The mysterious fortress Kastel in Banja Luka Kastel Fortress is the oldest monument in Banja Luka
Kastel Fortress keeps the deepest secrets of this city, because it is the oldest monument in Banja Luka. It is located on the left bank of the Vrbas and with its massiveness it tells us about great events and greats who used it as a defensive position and military fortification from the ancient period to the new century.
The total area of Kastel is 48,000 square kilometers, the ramparts consist of nine bastions and two drops of a tower within the ramparts. It is surrounded on all sides by thick stone walls on which loopholes and observation posts have been erected, and its final shape and present-day form was given in the 18th century.
Data on its origin lead us to the second century AD in Roman times, when it was built as a military camp or Castro. The Kastel fortress is entered from three directions to the north, west and east. It is also interesting that the remains of residential buildings dating from the 8th and 12th centuries were found in the area of Kastel, and the oldest object that confirms that there was an ancient settlement is an altar dedicated to the Roman god Jupiter. On this beautifully carved stone monument, found in 1895, there is an inscription which deciphered the text: “Jupiter, the greatest genius of this place in Sicily, acrin, consular benefactor of the province of Upper Pannonia, fulfilled his vow voluntarily and with gratitude.” Several specimens of late antique bronze, pottery and one late antique bronze fibula were found inside the fortress. Descriptions and drawings from the 18th century give a picture of the fortification with numerous casemates, but also with more than 30 barns for grain.
Nevertheless, the very development of the city and the significance of the city and thus the castle began during the time of Ferhad-pasha Sokolović. Ferhad-pasha first built his fortified tophana on the site of today’s Kastel, and ten years later the tophana grew into a real fortified town with towers and basins, which was constantly extended.
Next to the fortress itself, there is an artillery workshop that was used to make cannons, rifles and gunpowder and was opened at the beginning of the 18th century. It was during this period that the most famous battle near the Kastel fortress in 1737 took place during the Turkish rule. The battle of Banja Luka was started by Austrian units under the command of General Hildenburghausen, which penetrated the Vrbas valley and began the siege of Kastel. However, the Bosnian governor Ali-pasha Hećimoglu defeated the Austrian army with a sudden attack from the hill Lauš, and so Kastel remained unconquered. In the 19th century, Kastel, like other fortresses, lost the military significance that it had before, but it was and remains, as it is on the coat of arms, the symbol of the city of Banja Luka. In 1950, the Kastel Fortress was declared a cultural and Istrian heritage site of the first category, and in 2002 it was added to the list of endangered monuments of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Source:Wikipedia /Saša Knežić
Translated: Alma Gadžo
Kastel fortress in Banja Luka
It is located on the left bank of the Vrbas and with its massiveness it tells us about great events and greats who used it as a defensive position and military fortification from the ancient period to the new century.
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