and Dobrila!