The Ottoman fortress above Skradin in Dalmatia

Skradin is a town on the right bank of the Krka river, about 15 km upstream from Šibenik. Located deep in the hinterland, with good road connections, and a luxury of natural resources nearby, it’s no wonder that urban life flourished here since the Iron Age. But being below surrounding hills, this trading centre could never be successfully defended from a prolonged siege. This is why, throughout medieval times, Skradin was usually regarded as a less important neighbour of flourishing Šibenik. Various Croatian noble families, and occasionally the Venetians, ruled the town in fifteenth century. Conquered by the Ottomans in winter of 1521-22, Skradin soon again became an important trading point, the southernmost town in Krka sancak. It was reclaimed by Venetians temporarily from 1647 to 1670, and permanently from 1683. Today, due to the thorough destruction by the Venetian army, the earliest buildings in Skradin date to eighteenth century. The one exception is Turina, a small late medieval fort above the town. Recently branded as a fortress of Šubić family –the powerful magnates from late thirteenth century–, Turina was long considered to be Skradin’s main defensive point even in the Ottoman era. However, several archival sources suggested the existence of another fort, located on a much more favourable position. This theory was finally confirmed by surveying the nearby Gradina hill in the autumn of 2018.