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St. Nicholas’ Fortress: The Beautiful Gatekeeper of Šibenik

St. Nicholas’ fortress was built in 1540. on the islet of Ljuljevac. Before the fort’s construction, the islet was the home of the Benedictine monastery of St. Nicholas (the protector of sailors and travelers), by which the fortress got its name. 

The Venetians built this fort after the fall of Skradin under Ottoman rule. They were forced to protect Šibenik as their most valuable port on the east coast of the Adriatic sea.

In 2017. the fort was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as a part of the nomination “The Defense System of the Republic of Venice between the 16th and 17th Centuries”.

We like to call it our guardian not just because of its ancient defense purpose, but also because of its unique position at the entrance of the St. Anthony’s Channel, or more accurately at the Šibenik’s Seagate.


What makes this Renaissance beauty so special?     

The most unusual thing for a defensive fortress is the fact that this structure doesn’t have towers, which was customary for the architecture of that period. 

The fortress is built in the shape of a triangle with a circular head and a scissor-looking tail which leaves a scary and discouraging impression in the eyes of the observer. 

The material used in construction is solid rock and stone with bricks as an addition, specially ordered from Veneto. 

It was said that the fort’s appearance was so frightening that no one even tried to invade such an impressive construction. Therefore, its defensive purpose was never demonstrated. 


St. Anthony’s Channel Promenade

The promenade is about 4 km long going from Paninkovac bay to the Školjić islet which is located in front of the St. Nicolas’ fortress. 

One can easily get to the promenade by car, bicycle or on foot. The beauty of this promenade lies in the panoramic view of the city and intact nature, rich archipelago, and crystal clear sea. 


The boat ride to St. Nicholas’s Fortress

There are many sightseeing tours to the fort, all departing from the main seafront in Šibenik. The boats drive for about twenty minutes which fly by. 

On the ride, you will pass through St. Anthony’s Channel, to Hitler’s Eyes (a boat shelter from the second world war), through St. Anthony’s cave, and finally to the finish point – St. Nicholas’ fortress. 


Although Šibenik offers various culturous treats, this beauty at the sea is the place you have to include as a part of your Šibenik tour.

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