Počitelj Castle

Počitelj Castle

Location: Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Čapljina Municipality     Map

Constructed: in 1383 by King Stjepan Tvrtko I


Description of Počitelj Castle

Počitelj Castle is a medieval citadel situated in Herzegovina-Neretva Canton, Čapljina Municipality of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Village of Počitelj played an important role in the medieval times serving as a administrative center of governance of Dubrava župa (county). Due to its role Bosnian King Stjepan Tvrtko I fortified the town in 1383 against possible aggression. In 1471 the castle along with surrounding lands fell to the relentless Ottoman invasion. From 1782 to 1879 it was the center of a local Turkish kadiluk (Ottoman Turkish judge). After Russian army defeated the Ottomans in 1878 much of the Balkans gained its independence.



It is located on the left bank of the Neretva River, on the main road from Mostar to Čapljini.



In the Middle Ages, Počitelj was the administrative center of the Dubrava parish, in the Hum region. There is no reliable information about the builder. It is assumed that the builder was the Bosnian king Tvrtko I, but this claim is disputed in the literature.

It was first mentioned in written documents in 1444, in the charters of King Alfonso V and Frederick III. In the period from 1463 to 1471, Počitelj was home to a Hungarian garrison. In 1471, after a short siege, the city became part of the Ottoman Empire, in which it would remain until 1878. In the period 1782 - 1879 it was the seat of the Kadiluk, and in the period 1713 - 1835 the seat of the Počitelj captaincy.



The complex of the fortified town - Počitelj, was created successively from the 16th to the 18th centuries. The preserved stone remains of the city represent an architectural fortification unit whose development can be distinguished into two stages: medieval construction and construction during the Ottoman Empire.

The oldest part of the fortress is the medieval core, a tower tower with a smaller enclosure, from the end of the 14th century. From the second half of the 15th century, there is a keep, Gavrankapetan's tower, polygonal foundations (originally preserved only in the lower part, walls about 2 m thick) and a small walled courtyard with an entrance to the south. Since the terrain on which it was built slopes steeply towards the river, the fort did not have a moat.

In the second medieval construction phase, the area of the second courtyard was surrounded by a rampart, a small square tower was built to the left of the main entrance and part of the wall was built on the west side, south of the fountain in the fortress. Shortly before 1698, the fortress was significantly expanded and strengthened with a larger defense system: a square tower, two tabias (Mehmed Pašin and Delibašin), Dizdar's house, barn, fortress mosque, "water tower" - fountain, two large gates and two small ones door.

The old town of Počitelj was declared a national monument of Bosnia and Herzegovina.