Explore the Walls of Ston, Croatia

by | Feb 15, 2024 | Croatia, Ston

History and Architecture of the Walls of Ston

The Walls of Ston, in Ston, Croatia is a must-visit for anyone interested in history and architecture. Stretching over five kilometers in length, the walls were built in the 14th century to protect the valuable salt pans in the area.

Today, they provide a fascinating glimpse into the medieval era, offering visitors a chance to step back in time and immerse themselves in history. As you walk along the towering walls, be sure to take in the breathtaking views of the Adriatic Sea and the picturesque town of Ston below. The panoramic vistas from the top of the walls are nothing short of spectacular.

In this blog post, we will take you on a journey through time as we explore the rich history of the Walls of Ston, from their origins to their role in Croatian history and beyond. We will also dive into the architectural marvels of the walls, including the fortresses, towers, and entrances. Lastly, we’ll provide some tips for navigating your way there.

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History of the Walls of Ston

The Walls of Ston have a captivating history that dates back to the 14th century.

Designed by Michelozzo in the 14th century

Stretching more than 7 kilometers (4.3 miles), the Walls of Ston are among the longest fortification systems in Europe. They were designed by renowned architect Michelozzo di Bartolomeo and built by skilled craftsmen using local limestone beginning in 1358.

Kaštio Fort in Ston Croatia

Protection for the Town and Saltworks

During their early years, the walls served as a crucial line of defense against invaders and provided security to the flourishing salt industry. The strategic position of Ston, located on the Pelješac Peninsula, made it a highly sought-after territory. The walls successfully repelled numerous attacks and ensured the safety of the town and its valuable salt pans.

Symbol of Power and Prestige

Over time, the Walls of Ston gained recognition for their impressive defensive capabilities and became a symbol of power and prestige. In addition to protecting the town, they also served as a statement of wealth and status for the Republic of Dubrovnik that ruled Ston during the 14th century.

Architecture of the Walls of Ston

The Walls of Ston are not just formidable fortifications but also architectural marvels. The intricate design and craftsmanship that went into building these walls are truly awe-inspiring. Each stone was carefully placed, creating a structure that not only served its defensive purpose but also stood as a testament to human ingenuity.

The walls are a perfect blend of functionality and beauty. They feature impressive towers strategically positioned along their length, providing vantage points for guards to watch over the surrounding area. These towers also offered refuge during times of attack, ensuring the safety of those defending the town.

Forts

Kaštio Fort in Ston Croatia

Veliki Kaštio

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Fort Veliki Kaštio, aka the Fortress of Saint Jerome, is part of the defensive fortification that surrounds the city.

Walls of Ston Croatia

Tvrđava Koruna

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Address: 20230, Mali Ston, Croatia

Tvrđava Koruna (Koruna Fort) aka Fortress of Koruna

Tvrdava Podzvizd

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Tvrdava Podzvizd is the fortress located at the highest point in the wall of Ston.

Towers

Kula Arcimun

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Kula Arcimun aka Tower of Arcimuna aka Arcimun Roundel

Kula Minceta

Kula Minčeta (Ston)

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Kula Stovis

Kula Stoviš

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Kula Nod Vodon

Kula Nad vodom

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Kula Nad vodom is a tower near the church Crkva imena Isuova (Church of the name of Jesus) and the square Trg Marina Držića.

Kula Barabanata

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Kula Toljevac

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Kula Dobri

Kula Dobri

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Address: Kula Dobri, D414, 20230, Mali Ston, Croatia

Dobri Tower

Gornja kula

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Dolina Tower

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Position of Lastva

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Bastions

Sokolić

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Bastion Arcimun

Bastion Arcimun

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Three Bastions of Veliki Kaštel

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Podzvizda bastion

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Arcimon in Mali Ston

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Field Gate in Ston, Croatia

Field Gate

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The Field Gate aka the Polish Door (Poljska vrata) is one of the most famous parts of the wall. The gate is inscribed with various Latin inscriptions from the 16th century.

