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The History of a Mysterious Old Fortress
What I Learned about the Old Castle
During my research I learned that Fort Sokol was built on an inaccessible cliff.
The height of the castle is over twenty five meters a natural fortress that controls the main road closest to us.
The main road leads from Konavle north into Herzegovina and of the Balkan hinterland.
It was the main reason for this town to be inhabited since the ancient times.
In August 1973 the name of the castle known as the Falcon Tower was discovered.
The word Sokol from the Croatian language means falcon when translated into the English language.
After spending time reading, and paying attention to what the local people have on their minds, I discovered the town was found much earlier than mentioned.
A prehistoric structure as an ancient fortress from a medieval town came under the authority of Dubrovnik since the year 1423.
I was interested in the history of this old mysterious castle. My daily walks close by the castle gets me thinking of the ancient times around this region.
The guards that stood there and the slaves who lived behind these castle walls still remains a mystery to me.
The role of the fortress just changed over the years. The religious function of the castle has more to offer.
The prehistoric fortress had also protected the inhabitants of the village and I live in this village at the moment the population is over a hundred and fifty people.
The whole of konavle has over eight thousand people and has an area of 80.79 sq miles you are looking at (209.2 km²).
It includes Cavtat the small village of this region is a popular tourist destination.
Ancient Roman and late antiquity Byzantine fortresses had to defend the region of Konavle from the external enemies and to fight off the barbarians.
During the Middle Ages Konavle was mainly under the authority of the neighboring states this gave it a special political position.
The fort Sokol overtime no longer had to defend the neighboring states or rulers because they had already had their position in Konavle.
The feudal lords then enforced payments from their lands they demanded to be paid for their plots this was in Konavle from Sokol.
The arrival of people from Dubrovnik forty kilometers away changed everything. They oversaw Konavle and managed to take charge of the situation.
The revenues from the Rector's Court in Saint Martin another village called Pridvorje a not so far away village from us and Sokol took on a role of a similar to that of Justinian’s castrum from the sixth century: as of what the defense of territory acquired from external enemies.
Throughout the fifteenth century the Republic of Dubrovnik had invested a considerable amount of financial resources to make Sokol stick out for its rich history.
The making of a fortress to be shown as powerful enough to defend Konavle and the southeastern borders of the republic showed lots of defenses.
The problem with the trading republic there were far too many enemies.
Also, the rulers in the hinterland and the of the powerful Venetian Republic, which was seen as always lying in wait to conquer the city. A major new power on the European mainland was un-stoppable approaching the borders of the lovely Dubrovnik.
The Ottomans and Sokol played an important military role in the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries. Interestingly enough, after the Canadian War back in 1669, the Sokol fortress lost its significance and the Dubrovnik army was forced to abandon the castle in the year 1672.
I am amazed of how everything changed in this history of the Falcon Tower the old ruins remained for years before the changes were finally made to the beautiful fortress.
After the three centuries of ruins, dilapidation and oblivion followed. Finally, the association of Dubrovnik acquired the Sokol kula (Falcon Tower).
This happened in 1966 when Dubrovnik took full control of the fortress only what was left of the huge remains.
The restoration had taken many years you are looking at least half a century to get to this final stage.
The Falcon Tower is currently opened to public and a free entrance to all citizens of Konavle. Others are charged a specific entrance fee.
After at least three hundred and fifty years, the Sokol Kula has regained its feature and is guarded by permanent garrison that watches over it.
The many treasures found were cleaned and set in the skillfully made museum.
I found this history to be most fascinating knowing how the old remains of the castle stood there when I had first seen it. The recent changes is to reconstruct the ruins to it exact same feature from centuries ago.
Stone-built around and inside the castle and the view from this castle is one of best of a countryside scenario.
Soon there will be a restaurant right on the roof level.
The major actions had showed great improvements. The old building has a unique appearance and I enjoy the view from my home.
On my arrival to the old castle twelve years ago it looked dull and dark gray in color. I had captured fairly good photos. Unfortunately I deleted the photos and now wish I had not done that. The before and after photos would have been an ideal set to have for a good memory.
Built off a cliff is such a powerful idea. The feature of the fortress presently tells the story through all the buried treasures which were found at the time of digging around the castle.
There are safety railings along the stairs and is much easier also, it feels safer to climb to the top.
My experiences around the village have been a wonderful challenge. The castle is an addition to the value of our property.
The many advantages of this old fortress has brought light to my life. I am pleased to be live that close to an historical sight its enormous.
The mountainous region behind the castle shows the real outlook of the castle, called Sokul Kula (The Falcon Tower).
The surroundings are beautiful with many Cyprus trees, olive trees, Laurel tress, Fig plants, and the many wild herbs in the wild has to offer is also close to the mysterious castle.
It is indeed a mystery as much more is kept a secret about the slaves who were not allowed to leave the fortress centuries ago.
A valuable and most interesting history of the castle that fascinates many tourists.
My daily walks have shown me more appreciation of the history this castle has to offer and is such a natural feature.
The opening day was extravagant the traditional events were very entertaining.
The men and women were dressed in traditional clothing and performed their acts gracefully.
I enjoyed every bit of a new culture and felt part of something different.
A walk to the fortress makes me happy and fun-filled it gives me an opportunity to be most active when climbing the stairs.
The fortress is next to a cemetry and an Old Catholic church.
I don't like passing through the graveyard it just not for me I prefer walking the long path.
I like the appearance of the professionally built stone walls and homes. The homes are built of stone and with the red roofs. The original style of building, though some people are changing the old styled homes to modern styles. I am not if favor of that idea. It spoils the image.
My home is built with stone and I so admire the natural outlook.
When the style is changed it does not suit the traditional buildings.
Stone built houses and red roofs are the actual way of building in Croatia.
The maintenance is simple to keep up with in all weather conditions.
The many changes in my life has allowed me to appreciate my new life. The castle has one of my best views and I enjoy the countryside life.
Sokol Kula the Falcon Tower
The Roman are Interesting facts
Do you enjoy learning the history ancient castles?
© 2014 Devika Primić