Kastel Fortress - the most important information
Have you heard of Castel Fortress? This popular fortress is located in Banja Luka and is its oldest historical monument. It was built on the left bank of the river Vrbas. This place used to be a strong military fortification and protected the Vrbas valley from enemy attacks. Kastel Fortress was surrounded on all sides by thick stone walls, on which loopholes and observation posts were erected. Today, in the interior of this fortress you can see the summer stage, playground for children and national restaurant, as well as the premises of the Institute for the Protection of Cultural, Historical and Natural Heritage of the Republic of Srpska.
History of the Castel fortress
Numerous remains and objects from the Roman Empire were found on the site of the current fortress. It is assumed that the first fortification (Castro) was built by the Romans in the 2nd century. It could be located in the southeastern part of today's fortress, where administrative buildings were also located. The fortress of Kastel was destroyed after the settlement of the Slavs, and in its place a Slavic settlement of the hillfort type was created. In the Middle Ages, the role of Castro was taken over by a fortified city, which was located in the southern part of today's Banja Luka. After the arrival of the Turks in the 16th century, Banja Luka became the center of the Bosnian Sandzak, and the Kastel fortress became an important military and administrative center. The fortress got its final look in the first decades of the 18th century, when it took the form of an elongated trapezoid.
About Safikad's tomb
It is impossible to visit the Castel fortress without seeing Safikada's tomb in front of it. This place testifies to the eternal love between Safikada from Banja Luka and the Austro-Hungarian soldier, who guarded the walls of Kastel. Legend has it that love at first sight was born between them, which, due to its tragic ending, is compared to the love of Romeo and Juliet. The Austro-Hungarian army had to leave the fortress suddenly, so Safikada was left alone. After some time, the beautiful woman from Banja Luka receives the news of the death of her beloved and decides to throw herself in front of the cannon, in order to meet him in death. There is a monument at the place where her body fell, where couples in love still light candles for love.
How to get to the fortress Castel?
From the center of Banja Luka, you can easily reach the Kastel Fortress on foot, in just ten minutes of easy walking (across Ivana Franje Jukića Street).
Opening hours and entrance prices
- Castel Fortress is open daily to all visitors.
- Entrance to this fortress is free, but some parts of it are closed to the public.