Sokolić Defensive Wall

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via Sokolić

Bartolomeo Redoubt

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Address: Tvrđava Pozvizd, 20230, Ston, Croatia

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Fees and Opening Hours for the Walls of Ston

Opening Hours

Summer

April 1 to May 31: 8:00 am – 6:30 pm

June 1 to July 31: 8:00 am – 7:30 pm

August 1 to August 31: 8:00 am – 6:30 pm

September 1 to October 31: 8:00 am – 5:30 pm

Winter

November 1 to March 31: 9.00 am – 3:00 pm

Entrance Fees

March to October

Adults – €10

Children (under 18 years) – €5

Group (more than 10 people) – €8

November to February

Adults – €5

Children (under 18 years) – €2

Group (more than 10 people) – €4

*Residents of the municipality of Ston: free of charge

Check here for more information about opening hours and entrance fees.

Tips for Visiting the Walls of Ston

Here are some insider tips to help you plan your trip to the Walls of Ston.

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead and familiarize yourself with essential information about Klis Fortress to make the most of your time there. Don’t miss the chance to learn about its history and architecture.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes as you explore the Fortress.

Bring Water and Sunscreen

Carry water and sunscreen, especially in summer.

Best Photography

Optimal lighting for photography is in the early morning or late afternoon.

Hotels near the Walls of Ston

Hotels in Ston

If you are planning a trip to Ston, there are plenty of excellent places to stay. However, for the best experience, we strongly recommend staying in the Old Town. The castle marker on the map below is the heart of the Old Town. We suggest staying as close to it as possible, depending on your budget and preferences.

The below interactive map provides hotel and apartment options that can be filtered to meet your needs. Select your travel dates to get specific availability and prices.

Book your stay now!

FAQs About the Walls of Ston

How long to walk the Walls of ston?

The Walls of Ston, also known as the Walls of Ston, are a series of defensive stone walls in Croatia. The total length of the walls is approximately 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles). Walking the entire length of the walls can take around 1-2 hours, depending on your pace and how much time you spend enjoying the views and exploring the area. It’s a great way to experience the history and beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just make sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring water with you, especially during warmer months.

Why were the walls of Ston built?

The walls of Ston were built for defensive purposes. Ston is a town in Croatia, and historically, it has been an important strategic location due to its salt pans and salt trade. The walls were constructed in the 14th century to protect the town and its valuable salt works from potential invasions and attacks. The walls were fortified with towers and gates, creating a formidable defense system. Today, the walls of Ston are still intact. They are considered one of Europe’s longest defensive stone walls, serving as a reminder of the town’s historical significance and defensive capabilities.

How long is the ston wall?

The total length of the Ston walls is approximately 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles).

Why are there so many stone walls in Croatia?

Stone walls are a common sight in Croatia for various historical and practical reasons. Croatia has a long history of stone masonry, with skilled craftsmen using local limestone to build structures such as churches, forts, and city walls. Many of these structures have stood the test of time and are still standing today.

In addition to historical reasons, stone walls are also practical in Croatia’s landscape. The country is known for its hilly and rocky terrain, making it challenging to cultivate land for agriculture. Stone walls have been used for centuries to create hillside terraces, allowing farmers to level the land and prevent soil erosion. These terraced fields are not only functional but also add to the unique beauty of the Croatian countryside.

Ryan

Ryan

Author

I graduated from Murray State University in 2000 with psychology and criminal justice degrees. I received my law degree, with a concentration in litigation and dispute resolution, from Boston University School of Law in 2003.For nearly two decades, I represented contractors and subcontractors in construction defect disputes involving commercial and residential buildings.In 2022, my lifelong passion for travel, food & wine, architecture, and photography overtook my ambition to be a litigation attorney. So, my wife, Jen, and I sold our home in Austin, Texas, and set out to explore the world with our French Bulldog, Gus!